How to Become a Dog Trainer

How to become a dog trainer. Full Certified Dog Trainer Certificate Programme. Scroll down for the Full Course Programme.
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How to Become a Dog Trainer 

Ready for a change of pace, and profession?

Become a National Dog Training Academy Certified Dog Trainer.

What does it mean, being a Dog Trainer?

Officially we are talking about being a dog training instructor. A dog training instructor teaches other people, how to train their dog or puppy. This can be in a class environment or on a one to one basis.

Either way, being a dog training instructor means you need skills and expertise in training dogs, and people.

You also need to have a basic understanding of being self-employed, or running a small business. This can sometimes feel intimidating to some, but we’ve got your back on this one too.

If you want to take control of your life, give yourself time and financial freedom, you love dogs and enjoy working with people, this could be for you.

To make decent money as a dog trainer, you do need to be prepared to work some weekend time.


Sound like it might be for you? Read on ..

This Dog Trainer Certificate Programme is for,

Recent Graduates: Individuals who have recently graduated from college having studied animal behaviour or similar courses.

Career Switchers: Professionals from other industries who have a passion for dogs, love teaching, and are seeking a new, fulfilling career path. Any age is a good age. We have had students from 22 years old to 70 years old.

Stay-at-Home Parents: Parents who have a love for dogs, who are looking to re-enter the workforce with a flexible and rewarding career that fits their lifestyle. Being a parent includes being a ‘teacher,’ use your skills to find your new career path.

Become a dog trainer

Dog Training Hobbyists: People who have been training their own dog and become completely passionate about dog training – now wanting to share their knowledge and make a difference.

Semi-Retirees/Retirees: People who have retired or are semi-retired from their primary career and wish to pursue their interest in dog training as a second career or meaningful pastime.

Animal Science Students: College or university students studying animal science, zoology, or related fields who want to specialise in dog training.

Become a dog trainer

Military Veterans: Veterans seeking a new career in a field that allows them to work closely with dogs, utilising their discipline and training skills.

Dog Breeders: People who breed dogs and wish to enhance their training skills to enhance what they offer their new puppy owners.

Solopreneurs/Entrepreneurs: People looking to start their own business with a passion for dog training and need support not only with Dog Training Certification but also business support and guidance.

Become a Dog Trainer

Pet Store Employees: Workers in pet retail who want to expand their knowledge and services by offering dog training as an additional expertise. Add this to your CV!

People who Thrive in Small Training Groups: Anyone who has a passion for becoming a dog trainer, but thrives in a small training group. If you feel lost in a crowd, or you worry you will get lost in the throng. This is for you.

Dog Training Class

This programme is is NOT for you if:

  • You want a ‘quick fix’ training programme.
  • You aren’t prepared to work hard.
  • You don’t like being outdoors, especially in the winter.
  • You don’t like working with people – people are a huge part of being a dog trainer.

The Dog Trainer Certificate Programme

This programme will train you to a high, professional standard, giving you the theory and the practical training needed to become an expert dog trainer.

We give you lifetime support, so you’re never alone

Training dogs can be a way to do something you truly enjoy, while making enough money to support yourself, your family, and – of course – your dogs. But, being a dog trainer is as much about people as it is about dogs. Learning how to train a dog, does not equip you to become a dog trainer.

This programme equips you for training dogs AND people

If you’re not sure being a dog trainer is for you, and you want to find out,

click here for an online course.

Michelle - former student

The Full Dog Trainer Certificate Programme

Level 1, Online – 10 hours

  • All the background theory about dogs
  • What you need to know about puppyhood
  • How dogs learn
  • The basic principles of dog training
  • How did we get to here with training methods
  • Role of a dog trainer
  • Adult learning
  • How to teach adults

Level 2, Online – 25 hours +

  • The NDTA, unique dog training methods
  • Professional videos, taking you step-by-step through a 6 week training programme
  • Start your practical experience, using the videos – try the activities with as many dogs as you can
  • Understand lesson planning- start to build your lesson plans
  • Understand business set up
  • 2 x Online Classroom sessions in preparation for your in-person training

Marked, online assignments throughout level 1 and 2 will help you understand your progress and any areas that need more learning. Support is available by email or zoom, any time you need it.

Level 3, In Person Training – 4 people maximum on a course

  • 4 Exciting, intensive days spent with me and my team in Southampton
  • Put everything you’ve learned into practice
  • Take your first dog training classes
  • Leave with a solid, 6 week block of lesson plans, tried and tested

At this stage, most people are ready to start their dog training business and we’re here to support you

If you’re not, don’t worry, we have your back. You can spend as much time training, with us as you need, completely free of charge, until you are confident and ready to go.

Level 4 – Bronze Behaviour Level Training

This level is released when you are confident with your basic training programme that you take away from Level 3. This ensures you have all you need to keep YOUR customers on board and moving forward with behaviour challenges.

  • Self- study, online
  • Professional videos, taking your training to a bronze behaviour level
  • Released once you start with your own paying customers

I hope this has got you excited about being a dog trainer and this is just the beginning.

When you’re ready come back and join us for some specialist training courses:

  • The NDTA Fun Truffle Hunting
  • The NDTA Pet Gundog Training
  • The NDTA Fun Treibball Training
puppy biting

Level 1 – Two short courses Online, Self-Study -10 hours

Understanding The Dog                           

  • Evolution/domestication
  • Understanding the dog 
  • Importance of puppyhood
  • Importance of, and correct socialisation
  • Introduction to how dogs learn 
  • Modern v Traditional training methods
  • Basic principles of The NDTA training methods   

If all you want is to understand your dog better, you can take this course alone.

Sign up for Understanding the Dog          

The Human

  • Understanding the adult learner
  • Introduction to effective teaching
  • Communication skills
  • Body language
  • Role/responsibilities of a dog trainer
  • Managing groups

And much more …..

dog studying2

Level 2 – Hybrid Learning

25 + hours of study

Online self-study combined with 2  live, online classrooms. The live sessions will also be recorded.

This level is all about preparing you for the practical training level. 

You will: 

  • Learn the NDTA, unique, positive and most effective way to train any dog or puppy.
  • Practise with your own dog and/or dogs you know.
  • Keep learning,  understand how different dogs respond to the training.
  • The more dogs you can find to work with for this level, the more you will learn.
  • Develop your draft lesson plans, supported by the online classrooms.
  • Start your business preparation – where will you hold you classes, what do you need to prepare to get started.
  • Understand being self-employed.

Sign up TODAY

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group and volunteers feb TT 2

Level 3 – In Person Training

4 Days of Practical Training in Southampton

Small groups – 4 Maximum

You need to be seen and heard, not get lost in a crowd.

Level 3 – we provide the dogs

  • Practice teaching dogs
  • Practice teaching people
  • Practice teaching dog training classes
  • Learn your lesson plans and course layouts
  • Prepare for home visits
  • Plan your next step – we’ll keep you accountable
  • How will you find your first customers

You will put together all that you’ve learned in Level 1 and 2, and work in a small group (spaces are capped at 4 participants) with me and my team.

We guarantee you the personal attention you need to succeed in setting up your dog training business.

Remember, you have lifetime support, 121 zoom, emails or you can visit us in person

How Does it Work?

  • Decide on your in-person training dates – listed below
  • Book your place for the dates you choose
  • Get immediate access to Level 1 and Level 2 Online
  • Get started TODAY, on your journey to becoming a dog trainer

The Cost?

This all inclusive, Dog Trainer Certificate Programme, taking you on your next career path, with lifetime support is just, £1997 incl. VAT.

  • Level 1 Online – worth £100
  • Level 2 Online – worth £200
  • Level 3 In-Person, 4 Days – worth £2, 400
  • Level 4 Online – worth £100

That’s a value of £2,800 for just £1,997 + All of this:

Lifetime Support and Guidance as and when you need it – priceless. I know the personal value of this. It’s the one thing I wish I’d had available when I started out. All the worries, concerns and questions that kept me awake at night.

That won’t happen to you – you have someone  you can turn to.

Additional Resources

  • Free access to all of my blogs/articles
  • Free access to all of my eBooks
  • Free access to my online separation anxiety course

In-Person Course Dates Remaining for 2024

Tuesday Sept 10th – 13th – 1 place left

Tuesday Oct 29th – Nov 1st

2025 – Pay in full or use the buttons below to pay in instalments

Tuesday Feb 18th – 21st 2025

Book your Place Now 

Need to pay in instalments? Book your place for February 2025 and pay £514.97 now, followed by 3 further payments of £514.97.

Book for February 18th – 21st 2025 – Pay in Instalments

Instant Access to Level 1, Level 2 Released on 2nd Payment

Use the buttons below to Pay in Monthly Instalments for February 2025


About Sandra and The NDTA

Hi, I’m Sandra, head and founder of The Multi-Award Winning National Dog Training Academy (formerly AA Dog Training). A Fellow Member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning.

Sandra Tommy

How I became a Dog Trainer

Dog training and puppy training all began when I got Rolo, a Flatcoated retriever, without understanding that I’d got myself a pet gundog. In fact, I’d never even heard of a gundog before!

But Rolo and I had to find something we could do together that we would both enjoy. What we found was gundog training, and in it I recognized an opportunity to take my dog training career seriously. I discovered Steve Mann and took two of his courses and a year-long mentorship.

Since then I have graduated from many dog training courses, including earning a Diploma in Canine Studies and a Professional Dog Instructors certificate through Cambridge Institute of Dog Training and Behaviour.

I’ve even trained with Phillipa Williams and Richard Curtis (who respectively perform in Gundog, and Heelwork to Music, at Crufts).

When I set out on the road, it was lonely. It was scary. Very few people who were on my course ever achieved their dream. That’s why I am so passionate, not just about the training we do for dogs and handlers, but training and supporting others to become dog trainers.

I’m also passionate about people being happy in their work. So many hours of our lives are spent in work. I believe we are all entitled to a job that makes us want to jump out of bed in the morning.

If you think being a dog trainer will do that for you, I’d love to accompany you on your journey.

Being a dog trainer is a very practical career. You can’t learn it online alone. That’s why we offer the 4 day practical component and why I chose to join the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning.

If you want to find out more about me and my past experience before becoming a dog trainer, just click here. 

If you’d like to book a call with me, please use this link here. 


Dog Trainer Certificate

£1,997.00 Inc. VAT
Dog Trainer Certificate Programme

Understanding Dogs

£56.40 Inc. VAT
Understanding Dogs - online

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I'm ready for this course?
  1. The best way to know if you’re ready for the NDTA Certified Dog Training Program is to take the “Could you be a Dog Trainer” self-study course, for only £19.97 to find out if being a dog trainer is right for you. 
Are there any prerequisites?
  1. Nope! You can start at Level 1 without any previous instruction. Even if you have been or are a teacher, we urge you to complete the teaching module of Level 1. However, often we repeat something, we always learn something new. 
What if I don't live in the UK?
  1. Right now only Level 1 and Level 2 are taught with online options, and Level 3 must be taken within 6 months of completing Level 2. That means that you can take the courses if you live elsewhere in the world, but you will need to travel to our facility in Southern England, to complete your training. 
What if I don't have dog to bring to Level 3 with me?
  1. That’s ok! We prefer you not to bring a dog. That means you can concentrate on your learning. We have plenty of canine companions here at the facility to stand-in as your training partner.
How long is my certificate good for?

Your certificate is good for life. You will have the responsibility to take some basic continuing development courses each year, though.

What if I buy the full programme but don't finish in the allotted time?

You can take as long as you like to complete the onine learning. Level 3 date needs to be booked in advance, but we will do our very best to provide alternative dates, if you can provide genuine reasons for needing to change this.

What if I fail? Do you have any guarantee or re-take policy?
  1. There is no failing here. We will work with you until you are ready for the certificate. If you need additional training, we will arrange for additional face-to-face practical training at no additional cost. You can also choose to shadow our trainers and teaching a class at any time. 
How soon after the course can I get started?
  1. Level 2 gives you preparation work for getting your own classes started. On completion of level 3 many people feel ready to start straight away. Others take it more slowly and practise all they’ve learned with family/friends or people they know. Your assessments in Level 3 will help you understand where you are at in your journey. 
Can I do this part time, while working in my current role?
  1. Yes this is perfectly doable. You do need to be prepared to work some weekend time. I worked for 6 months in a full time role while setting up my dog training business.

Sign up TODAY

So, if you’re ready to begin your journey as a dog trainer, please act fast. There are only 4 spaces available for each practical section, and they disappear fast! 

Click the link below, select your course date and payment option, and I’ll see you in class.

Sign up TODAY

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We are a multi-award winning dog training academy of excellence.

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