About the Program
The CPCFT program involves 4 units of study. Each unit takes six weeks to complete, and there is a three week period of time between the end of one unit and the start of the next to allow students to practice the new skills they have learned and consolidate their understanding of the new material. Upon completion of the 4 units of study, the student will be required to submit 3 case studies and sit for a comprehensive exam. The entire process typically takes approximately 12 months.
CPCFT Unit 1: Foundations, Anatomy, Physiology
Unit 1 focuses on the foundation knowledge that you will need as you embark on your learning pathway. In terms of learning goals, we will initially be familiarizing participants with the class format, including the technology that is incorporated throughout the course, and establishing common terminology and professional expectations. We will then focus on anatomy, palpating the bones and muscles that comprise the musculoskeletal system so that as participants transition to Unit 2 they will already have a thorough understanding of canine anatomy as it relates to conditioning, and the vocabulary needed to express their observations. You can view a sample chapter from Unit 1 here.
CPCFT Unit 2: Form, Training Strategies, Progressions
While participants are expected to have exceptional conditioning skills before applying for this certification, Unit 2 will challenge them to develop those skills even further. In this unit we will explore the intricacies of effective conditioning, including form, training strategies, linear and non-linear progression, choosing appropriate equipment, structure, gait and so much more! This unit is full of valuable information that will encourage you to treat each dog as an individual and consider all of your options when deciding which approach to conditioning is the best fit for each client. You can view a sample chapter from Unit 2 here.
CPCFT Unit 3: Building a Conditioning Plan
Unit 3 focuses on the skills and knowledge needed to build a successful conditioning practice. Participants will learn about documentation, foundation exercises and how to adapt or advance them, the SAID Principle, goal setting, addressing the needs of specific communities of dogs, building a conditioning plan and much more. Students will leave this unit confident in their ability to independently build a safe and effective conditioning plan that incorporates all the elements we have covered in the first three units. You can view a sample chapter from Unit 3 here.
CPCFT Unit 4: Challenges, Barriers, Business Strategies
In Unit 4, participants will turn their focus to meeting the needs of their future clients . Topics covered include how to work with challenging dogs, how to meet the needs of a diverse range of human clients, how to identify and address barriers to progression, how to provide effective feedback, how to mark photos in order to communicate more effectively with your clients, the advantages and challenges of different business models, and much more. This unit will culminate with a live Q & A with all instructors. You can view a sample chapter from Unit 4 here.
The Application Process
The first step on your journey to becoming a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer is to fill out the application form. Once you have submitted the application, it will be reviewed by the CPCFT instructors, who will then contact you via email to either let you know you are eligible, or to let you know you are not eligible at this time and what steps you could take to become eligible. If you are eligible, the email will also provide information about the registration process. Once you complete the registration, you are officially on your way to becoming a CPCFT!
As part of the summative evaluation, you will submit 3 case studies for dogs that you do not own. You must work with the dogs in person a minimum of six times over the course of at least six weeks. The sessions must be at least 30 minutes in length. As part of your case study submission package, you will be given a checklist of skills taught throughout the course that you are expected to demonstrate. All documentation will be submitted as a digital package. All case studies must be completed within eleven months of completing Unit 4 of the CPCFT program.
Your final exam will be completed after the case studies are submitted and feedback is provided. It must be submitted within 12 months of completing Unit 4. The exam will be an open resource, digital exam that tests both your knowledge and your ability to apply that knowledge.
For 2024, the tuition for the four series classes, inclusive of the case studies and exam, is $2900 USD. If you are accepted into the program, you will be asked to submit a non-refundable deposit of $500 to reserve your spot in the program. Two weeks before class starts, you will be sent an invoice which must be paid in full one week before your cohort’s start date.
Important course dates for each cohort can be found on the “Course Dates” page.