The Principles of Dog Training 1

with Michael Ellis

Skill Level: Intermediate

Length: 15 Modules

Access Period: Unlimited

Price: $1,000.00 - $1,500.00

Interesting, but I'm not ready to enroll yet


Even the most advanced concepts in dog training require a solid foundation, and the Principles of Dog Training with Michael Ellis is going to give you that foundation.  The skills learned throughout this 16-week course are going to carry over into every aspect of your training program and handler relationship.  This course, which is now offered as both a self-study and as an interactive class, is for people who are looking to become dog trainers and want to learn from the best in the world.  Either version of the course will provide you with the necessary tools to become a successful dog trainer, but more information about interactive and self-study classes can also be found in the description and FAQ sections below if you're not sure which is best for you. 


The self-study class is always open for enrollment. Add the course to your watchlist if you'd like to receive an email notification when the next interactive class opens for enrollment.


This online course is modeled after Michael's two-week obedience intensive class at his school in northern California. The course content is comprised of footage from that class, as well as footage from multiple Leerburg DVDs and several trips Michael made to Leerburg.  Included in the appendix are three complete Leerburg videos: The Power of Training Dogs with Food, Advanced Concepts in Motivation, and Training the Recall.  These three videos will be available for the duration of the course.


The course details all the fundamentals of Michael's approach to obedience and the dog/handler relationship, and helps the trainer build the “toolbox” he/she will use throughout the training process.  It covers classical and operant conditioning, reward-based teaching systems, and the use of verbal markers for communication.  It also focuses on building behavior through luring, spatial pressure, “leash pressure,” and shaping, and we will also discuss the thoughtful introduction of aversives and the creation of motivation in your dog through productive play.  Additionally, it also covers the foundation for focused heeling and the entire progression of establishing the recall.


The Principles of Dog Training is now offered as both an interactive class and as a self-study class.  There are several differences between the two types of classes to be aware of before you enroll:


Interactive Class

The interactive class is offered several times a year and is designed for the class to proceed through the course material together, with an instructor leading discussions, answering questions, and critiquing individual student progress through the discussion forums, live chats, and student video uploading features.   Each week, a new module with additional course content will become available to the class, and students are given a practical demonstration or homework assignment.  These homework assignments will allow students to practice the skills learned throughout the week’s material, film a short video of themselves training, and upload it for Michael to critique.   The added benefit of watching your own videos after reading Michael's critique allows students to recognize the subtleties of dog training and perfect their technique.  Students will also have the opportunity to ask Michael questions in the weekly live chat.  If you are unable to attend a live chat, they will be recorded and posted in the course for students to review. 


Students who successfully complete an interactive class can claim credit for the class at Michael Ellis' school in California and use it as a prerequisite for any subsequent classes taken on-site at that location.


Self-Study Class

The self-study class is open for enrollment all year round.  The course content is exactly the same as the interactive class, but rather than working through the material on a set schedule, students will be able to complete the course at their own pace, with no time limits or due dates.  Students will be able to interact with each other by posting in the discussion forums, but will not have access to the interactive features such as live chats with the instructor and student video uploading. 


Students will not be able to claim the class as credit if they attend Michael Ellis' school in California.  This is an ideal choice for trainers who do not plan to physically travel to California, and who simply wish to complete the class to further their own training goals.


This course is for people who are looking to become dog trainers and want to learn from the best in the world. The course will give you the necessary tools to become a successful dog trainer.



Course Outline


"Michael is one of the top professional dog trainers in the world, not the United States, the World! In his promotional video for this course Michael explains this "16 Week Principles of Dog Training Course” is basically the same content he offers in his two week OBEDIENCE INTENSIVE course which is held at his SCHOOL FOR DOG TRAINERS, located in Santa Rosa, CA.

Michael makes the point that not everyone can afford to take two weeks off work, fly or drive to Santa Rosa and then pay hotel and restaurant bills plus miscellaneous travel expenses for two-plus weeks away from home. This on-line course solves that issue.

I would like to add, from my 50 years of experience attending weekend dog training seminars, on Monday morning I would only retain a small fraction of the material from those seminars. Maybe that has something to do with a “attention deficit disorder” who knows. But this situation is solved in our on-line course. Students have 16 weeks to absorb the material with almost unlimited review time.

What we see happening is students will take Michaels courses and when they see how great the course material is they then chose to make the leap and travel out to work personally with Michael in his school courses. By doing that they get the best of both worlds: they have the time to learn and review all the great course material, then if they chose to travel to Michaels School they get additional hands on experience to take their skills to a new level. There are a lot of people who have done exactly this and loved it. There are also students who have gone out to Michaels school and then turned around and took the on-line course (they love the ability to review the material, because they are not allowed to video tape at there school). "

- Ed Frawley on 03/02/2017


1.  When will the next Interactive class be offered?

Add the course to your watchlist in order to receive an email notification as soon as the next interactive class opens for registration.


2.  What's the difference between the self-study and interactive versions of this course?

The self-study version of this course is designed for a student to take the course on their own and work the way through the material at their own pace.  The course content is the same for both versions, but the interactive class has additional features that allow you to engage with the instructor by participating in weekly live chats and using the student video uploading feature to complete weekly training assignments.  Students will have the opportunity to ask questions during the live chat, and the instructor will be able to critique the training techniques demonstrated in the student videos.  Both versions include access to a discussion forum to interact with other students in the class, but only the interactive class will count as credit at Michael Ellis' school for dog trainers in California.


3.  Do I get credit for completing the online course if I plan to take classes at Michael Ellis' school for dog trainers in California?

If you complete the interactive class, then yes, you will receive credit equivalent to completing the Obedience Intensive on-site class at Michael Ellis' school in California.  This does not apply to the self-study class, however, so it is recommended you take the interactive class if you plan to take any future classes at Michael Ellis' school.  If you do not plan on taking classes in California, you can take either the self-study or the interactive class.


4.  What time are the weekly live chats?  What if I am unable to attend a live chat?

Weekly live chats are a feature specific to the interactive version of the class.  The instructor will try to find a time that works best for as many students in the class as possible, but if you miss or are unable to attend a live chat, a recording will be posted in the class within the next few days.  This allows students to view or go back and review each week's live chat discussion if they need to.

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