The Dog Scientific

 The Dog Scientific (TDS) is a secure e-learning platform which is the heart of The Academy. Here you access the coursework modules and webinars, upload videos and written assignments for coaching and grading, and take exams. The interactive modules contain lectures, video demonstrations, quizzes to test your understanding as you go, and links to training plans.

The Academy course material progresses through levels similar to the US university system. The material for each level is located on The Dog Scientific and students must successfully complete each level with a grade of 80% or more in order to advance through the program.

Overview of Academy Levels

Progress through each level follows the same pattern: training practice (video), written assignments, and a knowledge test. For details on The Academy curriculum, please download the syllabus and view the webinar archives.

FRESHMAN

As a freshman in The Academy, you’ll study the modules for the first time, familiarize yourself with The Dog Scientific, join webinars and introduce yourself on our social network, the Academy Café. You’ll find the culture collegial, welcoming and supportive and the level of discussion high.

Once you’ve worked through the first five modules, you’ll start training. If you feel stuck at any point, you can submit a video for personalized coaching. The beauty of our system is you can submit video precisely when you have a training problem, of the very dog that you’re stuck on. And you can do so on multiple dogs.

When you feel your training technique is going well, you will submit a qualifying video. You don’t need to show all the steps in training the behavior, just sufficient footage for us to get a good look at your technique. Often, in the course of coaching, we will see your technique meet or exceed our standards, and we will let you know you’ve been green-lighted.

We recommend all new students, especially those without training in science, have an initial view of the Critical Thinking module as early as possible in their studies. It’s your best “immunization” against the very uneven quality of information out in the world on applied behavior and training.

  • Training requirements

Video showing your ability to: efficiently train dogs in all basic obedience behaviors, adhere to training plans and add split steps where appropriate, and demonstrate a systematic and standardized approach to training, as laid out in the course materials.

  • Written Assignments

Draft a training plan for a behavior modification application, and build a plan to condition a strong emotional response from a dog to a case scenario.

  • Knowledge test

You will be tested on modules and webinars covering: animal learning and cognition, all the principles of efficient, evidence-based dog training, best practices in the use of clicker training, best practices for building strong obedience behaviors in pet dogs, efficiently and systematically troubleshooting training problems, dog breeds and behavioral characteristics, the history of dog training, training gear and equipment.

SOPHOMORE

  • Training requirements

Train a dog to station for a complete veterinary exam and free-shape a dead retrieve (behavior chain), again demonstrating you can apply a systematic approach, respond to the behavior the dog offers and demonstrate good timing and mechanics.

  • Written Assignments

Create a behavior modification plan to meet a client’s goals stated goals, communicate a variety of key concepts clearly in client-friendly language.

  • Knowledge test

You will be tested on modules and webinars covering: animal learning and cognition, applied behavior analysis, understanding and resolving dog behavior problems, three full modules on ethology (in general, and dog behavior in particular), designing and executing training class curricula, dog body language and play, research in psychology, cognition and domestication, training in multi-dog households, tug toys and motivators.

JUNIOR

  • Training requirements

Optional: casework videos for mentoring, food and object guarding protocols, training technique check-ups.

  • Written Assignments

Create a desensitization and counterconditioning plan for an aggressive dog with client-friendly notes and instructions in response to a case scenario.

  • Knowledge test

You will be tested on modules and webinars covering: adapting training plans to modify complex behaviors, body handing problems, canine compulsive disorder, a variety of case study webinars, client counseling practices, critical thinking, diagnosing, counselling on and resolving dog-dog aggression, dog play skills, efficient working up (diagnostics, prioritizing/triage, history-taking) of new cases, working up and resolving resource guarding cases, best practices for resolving leash reactivity, building mechanical skills in clients, motivational interviewing, senior dog behavioral wellness, working with families.

SENIOR

Once you’re a senior, you may schedule your final exam at or before your two-year mark as a student. All modules and reading material may be tested.

Once you’ve successfully graduated and are certified, you are eligible to appear on the graduate referral list and you can use the Academy logo on your educational and promotional material.

You can also continue to take part in our many communities, join webinars and access The Dog Scientific, provided you remain a graduate in good standing