So, you would like to be a dog trainer?
The Karma Dog Trainer Apprentice Program
Karma Dog Training: Apprentice Program
How Do I Apply?
The easiest way to apply for the program is to visit our Quick Application Form.
We meet and interview all of our applicants personally. Not every applicant will be admitted due to space limitations. The KDTAP program is designed to foster compassion, science and a community feel. We consider each student part of the “Karma Dog Family”. Students will be working and studying together and helping each other along the way, so it is necessary to make sure every applicant accepted into the program has what it takes to be part of the program.
The Karma Dog Trainer Apprentice Program is designed to teach students how to come from the highest, most enlightened perspective when training puppies and dogs. Our organization, which prides itself with a mission toward enhancing the human-canine relationship through education and dog-friendly training, offers 3 different levels of education for students interested in a part-time or full time career in animal behavior.
Apprentice Level 1 (Introductory)
Apprentice Level 1 (Introductory Program) will teach students the basic skills and protocols associated with how dog's successfully learn. Students will begin to understand the fundamentals of Karma Dog Training's "7 Requests for Success" regardless of breed or age. Students will begin shadowing actual Karma Dog Trainers on private in home sessions with real clients. They will also be part of the Karma Dog Training group classes where they will learn through observation and assisting. All the fundamentals of how to become a conscious dog trainer will be taught. Students in our Level 1 program will have to pass a final exam in order to graduate to Level 2. Successful completion of our "Introductory Program" will prepare an Apprentice student for a position as a dog trainer assistant or entry level trainer, depending on their performance during the course.
Apprentice Level 2 (Intermediate)
Apprentice Level 2 (Intermediate Program) will help students go beyond the basic skills and protocols associated with how dog's successfully learn into how dog's think and problem solve. Students will build on everything they learned during the Level 1 course, including working with dogs who are fearful or anxious. In addition to shadowing Karma Dog Training's Private In Home Sessions and participating in the Karma Dog group classes, Apprentice Students will attend "Meet ups" where they will sit down one-on-one with a Karma Dog Teacher Trainer in a round table discussion format. Students in the Level 2 Program will be asked to train a rescue dog of their choice from a local rescue. In order to graduate to Level 3, students will have to pass another final exam based on all they have learned up until that point in the program. Successful completion of our Level 2 Intermediate Program will prepare an Apprentice Student for a position as a paid assistant dog trainer or a Jr. Trainer (working under supervision of a head trainer), depending on their performance during the course.
Prerequisite: Completion of Level 1
Apprentice Level 3 (Advanced/Graduate)
Apprentice Level 3 (Advanced Program) will help students grow and gain confidence in their training behavior knowledge and skills, as they prepare for a career as a professional dog trainer. In addition to all the of the teachings in Level 1 and Level 2, as part of our Level 3 Program, students will be assisting in a wide variety of classes and cases. In addition to working hands on with a 2nd rescue dog of their choosing, Apprentice Students will delve into the world of working with the more "difficult dogs". The fundamentals of how to successfully conduct private consultations and lead group classes are also part of our Level 3 course, as well as how to successfully run your own dog training business. Successful completion of our Level 3 Advanced/Graduate Program will prepare students for a position as a Lead Trainer and/or the owner of their own Dog Training Company, depending on their performance during the course.
In addition, all graduating students will have earned their status as KDCT certified trainers. It's these 4 letters after an Apprentice students name that will tell the world they have graduated from the "Harvard of Dog Training Schools" thus earning their degree from the most gentle, effective and enlightened name in the dog world.
Prerequisite: Completion of Levels 1 & 2
About: Karma Dog Training Apprentice Program (KDTAP)
KDTAP Is a 3 level program, combining science, education, hands-on experience and a deep understanding of dogs stemming from, love, admiration and respect. We believe the unique and unparalleled relationship between humans and dogs is sacred, and dogs have as much to offer us, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, as we have to offer them. It is our duty as dog trainers to approach dogs (and owners) with the soundest knowledge, methods, and intentions possible.
This program provides those wanting to become a dog trainer a unique, personalized and comprehensive approach. It is designed for novices and experienced minds alike. Students learn basic skills and concepts necessary to become an “Enlightened Dog Trainer”. This program is designed based off the methods and teachings Karma Dog has been using to train and educate its professional dog trainers for the past decade. We are now making this education available to the public for the first time as the “Karma Dog Training Apprentice Program” (KDTAP).
This Program is a combination of three main components: An online curriculum consisting of information developed specifically for this program by Karma Dog Training’s Head Trainers and Behaviorists, as well as excerpts from books, articles, videos material and seminars by internationally known trainers selected for their educational value, and concepts in line with Karma Dog’s. In addition, there will be an abundance of hands on shadowing hours which are combination of observation and assisting. As the student progresses through the Apprentice program, more time is spent hands on rather than observing. At the advanced level, students will be handling and training their very own shelter dogs with the helpful guidance of one of our “Teacher Trainers.” This is for many students the most rewarding portion of the program as they get to see their new found knowledge and skills applied to dogs in need knowing that their efforts will ensure a greater chance for these dogs finding a forever home. In addition to fine tuning skills with dogs, students will learn how to fine tune their people-teaching skills, because a dog is only as well trained as his owner. Though there are many Dog Training Schools and Programs, KDTAP is the only program where students are being educated by an entire staff of successful working positive based dog trainers.
Will I Be a Certified Dog Trainer Upon Graduation?
Yes. Karma Dog Certified Trainers, KDCT, are professional individual trainers who have graduated from the Karma Dog Training Apprentice Program and are committed to a gentle, effective, and enlightened approach to dog training. Having the letters KDCT after your name will give you a respected and concerted voice in the dog world. In addition, as Karma Dog expands, we continue to promote professional KDCT trainers in the veterinary profession and to increase public awareness of gentle, effective and enlightened training techniques.
Am I a Good Match for the Program?
Applicants should be upbeat, mature, have common sense, be outgoing, obsessed with dogs, intelligent, personable, positive, and in line with Karma Dog’s perspective on positive, science based, progressive dog training…(With a creative and spiritual touch!)
How is The Program Structured?
The entire program is a 9 month course, divided into three levels: “Introductory”, “intermediate” and “Advanced” (or Graduate). Each Level is 3 months Long. Every month consists of two or three online courses, plus the hands on shadowing assignments. At the end of each month there is a quiz, and at the end of each 3 month level, there is a Final Exam. Quizzes are not graded, and are for the student’s own personal use as a “checkpoint” of information retained. Final Exams are graded and weigh in 50% of the “passing score”
Will I have Time to go to Work and do the Program at the same time?
The KDTAP Program is designed with the working person in mind. Due to the unique flexible online + hands-on set up of the program, you study when and where you want to, and create your own schedule. YOU select the private training and group class sessions that you want to attend. Sessions run morning thru evenings 7 days a week. The Program is structured so you will have our online curriculum to study, while simultaneously attending several sessions, either private or group classes, throughout the week. Each student should plan on spending approximately 6-10 hours of studying and approx. 2-6 hours of hands on training a week, depending on what level of the program they are currently enrolled in.
How Long Does it Take to Become an “Enlightened Dog Trainer”?
The KDTAP Program gives you the essential tools, education and hands on experience you will need to be an educated, progressive dog trainer. We strive to give the most comprehensive education possible, and give you access to practicing your new-found skills on real dogs, in real life scenarios. Due to every person’s individual natural intuition, skill set and dedication, the amount of time it takes to be confident in your individual ability as an “enlightened dog trainer” can vary. What we notice is the more dedication, practice and passion, the faster the process. The KDTAP Program is a 9 month program, from start to finish. The Entire Program is divided into 3 levels: “Introductory”, “Intermediate”, and “Graduate” (Advanced) Levels. One level is completed in 3 months. For those with little to no experience as a positive based dog trainer, the entire 9 month program is required.
What If I Already Have Some Experience as a Dog Trainer?
One of the things a good dog trainer learns as they go through their educational process is that there is always more to learn! We accept applicants from all walks of life and experience levels. Many have been training dogs for a long time and are looking for a new perspective and a dog training “facelift”, while others have already attended schools advocating harsh or “compulsion” methods and are looking for a different approach. For individuals who feel they can pass the KDTAP level 1 exam without taking the course, we offer that option. This will gain entry to the Level 2 Program. Individuals who feel they have enough knowledge and skill to pass the Intermediate Exam without taking the course may do so. This will gain Entry into the Advanced/ “Graduate” Level Course. However, we recommend doing the program in full, as skipping levels means missing out a lot of what the KDTAP program is all about. Though you may have some experience and know plenty of terminology, being an enlightened dog trainer is much more than that, so don’t limit your experience! J Whatever your level of skill and knowledge, as long as the motive and passion are there, the program will be an educational and fun experience for you.
What’s The “Apprentice” Part of the Program Mean?
Karma Dog Training will select several of the Best Graduates From The Advanced Level Course every year to join the Karma Dog Team. Individuals will be selected for their talent, personality, dedication, passion and skill they have demonstrated throughout the course.
The Karma Dog Training Apprenticeship Program is a unique program offering unparalleled education and experience in the world of progressive dog training at a competitive price. Because of this, we sometimes receive more applications than we have trainers available to function as trainer teachers. We need to ensure every student receives personalized and individual instruction and guidance, rather than feeling “lost in a crowd”. Where other companies may be most concerned with making profits, we are concerned with making high quality, enlightened Dog Trainers. Because of this, there may not be room enough for every applicant at the time of application, and therefore individuals accepted into the program may be placed on a brief “hold” until another student graduates and a space opens up.
We must ensure all candidates are serious and passionate about becoming a high quality dog trainer as a career, not a passing interest. We do not want to delay one’s education for another’s only for the latter to drop out or “give up”. Because of this, we have some minimum requirements and standards in order to be eligible for our Apprentice Dog Trainer Program. In general: Access to the internet and enough time to adequately study, participate in online quizzes and have 2 to 3 hours a week to shadow Karma Dog training sessions are necessary. Respectful and Professional Demeanor, Positive Mental Attitude, Compassion Toward Dogs and Their Owners, A Good Sense of Humor, Eagerness to Learn and Grow are a must!
How can I secure my spot in the Apprentice Program?
The first thing to do is to fill out our online Apprentice Student application so we can schedule you for an interview. Most interviews are done on the weekends and usually last about 30 minutes. If after meeting you, we feel you're a good fit for the program, we will move forward with the enrollment process.
*Please note there is a limited number of spaces available for each semester.
How Much is The Program?
Please call us at (858) 444-0137 for pricing and availability.
I’m worried about the Cost, is a Payment Plan an Option?
Yes. Please contact us with your questions and/or concerns. We do offer special financing for those students who qualify.
Do I qualify for the Apprentice Program?
Our program is geared towards students who want to fulfill their dream of becoming a dog trainer or have a career in the dog world in some capacity. Apprenticeship students must be dedicated, reliable, honest, compassionate, responsible and non-judgmental in all of their interactions with dogs.
Students must also have very good communication skills (both written and verbal) and a natural ability to work with animals and people. It is also important to be able to work independently, problem solve and be able to be extremely responsible. Students should also have reliable transportation, a good driving record and be willing to travel up to an hour to meet a Karma Dog Trainer at a private training appointment.
Will this lead to a job with Karma Dog Training?
Karma Dog will occasionally hire its apprentice trainers who have shown great potential and interest in moving up into a paid position. We are interested in working with individuals who feel that training dogs is their "life's purpose". Potential advancement opportunities for Karma Dog student trainers include paid assistants, dog walkers, pet sitters, class instructors, lead trainers, board and train trainers, reverse board and train trainers and puppy daycare supervisors. However, Karma Dog makes no guarantee, expressed or implied, that going through our Apprentice program will lead to a career with Karma Dog Training in the future. In addition, most of our staff members are paid on a commission basis. Income increases with experience. Salary ranges differ at each position.
The Job Market for Trainers
The job market for trainers is always expanding as this profession serves a great majority of the population. However, it's important to keep in mind that only dedicated individuals who are willing to make sacrifices and have the best qualities for this field actualize their dreams of becoming a Professional Dog Trainer. Also, worth mentioning are the possibilities of serving as another form of animal professional such as Dog Walker, Pet Sitter, Assistant Trainers, Puppy Daycare Managers etc. Looking into these possibilities may provide students with additional choices.
Our advice to those who may be interested in becoming a dog trainer would be to get as much experience with dogs and people as you can. Volunteering at your local animal shelter is a great way to start. In addition, we suggest you reading as many dog books as you can, spend time working or volunteering with local rescue agencies and hiring the best dog trainers in your area for assistance with your own dog. Seeing first-hand how the pros do it is very important.
*If you wish to apply for our Apprenticeship program, please fill out the following form and we will contact you back shortly.
We offer a free 30-minute, no obligation consultation where you can meet us and decide if this is right for you.
Please keep in mind, that we do NOT accept every student into our program. We reserve the right to limit our Apprentice program only to those clients we feel are committed to following through with their education.
If you have any further questions, please call us directly at
We look forward to having you as a student and watching you grow!
My Very Best,
Jeffrey Brian Liebowitz
Founder & Director
Karma Dog Training