The IMDT For Today's Dog Trainers & Behaviourists

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How to become a Dog Trainer

Whether you want to work with animals, run a dog training business or help your own dog reach their full potential, dog training is both fascinating and rewarding.
This is what you need, to become a dog trainer, including how you can boost your learning and gain Institute of Modern Dog Trainer (IMDT) Qualification and professional membership.

What do you need to become a dog trainer? 
  • A deep and genuine respect for dogs
  • An enquiring mind
  • Good observational skills
  • A “can do” attitude
  • Thorough understanding of canine behaviour
  • Professional Training, and IMDT Accreditation (so that potential clients trust you from the get-go)
  • A big toolbox full of ideas to make training easy and fun for your clients – the humans as well as the dogs!
If you are already an IMDT Qualified Dog Trainer, firstly, congratulations! and secondly, for your next steps, scroll to the bottom of the page*

What qualifications will help you be a better dog trainer?
If you plan to make a career in dog training, IMDT Qualification is one of the best marketing tools you can have. Whether you plan to seek employment working with dogs or whether you want to run your own business, it really pays to know what you are talking about.
By learning with an organisation whose credentials are widely recognised and respected, your accreditation will mean a lot more to potential employers and clients.
The IMDT is the leading training and education provider within the dog trainer and behavourist UK sector, and works with everyone from beginners to those with years of experience.
All our courses are externally verified. In fact, the IMDT is a registered learning centre for the National Open Colleges Network and as such, welcomes everyone no matter what your experience as we have foundation courses to get you started. As an added bonus, you can structure your learning to fit in with your lifestyle, time restraints and budget.
To be a fully Accredited IMDT dog trainer, you need to complete a thorough assessment, you will need to study at home too, but most people are so fascinated by the ins and outs of canine training and behaviour that they thoroughly enjoy the learning process.

What does a dog training qualification cover?
A good learning programme for dog trainers covers just about everything you’ll ever need to know in your dog training career. It will help you understand the 'Who, What, When, Why and How'. A strong knowledge of canine body language, behaviour and learning processes will give you the tools to unravel and solve almost any dog training or behaviour problem you encounter.
The IMDT dog training Qualification  would require you to have a good knowledge of:-
  • How dogs learn
  • Canine body language
  • Canine behaviour
  • Observational skills
  • How to motivate the dog and owner
  • Positive Reinforcment based dog training
  • How to plan a dog training class and what to teach
  • How to assess a dog’s behaviour and structure a 1 to 1 training session
  • Communicating with owners
  • Practical exercises – training dogs with different personalities and different abilities
  • Teaching real dogs with real owners, in real situations
All of the IMDT’s courses are friendly and informal and you’ll be encouraged to ask as many questions as you want. Plus, there’s always someone on hand to support your learning – even after you’ve gained your Qualification. This professional support is available throughout every stage of your career from beginner to experienced trainer/ behaviourist.

FAQ’s about becoming an IMDT Qualified dog trainer

Where are courses held?
The IMDT has training venues all over England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, South Africa and Australia so you’ll never have to travel far to learn. ( unless you want to! )
In addition many of our courses have the option of attending via Zoom or are recorded webinars so we can also deliver courses to you in your own home.
You will also notice that some of our courses are tutor supported distance learning.
So whatever your circumstances, we have it covered.

How long does it take to become a IMDT Qualified dog trainer?
The IMDT dog training Qualification involves a 2 day theory course, a 4 day practical course and a 1 day assessment. It’s recommended that you do some study in your own time. Hands on experience is invaluable too, shadowing classes and 121s, volunteering your services in exchange for experience. 
There is no pressure to complete the pathway to accreditation within a certain time scale. You can work at your own pace.

Which order should I complete the courses in?
The IMDT courses can be completed in any order to accommodate the dates available.

What courses do I need to do to become an IMDT Qualified dog trainer?
These are courses that would lead to your IMDT Dog Trainer Qualification and Membership

2 day Career as a Dog Trainer course - this is definitely the course to do to start with, regardless of the steps you then choose to take.
4 day Practical Instructor Course
IMDT Membership Assessment 

To give you the best possible foundation to working with dogs we would also recommend the following courses but as we said earlier these can be done at any time and in any order :-

Assessment Prep Session 
Canine Body language
Perfect Puppy
 The Recall Masterclass
 The Looselead Masterclass  
Learning, Motivation and Reinforcement, Level 3 ( 6 months )

You can read more on the IMDT Assessment Process HERE 

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*Already an IMDT Qualified Dog Trainer?

If you are already an IMDT Qualified Dog Trainer or you are ready to take the next step in your career with dogs, these are the next courses to expand your knowledge and skill base 

6 day Advanced Training Skills 
Behaviour Consultations and Functions of Behaviour, Level Four ( 12 months )

Interested in how to become an IMDT Behaviourist?

If you are really interested in learning more about Canine Behaviour, digging deeply into complex issues that have complex roots, then check out our Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5 course. On successful completetion of Level 5 you will automatically gain IMDTB membership, which is Membership of The Institute of Modern Dog Trainers Behaviourist section (IMDTB)

Learning, Motivation and Reinforcment, Level Three (6 months)
Training and Behaviour Consultations and Functions of Behaviour, Level 4 (12 months)

Working with Canine Behaviour, Analysis and Application, Level Five ( 12 months )

As you progress through your learning with us, we will help add more and more tools to your ‘Canine Training and Behaviour toolbox’. How to pick ‘the right tool for the job’.  Every dog is different, ever case history is different, every owner and every dog’s environment is different. Therefore, every case must be approached as a unique case, and you need to work with the dog that is in front of you.  

Check out all our IMDT behaviour courses HERE 

If you would like to chat about any of the courses or about IMDT membership please email [email protected]
If you would like to chat anything through about the Correspondence courses please email [email protected] 

We are with you every step of the way!

The IMDT Team 


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