AZ Dog Smart Academy Courses

At AZ Dog Smart Academy, we offer basic and intermediate dog trainer courses and 1 level of mentorship.  You have the choice to enroll in individual courses or enroll in the Complete Academy Program at a specially discounted rate.

View a pdf of our 2022 Course List & Class Syllabus HERE

Do you want to take our courses on your own time?  See if our Tutorial Program would work for you.

Check out our Tutorial Program here.

DOG BEHAVIOR – Beginners Course

Instructor: Darcy Rohats, CPDT-KA

Dog Behavior is a 6-week lecture course designed for the dog lover. Whether you are interested in learning the science behind dog behavior or working towards a career as a dog professional this course is for you!


• This course is a total of 12 hours of academic sessions (usually 2 hours per week)

• A Silver Membership, hands-on pet training class with your dog is included.

• 2 required texts for reading (purchased separately) and a PowerPoint lesson guide for classroom sessions

• Classes are a mixture of PowerPoints, field trips, classroom instruction, dog demonstrations and more.

Dog Behavior Course includes:

– Topical Lectures and Expert Presenters

– Canine Development: From Birth to Death

– Intensive Breed Analysis and Exploration

– Dog Body Language & Canine Communication

– In-depth Classroom & Round-table discussions

– Video Analysis of Dog Behavior and Training Styles

– Instructor Accompanied Field Studies

– Associated Research Assignments

And much more…

Cost $795 for the 6 week course. 
Next course starts soon!  Please call for details.  602-237-6775

HELPING DOGS LEARN – The How & Why of Rewards-Based Training

This class is for those who wish to learn science-based positive training techniques in a hands-on environment. 


Students will work with a variety of equipment, dogs, and training methodology. Participants and dogs will engage in handling skills and practical applications that lead to better focus, faster learning, and lasting results. Some prior knowledge of dog training is helpful, and participation in our canine fundamentals class is a great foundation. This course is part lecture, part hands-on training with your dog.  If you don’t currently have a dog, we can provide one for you to work with while in class.  This class is a pre-requisite for Clicker 201.

Week 1 — Learn the science behind the process
What is a reward, really?
Types of rewards.
How and when to reward.

Week 2 — Can a new trainer and an old dog learn new tricks?
Hands on application and skills

Week 3 — Planning ahead for success in your training
Teaching your dog to experiment

Week 4 — Can my dog learn this?
Creating a new behavior from start to finish

Week 5 — Helping a shelter dog
Apply what you have learned

Week 6 — Having fun training new behaviors
Use what you have learned!

This class consists of 6, 90-minute sessions.

Cost $795 for the 6 week course.

Next course starts soon!  Please call for details.  602-237-6775

Students will be working with dogs in order to practice their skills LIVE!!

The Art of Dog Handling

Learn the fundamentals of dog handling and gain skills handling in the best methods to use.


Lesson 1 and 2: Use Students’ own dogs Realistic Goal Setting
• Proper tools (bait bag + proper leash + appropriate collar/halter)
• How to hold a leash
• Understand canine body language
• Talk with dog during exercises/build a team
• Remedial “socialization” if necessary
• Adequate physical and mental stimulation
• Behavior log to see progress Five Foundation Behaviors
• Terminal Bridge – “Yes!” or clicker
• Hand Targeting – “Touch”
• Cued Eye Contact – Automatic eye contact for modification of leash reactivity/aggression
• Turn Away – “Let’s Go”
• Back Away – “Leave it”

Lesson 3 – Socialization
• Review and determine if Foundational Behaviors have been trained to a fully functional level and any other contributing environmental/medical factors have been dealt with
• Practice begins, such as practicing with other dogs present
• Look for subtle body language cues and understand their meanings
• Utilize tools that help prevent telegraphing emotion down the leash, steering or tightening

Lesson 4 – Off-site training using 5 Foundation Behaviors and Socialization skills

Lesson 5 – Additional skills when training someone else’s dog
• Ask history and behavior
• Is this dog nervous, scared reactive to other dogs and people?
• What are this dog’s motivators?
• Will this dog crate?
• Be observant of equipment currently on the dog
• Communication with client about their dog

Lesson 6 • Written test is presented after practical test.

Cost $795 for the 6 week course. 

Next course starts soon!  Please call for details.  602-237-6775

Level 301 – CLIENT COMMUNICATION – How to make an impact when you teach

Instructor: Darcy Rohats, CPDT-KA

Have you sometimes found it easier to communicate with the dog than with its owner?   Do you have a difficult client who undermines his own success with his dog?  This class is meant for you!  Trainers need to possess not only keen knowledge of canine behaviors, but also sharp people skills to create the best possible learning dynamic.   And, let’s face it, the lack of either skill can have dire effects on a training professional’s client retention and word of mouth.


This nine-hour course contains six 90-minute classes.

Class 1: • Welcome and overview • Definition of a good instructor and professionalism • Understanding learning styles • Roadblocks to verbal communication • How to communicate challenges in a class • Checking for comprehension

Class 2: • Listening skills: passive, active and acknowledgement • Use of you and I • Dealing with the talker, late and angry students • Practicing listening skills

Class 3: • Reinforcement of good behavior • The training class • Plan curriculum • Scenario analysis and demonstrations

Class 4: • Key concepts with student discussion • Demonstration of learned skills and concepts • Assignments provided for presentation in Class 5

Class 5: • Presentations to an actual student and dog • Discussion of each presentation

Class 6: • Review.  Written test also required.

Cost $795 for the 6 week course.

Next course starts soon!  Please call for details.  602-237-6775

Mentorship Phase

During this phase students will work side-by-side with 3 separate trainers for 25 hours each (total of 75 hours).  Students work with client dogs and dogs other than their own.

Students will also receive 6 hours of Professional Business Coaching and access to monthly topical seminars presented by Certified Dog Trainers.

This phase must be preceded by completion of the Beginners Course, Level 2 courses, Equipment Workshop and 4 of our elective Intermediate Courses.

Cost $2,400

Complete Academy Program


(Payment plans available for an additional fee)

AZ Dog Smart Academy is a vendor of RSA, Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
We are a State Eligible Training Provider.

What’s included in the Complete Academy Program?

250+ hours of academic and hands-on courses (this includes 75 hours of mentorship)

3 required text books (included in Level 1 & 2 courses)

Unlimited auditing of over 60 different AZ Dog Sport Classes

Also included in program cost:

6 hours of Business Coaching

Assisting in training classes

Assisting in private lessons

Hands-on project dogs

Creating lesson plans

Free extra credit topical seminars!

All you need to know to start your own dog training business!



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