ITC: Teaching and Training


The Instructor Training Course series will not be run in 2018 as we search for a new location for our courses. We expect to return in 2019, so stay tuned!

There are not currently any courses scheduled. Please check back later.


About the Course

We recently updated our format and love it!

  • Smaller classes, only 12 full-time students.
  • Twice as many shelter dogs! Each student will have the opportunity to train two dogs.
  • More classroom hours.

This professional course is designed to improve your effectiveness as an instructor. Whether you are just starting out, re-thinking your teaching methods, want to be the best teacher you can be, or need a shot of enthusiasm…this innovative continuing education program is for you. It will provide you with knowledge and skills critical for success and help you to develop your own unique style to create fun, motivating classes. ITC: Teaching & Training is designed for all levels of experience. We support each student without the pressure of testing or completion requirements.

“The networking opportunities were wonderful.” SW

Taught using a hands-on, interactive format, ITC combines:

Practice Instructing
Instructing gives you practical experience teaching and receiving immediate feedback from the ITC instructor and fellow students. You get to select one of the behaviors you would like to teach and we assign the other(s).

  • If you are new to instructing, you will get the opportunity to learn using our clear step-by-step guidelines in a patient, supportive environment.
  • If you are an experienced instructor you can use this opportunity to experiment with a new training technique, rework an instructing approach you would like to improve and/or use the feedback to polish and hone your skills.

When not teaching, you will be offering positive feedback to the other teachers or you and your shelter dog will be students in the class. This set up offers a great simulated classroom environment and gives everyone a chance to learn from each other.

When I enrolled at ITC 2001, I had never instructed a dog training class. I planned to open a boarding kennel and I thought going ITC would help me with my fear of speaking in front of a group of people. I had no idea how much ITC would change my life.The staff and the other students were so supportive and helpful that by the end of the ITC week I was very confident in my speaking and instructing ability and having a great time. I never felt anyone at ITC had anything but positive thoughts for each other which was so helpful in confidence building.

When I got home, I was given several opportunities and thanks to the confidence I found at ITC I took them. I instructed a basic obedience class for my kennel club. I was also given a building so now I give weekly dog-training classes in it. Over the winter, I was instructing 3 weekly classes-puppy socialization, good manners, and introduction to agility. I have spoken to several grade school classes about the opportunities in dog training world. I even spoke on the radio about adopting and training a shelter dog! I never did get around to building the boarding kennel and ITC gave me my voice that no one can quiet now. ITC has opened a different world for me.

Cheri Spaulding CPDT

Video Analysis
We use videotape review to discuss and analyze training techniques and methods or to help illustrate a point or concept. By reviewing the video and then articulating what is happening, students get a visual aid in how to integrate concepts with real life situations.

Group Discussions
All of our students have valuable knowledge and opinions to contribute to the other participants and staff members. In this manner, ITC participants not only learn from the staff, but from other students as well; consider the power of 15 – 20 professionals and enthusiasts talking openly about dog training for a week!  We encourage group discussion to brainstorm ideas, share experiences, and encourage creative thinking. Whether it is with the whole class, in your presentation group, or on an informal basis during meals, we promote the open exchange of ideas without judgment.

Group Presentation
Students are divided into small groups and given assignments that require discussion, analysis, creating a strategy or evaluating a situation. The group then organizes their thoughts and gives a presentation to the rest of the class. Many groups get into the ITC spirit by creating skits and using audio visual aids to bring fun to the learning process.

Shelter Dog Class
The Shelter Dog Classes are designed for you to observe and experience first-hand how the ITC instructors teach their own classes or a specific behavior. Generally the exercises taught in these sessions are commonly requested by pet dog owners. Learn the instructor’s style and technique while giving your shelter dog a useful training session. This is an interactive session with you and your shelter dog acting as the students.

Your Shelter Dog – UPDATED
Each student will get to train two dogs instead of one! This gives each student a deeper experience and more options during the course.

You and a partner will be assigned two shelter dogs to care for and train for the week. During daily practice instructing sessions and in Shelter Dog Class, your dogs will participate in the classes. You will also be training them through normal daily handling.

“Jethro (my shelter dog) taught me patience and to look for success in tiny packages” KS

This course element:

  • Simulates real classes where undeveloped relationships, limited communication and unruly behavior are common dynamics
  • Offers a different perspective as you experience some common problems and frustrations as a “student”
  • Mirrors family dynamics when multiple people are involved with the dog training, care and handling
  • Provides a more realistic instructing environment
  • Creates empathy and insight
  • Gives you hands-on experience
  • Gives you a chance to use your professional skills to change a dog’s life

Dog Play Groups
Watch the shelter dogs interact and play together. Learn about canine body language and communication. Evaluate what dogs play well together and who should not be matched up and why.

You will also be given study or written assignments each evening to provoke thought, increase understanding and enhance your ability to articulate ideas. We will concentrate on helping you to think critically so you can teach effectively! Expect an intense educational experience in a fun environment.

“Of all the courses I have taken, on any subject, I felt the most relaxed, included, and part of the group here; Training from the heart.” LF


Homework provides you with the opportunity to articulate ideas and develop concepts that supplement the classes or prepare you for the next day’s topic or assignment. Homework can vary and may include:

  • clarifying or considering a position through writing
  • completing a short reading assignment
  • evaluating a training technique
  • working on a group presentation
  • answering questions or taking a self-test

Check out a sample schedule.

The curriculum is designed to improve your competency as an instructor and is applicable to all types of instructing. Subjects covered and hands-on learning may include:

  • Classroom Management
  • Student Personalities, How to Teach and Work with ALL People
  • How Dogs Learn (Canine Learning and Behavior)
  • Reading Stress in Dogs
  • Understanding and Evaluating Training Techniques
  • Equipment Options
  • Evaluating Canine Temperament
  • Evaluating Dogs for Safety and Adoption
  • Getting Behavior to Happen – shaping, luring, fading food etc..
  • Skills Acquisition
  • Training Your Shelter Dog
  • Working with Multiple Shelter Dogs
  • Practice Teaching to Other ITC Students and Their Dogs
  • Dog to Dog Interactions
  • Shelter Dog Classes
  • Group Presentations

Class Size – Updated!
We have made our classes smaller! More attention for each student. Enrollment is limited to 12 full participation students to maximize personal attention and create a supportive atmosphere with our three instructors. Auditor spots are limited for each course.

Continuing Education Credits
CEU’s available for CCPDTs, IAABC members, and KPA-CTPs!

Taking Your Shelter Dog Overnight
We encourage students to bring their shelter dog back to their hotel at night, if appropriate, with the shelter’s approval. This enhances the connection between you and your dog, often impacts/speeds up training, offers you insight to your dog in a different environment and gives your dog a break from the kennel. The knowledge you glean from the overnight helps the shelter better place your dog in an appropriate home. There are limited pet friendly accommodations in the area so best to arrange housing early.

Making a Difference
During the week you will be modifying your dog’s behavior and educating her/him. By the end of the course, your shelter dog will have new skills that will improve his/her chances for a successful placement. You will take home a feeling of pride and accomplishment knowing that your expertise has made a difference in a homeless dog’s life.

Can I Bring My Own Rescue Dog or a Dog From My Local Shelter?
No, we do not let students bring their own shelter dogs. We need to monitor this aspect of the course carefully to minimize issues so the hosting shelter provides all dogs. All of the dogs participating in the course have been temperament tested for appropriateness.

Can I Bring My Personal Pet With Me to ITC?
The course is designed to be demanding. The schedule is very full and the additional responsibility of your shelter dog’s care and training will limit your free time. Therefore, we suggest that you leave your everyday work and personal responsibilities behind so you can focus on the curriculum. With this in mind, we feel your dogs may be happier at home or lounging at a friend’s house.

If you must bring your personal pet, She/he will have to be kept in your car or possibly crated inside. Your dog MUST not be aggressive, must be quiet and on leash at all times.

Dana Crevling must be informed your pet is coming.

Because food fuels our bodies and has a direct effect on learning and stamina, meals are designed to tickle your palate, keep you healthy and satisfy your sweet tooth. Vegetarian selections are available upon request, however, we cannot cater to individual dietary needs.

You will be served lunch, beverages, and snacks each day.

Auditors Welcome!

If you prefer to learn by listening and observation, we invite you to attend the Instructor Training Courses as an auditor. Auditing allows you to learn even if you are not ready for the hands-on portion of the course or prefer not to participate full time. Auditing is a great ITC option for those wishing to investigate professional dog training. Although ITC is designed as an interactive educational course you will still get cutting edge information and increase your skills and knowledge with the Auditor Registration.

The Auditor Registration grants students access to the full course for an affordable fee. Auditors are welcome to ask questions during the general lectures and attend all interactive sessions as an observer. Auditors do not participate in any of the dog training, practice teaching, student projects, games or other interactive portions of the course.

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ITC graduates range from having over twenty years of experience in the business to dog fanciers that want to become professional. For full registration students, it is best to have experience teaching or assisting classes, or have first-hand experience working with dogs and/or people in a training/behavior role on a professional or volunteer level. However, trainers that have other experience are also excellent candidates for full registration (see below). Students that enroll for full participation must have the ability to teach a dog basic commands including sit, down, come and walking on a loose leash.

Individuals are also welcome if they have one or more of the following:

  • extensive experience training her/his own dogs (beyond household manners)
  • in-depth book and/or seminar knowledge and some practical experience.
  • experience in other dog related professions along with some training/behavior background

If you are just investigating the field of professional dog training and do not fit any of the above criteria the Auditor Registration is a great way to start your education. You will get the all the great information without having to worry about dog handling, homework and presentations.

Please contact Dana if you have any questions about whether you would fit into this course.

How Do I Get Started and Gain Experience?
If you don’t meet the criteria above but would like to come to the course here are ways to prepare:

  • Read! This will expose you to the theories and concepts of dog training. Select from different authors and subjects to get a variety of perspectives.
  • If you are not already in dog class, get yourself back in an upper level class. This will sharpen your skills. If you do not have a dog right now, borrow a friend’s dog or put a shelter dog through classes.
  • Find a training school(s) that you like and volunteer in return for observing. Watch and learn. Find out how you can assist in classes. Get your feet wet.
  • Go to your area animal shelter and volunteer to work with the dogs. There is nothing like experience with dogs you don’t know to teach you to be a great trainer.
  • Go to seminars on behavior and training.
  • Subscribe to magazines.
  • Consider joining a dog training club or professional organization.
  • Go to dog trials and shows that feature performance events. Watching dogs compete can teach you about relationship dynamics, training techniques, breed specific behavior, body language and more.

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Tuition and Registration

2017 COURSE 

Early Bird Registration:

  •   $1595 – Full Registration: 5 days, all activities and hands-on learning
  •     $695 – Auditor Registration: 5 days, auditing privileges only


  •   $1795 – Full Registration: 5 days, all activities and hands-on learning
  •     $795 – Auditor Registration: 5 days, auditing privileges only
There are not currently any courses scheduled. Please check back later.

A $150 non-refundable deposit is required for registration.  Full payment is due 60 days prior to the start of the course.


You may pay for tuition by:

  • Personal or Bank Check
  • Paypal – using your account or opening a new account. You can also pay via your credit card.

Complete payment information will come up on the screen after you complete registration or click on the link. ITC General Payment Information

Please familiarize yourself with the Registration/Refund Policy, and the Waiver before signing up.

If you have concerns about the cancellation/refund policy, please consider researching “Trip/Travel Insurance” options independently. 

Auditor Registration Options for ITC Graduates
Auditor spots for ITC graduates are available on a limited for each course. Please contact Dana for information on special pricing for ITC graduates that would like to come back to review the course.

Special Pricing for ITC Grads:

Auditor registration grants repeat students access to the full course if space permits. (Wednesday – Sunday) Contact Dana for pricing.

You will receive:

  • Five full days of auditing
  • Lunches, snacks, and beverages
  • Workbook

Auditor registration deadline for ITC graduates is 2 weeks before the start date.

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