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Service & Therapy Dog Training

The Service and Therapy Dog Training program is designed for dog trainers that would like to train dogs for various forms of assistance, with an emphasis on service training and animal assisted therapy. Students will develop strong skills in canine training, understanding canine communication and body language, and training dogs for specific assistance tasks. 


​Your training will allow you to:

  • Create a multi-step training plan using shaping or chaining complex canine tasks.

  • Put canine behavior on cue to control it.

  • Interpret canine communication and body language to more effectively train dogs for different tasks.

  • Select and assess dogs for use in service training.

  • Socialize dogs to prevent or eliminate fears, phobias, and excessive reactivity.

  • Train dogs for basic obedience, public access and a wide variety of specific service dog tasks.

  • Working effectively with disabled individuals to facilitate training.

  • And much, much more!


The Service and Therapy Dog 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. The field hours from the Advanced Canine Training program, the Canine Training & Behavior program, or the Canine Sports Training program can be applied to this field requirement. 


​Required courses:

  1. ABI 232 The Human-Animal Bond

  2. ABI 234 Canine Training 

  3. ABI 238 Therapy Dog Training

  4. ABI 271 Canine Behavior & Enrichment

  5. ABI 338 Service Dog Training (prerequisite is ABI 234 Canine Training


Upon graduation, students may begin using the designation CSTDTP, Certified Service & Therapy Dog Training Professional. Many graduates work for professional service organizations while others may choose to start their own businesses or to make service dog training available through their current employer.

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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