Let’s get started!
You are just 3 steps away from becoming a Certified Trick Dog Instructor…
Enroll in the Course
Learn the correct techniques of training with online, self-paced, step-by-step video curriculum presented by a world-renowned dog tricks expert.
This course contains all four levels of the curriculum geared toward teaching you the skills to become certified as a trick dog instructor (CTDI).
Follow the Online curriculum
You will receive the CTDI gift pack in the mail. It contains the curriculum workbook, the CTDI handbook, and lots of gift items. The video walks you, page-by-page, through the workbook curriculum.
Take the Exams
Throughout the course will be mini-quizzes to reinforce what you learn. At the end of the course is a multiple choice exam (retake it as many times as you need to pass), an essay, and a video submission.
We want to you pass! We will continue to work with you until we achieve your goal.
What is a CTDI?
Do More With Your Dog!®, as the official sanctioning and organizing body for the sport of Dog Tricks, has established guidelines for instructor certification in order to ensure that standards of excellence are met when teaching the sport.
Certified Trick Dog Instructors may use the acronym CTDI after their name to indicate they have demonstrated the knowledge and hands-on training techniques applicable to this sport.
Why is Trick Training Useful?
Trick training not only provides physical and mental challenges for the dog; it also provides a rewarding experience for the owner, and encourages a relationship based upon clear communication and positive reinforcement training methods.
The process of teaching dog tricks puts into play the foundational concepts and techniques of animal training: operant conditioning, marker training, consistency, timing, and motivation. In teaching tricks, we get to practice these techniques and immediately see the results. Each new trick presents a unique challenge that we can address with creativity and the insight of our previous experience.
How do I get Certified?
It’s as easy as 1.. 2… 3!
Application is open to anyone interested in promoting, teaching or training dog tricks.
Once you receive the instructional materials packet, take the course at your own pace. When you are ready, submit the video and online exam— at no cost. (Exam examples shown near the bottom of this page). With a passing grade, you become a fully certified CTDI!
Other criteria: In addition to submitting the online and video exams, you must also agree to abide by a Code of Conduct (explained at the bottom of this page). Before becoming fully certified, applicant must earn an “Intermediate Trick Dog” title on his/her own dog. (You can order your CTDI pack before you have earned your ITD title.)
What is on the multiple choice exam?
There are 65 questions in the multiple choice portion of the exam. All of the answers can be found in The Dog Tricks and Training Workbook, and the CTDI Handbook. You need to answer 75% of these questions correctly to continue to the written portion.
Sample Question: What is “upping the ante”?
- Increasing amount of treats given
- Rewarding for any small success
- Refining a rudimentary behavior into a more extreme version
- Not rewarding a dog after he successfully performs a behavior
What is on the video exam?
Instructor must submit a video of himself/herself showing the specific skills outlined below. Items 2 and 3 ask you to show how you would teach a trick to a student. You may have a student in the video, or you may pretend the camera is the student, and explain your instructions to the camera. You should be demonstrating with a dog.
- Demonstrate your dog performing 5 tricks of an intermediate or higher skill level (tricks and skill level listed in the 101 Dog Tricks book).
- Choose 3 of the tricks listed below, and demonstrate how you would teach these tricks to your student.
- Shake Hands
- Roll Over
- Take a Bow
- Say Your Prayers
- Choose 1 of the tricks listed below, and demonstrate how you would teach this trick to your student by using a clicker or reward marker. Please assume the student has already charged up the clicker/reward marker.
- Cover Your Eyes
- Hold an Object
Example of a passing student submission for the video exam, submitted by Tricia Waples CTDI:
What is on the Essay exam?
In the essay portion of the exam is 6 questions regarding training challenges you may face as a Trick Dog instructor. There is no defined correct answer for these questions, but rather we are looking to see how you observe, analyze, and offer solutions.
Sample Question: When teaching “take a “bow,” my dog keeps lying down instead of bowing.
Section 2: People skills
Sample Question: When you see an owner becoming frustrated, what do you do?
Section 3: Professionalism
Sample Question: What training gear do you never leave the house without?
What’s included in the gift pack?
The CTDI pack contains everything you need to become a successful instructor, including the workbook and flashcards which correspond, page-by-page, with the online course.
With Certification Comes the Following:
- A “Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI)” certificate
- The official title of CTDI added after your name
- Website listing as a certified instructor
- Referrals for students looking for certified instructors or seminar leaders
- Order form to order student packets at a discount for resale to your students
- Ability to evaluate and award AKC-recognized Trick Dog titles
- Ongoing support and free, confidential responses to your dog training questions
- Newsletter informing you of events and new products
- When your students submit a “Trick Dog” title application form, the CTDI earns credits which can be used to get free books, DVDs, collar charms, and other merchandise from the company store.
- Eligibility to be anAll-Star Performance Dog Team team captain
- Eligibility to become a Stunt Dog Judge
Do More With Your Dog!® is more than a training program… it’s a lifestyle.
Code of Conduct
The conduct of each certified Trick Dog Instructor reflects on the certifying body as a whole, and for that reason we strive to have every instructor using effective and humane training methods as recognized by our industry. We recognize that you may be involved in training dogs for competition or as working dogs, and may use a variety of training methods in these endeavors. This code of conduct applies to your training specific to dog tricks classes.
Dogs will be trained through positive reinforcement methods of praise, toys, and food. In general, positive punishment and compulsion techniques are not appropriate for dog tricks classes. Prong collars and choke chains are not encouraged unless the owner is physically unable to control the dog. Luring and shaping methods are preferred over physically modeling the dog into position. Dogs should not be forced into situations where they become fearful, such as going into an agility tunnel, or standing near a bigger dog.
Termination of Certification
An instructor’s certification may be terminated if the instructor is convicted of animal cruelty charges, or is determined to be using training techniques that are harmful to the dog
Goals of a Trick Dog Instructor
- Encourage dog owners to spend time and participate in activities with their dogs, which will strengthen the human/canine bond and thus improve lifelong relationships
- Promote having fun with dogs through trick training
- Lay a lifelong foundation of learning and training for dog and owner
- Encourage and share information with other dog trainers, in order to help us all become better trainers
Code Of Ethics
- I am dedicated to training dogs, and training owners to train their dogs, for the enjoyment of dog, owner, and audience.
- I will at all times act in the interest of the dog.
- I will keep the dogs in an environment and under a regime that as far as is possible ensures the well being of the dog.
- Advertising of my dog training services will be as factual as possible. Misleading exaggerations or unfounded implications of superiority will not be used.
- I will refrain from knowingly making unfair or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others.
- I train with humane, motivational, and non-violent methods.
- I believe discipline should be fair and consistent, and never angry or punitive.
- I am dedicated to continually educating myself in all aspects of training dogs