Course Description

This course has been custom-designed by Open Colleges for canine lovers who are passionate about their animals and want to learn how to effectively train their own pet or become a dog trainer.

The Pet Obedience Trainer Certificate 86400 has been custom-created to give owners and dogs the ability to live in harmony together. During this course you will gain a full introduction to the dog training profession and gain the skills, knowledge and experience needed to train a dog.

The tips and tricks you will learn will teach you how to help your dog respond in the correct way; a skill that can be applied in the home, with show dogs or in a kennel. The course also covers comprehensive information on the categories of training and the history of the dog. As well as this, you will be given an array of included learning materials, including DVDs, a textbook and a clicker and be taught the basics of clicker training your canine.

This course would also be ideal for those who are planning on adding a new animal to their household, as it gives professional pointers on pet selection and animal temperament, and a guide to specific breeds.

If you love dogs and want to learn how to train them, structure this flexible course around your other family, work and study commitments and connect with other animal lovers via the Open Space learning community online through Open Colleges.

Course number 86400
Course name Pet Obedience Trainer Certificate
Course duration Maximum 18 months
Delivery Method Online
Assessments Multiple choice questions, Written assessments
Awarded by
  • Open Colleges (Provider number: 90796)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 16 years old. If you are under 18 your enrolment form will need to be signed by a parent or guardian.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


You will need access to a computer and the internet and have basic computing skills. Minimum specifications for your computer are:

All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • 2GB of RAM
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Adobe Reader XI or equivalent
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher.
  • Access to printer and associated software
  • Access to scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software.

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • 1 Ghz or faster processer (2GHz recommended)

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

  • Skills, knowledge and experience needed to train a dog and be a professional dog obedience trainer
  • Terminology used to describe the basic structure of a dog
  • Categories of training
  • Evolutionary theory and its relation to selective breeding
  • Ethology and canine behaviour
  • History of the dog
  • Effects of domestication
  • The dog's eye and its functions
  • Detecting sound
  • Scenting ability
  • Taste and tactile sense
  • Changes in the dog's mood through touch
  • Learned behaviour
  • Learning theory
  • Dependent, independent and intervening
  • Variables to learning and behaviour research
  • Interpreting dog behaviour
  • How dogs use signals to communicate
  • Types of signals used by dogs
  • The effects of evolution and domestication on dogs' ability to communicate with each other
  • Neoteny and its effect on dogs' relationships with humans
  • Ritualised displays
  • Direction cues
  • Classic conditioning
  • Conditioned and unconditioned stimuli
  • Conditioning procedures
  • Reducing fears
  • Contrast punishment and negative reinforcement
  • The function of corrections
  • Shaping
  • Sequencing instrumental behaviours
  • Clicker training
  • A click versus a verbal cue
  • Punishment versus reinforcement
  • The training game
  • House training techniques
  • Using a crate to train a dog
  • Train a dog to relieve itself in the most appropriate places
  • Train a dog to ring a bell when it needs to go out
  • Problems associated with house training
  • Typical testing procedures
  • Identifying training and temperament issues
  • The dynamics of drive thresholds and how they impact on behaviour
  • Specific breeds and their related behaviours
  • Selecting a pet
  • Evaluating a pet dog
  • The influence of genetics on temperament
  • Identifying puppy mills and backyard breeders
  • Hereditary factors
  • Identifying the right breeder



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Find out more

Madeleine Lindsell

Madeleine is a veteran student of a variety of educational institutions who has a thorough understanding of online education and its requirements. Madeleine holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Equine Studies, a Zookeeping certificate and various domestic and wildlife care certificates. She also holds a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training. Time spent in veterinary clinics, stables and zoos has given Madeleine valuable experience in the pet, conservation and horse industries.

Included materials (valued at more than $50)

  • Dog Training for Dummies textbook
  • Clicker Fun DVD
  • Introduction to Dog Training DVD
  • Dog training clicker

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Weekly and fortnightly payment plans are also available when you pay online.

Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.