School for Dog Trainers

school for dog trainers

The Global Leader in Canine Education​

With the most inclusive canine education available, our School for Dog Trainers will teach you progressive and innovative methods for training dogs and working with people in a way that will make your dog training career a successful one. Unlike most courses, our programs offer you extensive hands-on training that provide you with real-life experience.

Become a Dog Trainer

Our School for Dog Trainers offers everything you need to be successful!

About Our School For Dog Trainers

We offer dog trainer programs at our three School for Dog Trainers locations – our Main Campus located in Harmony, NC, our Southeast Campus situated in Hanceville, AL, and our Hill Country Campus located in Utopia, TX.

At our Main Campus, you’ll find our 50+ acre Canine Education Center located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our classroom location is a short distance away from our 20+ acre dog training center. Meanwhile, at our Southeast Campus, we have over one hundred acres of landscaped grounds – a perfect setting for dog training. Our Hill Country Campus is the home of our 18-week Service Dog Trainer program. 

The programs offered at our School for Dog Trainers have helped numerous graduates achieve success as professionals in the industry. We maintain small student to instructor ratios to ensure that each student receives ample individual attention and instruction – due to our small class sizes, classes at our dog trainer school generally fill quickly and programs are often booked up to six (6) months in advance. In addition to excellent courses taught by expert instructors, student housing is also available on site.

Our School for Dog Trainers offers a variety of extensive and exciting programs to get you started with your dog training career. We offer courses of differing lengths to meet your needs so that you can gain as much knowledge as you need – the variety and quality of our courses have contributed to our reputation as one of the leading dog trainer schools in the United States. Offering simple and affordable financing options for our School for Dog Trainers’ programs lets you finance your canine education with payments that you can be comfortable with. For those that are eligible, we are also approved to accept VA and GI BILL benefits for prior military members and their families.

The Best Education For Dog Trainers

What Makes Our Dog Trainer School Different

dog trainer school students

Comprehensive Career Training

Our School for Dog Trainers offers a proven system for training students that produces successful graduates. If you want to become a successful, professional dog trainer, you’re going to need real-world experience. This type of experience doesn’t come from an online dog training certification. Our combination of classroom instruction and ample, hands-on training has created effective professional dog trainers across the globe. 

Whether you are looking for a career change or want to start your own dog training business, our programs give you the experience you need.

We Emphasize How to Train a Dog

Our School for Dog Trainers focuses on teaching our students to train dogs.  Unlike other dog trainer schools in the US, students are not required to clean kennels or participate in any type of “work detail program” or “leadership program” during their stay. We have a full kennel staff that maintains our kennel facilities, daily.

Our School for Dog Trainers is licensed by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges. The North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges is not an accrediting agency. The School for Dog Trainers is also licensed by the Private School Licensure of the Alabama Community College System. The School for Dog Trainers is also approved and regulated by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Learn to Train Dogs

We believe that professional dog trainers have experience working with all breeds of dogs.  As such, our students have an opportunity to work with various types of dogs during their attendance in one of our programs. We have a variety of pet and working dogs available, including dogs from our Second Chance Program.

Students are allowed to bring up to two (2) dogs and integrate their personal dogs into their training program. Students are not required to purchase or bring a dog with them.

Learn from the Experts

Learn to Become a Dog Trainer from Industry Experts

The School for Dog Trainers at Highland Canine Training, LLC offers the most diversely experienced staff of instructors in the US.  Not only will you be taught by experienced instructors that are knowledgeable and respected in the dog training industry, you will have the opportunity to learn from those who continue to operate a successful, multifaceted dog training business.

Our expert instructors not only teach but continue to train dogs of all types, from aggressive pet dogs to police dogs, military and service dogs on a daily basis. This opportunity to be fully immersed and see the “inner workings” of a successful dog training business is an opportunity that you won’t find anywhere else!

Have questions or need more information?  Contact us to get started with your dog training career!  We will be happy to answer any questions you have, walk you through our admissions process, or schedule a tour of our facility.

Our School for Dog Trainers Programs

If you are considering a career as a dog trainer, we have a program designed to help you achieve your goals.

Our Most Popular Dog Trainer Courses

Master Dog Trainer Program

Our most inclusive program, this intensive course will give you the hands-on training and experience necessary to provide a range of dog training programs and services to your customers. This program merges our Obedience and Behavior Modification Professional Program, Police K9 Trainer Program, Service Dog Trainer Program and our Search and Rescue Trainer Program to create a program that is unmatched in the industry.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Service Dog Trainer Program

If you are interested in training service dogs and working with their handlers, this inclusive program will help you develop the skills necessary to properly train Service Dogs for mobility, stability, hearing assistance as well as autism spectrum disorders and other psychological disabilities. This intense course takes you through every step of the process from testing and selection, training through delivery of service dogs.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Police K9 Trainer Program

This is the most comprehensive program in the industry today.  Our Police K9 Instructor Course covers all aspects of Police Dog Training. Our curriculum provides you with the ability to train dogs for police patrol functions, drug and explosives detection, trailing, obedience and agility. This course prepares you to train police dogs and it also teaches you how to instruct the police officers that handle them.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Obedience and Behavior Program

learn to train pet dogs

By far, our most popular 12- week course, this program will give you all the skills necessary for beginning or expanding your professional dog training career. From understanding dog behavior and ethology to creating a dog training website and working with customers, this program is the best place to start for anyone who is serious about becoming a dog trainer.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Protection Dog Trainer Program

protection dog trainer school

Whether you’re interested in training personal protection dogs for families, competition dogs or police patrol work, this program covers it all. From testing and selection and proper decoy techniques to complex skills training such as carjacking scenarios and multiple attackers, this program provides you with the skills to be a successful protection dog trainer.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Detection Dog Trainer Program

detection dog trainer school

By exploring a variety of methods of training detection dogs, this program provides a concrete foundation for teaching reliable and effective detection dogs to find explosives, narcotics as well as other odors. With a thorough and comprehensive understanding of proper imprinting techniques and handling skills, this program gives you the ability to be a proficient detection dog trainer.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Search and Rescue Dog Trainer Program

search and rescue dog trainer school

If the challenging task of working with Search and Rescue Dogs interests you, then this is a great program for learning the skills necessary to train Disaster Dogs, Cadaver dogs as well as trailing and wilderness search dogs. This program covers all aspects of search and rescue training, from fundamentals of obedience, to training in demanding field environments.

Learn more by clicking the button below.

Learn More About Our School for Dog Trainers

Our Next School Begins In...


Let Our Professionals Help!

We understand that making a career change can be a big next step!  As such, our staff of professionals is always willing to answer any questions that you may have about our school, specific programs or enrollment requirements. Our admissions specialist will guide you through the simple process of enrollment and provide you any information that you need in regards to financing or VA Benefits.

Visit our site to learn more.

Schedule a tour of our school.

Questions? Learn More!



International Dog Trainer School Students

international dog trainer school students

Our School for Dog Trainers has graduated scores of dog trainers that have gone on to establish profitable and fulfilling dog training careers all over the United States and across the globe. We have hosted many students from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia as well as North and South America and the Caribbean. For students traveling from outside the US, we are happy to assist with any necessary Visa and travel documentation that may be required. If you are from outside the United States and are interested in attending a School for Dog Trainers we have compiled information for international dog trainer school students.

Affordable on-site housing is available during our programs. We also offer free airport pick-up and drop-off for students who are traveling by air.

VA Approved Dog Trainer School

school for dog trainers accepts gi bill va benefits

Our School for Dog Trainers is approved through the North Carolina State Approving Agency to accept the GI Bill and VA benefits for some of our programs.  The programs that are eligible are:

Master Dog Trainer Program
Service Dog Trainer Program
Police K9 Instructor Program

If you are a qualified veteran or family member and are interested in attending our School for Dog Trainers, contact our admissions specialists and they will be happy to assist you with the process.

In many cases, we can also work with students and coordinators to use Vocational Rehabilitation benefits for our dog training programs.

Our Dog Trainer School Schedule

calendar school for dog trainers

Our dog trainer programs begin on the first Monday of January (Winter semester), April (Spring semester), July (Summer semester) and October (Fall semester). Our Master Dog Trainer Program and our Service Dog Trainer School is offered only during our Winter and Summer Semesters. 

View our Program Calendars for each Campus below:

If you have further questions about our School for Dog Trainers or would like to schedule a tour of our facility, call us locally at 704.539.4102 or toll-free at 800.726.7412 or you can email us at to start your dog training career today!

Highland Canine Training, LLC – School for Dog Trainers is licensed by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges.
The North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges is not an accrediting agency.

Dog Trainer Certification

Become a Certified Dog Trainer

dog trainer certification

Becoming a certified dog trainer is a career goal of many of our graduates.  Fortunately, the professional dog training industry offers a variety of certification programs for dog trainers.  

The process for these certifications vary, from online testing to hands-on, practical examinations.  Many dog trainer certifications, like those offered by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT), and the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) test the trainer’s knowledge and understanding of basic operant conditioning principles, dog training fundamentals and basic animal husbandry.

Due to the depth of our programs many of our graduates have gone on to obtain one or more of these certifications.  Our programs prepare our graduates to become successful dog trainers and the fact that many of them have gone on to obtain certifications from these organizations demonstrates the quality of our instruction.

Dog Trainer Career Opportunities

Our Dog Trainer School Graduates Succeed In The Industry!

With the pet industry estimated at around 70 billion dollars per year, there is no better time to start your career as a professional dog trainer.  Even though a majority of our students enter our programs with the idea of becoming an entrepreneur and opening their own dog training business, others look to working as a professional dog trainer in other areas of the industry. 

With the market booming, there are countless opportunities to put your skills to work. Research has also shown that pursuing formal education in dog training can lead to improved career opportunities and increased remuneration.

Many of our graduates have gone on to train dogs for major dog training companies, while others have gained employment as professional detection dog handlers and kennel masters for NGO and government organizations.

The School for Dog Trainers at Highland Canine Training, LLC fully supports our alumni in any way possible. We offer constant support from everything to specialized marketing guidance for dog trainers; assisting with job placement; and providing expert business coaching for their new start ups. We understand that their success is our success!

dog trainer school graduates

Police & Military K9 Trainer School

Offering Customized Courses for Police & Military Organizations

customized courses for police and military

We also regularly host and instruct dog handlers and dog trainers from law enforcement and military organizations from around the world. We often work with large groups and offer group rates and discounts. Our Police K9 Instructor Courses are designed to give you all the skills that you need to train and certify Police K9 teams for detection, patrol, trailing and obedience. Our programs will teach you a variety of methods for training dogs in a number of areas. We maintain a number of dogs on-site that students can work with, in addition to dogs that they bring, to gain considerable hands-on experience during the course. Students enrolling in our Police K9 Trainer / Instructor programs vary in skill and experience level. Our goal is to customize each learning experience to meet the needs of the individual student. We also hold a General Services Administration Schedule 84 Contract which allows us to offer discounted pricing to Federal, State and local government agencies.