The Apprenticeship At AGDT
Dog Trainer Foundations
Completion time: 6-8 months
Pre-requisite: Application, interview, and acceptance into the program.
No experience necessary, but applicants with some higher education, excellent verbal and written skills, and a strong interest in humans and dogs are given priority.
What to expect:
- Regular classroom instruction with head trainer Amanda Gagnon and other AGDT trainers, both in-facility and online.
- Extensive practice time with dogs at our training facility.
- Assisting with playgroups, and other community events.
- Attendance at regular trainer summits.
- Extensive individual study from books and scientific articles on provided reading list.
- Periodic written, oral, and practical testing.
- Dog-walking and other dog care opportunities to increase your experience with dog-handling.
What you will learn:
- Dog Handling.
- Dog-human Communication.
- Dog-Dog Communication.
- Dog husbandry and development.
- Breed behavior patterns and issues.
- How to install, proof, and maintain basic obedience Training.
- Principles of behavior modification.
- Trick Training, Concepts of freestyle, agility, etc.
- Puppy development and Puppy raising.
- Solving behavior problems from the benign to the serious.
- Coaching humans and dogs together. (people skills and public speaking)
- Dealing with complex ethical concerns as a dog trainer.
- Current scientific research.
- Industry standards, practices, and opportunities.
The Career Track
Pre-Requisite: By invitation only.
Completion Time: Varies.
Apprentices for the career track are hand-picked from The Foundations apprenticeship or through special vetting in the field. This track is by invitation only. To date, every trainer who has entered the career track has gone on to have a successful career as a full-time professional dog trainer.
What to expect:
- Intensive one-on-one time with a mentor trainer.
- Intensive one-on-one time with Amanda Gagnon.
- Shadowing and assisting with private sessions.
- Shadowing and assisting with group classes, and other community events.
- Drafting of training plans with review by Amanda Gagnon.
- Begin taking cases for a low rate with guidance and consultation of seasoned trainers.
- Opportunity to build your experience hours in preparation for your certification exam.
- Preparation and support for your certification exam.
- We will ease you through the transition from student to professional trainer.