Dog Walking Academy Curriculum
Everything you need to know to walk dogs safely and with confidence
We’ve set the bar with our comprehensive curriculum for the modern professional dog walker
Get all your questions answered:
Why does he do that?
Get the lowdown on perplexing dog behavior, from humping and hackles to aggression in all of its various forms.
How can I stop that behavior?
Learn science-based, humane ways to end pulling on leash, stop the barking and lunging at other dogs, and all manner of other unwanted canine antics.
Is that safe?
From troubling dog-dog interactions to walking equipment choices to transportation questions, our course will boost your understanding and confidence.
Can I really make a living walking dogs?
Let us answer that one right now: Yes! We’ll cover all your business questions, from how to get started to what to charge to how to get more clients.
What you’ll learn at the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy
How dogs think and learn
Understanding how dogs’ minds are similar to and different from our own lets us set aside common misperceptions to more effectively mold canine behavior and make walks easier and safer.
Canine ritualization and body language
Learning to read the complex and often subtle language dogs use to communicate with each other and with us takes the guesswork out of working with dogs, minimizing misreads and counter-productive responses.
You’ll learn what aggression is—and isn’t—and how to spot it early to avoid unwanted incidents between dogs or toward yourself or other humans. You’ll also learn the safest, most effective ways to break up a dog fight.
Screening & group composition
Which dogs you walk makes all the difference in how enjoyable, safe, and stress-free your walks will be. Learn how to effectively screen for the dogs who are the right fit for you—and for each other when offering group walks.
Walk management and basic training
Learn tricks for keeping your walks safe, calm, and fun. You’ll learn how to handle everything from pulling on leash to coming when called, and from leash reactivity to resource guarding—and everything in between. We’ll also discuss sharing park, trail, and sidewalk space with other dogs and people outside of our control.
Canine first aid and emergency planning
As part of the course you’ll become canine first aid certified. You’ll also learn step-by-step protocols for all the types of emergencies that can arise during a dog walk—as well as how to avoid them.
Car manners and safety
We’ll discuss best vehicles and safest restraint systems, as well as how to avoid frustrating, distracting dog behavior during transport, like whining and barking, redirected barrier frustration, space guarding, and car sickness.
Running a successful dog walking business
There’s more to a successful dog walking business than walking dogs. At the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy, you’ll benefit from dog business advice from the leading business consultancy in the industry. Learn how to set up a legal business, choose your rates and set strong policies, market yourself, manage client intake, and build a financially sustainable business you can rely on.
Who is the DWA Curriculum Designed For?
Our curriculum is designed for serious dog pros of all experience levels
Seasoned dog walker?
We’ll honor what you know, incorporating your rich experience and building on it to serve your needs.
Brand new to professional dog walking?
Enjoy a supportive environment designed to get you up to speed, and up and running with confidence.
All adult ages welcomed.
Our graduates span from 20-somethings pursuing a first career to mid-life career changers to seniors seeking a gratifying retirement career.
Please note that the dogbiz Dog Walking Academy is a professional program for adults 18 and older.
Engaging presentations by skilled instructors
Interactive activities to apply new ideas and skills
Guided hands-on practice with live dogs
Via group field trip in
Via one-on-one field trip in
Plenty of Q & A time
Via Q&A periods during
Via Q&A calls during
“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, Jill’s Next Door, Delray Beach, FL
“I learned so much and am using that knowledge daily. After taking the class, I’m much more aware of group dynamics, body language, and recognizing potential issues before they become a problem. Kudos to you all at dogbiz! I hope the DWA becomes a requirement for all dog walkers someday.”
–Matt Williams, Family Dog Walking, Oakland, CA