The best short courses for professional dog walkers and wanna-be trainers (2024)

best dog training courses

My personal journey from dog walker to trainer (and eventually behaviourist) all started with a short, affordable online course that ignited a passion in me and spurred me on to learn more and more. So although these courses won’t teach you everything you need to know, they’re a great way to start learning, testing if you can fit further education into your already busy schedule and confirm whether you have the passion to learn more and become a trainer or behaviourist in the future without spending too much money to start with.

My journey from dog walker to behaviourist

In my first 6 months as a dog walker, the friendly labrador I was walking was attacked by 2 other dogs in the park. He’d been playing with them, I was chatting to the owner and we were both stunned when his dogs attacked mine.

I felt that there must have been something I missed that could have prevented it from happening and I started looking around to find a course that would teach me more about dog behaviour.

Centre of Excellence

My first course was a short, self study (where you follow it in your own time so not set schedules) about dog behaviour.

Not only did it teach me things I didn’t know at the time, it also highlighted the amount of things that I didn’t know and how learning more would help me be a better and safer dog walker.

The Centre of Excellence has three popular dog courses right now, including the behaviour course that I took all those years ago, and I would highly recommend starting out with one of these. (Scroll down to see all three courses)

Top Tip! Look out for offers as you can often get courses for £49 or less with them.

And if you’re looking for more reviews, check out their Trustpilot rating.

Further study

After the centre of excellence courses I moved on to complete Ian Dunbars Sirius course, followed by the ADTB’s puppy trainer course and then most recently completely the level 5 foundation degree with Compass Education.

The best dog walking courses for dog walkers (Short and affordable)

Dog Training Diploma with the Centre of Excellence

This comprehensive, insightful and accredited Dog Training Course will provide you with a good academic base in the way that dogs think, learn and act. Based only on the most up-to-date research, kindest methods, and training advice that has been scientifically proven time and time again, the course will provide you with a good grounding for training your own dog or offering dog training advice to others.

This is an eight-unit course, packed full of essential information that talks of dog training and behaviour in a holistic style.

Whilst dog training is a self-regulated profession at the moment it’s important that you use this course as a base of knowledge then continue to study, all of the recommendations for further study will be described within the course and the information described within will certainly be a good start in a dog training career if that’s a route you wish to pursue.

The Dog Training Diploma Course will take you up to 150 hours to complete, working from home. There is no time limit for completing this course, it can be studied in your own time at your own pace.

This is a Level 3 course and will give you 150 CPD (Continued Professional Development) points.

Upon completion of your course assessments, you receive 2 certificates. A certificate from the Centre of Excellence and a CPD certificate displaying the number of CPD points earned from the course.

This course is endorsed by the Quality Licence Scheme. Therefore, upon successful completion of this course, learners can also receive a certificate of achievement from Quality Licence Scheme and a Learner Unit Summary, which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course. (This certificate is optional and costs an additional £25).

Dog Training Diploma


Canine Behaviour Training Course

This course is a complete overview of the modern dog. It covers everything from how the dog evolved and became part of the human existence right through to how his brain works. By studying this you will be learning the most up to date and proven methods of dog communication and training.

You will have a greater understanding of dog training and dog behaviour modification methods and know how they came about as common practice, plus how they affect the dog. You will be able to recognise key body language, gestures and signals of the dog and learn how you own human body language and reactions often misrepresent your own canine communication attempts.

You will also learn the best dog training methods and how to diagnose classic basic behavioural problems and put in place steps for behaviour modification plus have a good understanding of aggression in dogs.

Written by a canine behaviour specialist with over 15 years experience in the field and backed up by scientific knowledge, the course can help to change your life and your relationship with any dog that you come into contact with.

This course is ideal for those that have a dog or those that work with dogs in any capacity and want to understand and improve their relationships with their furry companion.


Canine Behaviour training

Puppy Training Behaviour Course

Designed for new dog owners and potential trainers alike, the Puppy Training Diploma Course focuses on the puppy and how he learns, right through to adolescence.

The lessons taught within this course will leave you with a thorough and accurate knowledge of how the puppy is affected by the first few months of his life, along with how the environment can condition him into becoming a dog that behaves in a useful or not so useful way.

The Puppy Training Diploma Course covers all of the usual puppy questions, such as toilet training, crate training and food. Along with the essential knowledge on how to best teach a puppy good manners and finely tune your mutual communication.

Puppy Training Diploma


Whichever canine course you choose to start with, gaining knowledge even about one small aspect of a dog’s life will make you a better dog walker, dog trainer or canine behaviourist.

So this time next year, are you going to be one year older, or one year older with a new qualification?

Centre Of Excellence Canine Courses



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