18 Online Courses for Dog Professionals (Best of 2023)

online courses for dog professionals

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If you’re a dog professional looking to up your game, online learning is your secret weapon. With a growing need for skilled dog trainers, walkers, and sitters, there’s no better time to boost your skills and stand out from the crowd.

Online training courses are perfect for newbies in the dog care field or for seasoned pros looking to step things up a notch.

And the best part? You can learn at your own speed, right from your home.

To make things easier, we’ve pulled together a list of the best online courses for dog professionals.

These top-notch resources dive deep into all things dog care, setting you up for a successful career in the industry. Armed with the skills you acquire, you’ll have the edge to command superior rates by standing out from the competition.

Dive in, and get ready to become a top-tier dog care pro!

online courses for dog trainers walkers sitters

Who Should Consider These Courses?

As we explore the various online courses for dog professionals, it’s essential to identify who can benefit from these programs. These courses are for current and aspiring individuals who will be looking after dogs as part of their business. This includes:

  • Dog Trainers
  • Dog Walkers
  • Dog Sitters
  • Dog Boarders
  • Anyone with Dog Caring Responsibilities

Essentially, anyone who wants to upskill and earn an income from the dog industry can benefit from these courses.

They address common issues relating to their specific business operations and how to overcome these challenges. Since all of these classes are online with remote learning, they can be accessed from anywhere, regardless of which country you live in.

By investing time and effort into mastering the skills these courses offer, you can advance your career and deliver excellent service to your clients.

NOTE: If you’re a dog owner looking for courses for your own pet, then we recommend reading our separate article on the 13 Best Dog Training Courses (for Pet Parents)

dog training instructor courses online

How to Choose the Best Professional Online Dog Training Program

Choosing the ideal online training program can be tricky as a dog professional. Here are some key criteria to consider when evaluating courses for your business:


Ensure you’re investing in a reliable program. Look for courses offering certification or accreditation from recognized industry bodies. These tend to provide up-to-date, scientifically-approved training methods.

Quality of Instruction

A great dog training program should have experienced, successful trainers. Their teaching and communication styles should be engaging, clear, and easy to understand.

Course Content and Structure

Opt for programs offering a range of relevant topics, like obedience training, behavioral management, and specialized techniques. The course should have logically progressing modules allowing flexibility in learning pace.

Feedback and Reviews

Research reviews and feedback from previous participants. This gives you insight into whether the course will meet your needs and expectations.

Support and Follow-Up Resources

Evaluate the level of support and follow-up resources provided by the course. A good program will offer continuous assistance, forums for interaction, and additional materials like instructional videos or guides to support your learning and professional growth.

start a dog care business

4 Ways a Professional Online Dog Training Course Will Help Your Business

Taking an online dog training program can significantly enhance your dog-focused business. Whether you’re a beginner or seeking to extend your expertise, these courses offer numerous benefits:

1. Skill Enhancement and Service Expansion

The right courses equip you with crucial dog training techniques and an understanding of canine behavior, enabling you to offer high-quality service to your clients. Additionally, you will be able to expand your services to include dog walking, pet sitting, and doggy daycare, setting you apart from the competition.

2. Industry Knowledge and Earnings Growth

As a newcomer, you’ll gain insight into how to establish and grow a successful dog business, including industry best practices. As your expertise grows, you can command higher fees, making your investment in education profitable.

3. Flexibility and Affordability

Online courses offer the convenience of learning at your own pace, allowing you to balance work, life, and education commitments. Plus, they’re often more affordable than traditional in-person programs.

4. Networking Opportunities

Online platforms can also facilitate discussions with other professionals in the field, helping you to expand your network.

By enhancing your skills and knowledge, you’re better equipped to serve your clients and grow your business in the competitive dog care industry.

How much do Online Courses for Dog Professionals Cost?

cost of professional dog training courses

The cost of online training for dog professionals can greatly vary depending on the course’s depth and reputation.

Short, introductory courses can start as low as $50, while comprehensive, advanced programs offering specialized skills can reach up to $10,000.

Courses like those from Training Without Conflict®, renowned for their specialized certifications in managing challenging dog behaviors, understandably cost more. Although pricier, these programs can be a worthy investment, offering the potential for quick returns as you establish yourself as a certified, respected dog instructor.

Here’s an estimated cost breakdown for various online dog professional courses:

  • Basic courses: $50 – $200
  • Intermediate courses: $200 – $500
  • Advanced courses with certifications: $500 – $10,000

When choosing a program, consider not only the cost but also reviews, curriculum, and industry reputation.

Remember, quality online courses can be a worthwhile investment towards a rewarding career in dog training, walking, or sitting, and there’s a range of prices to suit your budget and goals.

best professional online courses for dog carers

18 Best Online Courses for Dog Professionals

Let’s finally get into our list of the best online courses for dog professionals, suitable for trainers, sitters, walkers, and anyone interested in the dog care industry.

This list isn’t a one-size-fits-all.

We’ve segmented this list into categories to cater to specific skills you’re aiming to enhance or newly acquire. This ensures you find just what you need to specialize in your area of interest.

And for those seeking a broader knowledge base, don’t worry – we’ve saved the best for last! At the end of the list, you’ll find courses that offer a holistic, comprehensive overview of all aspects of dog care.

So, kicking off with the first on our list…

1. Start Your Pet Business Course

start your pet business course

The Start Your Pet Business Course by Holly & Hugo is an insightful guide for those eager to venture into the pet industry. It simplifies launching pet-related businesses like pet sitting and dog walking, providing practical, accessible knowledge.

The course covers essential business aspects like plan creation, networking, sales strategies, and client attraction. Its content is clear, inspiring, and packed with actionable ideas for a successful business launch.

Key Features:

  • The course targets a wide range of individuals, including those keen to learn new skills, start a new career, or enhance their resume in the pet industry.
  • It imparts practical knowledge on funding and running a successful pet business, a critical understanding needed for all new ventures.
  • Complex business ideas are presented in a straightforward manner, making the course content accessible for learners of all backgrounds.
  • The course encompasses a broad range of topics crucial for running a successful pet business, including business planning, networking, sales strategies, and client acquisition.
  • The course materials provide inspiring and actionable ideas, supplying real-world insights that can be immediately applied to your pet business.

Who Should Take this Course:

This course is an excellent choice for budding entrepreneurs keen on making a mark in the pet industry. It combines the essentials of business fundamentals with industry-specific insights, resulting in a well-rounded educational experience.

Whether you’re seeking to learn new skills, start a new career, or enhance your resume in the pet industry, this course provides the necessary tools and understanding.

2. Dog Walker Certificate Course (Best for Dog Walkers)

dog walker certificate course online

The Dog Walker Certificate Course, provided by IAP Career College, is a part-time, self-directed program that enables individuals to become professional dog walkers.

The course can be completed in 4 to 12 weeks, with a recommended time frame of 6 weeks. It covers various aspects of dog walking services, from planning routes and schedules to assessing dogs and their owners.

It also dives into the business side of dog walking, offering guidance on setting up and running your own dog walking business.

Key Features:

  • Offers flexible, self-paced online learning, allowing students to study and complete assignments at their convenience.
  • Topics include dog walking services, business setup, pricing, customer attraction, marketing tools, handling problem clients, and offering additional services.
  • Provides access to a Faculty Member for personal teaching assistance and career advice throughout the course.
  • The course package includes registration, access to a Faculty Member, a downloadable personalized certificate, optional membership in the IAPO International Association of Professional Dog Walkers, and a textbook (IAP Career College Guide to Become a Dog Walker).

Who is this course for?

This Dog Walker Certificate stands out for its focus on practical skills and business knowledge, preparing you for a successful career in the dog walking industry.

With self-paced online learning, a comprehensive curriculum, and personalized assistance, it offers great value, making it one of the best online courses for dog walkers.

3. Dog Walking Certified Online Business Course 

online dog walking course

This Dog Walking Course, offered by the International Open Academy, is designed for individuals aspiring to become professional dog walkers and start their own dog walking businesses.

It covers a wide range of topics, including basic dog first aid, dog behavior, regulations, attracting clients, dog training, and psychology. This ICOES-accredited and CPD-certified course provides comprehensive knowledge for a successful career in dog walking.

Key Features:

  • The course is self-paced and online, designed for anyone interested in learning, regardless of formal qualifications.
  • Topics include doggie first aid, dog behavior, industry regulations, attracting clients, understanding dog psychology, and safe interactions with dogs of all temperaments.
  • The course is ICOES-accredited and CPD-certified, adding credibility to your professional profile.
  • Provides accreditation that can demonstrate your expertise and professionalism to potential clients.
  • Suitable for individuals looking to learn new skills, start a new career, or enhance their talents and resume in the dog walking industry.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Dog Walking Certified Online Course is an excellent choice for individuals seeking a comprehensive education in dog walking.

It not only equips you with the skills to handle dogs of all temperaments but also prepares you to run your own business, making it a highly recommended choice for aspiring dog walking professionals.

4. Pet Sitter Certificate (Best for Dog Sitting Business)

pet sitter certificate online

The Pet Sitter Certificate Course is an online program designed for individuals aspiring to become professional dog sitters.

This course provides comprehensive guidance on starting and running a dog sitting business, with the flexibility to complete the course at your own pace.

Key Features:

  • The course covers a wide range of topics, including the basics of pet sitting, building trust with clients, offering additional services like dog walks and pet transportation, and developing dog expertise.
  • It also provides a comprehensive guide to writing a business plan, getting financing, setting fees, and effective marketing.
  • The course package includes registration, access to a Faculty Member, a downloadable personalized certificate, optional membership in the International Organization of Professional Pet Sitters, and a textbook (e-book edition).
  • The course has a recommended completion time of 6 weeks, but it can be completed in 4 to 12 weeks depending on the participant’s schedule.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Pet Sitter Certificate Course is a great choice for those seeking to establish a career as a professional dog sitter.

Its comprehensive content, flexible study options, and professional resources offer a valuable stepping stone into the pet sitting industry, making it one of the best online courses for aspiring dog sitters.

5. Animal Training and Pet Sitting Course

animal training and pet sitting course

The Animal Training and Pet Sitting Course offered by the International Open Academy is an online course aimed at equipping individuals with a comprehensive understanding of pet care across various species.

The program prepares learners to provide high-quality pet sitting services and handle crises effectively.

Key Features:

  • The course covers essential knowledge required for dog care, including caring for different species of animals and fish, ensuring safety and security, crisis handling, and recognizing when to seek professional help.
  • It is designed to help individuals launch or enhance their careers in the animal care industry.
  • Completion of the course can lead to business growth through recommendations from satisfied clients.
  • The website offers a range of additional related courses, including Animal Psychology, Animal Care, Hotel & Catering Management, and Dog Walking.
  • Learners have access to a library, membership options, and accreditation for the courses.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course provides comprehensive training for individuals aiming to launch a rewarding career in dog sitting. It covers a wide range of topics, focusing on species-specific care, safety, and crisis handling.

This broad knowledge base makes graduates of the course particularly appealing to dog owners who seek trusted professionals to care for their pets.

6. Fear-Free Boarding (Best for Boarding Business)

fear free dog boarding course

The Fear Free Boarding Certification Program is an innovative online course that equips individuals with the necessary skills to create a stress-free and safe environment for dogs in boarding and daycare settings.

Key Features:

  • The program provides knowledge and practical advice on various aspects such as setting up a Fear Free environment, interacting with pets, administering medications and care, enhancing enrichment, addressing behavior problems, reducing injuries, and considering the pet’s perspective.
  • This program is reviewed and approved by the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA) and the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC), giving learners confidence in the quality and relevance of the content.
  • Benefits include downloadable handouts and worksheets, access to the Fear Free Educational Library and Toolbox, participation in the Fear Free Podcast Series, and additional complimentary courses.
  • The course content is designed by experienced professionals, including Mikkel Becker, The Dog Gurus (Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs), Erin Askeland, and Nichole TeSelle.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Fear Free Boarding and Daycare Individual Certification Program is an essential choice for anyone interested in starting or enhancing a dog boarding business, offering scientifically proven techniques to reduce pet stress and improve well-being.

7. Pro Pet Hero (Best First Aid Instructor Course)

pet first aid instructor course

The Pro Pet Hero Instructor Course stands out for its comprehensive coverage of dog first aid, CPR, and safety protocols. With real-life demonstrations, convenient online training, ongoing support, and suitability for a range of pet-related professions, it is an excellent investment for those seeking to become certified instructors in pet first aid.

This comprehensive and practical course is taught by internationally recognized pet health, safety, and behavior expert, Arden Moore.

The course prepares participants to stabilize and immobilize injured or sick pets safely for transportation to veterinary clinics and offers certification. It’s perfect for dog professionals looking to enhance their skills within the pet care business.

Key Features:

  • Trains through video and interactive technology, enabling participants to learn from anywhere.
  • Provides ongoing support to instructors and their students via a dedicated customer service team and instructor network.
  • Benefits numerous pet-related professions, including dog sitters, doggie daycare staff, dog walkers, pet groomers, dog trainers, veterinary staff, and more.
  • Supplies for teaching are provided, like plush demo dogs, a pet first aid kit, teaching materials, gauze rolls and pads, bandanas, tongue depressors, and petroleum jelly.
  • The monthly membership fee covers ongoing education, certificate issuance, class organization, access to the teaching curriculum, and administrative support.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Pet First Aid & CPR Instructor Course is an excellent option for individuals who are passionate about animal welfare and are eager to embark on a career as a full-time pet first aid instructor.

The course equips you with crucial skills to provide life-saving emergency care to pets, turning you into a valuable resource for both pet professionals and pet owners.

Special Note:

Registration must occur at least 20 days before the course starts to ensure timely delivery of teaching materials. To maintain certification, instructors are required to teach a minimum of one class per year and retain their monthly membership.

8. Pet CPR & 1st Aid Certification Course

pet first aid cpr course online

The Pet CPR & First Aid Certification Course provided by the Pet Health Academy is a comprehensive online program designed to educate individuals on how to prevent, recognize, and address common health issues in dogs.

Key Features:

  • The course offers in-depth knowledge on various topics such as vital signs assessment, restraining and muzzling techniques, first aid for different injuries, choking treatment, CPR for dogs, identification, and treatment of common poisons, management of temperature-related conditions, and handling seizures and bloat.
  • Participants have access to the course 24/7 on a mobile-friendly platform, allowing them to learn at their own pace and from any location.
  • Upon completion, learners receive an e-book, a personalized certificate, a digital badge for display on digital media, a Pet Power of Attorney document, and a Pet Assessment Worksheet.
  • The course encourages hands-on learning, with students encouraged to practice techniques on their own pets and understand the importance of documenting normal vital signs.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is a crucial learning tool for both dog owners and dog professionals who want to ensure the safety and well-being of their pets or the pets under their care.

The course’s comprehensive and practical approach to learning equips participants with the necessary skills and knowledge to respond effectively to emergencies, making it a great online course for anyone working in the dog industry.

9. Online Pet Grooming Program (Best Pet Grooming Course)

online professional dog grooming course

The Online Pet Grooming Program is an in-depth remote study course geared toward the dog grooming industry.

Developed by Founder and Certified Master Groomer, Melissa Verplank and her team, the program is designed to provide an on-campus learning experience in a web-based format, making it accessible to students worldwide.

With three distinct levels, the program aims to develop grooming skills, breed profiling knowledge, and grooming efficiency.

Key Features:

  • Offers a comprehensive course divided into three levels: Paragon Groom Tech (Level 1), Paragon Pet Groomer (Level 2), and Paragon Pet Stylist (Level 3).
  • Each student is assigned a Mentor to guide them through their educational journey.
  • Provides access to curriculum materials including videos, quizzes, tests, illustrated textbooks, and online content.
  • Practical assignments and photo uploads are required for grading.
  • Provides post-grad support and professional development opportunities.
  • Offers additional resources including private Facebook groups and access to Paragon Alumni.
  • Suitable for individual aspiring groomers, salon owners and managers, and multi-unit retailers providing grooming services.
  • Required equipment is available in a convenient bundle.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Online Pet Grooming Program by the Paragon School of Pet Grooming is an excellent choice for those looking to venture into professional dog grooming.

Its comprehensive curriculum, guided mentorship, and extensive support resources make it a worthy investment for aspiring groomers, and the best online course for dog grooming professionals.

10. Certified Intensive Service Dog Training Course

online service dog training school

The Certified Intensive Service Dog Training Course is an all-encompassing and rigorous program specially designed for individuals who are interested in training a service dog.

The course takes a deep dive into the world of service dogs, starting with basic obedience training and then progressing into specialized tasks like retrieving items, alerting to specific sounds, medication reminders, and providing crisis assistance.

By offering a blend of theory and practical knowledge, this course ensures that learners acquire the skills necessary to effectively train service dogs that adhere to the highest standards of quality and reliability.

Key Features:

  • The course meets the strict requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Equality Act 2010 (in the UK), and European rights for equality, rights, and citizenship, guaranteeing its wide applicability and recognition.
  • The learning process is interactive and supports learners of all backgrounds with trainers assigned to ensure successful outcomes.
  • The program includes online evaluation assignments and encourages participants to submit photos and videos for certification.
  • Upon completion, participants receive a Trained Service Dog Certificate of Completion, a testament to their newly acquired skills.
  • The program is also certified by attorneys and veterinarians and is accepted by airlines.
  • Course content covers a broad range of topics, from service dog breeds, history, legalities, behavior, and body language, to advanced service dog training.
  • The program promises trustworthiness and credibility, backed by a team of trusted behavioral experts with over 30 years of combined experience and positive 5-star reviews.
  • Legal support is available for accommodation requests related to landlords, airlines, etc., further reinforcing the support and value the program offers to its participants.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Certified Intensive Service Dog Training Course is a great choice for anyone aspiring to navigate the unique and rewarding field of service dog training.

Whether your goal is to train service dogs directly or support others in this process, this course equips you with the necessary knowledge, practical skills, and legal understanding to excel.

11. Training Without Conflict® (Best for Serious Behavioral Issues)

training without conflict online dog trainer courses

Training without Conflict® (TWC), taught by globally renowned professional dog trainer Ivan Balabanov, is a premium online course provider designed to address serious behavioral challenges in dogs.

These programs are a lifeline for dog owners teetering on the brink of despair, grappling with issues like aggression, biting, extreme reactivity, and high prey drive in dogs.

There’s not a whole lot of information out there about his programs, as some of his methods are viewed as controversial in the 21st century. However, owners that have had their pups brought back from the brink of being given up for adoption are incredibly thankful for Ivan’s approach to addressing their dog’s behavioral issues.

His most popular courses for behavioral issues are The Cornerstone Collection and Make Your Dog Somebody

training without conflict academy courses
Inside the Academy – Training Without Conflict®

Key Features:

  • Holistic Understanding of Canine Behavior: TWC’s comprehensive course content illuminates the fundamentals of understanding dog behavior and communication. This core knowledge forms the bedrock of the strategies taught in the course.
  • Identification and Intervention: The course equips learners with tactics to identify the root causes of undesired behaviors. It further teaches effective intervention techniques specifically tailored to manage aggression, biting, and extreme reactivity.
  • Managing High Prey Drive: Special attention is paid to strategies for managing high prey drive in dogs, a particularly challenging trait to manage in pets.
  • Trust and Communication: Balabanov’s training emphasizes establishing a foundation of trust and open communication between the dog and its owner or trainer. This is crucial in the journey toward behavioral transformation.
  • Certification Opportunity: For those interested in expanding their professional credentials, TWC also offers the opportunity to become a TWC Certified Dog Training Instructor.

Who Should Take This Course?

These courses are particularly recommended for serious dog handlers, trainers, and professionals who are willing to invest their time and effort into assisting dogs with significant behavioral issues.

TWC isn’t simply a course, it’s a comprehensive training system that aims to not only improve dog behavior but fundamentally transform the dog-owner relationship.

In many cases, this course can serve as a critical alternative to medication or the heartbreaking decision to give up a beloved pet. With TWC, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of dogs and their owners, tackling challenging behaviors with a balanced and effective approach.

12. Tackling Reactivity Bundle

tackling reactivity dog course

Highlighted for its outstanding focus on managing reactive dogs, SpiritDog’s Tackling Reactivity Bundle is an indispensable tool for aspiring or current dog trainers looking to hone their skills in managing reactive dogs.

This comprehensive online training program not only helps you decode the emotional aspects behind reactive behaviors but also equips you with practical techniques to manage and improve them.

Key Features:

  • In-depth Knowledge: Gain a deeper understanding of reactive behavior, learn to identify triggers, and establish a safe, calming environment. This knowledge serves as a strong base for a successful career in dog training.
  • Practical and Versatile Training: The course offers actionable techniques to manage reactivity, making you a more adaptable trainer. This practical approach enhances your day-to-day effectiveness in dealing with a variety of dogs.
  • Positive Reinforcement: With a focus on positive reinforcement techniques, the course aligns with the most humane and effective practices in dog training, moving away from the use of corrective collars or harsh methods.

Who Should Take This Course?

This course is invaluable for anyone on the dog training spectrum, from seasoned professionals to those aspiring to enter the field. It addresses the widespread issue of canine reactivity, offering deep insights and practical skills that boost your proficiency.

Mastering these techniques can help you stand out in your career, enhancing your capability to transform the lives of reactive dogs and their owners. 

13. Dog-Dog Reactivity Workshop

dog reactivity workshop

The Dog-Dog Reactivity Workshop, although slightly older, has proven itself to be a perennial favorite and remains a highly respected resource in the dog training industry.

Led by the esteemed Dr. Ian Dunbar, the workshop offers a unique, time-tested approach to tackling dog reactivity, emphasizing the role of continuous socialization.

Key Features:

  • Timeless Relevance: Despite being a little dated, the course holds its ground in terms of relevance and effectiveness. It’s a testament to Dr. Dunbar’s expertise that this workshop continues to be widely popular and highly respected in the professional dog training industry.
  • Continuous Socialization: The course highlights the importance of ongoing socialization in maintaining healthy social skills in dogs as they age. You’ll understand the often overlooked problem of socialization deterioration in dogs.
  • Practical Techniques: The workshop showcases Dr. Dunbar’s unique Growl Class technique for rehabilitating reactive dogs. You’ll learn effective, hands-on methods for resolving dog reactivity and helping them enjoy socializing with their peers again.
  • Recognized Training: The six-hour pre-recorded workshop is approved for continued education credits by CCPDT, IAABC, and NADOI. You will receive a certificate of achievement upon completion, marking your professional advancement.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Dog-Dog Reactivity Workshop is perfectly suited for existing and budding dog trainers looking to improve their expertise in managing dog reactivity.

It provides a deep dive into time-tested socialization and group-based training techniques, making it an excellent resource for those seeking to enhance their skill set and make a positive difference in the lives of reactive dogs and their owners.

14. Loose Leash Walking Bundle (Best for Leash Walking)

loose leash walking course

With its strong focus on transforming dogs’ leash-walking behavior, this bundle from SpiritDog Training has become an essential tool for professionals looking to perfect leash-walking techniques.

This extensive online training program combines multiple courses, real-life training videos, and bonus materials to provide a comprehensive learning experience.

Key Features:

  • Focused Training: The bundle aims to teach dogs to stay by their owner’s side and reinforce good leash manners. It instructs the dogs to take responsibility for staying in the heeling position, a fundamental aspect of leash walking.
  • Real-Life Scenarios: The training includes videos of dogs in various settings, allowing participants to observe different training scenarios and apply the learned techniques effectively.
  • Highly Accessible: With lifetime access to course materials and an easy-to-navigate online platform, participants can learn at their own pace, wherever they are. Additional support includes unlimited questions to the trainers and downloadable PDFs for training sessions.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Loose Leash Walking Bundle is an invaluable resource for both experienced and aspiring dog trainers who want to enhance their skills in leash walking.

The course’s focus on real-life training scenarios and practical leash-walking techniques makes it a gold standard in the professional dog training industry. 

15. Dog Socialization and Obedience Masterclass

dog socialization online course

International Open Academy’s Dog Socialization and Obedience Masterclass focuses on comprehending dog language, behavior, and effective socialization training techniques.

By enabling hands-on training and obedience sessions with the dog, this course strengthens the dog-owner bond and builds trust, both essential elements in a successful training business.

Key Features:

  • Comprehensive Understanding: This course imparts knowledge of dog language and behavior, thereby equipping participants with the ability to address and fix bad behaviors and recognize signs of potential future issues.
  • Practical Focus: The course emphasizes working directly with the dog, facilitating trust and a stronger bond – essential for effective socialization and obedience training.
  • Accredited Institution: The International Open Academy is ICOES accredited and CPD certified, giving assurance of the course’s quality and reliability.

Who Should Take This Course?

The Dog Socialization and Obedience Masterclass is ideal for dog trainers who aim to augment their understanding of dog language and behavior.

Particularly valuable for those who are looking to improve their business offerings, this course offers a comprehensive learning platform to advance their dog training methods. 

16. K9 Training Institute (Best for Focus and Impulse Control)

k9ti impulse control dog course

K9 Training Institute’s online dog training course, conducted by experts Dr. Alexa Diaz, Ph.D., and Eric Presnall, teaches proven techniques that will transform a dog’s behavior.

The course stands out for its unique take on using body language rather than verbal commands, leading to improved focus and impulse control in dogs.

Key Features:

  • Unique Training Approach: The course introduces an innovative approach to dog training, emphasizing body language over verbal commands. Techniques such as “watch” and “touch,” commonly used in professional service dog training, are made accessible to any dog owner through this course.
  • Professional Expertise: The trainers bring extensive experience from the service dog training industry. Their understanding of training service dogs for physical and mental disabilities enriches the course with effective methods for fostering obedience and calm behavior in dogs.
  • Broad Coverage: The workshop covers seven stages of obedience and mindfulness training, including focus and impulse control, enhancing your dog’s ability to handle distractions and calmly interact with others.
  • Social Impact: K9 Training Institute contributes to the welfare of dogs beyond training. A portion of their earnings supports rescue shelters and animal welfare organizations.

Who Should Take This Course?

K9 Training Institute is an excellent choice for aspiring and experienced dog trainers who want to learn proven techniques for teaching focus and impulse control.

As the most popular choice among pet parents seeking calmer dogs, this course offers a unique opportunity to learn professional service dog training methods that can transform a dog’s demeanor.

By focusing on non-verbal communication and covering critical aspects of obedience and mindfulness, this course provides valuable tools for anyone looking to strengthen their bond with dogs and enhance their training skills.

Their free workshop provides the perfect insight into their methods and course content for those that would like further information.

17. Vitoria Stilwell Dog Trainer Course (Best All-in-One)

victoria stilwell professional dog trainer course

The Victoria Stilwell Academy’s (VCA) Dog Trainer Course is a top-tier program specifically designed for those keen to turn their passion for dogs into a certified professional career.

This course brings the world of dog training right to your screen, breaking down the complexities of canine behavior into a comprehensive and approachable curriculum.

Key Features:

  • Highly Interactive Learning Experience: Through VSA’s state-of-the-art e-learning platform, students have 24/7 access to instructor-led HD video lessons, enabling them to study at their own pace and comfort.
  • One-on-One Guidance: Every student is paired with a personal Faculty Advisor. These weekly online meetings provide an opportunity for individualized feedback and discussion, reinforcing the course material and enabling students to assess their progress.
  • Comprehensive Resources: VSA offers a wealth of downloadable resources, from learning guides and training exercises to essential business documents, further enhancing the learning experience.
  • Continued Post-Graduation Support: Graduates of the program aren’t left to fend for themselves. They receive professional certification, join a private community of graduates, and are given access to marketing and business support, and teaching materials, setting them up for success in their dog training career.

Who Should Take This Course?

Victoria Stilwell Academy’s Dog Trainer Course is ideal for individuals determined to launch or elevate their career as a certified dog trainer. The course is comprehensive and thorough, covering both foundational elements and advanced training concepts.

More than just a certification, this course offers an enriching educational experience that equips you with both knowledge and practical skills. Regardless of whether you’re embarking on a fresh career journey or looking to augment your existing abilities in the dog care industry, this course is a crucial stepping stone toward achieving your professional goals.

18. Training Without Conflict® (Certified Trainer)

training without conflict professional dog trainer certification

Training Without Conflict® (TWC) Professional Certification, offered by the esteemed Ivan Balabanov, is an elite online course designed for professional dog trainers.

A respected leader in dog training with over 40 years of experience, Balabanov has revolutionized dog training through his unique, compassionate, and service-oriented approach.

Key Features:

  • Extensive Training: The course exposes trainers to Ivan’s groundbreaking methodology and approach, providing an in-depth understanding of dog psychology, training approaches, communication, reinforcement, behavior problems, and dog sports.
  • Professional Certification: The TWC Certification is a seal of distinction in dog training, recognized and respected by peers and potential clients alike.
  • Support for Trainers: The program supports trainers in enhancing their skills, expanding their business, and accessing a treasure trove of knowledge from one of the most accomplished dog trainers in the world.

Who Should Take This Course?

Ivan Balabanov’s Training Without Conflict® Certification program is tailor-made for dedicated dog handlers and professional trainers who wish to make a profound difference in the lives of dogs grappling with significant behavioral issues.

As an empathetic trainer, you can be the lifeline these dog owners need. This course equips you with an effective, balanced approach to training, offering a much-needed alternative for those owners who may feel their only options are resorting to strong medications or, even more heartbreakingly, surrendering their beloved pets.

By becoming a TWC Certified Trainer, you position yourself to transform despair into hope, significantly improving dogs’ lives, and providing relief to the owners who care for them.

It may be the most expensive online dog training certification, but with a high demand for these types of instructors, you’re likely to make your initial investment back very quickly. You can read our Full Review on TWC for more info.

features of online dog training certifications

Essential Features of Professional Dog Care and Training Courses

As a current or aspiring dog care professional, your education and expertise will form the backbone of your career. To ensure you’re equipped with the right skills and knowledge, it’s important to carefully choose the appropriate training courses.

The following guide outlines key aspects you should consider when selecting a course. 

Specialized Courses for Professional Dog Carers

As dog professionals, there are times when choosing specialized courses that address specific areas can prove more advantageous than enrolling in all-encompassing dog trainer programs.

These focused courses not only tend to be more affordable but also require less time to complete, enabling you to concentrate your learning efforts on resolving specific challenges.

Dog Walking Course

In an ideal dog walking course, you should gain a deep understanding of dog behavior and how to ensure their safety through first aid. You’ll learn how to handle various breeds and understand canine communication, which will empower you to manage any walking challenges that may arise.

Look for a course that offers guidance on the entrepreneurial side of dog walking – giving you the know-how to start and successfully run your own dog walking business.

Dog Sitting / Day Care Course

In this course, you should receive a comprehensive understanding of dog behavior and the distinct dietary needs of different breeds. You’ll acquire knowledge in emergency care and how to create an environment for dogs that is both comfortable and appropriately boundary-defined.

Importantly, a good dog sitting or day care course should also provide insights into the operational side of the business, including best practices for client communication and booking management.

Dog Boarding Business Course

A course designed for dog boarding should impart comprehensive knowledge on dog care, health, nutrition, and behavior. This will equip you to provide the best possible care for the dogs entrusted to you. Additionally, this course should have a strong focus on business development and management to help you successfully grow your dog boarding business.

Courses for Tackling Serious Behavioral Challenges

If you’re ready to take on serious behavioral challenges, select a course that’s endorsed by a well-established and recognized trainer with extensive experience in dealing with such issues.

This will allow you to handle dogs with biting, aggression, and high prey drive issues in a safe and effective manner.

Service Dog Training Course

An online service dog training course should focus on advanced obedience training, task-specific training, and public access skills.

You’ll learn about different types of service dogs, their roles, and their specific needs. Importantly, this course should also cover laws related to service dogs to keep you compliant and informed.

Dog First Aid & CPR Course

In a robust dog first aid course, you should learn how to recognize signs of distress, deal with common injuries, and perform CPR on dogs.

This course should cover preventative care, handling emergencies, and knowing when to seek veterinary assistance, offering certification upon completion.

Professional Online Dog Trainer Certification

A comprehensive dog trainer course should immerse you in the fundamentals of dog psychology, so you can understand why dogs behave the way they do. You should learn various training methods, including both reward-based and behavior-adjustment techniques.

It’s also crucial that the course covers breed-specific training strategies, as different breeds respond better to different types of training. Hands-on training experience, even in a virtual environment, is key for practical skills development.

You should also learn about dealing with dog aggression and fear to handle more challenging cases. An exceptional course will also guide you on the business aspects, teaching you how to start your own dog training venture, handle client relationships, and maintain ethical standards in your practice.

Ultimately, the goal is to not just train dogs, but to empower owners to continue the work you’ve started.

professional dog walking certification

Do I need a Certification to start working with dogs?

While certification isn’t typically required to work with dogs in many jurisdictions, obtaining one can offer you considerable benefits.

As a dog professional, earning certifications not only helps improve your skills but also boosts your credibility with clients. By earning credentials from respected organizations, you show your commitment to staying current with the latest advances in dog training, care, and handling.

Certifications can also help you to:

  • Stand out from the competition: In a growing dog care industry, holding a certification can give you a competitive edge by underscoring your commitment to professional development.
  • Network with other professionals: Enrolling in a certification program provides opportunities to meet and learn from fellow dog professionals, laying the groundwork for valuable future collaborations.
  • Increase your rates: Backed by certified expertise and qualifications, you can confidently charge higher fees for your services, boosting your income potential.

While not a strict necessity, pursuing certifications can significantly enhance your marketability and create more opportunities for success in the dog industry. It’s a worthy consideration if you’re serious about a career working with dogs.

professional courses for dog trainers

Pet Sitting Licence vs Certification

Understanding the difference between a ‘license’ and a ‘certification’ is crucial when stepping into the pet sitting industry. A license, issued by a government agency, provides legal permission to work in a profession and requires fulfilling specific criteria, like possessing a degree or passing a state-administered exam.

Conversely, a certification, awarded by a professional or non-governmental body, reflects your knowledge, skills, and competence in pet sitting. Certifications, like those from the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters International (PSI), enhance your reputation, help gain clients’ trust, and cover vital topics like pet care, health, business management, and first aid.

Though not legally required, certification keeps you updated with industry standards and practices, showcasing your commitment to providing superior care for pets. While a license may be necessary for certain roles or areas, certifications can elevate your expertise as a pet professional.

Investing in the right online courses can boost your confidence and further your career in the pet care industry.

Benefits of PSI and NAPPS Membership

Becoming a member of associations like Pet Sitters International (PSI) and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) can boost your knowledge, professional network, and credibility in the dog training business. Both PSI and NAPPS offer a wealth of resources and educational opportunities.

PSI, for instance, offers special pricing on pet sitter products and online courses. NAPPS, meanwhile, provides a comprehensive, self-paced certification course covering a spectrum of pet sitting topics, from pet care to business management.

These memberships don’t just offer educational benefits but also elevate your exposure in the dog professional community. PSI and NAPPS feature pet sitting directories, aiding potential clients in finding your services and enhancing your business growth potential.

Additionally, membership in PSI or NAPPS opens networking opportunities through annual conferences and local events, allowing you to connect with fellow pet professionals, exchange ideas, and explore collaborations.

Joining PSI or NAPPS can significantly enrich your dog training business by providing education, increasing visibility, and facilitating networking, ultimately enabling you to better serve your clients and their pets.

converting online learning into dog care career

Converting Online Learning into a Dog Care Career

Online courses offer an invaluable opportunity for dog care professionals like you to expand your knowledge base.

However, a successful dog care career extends beyond online learning, requiring practical experience, networking, client establishment, and ongoing professional development.

Practical Experience

Online courses offer theoretical knowledge, but hands-on experience is irreplaceable. Gaining real-life interactions with dogs helps you comprehend their behaviors and navigate varied situations. Consider volunteering at local shelters or offering services to acquaintances for feedback to gain this practical exposure.

Networking and Client Base

Building a professional network and client base is vital for your success. Engage in local dog care events, participate in online forums, and be active on social media to connect with fellow professionals and potential clients. Providing quality services and gathering positive testimonials is key to growing your client base.

Continuing Education

Staying updated with the latest trends in dog care is essential. Enroll in continuing education courses, attend workshops, and join conferences to not only enhance your skills but also show your dedication to professional development.

In short, a thriving dog care career entails more than online learning. Incorporating hands-on experience, networking, and continuing education can lead to successful outcomes for both you and the dogs you care for.

Online Courses for Dog Professionals

We hope you’ve found our list of the top online courses for dog professionals valuable. These courses cater to dog trainers, walkers, and sitters and cover a wide range of topics to help you enhance your skills, stay updated in the industry, and provide exceptional service to your clients.

Remember, continual learning and improving your skills not only benefit your ability to provide better dog care but also contributes to your credibility and success within the industry.

Now that you’re equipped with the information, it’s time to take action and enroll in an online course that’ll elevate your passion for pet care and make a difference in the lives of the animals you work with.

Happy learning, and here’s to your thriving career as a dog professional!

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