Get CEUs, level up your dog training skills at the last Advanced Academy


It’s the end of an era.

When we started AnimalSense Academy in 2008 , the dream was to make working with dogs accessible to anyone and everyone, make the world a better place for animals through humane-based, research-based methodology, and create a community around both of those things. Over the years since Academy opened its doors, we collectively taught thousands of classes, trained tens of thousands of dogs, changed our name to CanineLink, and, finally, to FetchFind Academy.  I met so many smart, funny, fantastic people through the Academy programs that it leaves me speechless when I sit down to think about it.

But good things do sometimes come to an end (if only to make way for even better things). It is with a heavy, but proud, heart that I let you know the final FetchFind Academy Advanced Training program will happen this spring. This will be the last opportunity for you or your employees to take this comprehensive training program in its current form.

What you’ll get:

  • 20 weeks of hands on classroom and hands on learning from Chicago’s top dog training and behavior experts
  • Science based, positive reinforcement
  • Hands-on experience with a variety of demo dogs
  • Comprehensive training in handling and treating behavior problems, counseling clients, teaching and modifying behavior

We’ve added an extra month to the beginning of the program so that even if you haven’t been through our Essentials program, don’t have formal dog training experience, or if it’s been a while since you were in the classroom, you can still be ready to go out and get a position as a professional dog trainer by September 2018.

For business owners who want to add another revenue stream, this is the perfect opportunity to educate your best employee(s) and turn them into dog trainers.

If you’re already a dog trainer, but want to increase your skill level and get valuable continuing education credits, you’ll get 30 CEUs (certified through APDT) and connections throughout the dog training community. Many of our alumni obtained positions at boutique and multi-location training facilities immediately after graduation from Academy, have gone on to become CPDT-KA, and even started their own dog training companies!

Advanced Academy runs April 11 through August 29, 2018 (Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:30 pm).

Want to learn more? Contact Lynda Lobo at, and she can answer all of your questions.

Finally, there are only 4 spots left, so don’t delay.

All the best,

Jamie Sig Trans - First Only


Where do I begin? Launching your successful career with animals

pet careers

By Betsy Lane, MA, Education and FetchFind Academy Instructor

You want a career working with animals, but how do you make that happen? What training do you need, and where can you get it? Where do you even begin?

Let’s get started by checking out three great options for very different animal-related careers: PetSmart Grooming Academy (for groomers), the Penn-Foster Career School (for veterinary assistants), and FetchFind Academy (for dog trainers).

If your ultimate goal is to be a dog groomer, be sure to check out the PetSmart Grooming Academy. The in-person training offered in this industry-leading program is rigorous and thorough, virtually guaranteeing you’ll graduate feeling prepared and confident as a groomer—whether you’re launching your first career or making a career change. Students and teachers alike have high praise for the program’s curriculum, its focus on safety, and the supportive training environment. (See this blog’s earlier posts for interviews with a trainer and two students.)

Maybe you aspire to working as a veterinary assistant. If so, don’t miss the Penn-Foster Career School’s online veterinary assistant program—one of just three such programs approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). Why does that matter? Because a whopping 87% of employers reported being more likely to hire a graduate of a NAVTA-approved Veterinary Assistant program! Penn-Foster offers an award-winning staff and a convenient combination of self-paced online training and hands-on training at the veterinary clinic of your choice.

If you’ve set your sights on becoming a dog trainer—either teaching group classes, training dogs in a shelter or daycare environment, or working one-on-one with private clients—you need to know about FetchFind. Providing both online and in-person courses, FetchFind’s curriculum was developed by professional dog trainers working in diverse dog-training settings. You’ll build a strong foundation in FetchFind’s online Behavior Fundamentals course, then increase your skills and expertise via in-person courses such as Essential Training Skills and Advanced Academy. The program provides a thorough education in theories and techniques supported by current animal behavior research—and proven through decades of experience among FetchFind’s faculty and staff.

Ready to begin? Just pick a path, do some research, and start your journey today! Your dream career is out there. Go fetch it!

Learn more at


Dog training, expectations and me


By Bill Mayeroff

When I started on my FetchFind Academy journey a bit over a year ago, I was pretty excited. I was going to learn everything about dogs and dog behavior and become a great dog trainer and every day of my life would be amazing because all I’d be doing would be training dogs.

I bored my friends to tears talking about it at first. But I just couldn’t stop myself. I was so excited that I had to talk about dog training all the time.

But as I went through the program, I began to wonder if I hadn’t built up dog training to mythical proportions. Was I getting too excited? Would all my initial excitement eventually lead to horrible disappointment that would cause me to (again) reevaluate what I was doing with my life? Could dog training really live up to the expectations I had built up in my head?

Well, friends, I can safely say that the answer is yes. Yes, dog training has and continues to live up to every expectation I’ve had. It’s been challenging. It’s been hard. It’s been fulfilling. It’s been amazing.

Two recent class sessions were spent with each student leading portions of a mock group class. That, folks, was as challenging as anything I’ve ever done. I had to teach a group of dogs some behaviors and talk authoritatively to them about dog behavior. I was a nervous wreck, but my teachers said it didn’t show. And when I was done, it felt fantastic.

That’s when I realized that dog training was indeed living up to the expectations I had created for it. Since I started at FetchFind, all I wanted was to be like the amazing trainers I got to see and learn from every week. I wanted to do the thing they do every day. And there I was, doing it in front of them and doing it well.

That’s a pretty cool feeling. And now that I’ve had it – and now that I have a little experience teaching a private client – I can safely say that it does not dissipate the more I do it. In fact, the more I actually train dogs, the more amazing it feels and the more I know it’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. 

So here I am. I finish the FetchFind Academy program in a few short weeks. It’s becoming real, guys. And for the first time in a while, I’m excited, rather than terrified, for what my near future has in store. 


Start your own dog training journey with Behavior Fundamentals Online!


Look at these two handsome gents.

After five years as a newspaper reporter in western Illinois and two more as a freelancer in Chicago, Bill Mayeroff‘s life has gone to the dogs in the best way possible. These days, Bill lives in Chicago with his terrier mix, Chester, and works at a small, no-kill animal shelter while he studies to be a professional dog trainer at FetchFind Academy. Bill also blogs about his two favorite things – dogs and beer – at Pints and Pups. 

My first client!

Here I am at One Tail at a Time, with fellow trainer-in-training Brian Huebner. 

By Bill Mayeroff

When I started studying at FetchFind Academy just about a year ago, it seemed like it would be forever before I actually started training dogs. There was so much to learn. I was being taught by so many fantastic dog trainers who I admired a great deal back then, and even more so now. 

But I’m actually doing it. I’m actually going to be training dogs. 

It’s hard to believe, but I have my first clients. Just before Labor Day, an old friend asked if I could watch the two dogs she and her husband have over the holiday weekend. On top of that, she mentioned she would be interested in having someone work with them on their leash walking while they were gone. 

There was my opportunity. I was busy over the holiday weekend, but I said if she wanted, I could work with her dogs when she and her husband got back. I didn’t expect her to, but she agreed. 

And just like that, I had my first client.

But it was just the start. Now that she’d officially asked me to work with her dogs, my work was just starting. I had to meet her dogs and really figure out what she wanted to get out of me working with them. I had to put together a lesson plan. We had to work out a schedule. 

But it all worked out and everything is all set up. The first lesson is going to be October 14 and I’m a fantastic mix of excited and terrified. This is exactly what I want to do, but that’s scary. This is the first time I’ll be teaching a dog (other than mine) on my own. It’s a daunting task. 

In spite of that, however, I’m ready. I have a good lesson plan. I’m not trying to do anything complicated or beyond my abilities. And I know if I need advice, I have a wonderful community of dog training pros at FetchFind I can call on. 

That’s honestly the best part about being part of the FetchFind world. It’s a community. We have each other’s backs. And while my teachers won’t be there to watch me as I train my friend’s dogs, the things they have taught me and are still teaching me will guide me every step of the way. 

So even though I ask you to wish me luck with my first clients, deep down, I’m confident I don’t need it. I know I’m ready for this. 

And that might just be the best feeling of all. 


Look at these two handsome gents.

After five years as a newspaper reporter in western Illinois and two more as a freelancer in Chicago, Bill Mayeroff‘s life has gone to the dogs in the best way possible. These days, Bill lives in Chicago with his terrier mix, Chester, and works at a small, no-kill animal shelter while he studies to be a professional dog trainer at FetchFind Academy. Bill also blogs about his two favorite things – dogs and beer – at Pints and Pups. 

How I became a dog trainer

NancyBy Nancy Paolucci

One of my favorite activities at the lake is to run around it first thing in the morning. It’s quiet, there are very few cars, and it’s a great way to start my day. However, I am fully aware that I am always scanning to make sure I won’t be ambushed by an off leash dog. This happens often because many people don’t have fences and just let their dogs out in their yards.

I have a confession – I am a dog trainer and I am afraid of off leash dogs.

Maybe afraid isn’t the right word, but I am definitely cautious and always have been. I walked to school every day in grade school and can remember the wave of fear that came over me when I would see a dog coming my way. So how did I become a dog trainer, who has three dogs and at times are surrounded by more, often very large dogs like malamutes?

It all started with two cats. I moved in with my husband and he had two amazing “dog” cats. You know, the friendly ones, who come when called, love to be petted and were very social. They were amazing brothers and when they both died within months of each other we knew we would never find such awesome cats again. Plus I am very allergic, so we decided on a dog for our next family member.

That’s when my life’s path changed and I didn’t even know it!

Abby, a setter mix, came to us and stole my heart. She’s the sweetest dog you will meet, but Abby came with some baggage in the form of anxiety – something I didn’t realize could happen to dogs.

After adding another setter to our family a few months later, I started training them and reading books by Pat Miller and Patricia McConnell. I couldn’t get enough! I knew I wanted to be a dog trainer, but how? I looked into all of the online programs and some local in person courses. I reached out and had many conversations with a local trainer who started her own program and over the next year attended a number of her open houses. It’s a big decision to change where you are going in life and it took me a couple of years to actually make it happen, but the first day of class at FetchFind Academy, I knew I was in the right place for me. I have to remind myself every day that I am a DOG TRAINER;  it doesn’t seem real!

As my breadth of knowledge continues to grow, that fear of dogs begins to change into more of a cautious respect. My family continues to laugh and wonder how the little girl who was afraid of dogs now spends her life being surrounded by them. This is the place I am meant to be and I couldn’t be happier.