National Dog Training Center
The DogSmith National Dog Training Center is located in rural Florida – An ideal dog training venue for year around use and the perfect environment for candidates studying to become professional dog trainers.
The multi-use facility is very flexible and includes several acres of fenced pastures, classroom buildings and kennel areas.
The pasture areas are perfect for pet dog obedience training and the size of field can be varied to accommodate big or small dog training classes. They can also be adapted for whatever dog training skills are being taught, from basic pet dog obedience to competitive dog agility training.
Become A Dog Trainer
The classrooms for the academic portion of the dog training and animal behavior curriculum are located adjacent to the training fields so that professional dog trainer students can quickly put their newly acquired dog training knowledge to practical use in “real life” situations. There are ample additional indoor dog training and kennel areas suitable for animal behavior assessments and practical dog handling lessons.
College Curriculum for Dog Trainers
The DogSmith Dog Training School covers all the necessary operational, marketing and financial training needed to operate and successfully manage a dog training business.
Dog Training Methodology & Curriculum
The DogSmith Pet Dog Training curriculum takes into account the natural behaviors of dogs and their ability to learn using scientifically applied learning theories.
Theory: – Classroom style meetings, lectures and discussion. Dog training students will be involved in discussions, presentations, group “teach-backs”, seminars and have textbook homework to review for the following day.
Tools: Assigned readings, seminar DVD’s and training manuals.
Goal: by completion of training each dog training student will have the theoretical knowledge to:
a) Pass the American Kennel Club CGC Evaluator exam (2 years professional work experience required).
b) Pass the American Boarding Kennel Association Pet Care Technician Level 1& Level 2 exam.
c) Be prepared with the theoretical knowledge to take the CPDT exam (200 training hours required in addition).
d) Pass the Red Cross Canine CPR certificate.
e) Pass the DogSmith Dog Training Center Diploma qualifying exam (250 multiple choice questions and 2 behavioral questions).
Part One – Animal Husbandry.
This section of the curriculum covers canine physiology and ethology with a focus on canine domestication, canine communication and canine development – physical, social and sensory. We also cover the critical stages of canine development and each stage’s impact on learning. Part one also covers canine health, key diseases, and their effect on behavior, nutrition and the effect poor nutrition has on behavior, Spay/Neuter and the effects on behavior, health and population control, vaccinations, parasites & parasite control in the training environment, health & hygiene and basic pet care including pet CPR.
Part Two – Learning Theory
The learning theory section of our dog trainer curriculum covers operant conditioning – understanding behavioral consequences. We teach the four quadrants, Reinforcement, negative and positive and Punishment, negative and positive. The learning extends into operant extinction, spontaneous recovers and extinction burst. The training discusses the management of behavioral consequences, the two types of reinforcer and punisher, primary and secondary. How we select reinforcers, factors impacting the effectiveness of reinforcers, schedules of reinforcement and differential reinforcement. Learning theory also focuses on classical conditioning, how conditioning occurs, and extinction and environment stimulus control. We teach setting events and motivating operations. Stimulus control, transferring stimulus control prompting and fading of a stimulus are also covered in depth. Under the heading of learning theory we also cover the key training techniques to acquiring a behavior, shaping, prompting, luring, targeting and capturing. To assist with the development of these skills we spend many practical hours working on dog training mechanics, handler timing, body language, reinforcement timing and clear, concise and consistent cue systems.
Part Three – Dog Trainer Equipment
When learning to become a dog trainer it is critical that you are aware of and understand the differing types of dog training equipment available, those that are aligned with our dog training philosophy and those that we try to avoid. This section of the training covers all the basic training equipment from collars, to leashes, toys, enrichment tools, treat bags, clickers and the wide array of conditioned reinforcers available. We also teach the dog trainer about ancillary equipment and its purpose and safe use.
Part Four – Skill Training, Acquisition, fluency, generalization & maintenance
This section of the dog trainer curriculum covers the core of the DogSmith methodology. We cover in great detail, both in theory and practice, all the key dog obedience skills. These include ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stand’, ‘maintain’, ‘come’, ‘walk nicely’, ‘heel’, ‘leave it’, ‘off’, greeting a friendly stranger, sitting for petting, walking though a crowd, reaction to strange noise/visual stimulus and a supervised separation behavior. The DogSmith Dog Trainer curriculum for running effective puppy classes focus on social skills, housetraining, bite inhibition, chewing behavior, introducing a collar & leash, interactive games, play nice, crate training and foundation obedience skills. In this part of the training we also discuss and teach skills to manage and solve some of the more common canine problems such as digging, barking, chewing, counter-surfing, door-hogging and front door etiquette problems, house training and crate training. We begin to introduce the shelter sog in this part of the curriculum as many of your clients will have spent some of their life living in a shelter with unique living conditions, stress issues and environmental differences.
Part Five – Dog Trainer Instructional Skills
Much of your time as a dog trainer will be spent teaching people how to teach their dogs. Section five is dedicated to developing you as a people trainer as well as a dog trainer. You will learn how to prepare and plan for dog training classes, develop curriculum and training schedules, develop teaching skills. Learn about the DogSmith’s enrollment forms, training software, liability and indemnity forms and how to choose training locations. We teach you about class structures, payment methods and key policies for handling aggressive dogs, dogs in heat, children and bad weather policies. There is key attention placed on safety in the training environment in terms of general handling skills, owner responsibility, trainer responsibility and environmental safety. Liability and indemnity, location, payment, prognosis, follow up report & agreed action, when to refer a client and DogSmith ethics. Conducting the training requires that as a dog trainer you learn about skill demonstrations, task breakdown, behavior criteria, establishing client rapport, active listening, giving constructive feedback, targeting the audience and canine communication systems.
Part Six – Behavioral Modification
Part Six of the DogSmith Dog Trainer curriculum prepares you to conduct private lessons with a focus on modifying unwanted canine behavior. This part of the training focuses on the management, training and relationship an owner has with their dog. You will learn how to conduct a Functional Assessment, develop a contingency statement and recommend a behavior change program using the DogSmith’s MTR and ARRF.
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