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CTDI logoCTDI logoBecome a
Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI)

eligible to be a Team Captain for the
All-Star Performance Dog Team (All-Star TC)


Now is the time… make your passion your life! There are two ways you can become a CTDI: by ordering your application packet and submitting your exams by mail, or by attending a weekend workshop.

Order your CTDI Intstructor Packet

Order the CTDI Instructor Application packet by mail.

This pack contains everything you need to become a successful instructor. It includes study material, curriculums, as well as the two exams (written and video) that you will need to submit to become fully certified. (There is no additional cost for submitting the test).

Attend a weekend Certification Workshop

Attend a weekend CTDI Certification Workshop taught by Kyra Sundance. Learn skills, and complete your exams live, instead of by video.

*The goal of the workshop is to teach you the skills you will need, and have you pass your certification test at the end of the weekend. An attendee who does not pass the certification at the workshop may resubmit their exam again later by mail at no additional cost.

What is a CTDI?

Do More With Your Dog!®, as the official sanctioning and organizing body for the sport of Dog Tricks, has established guidelines for instructor certification in order to ensure that standards of excellence are met when teaching the sport.

Certified Trick Dog Instructors may use the acronym CTDI after their name to indicate they have demonstrated the knowledge and hands-on training techniques applicable to this sport.


How do I get certified?

Application is open to anyone interested in promoting, teaching or training dog tricks.

Once you receive the instructional materials packet, study it at your own pace. When you are ready, submit your written exam and video— at no cost. (Exam examples shown near the bottom of this page). With a passing grade, you become a fully certified CTDI!

If the applicant does not qualifiy for certification, he or she may re-submit a test every four months at no additional cost (but think positive… you can do it!)

Other criterea: In addition to submitting the written and video exams, you must also agree to abide by a Code of Conduct (detailed at the bottom of this page). Before becoming fully certified, applicant must earn an "Intermediate Trick Dog" title on his/her own dog. (You can order your CTDI pack before you have earned your ITD title.)

What is included in the application packet?

    The CTDI pack contains everything you need to become a successful instructor. It includes training techniques study material, curriculums for teaching a successful class, and it also includes the two exams (written and video) that you will need to submit to become fully certified.

    1. "The Dog Tricks and Training Workbook" (includes 30 trick cards and a DVD)
    2. "Best of 101 Dog Tricks" (DVD)
    3. Instructional handbook including teaching advice and a detailed syllabus for a 7-week tricks class
    4. An application form
    5. A written exam
    6. Instructions for submitting the video portion of the test
    7. A list of guidelines on adhering to positive training techniques
    8. "Do More With Your Dog!®" messenger bag
    9. "Do More With Your Dog!®" wristband
    10. "Do More With Your Dog!®" Clicker
    11. "Do More With Your Dog!®" patch
    12. "Do More With Your Dog!®" dog bandana

When you get your instructor certification, you get:

  • A "Certified Trick Dog Instructor (CTDI)" certificate
  • The official title of CTDI added after your name
  • Website listing as a certified instructor
  • Referrals for students looking for certified instructors or seminar leaders
  • Order form to order student packets at a discount for resale to your students
  • Ongoing support and free, confidential responses to your dog training questions
  • Newsletter informing you of events and new products
  • When your students submit a "Trick Dog" title application form, the CTDI earns credits which can be used to get free books, DVDs, collar charms, and other merchandise from the company store.
  • Eligibility to be an All-Star Performance Dog Team team captain

Why is Trick Training Useful?

Trick training not only provides physical and mental challenges for the dog; it also provides a rewarding experience for the owner, and encourages a relationship based upon clear communication and positive reinforcement training methods.

The process of teaching dog tricks puts into play the foundational concepts and techniques of animal training: operant conditioning, marker training, consistency, timing, and motivation. In teaching tricks, we get to practice these techniques and immediately see the results. Each new trick presents a unique challenge that we can address with creativity and the insight of our previous experience.


What is on the written test?

The written test consists of 25 short essay questions contained within four sections. The questions do not have definitive correct answers, but rather they provide an opportunity for you to convey your knowledge and skill set. We are looking for your abilty to convey information and provide helpful guidance to real-world training challenges. Below are sample questions from each of the four sections.

Section 1: How would you handle the following training problems?
  Sample Question: When teaching "take a "bow," my dog keeps lying down instead of bowing.
Section 2: Your personal training style
  Sample Question: Have you ever worked with a dog who wasn’t food motivated?
What happened?
Section 3: People skills
  Sample Question: When you see an owner becoming frustrated, what do you do?
Section 4: Professionalism
  Sample Question: What training gear do you never leave the house without?

What will be asked of me in the video portion of the test?

Instructor must submit a video of himself/herself showing the specific skills outlined below. Items 2 and 3 ask you to show how you would teach a trick to a student. You may have a student in the video, or you may pretend the camera is the student, and explain your instructions to the camera. You should be demonstrating with a dog.

  1. Demonstrate your dog performing 5 tricks of an intermediate or higher skill level (tricks and skill level listed in the 101 Dog Tricks book).

  2. Choose 3 of the tricks listed below, and demonstrate how you would teach these tricks to your student.
    • Shake Hands
    • Roll Over
    • Take a Bow
    • Say Your Prayers
    • Figure-8’s

  3. Choose 1 of the tricks listed below, and demonstrate how you would teach this trick to your student by using a clicker or reward marker. Please assume the student has already charged up the clicker/reward marker.
    • Cover Your Eyes
    • Soccer
    • Hold an Object

Sample video: submitted by Tricia Waples CTDI


The conduct of each certified Trick Dog Instructor reflects on the certifying body as a whole, and for that reason we strive to have every instructor using effective and humane training methods as recognized by our industry. We recognize that you may be involved in training dogs for competition or as working dogs, and may use a variety of training methods in these endeavors. This code of conduct applies to your training specific to dog tricks classes.

Dogs will be trained through positive reinforcement methods of praise, toys, and food. In general, positive punishment and compulsion techniques are not appropriate for dog tricks classes. Prong collars and choke chains are not encouraged unless the owner is physically unable to control the dog. Luring and shaping methods are preferred over physically modeling the dog into position. Dogs should not be forced into situations where they become fearful, such as going into an agility tunnel, or standing near a bigger dog.

Termination of Certification
An instructor’s certification may be terminated if the instructor is convicted of animal cruelty charges, or is determined to be using training techniques that are harmful to the dog

Goals of a Trick Dog Instructor

• Encourage dog owners to spend time and participate in activities with their dogs, which will strengthen the human/canine bond and thus improve lifelong relationships
• Promote having fun with dogs through trick training
• Lay a lifelong foundation of learning and training for dog and owner
• Encourage and share information with other dog trainers, in order to help us all become better trainers

Code of Ethics

• I am dedicated to training dogs, and training owners to train their dogs, for the enjoyment of dog, owner, and audience.
• I will at all times act in the interest of the dog.
• I will keep the dogs in an environment and under a regime that as far as is possible ensures the well being of the dog.
• Advertising of my dog training services will be as factual as possible. Misleading exaggerations or unfounded implications of superiority will not be used.
• I will refrain from knowingly making unfair or untrue statements about the dogs or practices of others.
• I train with humane, motivational, and non-violent methods.
• I believe discipline should be fair and consistent, and never angry or punitive.
• I am dedicated to continually educating myself in all aspects of training dogs.



There are two ways you can become a CTDI.

Order your CTDI Intstructor Packet

Attend a weekend Certification Workshop





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