The Association of Professional Dog Trainers


2014 Canine Social and Psychological Development

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This course is now FULL. Registrations are limited to Auditors only. Full students may not register and no CEU credits will be provided.

Start Date: July 01, 2014
End Date: August 04, 2014
Cost: $300.00 for APDT Members
$399.00 for Non-APDT Members
$150.00 for APDT Members - AUDIT ONLY (what's this?)
$200.00 for Non-APDT Members - AUDIT ONLY (what's this?)
Subject(s): Animal Learning, Behavior (Canine, Other Species), Business
Instructor(s): Gail Fisher
Registration: Purchase Online

Course Details

Course Schedule & Details

For all course details, including schedule, homework assignments, deadlines, and more View Full Course Syllabus

Description: The study of important times in a dog's life when intrinsic and extrinsic influences have the greatest impact on a dog's social and psychological development to maximize an individual's genetic potential. These include studying physical parameters, the development of body language, bonding, socialization, pack and play behavior, species-specific discipline, and normal behavioral changes throughout the dog's life. The course also covers puppy selection procedures designed to evaluate the temperament and personality of puppies for successful placement, and developing a puppy class curriculum.

View recorded lectures, participate in online discussion, & submit homework assignments at your convenience, regardless of schedule or time zone. Full Students must complete assignments by weekly deadlines. Auditing students do not have deadlines.

Learning Outcomes: Attendees of this course can expect to:

  1. Define the critical and sensitive periods of development of the dog, from birth to maturity.
  2. Describe the parameters, characteristics and impact of each period with strategies for a dog reaching its genetic potential.
  3. Discuss Nature versus Nurture:  Identify the intrinsic and extrinsic influences on a dog's development—learned versus inherent behaviors, and the impact of the environment.
  4. Perform Puppy Aptitude/Temperament Assessments to evaluate an individual puppy's inherent temperament and suitability for specific placement (family pet; special needs assistance; competitive dog sports, etc.)
  5. Evaluate behavioral issues from the perspective of critical period deficiencies, and discuss strategies to overcome them.
  6. Develop a curriculum for teaching puppy classes for ages 8 to 16 weeks.

Course Evaluation & Completion: will be determined based on but not limited to:

  1. On-time completion of all required homework assignments.
  2. Participation, attitude, enthusiasm, and productivity.
  3. Grammar, punctuation, clarity, and efficacy of written discussions and assignments.
  4. Meeting assignment guidelines or criteria provided by instructor.

Level of Knowledge: Attendees are expected to:

  1. Have an interest in learning about the critical stages in the dog's life, their influence on future behavior, and ways to maximize a dog's genetic potential.
  2. Have any level of skill, experience, or knowledge – from novice to expert – in any other topic relating to dogs

Class Size: 20 full students / unlimited audit students

Recommended Course Materials:

  • THE NEW KNOWLEDGE OF DOG BEHAVIOR by Clarence Pfaffenberger, Dogwise Classics, 2001 (originally published by Howell Book House, 1963).
  • GENETICS AND THE SOCIAL BEHAVIOR OF THE DOG by John Paul Scott and John Fuller (this book will not be assigned for reading in this course, but is strongly recommended as a resource to have on your self)

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

  • CCPDT: 20 CEUs
  • IAABC: 20 CEUs
  • IACP: 20 CEUs
  • KPA: 20 CEUs

Instructor Biography

Gail Fisher

With over 40 years professional experience, Gail's background in dogs covers virtually all aspects of the field. A pioneer in many aspects of dog training, education and behavior, Gail developed the first University program for dog trainers and instructors in the world, a two-year certificate course, which she taught at the University of New Hampshire. Through her All Dogs Academy, she has continuously provided education and training for instructors and trainers for over 30 years. In 1976 Gail pioneered puppy classes for puppies as young as eight weeks. In 1993, she opened All Dogs Gym, pioneering the field of multi-dog interactive daycare. She founded and built All Dogs Gym, which is the largest dog activity center in the Northeast and one of the largest all-clicker-training programs in the country.

Gail is a past Board Member and President of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). Gail's commitment to learning and sharing knowledge benefits dog owners, professionals and the dogs themselves. Her latest book, THE THINKING DOG—Crossover to Clicker Training is the quintessential manual for dog trainers interested in clicker training. She is also author of two award-winning books, training manuals, countless articles in major dog publications, and a weekly newspaper column. Gail's programs and seminars have earned her acclaim as an International presenter.

Additional Information

APDT Chronicle of the Dog

Chronicile of the Dog

The quarterly APDT Chronicle of the Dog keeps APDT members abreast of contemporary pet dog training techniques and provides a lively forum for discussion of dog training and behavior issues.

Annual Conference

Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show


Date: Oct. 18-21, 2017
Location: Richmond, VA.

Richmond Marriott.
Richmond, VA.

APDT Foundation

The corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The purpose of the foundation is to raise funds for scientific research and of education  of dog trainers.

Visit Foundation website

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