Certified Professional Dog Trainer


Roger Abrantes teaches Boxer to retrieve

These are the courses you have to complete to earn your CPDT diploma. In principle, you can take them in the order you want, but we recommend a particular natural order so that you build up your knowledge and skills on the acquired knowledge and skills from previous courses. This route will make it easier for you to understand the subject matters of the subsequent courses. Courses become increasingly more difficult as you progress.

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  1. Evolution is an introduction to the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. This course gives you the fundamental principles of evolutionary biology that you need in order to understand behavior, its evolution and development. It’s a basic, little course that gives you a good idea of our courses and tests. This should be the first course you take.
  2. Animal Welfare is an introduction to this topic focusing on definitions of the key concepts, principles, methods and goal. The special chapters on the welfare of companion animals, i.e. dogs, horses and cats, makes it extra relevant for all trainers of these animals. It is a relatively short course at beginner level warming you well up for the most difficult ones to come.
  3. EFR for Animals deals with emergency first response and first aid to an injured animal. Everyone should take this course—it’s a life saver. Easy to complete and once done, you will have acquired (or refreshed) some necessary skills.
  4. Anatomy and Physiology give an introduction to these subject-matters focusing on aspects related to behavior. It’s not a difficult course. It is only an introduction to these otherwise huge subjects, and yet it contains a wealth of information that will be essential for you, particularly when trying to understand problem behavior.
  5. Animal Learning explains the principles of training and modification of behavior. Now, you reached what might have been your main reason to have embarked on this study route. You want to be a good trainer, to be able to modify the behavior of animals. This course gives you the principles. Be meticulous and give yourself the time it takes to understand even the difficult topics. Enjoy the learning process. The introductory courses you have taken have prepared you to appreciate the nuances of the learning processes fully.
  6. Canine Behavior reviews all aspects of canine behavior. If you like dogs, which we feel assured you do, or you wouldn’t have started your studies with us, this will be an easy and enjoyable course for you. A breeze of fresh air after the previous heavier courses.
  7. Canine Home Alone Problems Prevention is better than cure for this canine number one problem. The course teaches you the technique to both prevention and cure.
  8. Canine Problem Behavior deals with the common problem behavior in dogs. It’s not a difficult course, particularly after you have taken Animal Learning, Ethology and SMAF. It will help you to diagnose problems more accurately and to design more efficient treatment programs.
  9. Pedagogy deals with the principles of teaching. All instructors should take this course. It’s a beginner’s course, yet containing many good tips that we are sure will help you become a better teacher/coach/instructor.
  10. Canine Basic Proficiency Verification is the time when you put it all together and show an instructor that you can handle a dog and communicate efficiently with it. It’s an easy verification if you have some basic experience with dogs and have completed all previous courses.
  11. Canine Problems Proficiency deals with solving canine behavior problems. Since this course follows the basic Canine Problem course, it only requires that you can solve the most basic canine problems that you’ll encounter while training dog owners and their dogs. We’ll deal with complicated problems in a later course. This is your last proficiency verification for the CPDT certificate . Once your instructor has ticked the ‘verified’ box in your student profile, you can print your certificate , and you have earned your CPDT badge.




Practical experience

You have to login in at least 50 dogs you have trained, plus 10 ITs (Individual Training). For logging purposes, you must have worked with one dog for a minimum of two hours and have achieved a significant and observable behavior modification to count it as “trained.” An IT is a case you treat individually where you diagnose and plan a program to resolve a problem behavior (e.g. a dog that cannot be home alone.

To go to your logbook click My Logbook.

If you train a dog class of, say, eight dogs, you may log eight dogs provided the class has extended over a period of at least eight sessions of two hours each.

If you work at a vet clinic, shelter, equine center or any place where you handle many animals every day as part of your job, you may not log them as trained animals unless your work with any particular animal demonstrates a significant and observable behavior change.



We design our courses and programs with the very clear goal of turning you into a good professional, but most importantly, we hope they will also help you to become the person you want to be.

Let’s get started!

Enroll now in the CPDT program for EUR 931 (USD 70.80). (Clickable Enroll Now button