Become a Dog Trainer

Have you ever dreamed of working with dogs for a living? The dog training industry is booming, offering new and exciting career opportunities for passionate dog overs who want to positively impact the lives of dogs and their humans! Whether you are ready to pursue your dream of becoming a professional trainer, want to sharpen your skills for rescue work, or even want to be the best dog owner you can to your own dogs, this club will provide you with a wealth of dog training information you can immediately put to use.

Fundamentals of Dog Training Study Courses

Course 1: Critical concepts in dog training, obedience training, creating cooperation, how dogs learn, marking, and luring.

Course 2: Non-core problem behavior prevention and treatment including barking, destructive chewing, impolite greeting, door dashing, food stealing/begging, nipping, and potty training. The course also includes a unit on successful client coaching.

Course 3: Core problem behavior diagnosis and treatment including fear, aggression, and anxiety. The course also includes a unit on successful client coaching.

Are you wanting to start a dog-related career, improve your skills to help in your canine-related volunteer work, or simply learn more skills to help your dog be successful? The Fundamentals of Dog Training Independent Study Course will provide you with a rock solid start to understanding how dogs think, behave, and are trained. The skills taught in these courses are the same strategies we use here at Tug Dogs to help dogs overcome problem behaviors, follow obedience commands even with distractions around, excel in having good manners, and just live their best dog lives.

Course one gives you the underlying knowledge you need to understand how dogs learn, how to get dogs to engage with us in training, how to present information to dogs in ways they understand, how to motivate dogs to follow our instructions, and how to create a solid training relationship with any dog you may work with. Course 2 & 3 build on your understanding of dog training to delve into advanced behavior modification techniques that prevent and address everything from doggy manners issues to complex behavior challenges like fear, aggression, and anxiety.

The independent study format of these courses allows you to work at your own pace while still receiving clear lectures and video demonstrations. Best of all, you can return to the material to revisit any topics you may want a refresher on at any time.

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Fundamentals of Dog Training Class

Located in Elverta, CA (Sacramento metro area)

Taught by Tug Dogs Owner Erin Kramer

Curricula includes foundation concepts in dog training, non-core problem behavior prevention & treatment, core problem behavior diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment.

Lecture, demonstration, live Q&A

Certificate upon successful completion

Our Fundamentals of Dog Training Class takes all of the information we provide in our independent study program and teaches it live and in person for small groups of students. We offer the class only 1-2 times per year in the Sacramento, CA area. Class time consists primarily of lecture and demonstration with occasional hands on practice.

Class curriculum includes canine psychology overview, building a cooperative training relationship, understanding how dogs learn, the role of motivation in dog training, preventing common problem behaviors, stopping impolite dog manners, diagnosing complex behavior issues, and behavior modification treatments for fearful, aggressive, and anxious dogs.

This class is FULL of information and will leave you with a deep understanding of dog behavior and training. Students are expected to take notes, practice homework a minimum of 20 minutes per day during the class, and complete a training examination. To learn more, including when our next available class is taking place, please contact us.

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for Graduates

Trainer’s Club: Weekly hands on training practice

Trainer’s Workshops: Monthly hands on training practice

Shadow Program: customized, private training

Trainer’s Club is an opportunity for graduates from either our independent study course (must have completed all 3 courses) or our Fundamentals of Dog Training Class (must have graduated) to use their skills to practice more hands on training with the help of one of our skilled instructors. Students will participate in active training cases we have in through Tug Dogs as well as have the opportunity to work with their own dogs. Trainer’s Club is suited for dedicated students who want to work professionally as dog trainers or who are otherwise deeply passionate about honing their training skills.

Available to graduates of either of our trainer’s courses, our monthly trainer’s workshops are weekend training opportunities designed to provide more learning and hands on training opportunities with our skilled instructors. Students will be watching and learning real live cases that our training team has taken in for training.

Graduates from either of our trainer’s courses can participate in a private and customized shadow program where they will get one on one instruction and practice with a lead Tug Dogs Trainer.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★ We have a 5-star rating
across all review sites!

format_quote Tug Dogs trainer's courses have made my dream of becoming a dog trainer come true. I have always been passionate about working with animals and was looking for a program that could help me better understand dogs and help them overcome problem behaviors.

What I found (at Tug Dogs) was a course that allowed me to have a full understanding of all of the key components of being a skilled dog trainer. I learned how to access dogs and their needs, how to understand what they were communicating, how to teach them effectively, and how to work with their people to get lasting results.

Now that I have been in the industry running my own dog training business and have had tons of first-hand experience applying what I learned, I feel so blessed to have had the chance to learn from Erin and her team. I left Tug Dogs fully prepared to be able to help any dog and human that signed up to work with me, even aggression cases. And my business has steadily been growing because word has gotten around that I am a great dog trainer!

If you are wanting to learn how to be a professional dog trainer who has the versatility to work with lots of different types of dogs, problem behaviors, and clients, I highly suggest you get in contact with Tug Dogs. In my opinion, you won't find a better program to teach you everything you need to know." format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Michelle Hawk, Owner of Sage Canines ( & Tug Dogs Guest Trainer)Camas, WA

format_quote I just wanted to reach out and say THANK YOU again. Volunteers have been coming in all day today talking about how great your presentation was and how easy the tools you gave are to follow and use. I’ve seen a lot of dog training presentations in my 10yrs of doing this, and you’re one of the best in the biz! You are a great speaker, very knowledgeable and confident (and funny). Well done and we can’t wait to have you back! format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Emily Holmes, Program Manager Truckee Humane SocietyTruckee CA

format_quote "Tug Dogs has changed my life! Recommitting to my education was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I went looking to add value for our pet sitting clients and structure for our employees. What I came away with is a new philosophy for life. Erin is an experienced and engaging educator. In a fast-paced and chaotic world, she illuminated a path for success based upon years of experience in the field. Starting with consideration for the dog’s perspective, she teaches a zen-inspired way of communicating with dogs in a simple, clear, and loving way.

I’m just beginning my journey as a dog trainer but I see the path. After applying what I am learning, I had the feeling that Tug Dogs Dog Trainer Academy is just where I need to be. I do the homework and see results with our own dogs. I look forward to replicating this process with our clients’ dogs, to bring peace into their homes. Erin’s energy is infectious and that’s all I needed to encourage me to continue on this path. I’m so thankful to have been referred to Tug Dogs and look forward to taking the next steps of my education here."format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
James McKellips, Co-Owner Peaceful Pets Pet Sitting ServicesSacramento CA

format_quote I am a Dog Trainer and have had my own dog business for 9 years. After taking this trainer's course, I feel much more confident dealing with aggression and leash reactivity issues and how to develop an effective management & training plan for clients. I definitely felt that sometimes my approach and confidence “before” taking Erin’s course was not the best.  I fell into the trap of letting clients push me and try to rush through the training or getting pulled into long conversations with clients and giving too much free advice.  Some of my training techniques were outdated and not always working well for some clients.  I felt comfortable working with client dogs, but communicating effectively to the client so they could do the same was not always working.

Since taking Erin’s course, I feel that I am able to communicate more effectively with each client so that they are better able to work with their own dogs. I highly recommend Erin’s Dog Trainer’s course.  I love Erin’s approach and gentleness with each dog she works with.  She has a wonderful energy and ability to effectively communicate through body language with each dog.  Keeping an Open Mind and thinking Outside of the Box is something I really appreciated learning from Erin too!  Thank you!!!! format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Rhonda Anderson, Owner of Just Doggin’ it Adventures, Daycare & TrainingMalahat BC Canada

format_quote Taking the TDC Fundamental Trainers Course with Erin not only taught me many new skills I can use while working with my day camp and training clients, but also surprised me with new information on topics I thought I had nothing left to learn about!  Each topic we covered was discussed thoroughly and in-depth, and before the course was even finished I was able to successfully use some of my new knowledge in real-life settings! Using Erin’s training approach in our facility has helped to create a calmer and more positive learning environment for the dogs. I am thrilled to now have the confidence to work with some challenging dogs I would have previously referred elsewhere.

The TDC course gave me the boost I needed to start opening more doors for my business! The course emphasizes the importance of working with our human clients in order to be successful. Erin provided some great tips on how to interact with clients to help them set their dogs up for success.  I was pleasantly surprised at how much I learned from Erin on this topic, despite having been training for years! The thing that sets TDC apart from other trainers education programs is Erin’s ability to present the material in a way that is clearly applicable in real-world settings.  She doesn’t just give you the information, she gives you the skills to be able to apply it while working with clients, both human and canine.

I left each class with the certainty that I could begin confidently practicing and honing my new found skills. I didn’t just receive information, I understood it and knew what to do with it! I would absolutely recommend the TDC Fundamental Trainers Course to trainers of any skill level. Erin ensured that the course was exactly tailored to our needs and each student finished the course feeling they got what they came for and more.  Erin presents the information in a way that covers every small detail, while still being engaging. The classes were never boring…nor were they overwhelming.

I wish this course was available to me all those years ago when I first started training! What a wealth of information for someone just starting out. On the other hand, I’m positive even the most experienced trainer could learn from Erin’s expertise! format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Tara Dupuis, Owner Come Over Rover Doggy DaycareShawnigan Lake BC Canada

format_quote First of all, I would like to say Cheantelle (my instructor) is awesome! One of the things I love about the course is how all of the information is broken down in a simple way for everyone to understand. It is also very thorough so many of the questions that I had previously to starting the course have been answered! I have been learning SO much. I'm really looking forward to the next few months learning dog EVERYTHING! Thanks for doing such a great job putting this club together! I'm stoked to be a part of it! format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Rachel Mariie, Owner of PawsActive AdventuresDuncan BC Canada

format_quote I am loving every bit of the course. I was very curious how the online course would be, but actually, it’s MUCH more than I’d hoped for. I listen to the class. Then at night I’ll watch again with earbuds and write all my notes. The homework of luring, name games /engagement etc... are so clearly shown and explained that it’s obvious what is expected. I’m so looking forward to continuing to learn and grow with this great course!! Thank you!!! format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Mary Willey HardingSan Juan Capistrano CA

format_quote The Tug Dogs online training course is thorough and easy to follow. (My instructor ) Cheantelle does an incredible job of making information accessible through explanation, dialogue, and examples. The pace feels productive, and the exercises are rewarding. I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time! I’m inspired and gaining confidence every day. Plus, my dogs are having a lot fun format_quote

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Ashley PiediscalziMinneapolis MN

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* Please Note: Tug Dogs is unable to provide re-homing services or requests for training outside of Northern California.