Online Dog Training Degrees, Schools and Classes

Dog trainers help dog owners with their pets' behavioral problems. Read on to learn about the types of training programs available, topics of study, online programs and places to find employment. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Online dog training degrees aren't available but private organizations do offer certificate programs. These programs teach students about positive reinforcement, crate training, canine psychology, and agility. Dog trainers can usually find work with shelters or dog training organizations. Some dog trainers start their own business.

Programs Short-term dog training certificate programs exist
Classes Canine psychology, agility, service dogs, behavioral problem correction
Training Courses usually consist of DVD modules, online exams, and textbooks

What Online Dog Training Degree Programs Are Available?

As of June 2018, neither online nor on-campus dog training degree programs existed, though a few private, for-profit and not-for-profit schools and training centers offered online certificate programs. Fully online programs exist, though they're rare. Schools typically recommend that you learn by interacting with live animals. Through online certificate programs, you can learn the skills needed to train dogs and teach others how to raise obedient animals.

The following schools/ organizations offer online-accessible study programs, and in some cases certification testing, in dog obedience training:

  • University of Washington Professional & Continuing Education
  • Penn Foster Career School
  • Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

What Topics Will I Study?

Dog training courses prepare you to teach dog owners how to care for their animals by understanding canine communication and behavior. These courses instruct you on best practices for training dogs, whether you want them to be housebroken or hunt prey. You'll also learn how to develop your own business plan, including financing, marketing and compliance considerations. Some of the topics you'll study include:

  • Dog behavior
  • Crate training
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Behavioral problem correction
  • Service dogs
  • Canine psychology
  • Agility training

How Will I Learn?

The delivery of distance learning materials varies by school. Some schools make reading components, videos and exams available online, and others send the course materials to your home in the form of textbooks and DVDs. You might need to complete a quiz at the end of each module before moving on to the next subject or submit videos of your completed assignments to your instructors. You can usually communicate with your teachers and tech support via telephone or e-mail.

Where Can I Find Employment?

As long as there are dogs, there will be a need for dog trainers and obedience instructors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for dog trainers and other animal care providers was expected to increase nearly 22% from 2016-2026. The BLS anticipated an increase in the training, grooming, boarding and care services pet owners would employ during that time, requiring more private dog trainers, caretakers, groomers and animal shelter employees.

You might find work at an established obedience training facility in your community or nearby city, or you can start your own business. You could also specialize in training dogs to work for law enforcement officials, visually impaired people, research scientists, school teachers or the entertainment industry. Occasionally, animal-based businesses and professionals, such as shelters, groomers or veterinarians, hire trainers to assist with their clients' dogs. You might also consider becoming a provisional or endorsed member of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors in order to network with other trainers and establish employment contacts.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Penn Foster

    Penn Foster responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster:

    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • Bergin University of Canine Studies

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Santa Rosa
  • Becker College

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Worcester
  • Stanford University

    Campus Locations:

    • California: Stanford
  • Harvard University

    Campus Locations:

    • Massachusetts: Cambridge
  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Duke University

    Campus Locations:

    • North Carolina: Durham
  • Lake Land College

    Campus Locations:

    • Illinois: Mattoon
  • University of Notre Dame

    Campus Locations:

    • Indiana: Notre Dame