Oregon Humane Society
  Pet Training
Training Classes

Dog Trainer Prep School


Does your love of dogs and working with people find you considering a career in dog training? Let us help! Our program will not only give you a well-rounded understanding of dog behavior and learning theory, but practical application as well. Working with students and dogs alike, we will ensure you have the skills you need to make it in the industry. What makes our program unique is that from the very beginning you will be working with a variety of dogs, applying and practicing your new knowledge and skills.


Prep School Program Advisor, Jenna Kirby,
working with Aurora in Manners Hall




Program Overview


The program requires approximately 200 hours of coursework. Much of the work can be scheduled at your convenience; however, availability on weekends and evenings will be necessary for your success.


From the beginning of the program, you will be able to work with shelter dogs and observe our dog training classes. Working with the Certified Professional Dog Trainers at OHS, you will study dog behavior and learning theory while gaining real-life experience assisting and teaching classes for OHS volunteers and the public.


Students typically complete the program within seven months. When you complete the program, you will be prepared to take the CPDT exam; all you will need to test is continued experience in the classroom setting.


Learn more about the program.



When and Where


The application window for the February 2015 session has closed.


Our Fall 2015 session will begin in October 2015. Applications will be accepted from July 1 to August 21, 2015. How to apply.


Most of the coursework will be done at the Oregon Humane Society.


Tuition and Fees


Regular Price: $4000

OHS Volunteer Price: $3200


Price includes a $500 non-refundable deposit that is due upon acceptance to the program. The balance is due at the start of the course. Total cost includes tuition, all books and materials needed for the program and a one-year membership with APDT (Association of Professional Dog Trainers). Proceeds from tuition and fees support the animals and programs at OHS.

Applicant Requirements


Prospective candidates must meet the following requirements:

    • Be 18 or older
    • Have proof of High School Diploma/GED
    • Be able to make a six to seven month commitment to the program and commit to weekly attendance.
    • Be able to attend classes in the evenings and on weekends.
    • Have excellent written and oral communication skills.
    • Be able to handle strong, large (60+ lbs.) dogs.


In addition, prior experience with dogs is highly recommended. We also expect you to be a "people person." Dog training at OHS is about educating people about humane and responsible treatment and training of their pets.


Characteristics Necessary for Success


    • Able to maintain professional standards of performance, demeanor and appearance at all times
    • Proactive and self-starting
    • Comfortable communicating with all kinds of people
    • A love of all dog breeds
    • High threshold for frustration
    • A creative team player, who takes a cooperative approach to learning and working with the dogs
    • Able to take direction well, absorb it, and apply it quickly


To Apply


The application window for the February 2015 session has closed.


Our Fall 2015 session will begin in October 2015.

Applications will be accepted from July 1 to August 21, 2015.


To apply for admission, please submit a cover letter explaining why you are interested and your goals for the program, and a copy of your resume highlighting relevant experience in animal care, customer service, training, etc.


Apply in person by bringing your resume and cover letter to an Informational Session. Applications may also be submitted via email. Applications received prior to July 1, 2015 will not be reviewed.


Due to the limited number of students accepted in the program, a phone, email or in person interview may be done prior to acceptance.



For More Information


To learn more about the program, view our training facility and meet your program advisor, attend an Informational Session at the Oregon Humane Society.


Our next Informational Session will be scheduled in the summer of 2015. Please check back later for more details.


Please email us with questions or if you would like to be notified when the 2016 schedule is announced.





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