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Canine Sports Training

(15 credits)

Canine sports are an increasingly important component of professional dog training. Traditional canine sports, such as agility and obedience rallies, have experienced explosive growth over the last two decades; innumerable new sports have also arisen. The Canine Sports Training program provides you with a thorough knowledge of athletic training and conditioning techniques for dogs. You’ll build a fundamental skill set used in training a wide array of specific canine sports. Sports work can be enormously beneficial to dogs; it can also provide you with an opportunity to expand your business beyond obedience training.


​Your training will allow you to:​

  • Create appropriate diets for athletic dogs undergoing training.

  • Create a training schedule to promote overall health.

  • Recognize the symptoms of stress that can lead to injury and how to address them.

  • Create a strength and conditioning program for canine athletes.

  • Build multiple behavioral chains for use in canine sports.

  • Reliably communicate with dogs over longer distances.

  • Train dogs to work comfortably in novel situations and environments.


The Canine Sports Training certificate requires the completion of five online courses (15 academic credits) and a field requirement consisting of 40 hours of hands-on experience as an employee, intern or volunteer at an approved institution of your choice. Field hours for the Advanced Canine Training program, the Canine Training & Behavior program, or the Service & Therapy Dog Training program can be used towards this program as well.


​Required courses:

  1. ABI 234  Canine Training

  2. ABI 264  Training the Canine Athlete

  3. ABI 271  Canine Behavior & Enrichment

  4. ABI 274  Canine Scent Work

  5. ABI 312  Canine Health & Nutrition


Upon graduation, students may begin using the designation CCSTP, Certified Canine Sports Training Professional. Many of our graduates start their own businesses after obtaining their certificate, working as independent dog trainers and behavioral consultants. Other graduates find work in kennels, animal shelters, veterinary practices, animal control agencies, sanctuaries or other dog-related organizations. The animal care and service industry, which includes dog trainers, is expected to grow at 15% over the next decade. Opportunities in training have never been greater!

Our Approach

Students at the Animal Behavior Institute participate in a highly interactive online classroom, engaging in regular dialog with their professors and student colleagues. You'll receive feedback each week, completing collaborative projects while working with your own animals. This collaboration, coupled with the weekly mentoring each student receives from their instructors, ensures that you will receive a very personal education.

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