Online Dog Trainer Course

Let's do this!

Ready to take the leap and become a professional dog trainer?

VSA’s comprehensive Online Dog Trainer Course is designed specifically for those who prefer or need to learn from home. By delivering all of the same content as the flagship Dog Trainer Course via our premium digital e-learning platform, you’ll graduate from this learner-centered, performance-based course as a professional certified dog trainer ready to change the world one dog at a time.

And using our personalized application process allows you to register quickly and easily whether you choose to use VSA’s tuition financing or not.

Unbeatable tuition value at $3,450*

*** Tuition increases to $3,950 in early 2020 ***

The flexible-length Online Dog Trainer Course includes:

At-home Study

100% instructor-led HD video lessons available to you 24/7 to learn at your own pace.

Dedicated Faculty Advisor

Weekly online meetings with your own personal guide to the course curriculum and learning process.

Advanced Training Curriculum

Over 100+ hours of comprehensive topics including advanced training, human psychology and marketing.

Downloadable Resources

Deepen your learning with suites of printable study guides, training exercises, and business documents.

Plus, online students get priority status when upgrading to VSA’s In-Person Course add-on track.

VSA has been a pivotal stage in my life. I had entered the program with no experience in dog training, little knowledge of dog behavior, and an uncertainty in what I wanted to be doing for a career. What grew in me during this experience was the confidence I had lacked in the beginning. This program is not just about providing information on a piece of paper. It’s also about developing you as a person.


VSA Graduate

At-Home Study

The Online Dog Trainer Course delivers an unparalleled online learning experience using VSA’s state of the art digital e-learning platform – the unique Student Learning Center. Intuitive, user-friendly design allows students to move efficiently through the course’s content and encourage effective, efficient learning.

The learner-centered, performance-based course consists of 20 dynamic modules which contain multiple chapters made up of various online lessons delivered via both video and text/graphics.

The SLC’s powerful online lesson interface provides students the opportunity to learn through constant engagement activities with the 100% instructor-led curriculum, including periodic assessments, DIY activities and tests.

Dedicated Faculty Advisor

Upon enrollment in the Online Dog Trainer Course you’ll be paired with your own personal VSA Faculty Advisor – a professional dog trainer hand-selected by VSA to help lead you through the course content.

Office Hours

Every week you’ll meet with your faculty Advisor for up to one hour to discuss what you’re learning in the online lessons and activities. These online videoconference meetings are invaluable opportunities to learn from some of the most successful, experienced professional dog trainers in the world on a one-on-one basis.

As you progress through the course, you’ll develop a working relationship which allows you to benefit from the support of a virtual mentor experience while honing your dog training skills and knowledge.


Your Faculty Advisor will also be your sounding board, providing feedback and constructive feedback about your dog training skills and knowledge.

Throughout the course you’ll be assessed regularly by your Faculty Advisor on topics including:

  • Understanding dog body language
  • Multiple training methods including capturing, luring and shaping
  • Learning theory and functional assessments
  • VSA’s basic manners behaviors including sit, stay, recall, and leave it
  • Common behavior problems such as jumping, barking, housetraining and leash-pulling
  • Group classes and private lessons

Advanced Training Curriculum

Like students in the Dog Trainer Course, you’ll start by learning the foundational elements of how dogs think, feel and learn through early modules like Canine Cognition, Ethology, Learning Theory and more. You’ll then learn how to teach dogs key cues and behaviors before moving on to more common behavior problems.

VSA’s curriculum also includes in-depth explorations of more advanced training and behavior modification of more extreme cases like aggression, reactivity, and anxiety-based issues. Through it all, however, the focus is on more than just training dogs. VSA’s world-class faculty includes human clinical psychologists as well as branding and marketing experts to help ensure that you’re not just ‘good with dogs’, but that you can communicate effectively in all situations and learn how to grow and manage your business successfully.

Downloadable Resources

Throughout the course you’ll be provided with a continuous stream of downloadable (and printable) documents to help support your learning experience.

From class handouts to study guides and group class curricula to share with clients, VSA’s suite of resources and documents brings your online training to the real world.


Why choose this course?

Simply put, there’s just not another dog trainer education remotely like the Dog Trainer Course available anywhere else.

Victoria built this course from scratch to fill a void that existed in the field of dog trainer education prior to VSA. Not only does VSA excel in what it offers students in practical terms (an elite digital instructional platform, the most comprehensive professional dog trainer curriculum available, unparalleled support via Faculty Advisors and the proprietary learning system VSA developed), we’re committed to helping you change your life as part of a truly supportive, welcoming family.

When you complete the Dog Trainer Course program, you’ll be a certified professional dog trainer with the skills, knowledge and – just as importantly – the confidence to start your own business training dogs or expand your current offerings to include dog training. Plus, online students get priority access to upgrade to the In-Person Add-On Track when it opens for enrollment each year.

VSA’s Dog Trainer Course offers a premium learning experience that avoids the common pitfalls of ‘training by numbers’ while remaining uncompromising in our commitment to translating the latest in powerful science-based, dog training tools and methods which allow VSA graduates to achieve consistent real-world results with clients.

Download the course syllabus here.

But don’t just take our word for it…

VSA gave me a solid foundation on which to build my business and therefore my future. I learned skills and gained knowledge that I use every single day, either working with dogs or in terms of how I run and present my business. Because of VSA I took a lifelong dream and made it real.

Miriam Morris

VSA Graduate

I am 10x more knowledgeable than I was 1 year ago, and I get much more effective results with my clients. Now that I have learned the exact science, I am able to take on tougher cases like dog aggression, phobias, resource guarding, etc. and be successful in getting clients the long lasting results they were looking for. I am beyond grateful for VSA!

Melissa Goodman

VSA Graduate

If it wasn’t for VSA, I never would have gotten into the dog training business. I was looking for ways to help my own dog when I came across it – It was my inspiration, but also fulfilled a dream I’d had as a kid to work with animals.

Sharon Jennings

VSA Graduate

VSA has the most extensive training for a person wanting a career in dog training & behavior. It approaches the topic of dog training and behavior from all areas needed to truly learn about why a dog does what he does, how to teach the dog (and human) in a compassionate way, and how to operate and market a business successfully. All in all, the best dog trainer course available today.

Teresa Hogge

VSA Graduate

Through the heartfelt attention of my advisor and teachers of the program, I gained courage, power, motivation, and acceptance. I feel ready for people to depend on me to train their dogs (and them of course) because I have learned how to believe in myself. The tools, advice, and instructions I have received is something I hope every individual interested in dog training is able to get. I am so grateful!


VSA Graduate

What’s Included?

Hours of Total Study

Personal Faculty Advisor


Instructor-led Video Lessons

Private Online Support Group

Months Duration (flexible)

Minimum Weekly Office Hours

CEU Credits

Upgrade access to Premium In-Person add-on Track

Graduate Benefits

Graduation from VSA’s Online Dog Trainer Course carries many benefits.

Graduates become part of a VSA community that fosters continued learning, sharing, and collaboration. The ability to stay connected with other like-minded positive professional trainers is an exceptional benefit when launching a new career. Graduates also receive marketing and business support to promote and encourage the growth of their dog training business, including:

Professional Certification

Use of the prestigious ‘VSA-Certified Dog Trainer’ (VSA-CDT) designation in all professional and marketing materials.

Community Support

Access to a private VSA Graduate Facebook Group for feedback, community-building and support.

Business Documents

A suite of pre-prepared, brandable documents to help you get your business started.

Online Badge

Use of a VSA Graduate Badge on graduate’s website, social media sites, and other marketing materials.

Teaching Materials

Ready-made curricula for teaching group dog training classes.

Course Resources

A suite of downloadable resources containing study guides, references and more.

Online Referrals

A profile listing on VSA’s website trainer search so that pet owners searching for a trainer can find VSA graduates.

Victoria's Reputation

Use of images of themselves with Victoria Stilwell, subject to VSA approval.

Ongoing Access

Continued access to VSA faculty and curriculum after graduation.

VSA’s Dog Trainer Course graduates earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) through various credentialing organizations. For more info about CEU’s please contact VSA.

Ready to Get Started?

Click on the Apply Now button and follow the instructions through the online application process. New registrations can be completed in as little as 48 hours!

Your Investment

Online Dog Trainer Course Tuition

$3,450 USD*

*Tuition will increase to $3,950 in early 2020

Online Dog Trainer Course tuition is payable in one payment to VSA, but we also make learning with us more affordable via the following methods:



Apply for a loan from Climb Credit online and get an answer in less than 5 minutes. Get access to the course for $199 down with monthly payments as low as $153/month.

Applying for a loan using Climb Credit’s fully automated online process is fast, easy, safe, and doesn’t affect your credit rating. Climb Credit loans are only available to students located in the US (or who have a loan guarantor based in the US).  Apply for a Climb Credit loan here.


2. INSTALLMENT PLANS directly with VSA

  • VSA’s 3-Payment Plan includes a $1,450 registration fee followed by two monthly payments of $1,075 each.
  • VSA’s 6-Payment Plan includes a $1,250 registration fee followed by five monthly payments of $520 each.

NOTE:  Students who have previously completed VSA’s Fundamentals of Dog Training & Behavior Course will get a full refund of their Fundamentals course tuition after enrolling in the Online Dog Trainer Course.

Non-Profit Employee Scholarships

VSA offers scholarships to qualified employees of animal-related non-profit entities such as rescue organizations and shelters. Click here for more information about scholarships.

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