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Your Certificate Levels

Your Program Guide

The DogNostics Dog Training Certificate Program includes the following skills and knowledge. 

  • A = Apprentice, 
  • J = Journeyman,  
  • M = Master  
  • 1,2,3,4,5. = Module numbers.

A Trick = A Behavior! It’s a fun name but that does not mean the behaviors are not important!

Please note that in the Apprentice level, the Journeyman level and the Master level, you will hear us talk about teaching tricks.

When we use the term trick, we simply mean behavior. 

Referring to behaviors as tricks can help ensure the correct mindset.  Training should be playful. Training should always be fun. 

We think you will agree that the word trick sounds more fun than the word behavior but that does not mean that skills taught in the Dog Trainer Program are in any way frivolous.

All the skills are included to progressively improve training skills and knowledge of both humans and canines! 

Many of the behaviors you will learn are ones that are essential for 'Fostering Collaborative Care'. 

We also include the key skills needed in a Pet Dog Manners Class - The skills that facilitate a happy home for both pet and guardian!

The Dog Training Certificate Modules 

This is a unique three-tiered force-free dog training certificate program which will also help you gain the skills and knowledge needed to earn your PCT-A credential. Each level builds on the knowledge and skills gained in the previous level.


 The Skill Set & Mechanics

 ALL  Training Mechanics
 A1. J1.
 Cues - Visual / Verbal / Olfactory
 A1. A2. A5. J3.
 Bridging Stimuli/Behavior Markers - Verbal / Clicker / Other
 Reinforcement - Hierarchy
 A1. A5.  Reinforcement - Rate
 A1. A5. J3.
 Reinforcement - Strategies (Delivery)
 J3. M2
 Use of & Creating Secondary Reinforcers
 A1. J1. M1.  Luring
 A4. J1. M1.  Capturing
 A5. J1. J5. M1. M4.
 A3. A4. A5. J1. M1.  Targets & Targeting
 J4.  Environmental Molding - props
 J4.  Molding by Contact –  a light touch.
 M5  Mimicry - Modeling - Social Learning
 A4. A5. J5. M1.
 Minimal Error & Errorless Learning
 J5. M1. M2.
 Behavior Chains - Linear - Forwards / Backwards
 M3  Behavior Chains - Merges
 Key Behavior Skills, Acquisition, Fluency, Generalization & Maintenance
 A2  Default / Foundation Behaviors
 A3  Mechanics of using a target stick
 J1  Consent Tests
 J2  Premack Principle
 J5. M2.
 Training Plans. Task Analysis. Data Collection
The Science & The Knowledge

 A1. J2.
 The Antecedent Package - Direct and Distant Antecedents / Setting Events & Motivating Operations
 A4.  Learning Theory - Three Term Contingency (The Learning Cycle)
 A1. A2. A5. J1. J2. J5. M1.
 Learning Theory - Operant Conditioning - Positive Reinforcement
 A2. A5. J1. J2. J5. M1.  Learning Theory - Operant Conditioning - Positive Punishment
 A5. J1. J2. J5. M1.  Learning Theory - Operant Conditioning - Negative Punishment
 J1. J2. J5. M1.  Learning Theory - Operant Conditioning - Negative Reinforcement
 J1. J5. M2. M5
 Learning Theory - Respondent Conditioning.
 A5. J5.  Learning Theory - Constructional Programs
 M5  Learning Theory - Canine Cognition and Social Learning.
 A1. A3. A4. A5. J4. M5.
The Methodology - Lure / Capture / Target / Shape / Mold / Model (Imitate)
 J4. M2.
 Reinforcement Types and Schedules
 A3. A5. J1
 Differential Reinforcement - Shaping / D.R.A. / D.R.I. / D.O.E.
 J2.  Relativity Theory of Reinforcement
 M1.  Law of Effect
 A2. A3. J1. J4.
 Canine Behavior & Social Communication
 J5. M1. M2.
 Compound Behavior Chains - Linear
 M3  Compound Behavior Chains - Merges
 M4  Concept Training - comparatives, modifiers and quantifiers.
 J1.  Emotional Contagion
 J1.  No Reward Markers
 J2  Learned Irrelevance
 J2  Poisoned Cues
 J4.  Dominance Theory - Myth of the Alpha-wolf.
 M3  Ethology
 M3. M4.
 Origin and Evolution of the Domestic Dog
 J5. M2
 Training Plans. Task Analysis. Data Collection.
 A4. J4.
 Health & Fitness - Inc. stamina / strength / muscle memory / diet

E-learning Videos

 A1 Shake hands / Give a Paw
 A1 Peekaboo (Dog facing forwards between handler's legs)
 A1 On Your Side! (Dog lies on side from a down)
 A1 Clicker Games
Leave It
 A2 Stay (Maintain behavior)
Watch Me (Focus)
Hand Target
 A3 Stationary (Hand) Target
 A3 Spin (360 anti-clockwise)
 A3 Crawl
 A3 Loose Leash Walking
 A4 Sit
 A4 Stand
 A4 Speak
 A4 Ring the Bell
 A4 Close the Door
 A5  On Your Mat (or on your bed)
 A5  On Your Mark (a Send-away)
 A5  Paw Target (shaping)
 A5  Nose Target (shaping)
 J1  Figure 8  (Weave around legs in shape of figure 8)
 J1  Take a Bow
 J1  Go Round  (Move away from handler, go around object/ person/ animal & return to handler)
 J1  Olfactory Cue
 J1.  Counter Conditioning & Desensitization Protocols - How to teach a dog to love wearing a muzzle
 J2  Bang/Play Dead (Drop onto side either from sit or stand)
 J2  Roll Over
 J2  Go Left and Go Right
 J2  Say Cheese (Focus on camera)
 J2  Counter Conditioning & Desensitization Protocols - Creating a positive response to a vacuum
 J3  Close - Finish to handler's left side
 J3  Come - A Training Meister Recall
 J3  Go Hide - Go our of sight, behind an object (A fun way to exercise pet dogs)
 Sit Pretty/Beg
 J4  Pee Like a Boy (hind leg lift)
 J4  Rewind (360• anticlockwise around handler)
 J5  'Trick Routine'  - Backchain 4 Behaviors (pop, close, rewind, hug)
 J5  Open the Door'
 J5  Crate - Compound chain:  Pull open crate door, go in crate, close the door and lie down.
 M1  Solid Retrieve to Hand
 M1  Fetch Me a Drink! - Linear Chain: Open door, Hold, Fetch, Release to hand, Close door
 M2  Teach Me Force Free - Behavior Sequence.
 M3  Behaviour Merge -"Are You Sleepy?" - Fetch, Down, Guilty (chin to floor)
 M4  Visual Match to Sample
 M5  CopyCat (Mimicry / Modeling - Learner Imitates handler)

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DogNostics is the sister company to and provides the key education for DogSmith Licensed professionals. 

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