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Become a Certified Dog Walker

Attend the original Dog Walking Academy course live in San Francisco

You want to enjoy a stable, profitable dog walking business. We want to help you make that happen.

We’ve set the bar for professional dog walker training and certification since we created the first ever course for dog walkers—the dogtec Dog Walking Academy—in 2004, right here in the SF Bay Area.

We invite you to become a certified dog walker through the original dog walking training and certification course.

You get

  • Expert dog walking training
  • Expert dog walking business tips
  • Hands-on San Francisco dog walking fieldtrip
  • Professional dog walking certification
  • Your dog behavior questions answered
  • Your business challenges solved
  • Course presentation materials
  • The Business of Dog Walking training course book

Start a new career

Trade in your desk and boss and coworkers and say goodbye to the office or Zoom in favor of walking dogs in our beautiful SF Bay Area.

Grow your business

Take your current dog walking business to a new level with expanded business confidence and expert insights into dog behavior and training.

Get the best staff

Grow your dog training business with structured, ongoing support from dogbiz coaches and a supportive community of +R trainers as a member of our group coaching program.

The original dogtec Dog Walking Academy is the most complete dog walking training and certification course available in the SF Bay Area or anywhere. If you’re serious about professional dog walking certification, this is the only class to take.

Dog Behavior
Eye-opening lessons in canine learning theory, how to read canine body language, and canine aggression and behavior issues will put to rest all your “Why do they do that?” mysteries.

Walk Management & Training
Time spent together looking at walk management strategies, group handling, and basic dog training for dog walkers will answer all the questions you have about how to stop or change a particular behavior or solve a walking problem.

You’ll learn how to train reliable basic training cues like sit and wait, polite leash walking, and coming when called. You’ll get step-by-step instruction on handling behavior issues, too, like jumping on you or other trail users, lunging, barking, or growling at other dogs while on leash, dogs not getting along in your walking group, and dogs causing trouble in your vehicle. You’ll also master the safest and easiest way to hold and wrangle all those leashes.

Walk Safety
Feel safe, knowing you know what to do no matter what the day throws at you. You’ll earn your Canine 1st Aid certificate, learn step-by-step emergency protocols, and learn how to predict and avoid common emergency situations and triggers.

Hands-On Fieldtrip
Enjoy a fun, supportive learning experience in a real-world San Francisco dog walking setting. Try out all you’ve learned, show off your skills or master new ones, ask your burning questions, and build your confidence walking dogs in our challenging Bay Area environment.

The Business of Dog Walking
Learn all the top dog walking business tips from the industry expert who created the first ever dog walking training and certification course right here in the SF Bay Area—and literally wrote the book on how to run a successful dog walking business.

Whether you’re starting your dog walking business or growing your existing one, you’ll get key business tips in all areas of your business, from setting (or raising) your rates and protecting your revenue with the most modern policies and practices, to marketing for the best clients and creating a smooth onboarding process for both your human and dog clients. And if you’ve got specific business questions, this will be your chance to ask them.

Staff Training
Got staff you want to confidently rely on and brag to potential clients about? Send them to the original Dog Walking Academy to become certified dog walkers! Many of our graduates send their staff walkers through our certification training course. They love knowing—and bragging—that their team has been through the best dog walking training and certification course in the SF Bay Area. (You have the option of your staff skipping the business portion of our curriculum.)

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Why attend the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy​

Love what you do

Whether you’re just starting as a dog walker or have been walking dogs for a decade, we’ll help you get the most from every moment. Walk with confidence and ease, enjoy safe control of your dogs, and let go of your business worries.

Bypass business hassles & make more money

Learn how to sidestep and fix the common start-up, marketing, rate, and policy mistakes that keep dog walkers from making a strong, reliable living walking dogs. Why learn from your own mistakes if you don’t have to, or make less money than you could?

Solve perplexing dog problems

Ever wondered why dogs do what they do? Found yourself unable to get a dog to start or stop doing something? Struggled with a stressful behavior problem? You’ll leave class with answers and solutions to all your canine dilemmas.

Photo of woman holding tennis ball next to a rier with three dogs

Set yourself apart

Stand out to potential clients, referral sources, or employers by investing in the “Harvard” of dog walking schools. Your CPDW (Certificate in Professional Dog Walking) seal proclaims your professionalism and commitment to the best possible care of the dogs entrusted to you.

Maximize safety

From canine first aid/ CPR to emergency protocols and understanding how to avoid and break up dog fights, arm yourself with the understanding, skills, and confidence to handle anything that comes your way.

Be a pro

In an unregulated industry, anyone can be a dog walker. But to be a professional dog walker requires professional education and training. We’ve continued to set the bar for dog walking education since we launched the first class of its kind in 2004.

What our grads say

Photo of woman standing in the middle of a field with 7 dogs on leash

“This course has inspired me to breathe new life into something I’ve been doing for years, and take it to the next level. I absolutely recommend the DWA to experienced and inexperienced dog walkers.” 
–Sara Munro
Santa Barbara, CA

Picture of contributor Nick Carrel

“I was determined to follow my passion and work with dogs… but it wasn’t until the Dog Walking Academy that I felt confident to turn my passion in to a true endeavor.” 
–Nick Carrel
San Francisco, CA

Contributor Glynnis and her frenchie

“The DWA was a life-altering experience for me. You provided me with more ‘ah-ha’ moments in those three days than a lifetime with dogs.”
– Glynis Dewing
Pacifica, CA

Photo of contributor Jill with her dog

“There is so much to learn in this business, and your program covered everything! You gave me the knowledge and confidence to start my own dream business.”
–Jill Merjeski
Delray Beach, FL

Looking to start a dog walking business or elevate your current one?

Ready to take dog walking—and your confidence—to a new level?

Become a Certified Dog Walker.

Not in the California Bay Area? Attend the Dog Walking Academy online from the comfort of your home!