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Top 2 Schools to Learn Professional Dog Training in the World

Do you love dogs? Do you love teaching people? Have you always thought about making a mid-career switch to become a professional dog trainer?

Every year, I receive over 50 requests on average to the question - “How to be a Professional Dog Trainer”, so hopefully this article answers most of your queries.

In Singapore, Dog Training is an unregulated industry. This means that anyone can call themselves a dog trainer and provide commercial services. Yes, even you could do it right now! So, what’s stopping you?

First, you have to ask yourself - what kind of trainer do you want to become?

In one camp, there are the professional “locally-famous” trainers who have trained “thousands of dogs” and have “decades of experience”.

They are also likely to be completely aversive (leash pops, corrections), or “balanced” trainers – meaning that they use a mixture of positive and negative training techniques and equipment. These trainers conduct mainly obedience classes in Singapore. These trainers usually do not have any education in dog training, besides “experience”. The infamous Cesar Millan is usually their gold standard for training, so don’t say anything bad about him in front of them! Oops!

In the other camp, lies the professional positive dog trainers. These trainers are likely to hold U.S. professional certifications from dog training academies that are famed for their education and experience in training other animals besides dogs – think dolphins, killer whales, horses and even cats! Some examples of internationally recognized certifications that they hold would be KPA CTP and the CTC.

They are also likely to use only a force-free, positive reinforcement pedagogy based on science. These trainers conduct mainly manners classes in Singapore. These trainers usually have tons of continuing education under their belt and attends multiple training conferences held in the U.S. yearly. (ClickerExpo, APDT etc.) These conferences usually brings about a convergence of the biggest names in dog training – Ken Ramirez, Karen Pryor, Terry Ryan, Jean Donaldson, Pat Miller, the list goes on... You get the point, it’s a blast!

Without further ado… Since I am a KPA CTP, I would only recommend the best force-free dog training schools based on science! As far as I know, there are only two that I would recommend. They are both based in the United States of America. (U.S.)

  1. Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior
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Someone who holds the designation of Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) is a graduate of the Dog Trainer Professional Program. KPA CTPs have demonstrated a high level of technical knowledge and hands-on skill both training canines and teaching people! The Dog Trainer Professional Program is based on positive teaching and training techniques to help you and your pet make training fun. Trainers are educated about using science and behavior-based methods to make training more efficient. They participate in programs for quality assurance and continuing education to ensure that the training you receive is based on modern research and technology.

Karen Pryor Academy’s Dog Trainer Professional -

When I was 25, I became a KPA CTP and am the only Singaporean till date to be mentored by Terry Ryan, Supervising Teacher for the Dog Trainer Professional (World) Program. Pawrus Dog Training Academy was created to deliver our unique training philosophy based on a blend of my past Military Working Dog and KPA experiences. More details here.

Modality: Online and In-Person

Duration: 6 months – 1 year

Cost: $5300 USD++

  1. Jean Donaldson’s The Academy for Dog Trainers (Formerly ASPCA)
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Another famous designation is the Certificate in Training and Counselling (CTC) awarded by Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers.

The Academy for Dog Trainers offers one of the most rigorous, advanced programs in dog behavior and training in the world. Their goal is to raise the standard of excellence in the industry - nothing less. Regarded by many as the Harvard of dog training, their comprehensive online program will equip you with the in-depth knowledge and practical techniques you need to succeed as a dog trainer. You'll be learning and problem-solving with a global community of like-minded people who believe that dogs and their families deserve the very best. When you graduate, you will be able to tackle any type of case and pursue your vocation with competence and confidence.

The Academy for Dog Trainers -

Modality: Online-Only

Duration: 6 months – 2 years

Cost: $6825 USD++

To surmise, anyone in Singapore who holds any of these two certifications are likely to be minimally skilled to conduct commercial dog training classes at a professional level.

There is no simple and easy way to success. The modern dog trainer relies both on education and experience to get ahead. That being said, the route to become a certified professional dog trainer based on force-free techniques and science is not easy, but by enrolling and graduating from either one of these schools – you’re off to a great start!

BBA with Merit (NUS), CPDT-KA®, CBCC-KA®, KPA CTP, UW-AAB, Former Military Working Dog Trainer, Level One TAGteacher®, Low Stress Handling® (Certified Silver), Fear Free Certified® Professional & Speaker of Fear Free Speakers Bureau author email author website
Kevin is the Chief Confidence Specialist of Pawrus® Animal Behaviour Clinic & Dog Training Academy. As a Clinical Animal Behaviourist, Kevin resides in Singapore with his long-time friend, partner and Chief Creative Specialist of Pawrus® Pet Grooming Academy & Studio, Jasline Aiw, their Darling Toy Poodle, Iris and Two Lovely Golden Retrievers, Sponge and Bobby (“SpongeBob”).
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