Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! We have had a number of students that have received funding to not only take our program, but also start their business afterwards! Click here to read more.
You don’t need to have trained dogs before or even owned one. A love of dogs and a passion to want to be involved with them is a great start. A large number of our students have had no experience with dogs at all. See the application section of the web site for assets that would benefit you. A lot of skills are transferable to this field.
We have a very diverse range of students. Some come straight from high-school graduation, while some come from years of experience in a totally different career. We also have a number of individuals who are already employed as dog trainers and are looking to advance their education.
You may make any arrangements you like for your accommodations. We suggest that you see the accommodations section listed under careers on our web site. Here you will find information on various options. Also, once you are accepted into the program, we will provide you with a list of private accommodation options. The majority of these listings have been used and recommended by previous students for years. We have never had a student have problems finding accommodation as we have many options available through contacts we have in the dog world.
It is recommended but not essential unless you are coming with one or more dogs. We quite often have students that car pool together and share the cost. Let us know if you are interested in carpooling and we’ll put you in contact with like-minded individuals.
The average age is approximately 30-35. That said, we have many students right out of high school and a number in their 50’s and 60’s!
If you know someone who would like their dog well trained, yes! If you don’t have your own dog, why not ask your neighbour or friend if they would like to send their dog to school at a great price? At $1500 for 12 weeks of training, they would be getting a great deal and you would be making some extra money. (Depending on your sales capabilities, it is possible that you could charge considerably more than $1500). If they currently have their dog in daycare, this would be a no-brainer as they would end up paying less and they would be getting a fully trained dog out of the deal. Also, there are often other students coming without a dog so you may even be able to bring 2 or more dogs! To read more about what the dogs will be learning during the program click here.
When you google people who are successful in any industry you will always find they have “haters” that push negative (and often untrue) information to the public. In the dog training world, if you search for Cesar Millan almost all the pages that come up are negative. Same with Brad Pattison. While these trainers may not be perfect, we do know that their overall goal is to help dogs. While we may not agree with every technique they use, we try to maintain an open mind. Unfortunately, in this industry, we often hear from people with the most closed minds.
You may hear negative things about our training. Usually these comments are from people we have never met before, or who have not seen our training first hand. If you come across negative feedback about our training methods, you will notice that any positive comments from people who support us have been dismissed or removed.
We welcome you to come see our training for yourself! Many schools will not allow prospective students to visit or correspond with students. We not only invite prospective students to visit us, but encourage them to connect with those currently in the class to get their feedback first hand.
We are happy to put you in touch with literally thousands of dog owners that have had their dog trained by us over the past three decades and are thrilled with the results. The same applies to the hundreds of happy graduates from our professional dog trainers program we have worldwide. We encourage you to not only correspond with graduates via phone or email, but to meet them. When you see firsthand how much they are enjoying their new career, this in itself should convince you that our program is a wise choice as your future career depends on it!
Although you are of course welcome to, you do not have to have a dog or bring your own. For an extra charge, students can use a dog we supply and leave with the knowledge of how to pick a perfect puppy and ambassador for their new business which is obviously a great advantage! Also, all the students coming with or without a dog will experience hands-on training with a minimum of 35 dogs throughout the 12 week program. These dogs include dogs of various breeds and ages and come from diverse backgrounds.
Yes! Some students come with four or five dogs!
These students will leave Victoria not only with a career they can use anywhere in the world, but also with highly trained dogs that will be their future ambassadors!
To see how much your genius dog(s) will learn in our Professional Dog Trainers Program, click on Course Curriculum .
*Please note that not all dogs may be suitable to be trained to the highest level depending on age, health and energy levels.
With you! We are one big pack during your time with us and you should never need to board your dog. When your dog is not in training, he will either be asleep in his crate or your vehicle, or having a romp in our dog pen.
We use a super fun motivational training method and we consistently produce dogs that love to work! We are not, however, “all positive” trainers and will use some correction when needed (ie. using the word “no” in conjunction with a snap on the leash or halti). Our balanced training methods are a great blend of both worlds and we consistently create dogs that achieve very high levels of training and absolutely love working for their handlers. To see an example of our training methods, watch the video clip entitled “Ben and Lexi Off-Leash and Beyond “. For more extensive examples, you may want to purchase our DVD series or come for a visit.
Yes, our staff are constantly upgrading their education on not only dog training but sales, advertising, safety, canine health, customer satisfaction and general business. To read a list of recent seminars Heather Millard has attended click here.
Yes! We believe this a very important part of learning. There are many opportunities throughout the program to watch everything from initial contact to advanced training with clients.
“Once the program began, I knew I had selected the right course. Students are motivated and energized to learn because the program is fun and because there is so much support and information available. By the end of the program you’ll wonder where the time went and be in awe of how much you have learned.
Having now left Ben’s program to start my own training back in California I have really realized the true value of the Wonderdogs Professional Dog Trainer’s Program. I have actively compared what I’ve learned from Ben to lots of local trainers in California and found Ben’s methods to be far superior. My clients have been amazed at how quickly I can get results with their dogs and because of this I have had to do very little advertising. Once people learn about the methods you have learned from Ben and see the fast and effective results, your phone won’t stop ringing!
If you are passionate about working with dogs, dedicated to becoming successful as a dog trainer, and open to learning a lot than this program is definitely for you!”
Erin Kramer, California, USA
One of the great things about our program is that the founder, Ben Kersen still teaches numerous segments of the program. Click here to read Ben’s full bio. His instruction is supplemented by a great staff with so much to offer. Some of Ben’s key instructors include:
Heather Millard is Ben’s senior instructor and has been working for Ben for over 10 years. She has also been an active competitor in the German dog sport of Schutzhund during this time. Click here to read Heather’s full bio.
Nancy Noden is Ben’s wife and has been working with him since 1989. She has a strong teaching background with a degree in music education and Post Degree Professional Program in Education.
Krista Barnabe has worked with Ben part-time since 1998. In addition to working with the Wonderdogs, she runs a very busy grooming company.
Rob Moore is from a small town in Manitoba. Growing up, he had a very strong athletics background and has been a dog fanatic for years. Since joining Wonderdogs, he has been instrumental in helping Ben teach his group session, individual instruction and professional dog trainers program. Rob has also been operating his own doggy daycare and overnight dog boarding service. He has a loyal clientele for his ever-popular Wild Wednesdays and Fun Fridays dog outings.
We have a network of over 400 graduates worldwide and offer unlimited free follow up for all of them! Click here to read more.
Over 90% of students work with dogs in some capacity upon graduation whether it be volunteering at a local shelter or building their own successful business.
Graduates of our program will have all the skills and information needed to start their own business upon completion of our Professional Dog Trainers Program. As this is where you will have the greatest freedom and income potential, it is our hope that graduates strike out on their own. We do, however we realize that not everyone will take this path. We have dog training companies from across the country contact us on a regular basis looking to hire graduates of our program. While we do not guarantee job placement, you will have first dibs on these opportunities as they come up. Click here to read more.
There is always room for someone who is great at what they do. If you have the skills to work with people and you can train their dogs better and faster than the next trainer, you will always have work. And training is only one area that you can pursue. The course covers many other options to start you on your new career path such as dog sitting and walking, trick and Frisbee entertainment and dogs for movies and TV. Talk to graduates who have completed our program if this is a concern to you – you will find what they have to say very inspirational!
The dog training industry is bigger and more diverse than ever! For a complete list of jobs for working dogs click here.
We are very fortunate to have use of many beautiful and scenic training venues through the municipality of CRD and Saanich Parks. Click here to view the locations of Layritz Park and the Saanich Fairgrounds, where we spend the majority of our time. We also go on weekly field trips to many other beautiful settings.. Imagine going for a class in one of Victoria’s breathtaking provincial parks with lush forest all around you. We also go on excursions to high distraction areas such as downtown Victoria, public beaches and off-leash dog areas.
Not at this time. The course was designed by Ben and he believes in a hands-on approach to teaching which is why he you will still see him out on the field and in the classroom! This is one of the things that makes our course unique and invaluable.
Every year we have students come from all over the world to attend our program. Location obviously wasn’t the reason they chose this school – they picked it because they felt it was the one that would best prepare them for their new career.
If attending our on-site program is not an option for you, you may want to consider our correspondence program.
Most days are divided up into working with the dogs in the mornings and theory, guest speakers and sometimes working with the dogs again in the afternoon. Also, for four weeks of the program, you will be observing and assisting in teaching a group training class full of novice owners and dogs.
Yes, there is occasionally diverse work available for students including office work, yard maintenance, painting etc. as well as dog boarding and walking. Work is available in the evenings and on weekends.
QUESTIONS TO ASK STUDENTS OR GRADUATES
- What country are you from?
- How many schools did you research before choosing this one?
- Why did you choose this school?
- Is this school eligible for government loans and grants?
- How many students were in your class? What was the ratio of instructors to students?
- Did everyone in your class graduate and were they all happy?
- Were you happy with the instructors and guest speakers?
- Was there more than one instructor, and were there guest speakers specializing in different areas of dog training such as police, herding dogs etc.
- Does the founder of the school actually teach and if so, what hours?
- Was it a fun and challenging learning environment?
- Was each day productive or was there wasted time?
- Are you making a good living working with dogs now?
- Are you working as an employee or do you own your own business?
- Were all promises kept? (ie. All curriculum covered in depth)
- Was the learning environment clean and quiet?
- Is this school government accredited and why is this important to you?
- Does the school require that you assist in cleaning kennels and brushing dogs for a few hours daily as part of your “education”?
- Upon graduation of the program, are you officially certified as a professional dog trainer and is your certification recognized with the Private Post Secondary Education commission or government agency in your area?