Raising the standard in the dog training profession with comprehensive education in training, behavior, behavior modification and counseling.

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The mission of Training Your Best Friend Dog Training Academy is to provide a world-class education in science-based dog training, a goal we believe is best achieved through hands-on experience with real-life behavior modification cases and individual tutoring in both training techniques and client counseling.

If you are serious about becoming a Dog trainer and want work with one of the top Professional Dog Trainer in the area, Please fill out our application online with  your resume along with 3 recommendations including your veterinarian. Mail to:

Training Your Best Friend

2408 Trusty Trail Raleigh NC 27615

Only serious inquiries please..

We are looking for a few serious applicants to work for our company only. Applicants will sign a non compete agreement.

Course Overview

Dogs matter. They have the right to be trained so they are integrated into their human families, to feel safe, to have rich lives, to experience joy, and to engage in their normal behavior patterns. The families of dogs have the right to competent, professional, fully educated and ethical practitioners. They have a right to only ever grant consent to dog training, behavior management and modification practices if they are fully informed of potential side effects, and the availability of alternative, less invasive means to achieve their goals for their pets.

Training Your Best Friend are the champions of all these rights. We teach dogs, we coach the families of dogs, we achieve outcomes kindly and efficiently, and we act as translators between the two cultures. We are about dogs.

Topics Covered in Lectures

  • Introduction/Philosophy
  • Animal Learning
  • Dog Training
  • Obedience Behaviors
  • Class Teaching
  • Dog Behavior
  • Behavior Problems
  • Fear and Aggression
  • Client Counseling
  • History of Dog Training
  • Dog Breeds
  • Critical Thinking
  • Psychotropic Medications

Training Your Best Friend Internship Academy is a unique,12 month internship program for anyone striving for excellence in science-based pet dog training and professional client consultation.

Mission and Philosophy

The Academy exists to provide a comprehensive, evidence-based, rigorous curriculum on aversives-free pet dog training, behavior and behavior change so that dogs:

  1. are not relinquished to shelters and rescues due to behavior problems
  2. are integrated into families and not relegated to yards, garages or kennels
  3. are socialized, have high quality of life, enriched environments, and a sense of safety
  4. are understood by their human families and allowed to engage in species-normal behavior, empowered to access reinforcers (e.g. attention, play, food, toys, smells etc.) in ways that are acceptable in a human environment,

so that dog trainers:

  1. are fully trained and mentored in an ethical and evidence-based standard of care
  2. have long, safe, fulfilling careers
  3. are supported and provided a safe environment to learn, grow and flourish,

and so that dogs’ families:

  1. can enjoy the richest possible relationship with their dogs
  2. are empowered to manage and modify their dogs’ behavior
  3. understand the nature and needs of their dogs.

Code of Conduct

To achieve this mission, students, staff and graduates of The Academy (“members of The Academy”) willingly adhere to the highest professional standards befitting a complex, helping profession. These include:

I.   Aversives-Free Training Philosophy
While The Academy recognizes that it is still legal in most jurisdictions to use P+ and R- tools and techniques on dogs, there is ample evidence in both the pure and applied literature that training, dog wrangling and behavior modification can be accomplished without the use of aversive stimuli and their attendant side effects, impact on dog welfare and ethical considerations. Students, staff and graduates of The Academy practice and endorse training, dog wrangling and behavior modification that does not employ pain, fear, startle, electric shock, intimidation, strangulation etc.


II.   Evidence-Based Practice and Intellectual Integrity
Competence at dog training, behavior modification and effective skill-building in owners relies on a thorough knowledge of the principles of animal behavior, and of operant and classical conditioning, as well as their efficient application in pet dog settings. Furthermore, the dog owning public is best protected as consumers of dog training and behavior modification services if questions of motivation and side-effects are transparent. Competence and transparency are therefore critical to our work. Obfuscation of means of motivation that is based either on poor knowledge of animal learning or deliberate attempts to hide or re-brand techniques and tools is unacceptable. Misrepresenting to clients, other professionals or the public how training and behavior modification work is dishonest and unethical practice.

Our Founder

C FChristie Fernandez is an expert dog trainer, Dog Behavior Expert, Speaker, and Pit Bull Advocate. She Specializes in behavioral problems such as aggression, fear, separation anxiety, phobias and all other unbalanced behaviors. Christie
trains all breeds, all sizes and temperaments and is dedicated to solving your dog’s behavioral issues to help foster a loving, connected relationship between you and your dog.
An AKC Canine Good Citizens Evaluator. She provides training for
Canine Good Citizenship as well as the CGC testing itself.
Christie is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers,
A member and presenter for Doggone Safe – A non profit organization dedicated to dog bite prevention through education, and dog bite victim support, Christie is making the “Be a Tree” educational programs available in the Wake Forest area.
The “Be a Tree” program is an innovative and interactive dog bite prevention education program aimed at primary grade children.

Christie is a committed member of The Pet Professional Guild- A membership organization representing pet industry professionals who are committed to science based force-free training and pet care. Pet Professional Guild Members understand Force-Free to mean: No Shock, No Pain, No Choke, No Fear, No Physical Force, No physical Molding, No
Compulsion Based Methods are employed to train or care for a pet.

Facts At A Glance

  • 12 month program running three times a year:  
  • Part-time study (approx. 5 to 10 hours/week, evenings & Saturday).
  • Only 2 students per session.
  • Taught in Raleigh Wake Forest area
  • Combines coaching sessions, video, and lecture.

What You Get From Training Your Best Friend

  • A science-based program of advanced study and practice.
  • Experience planning, executing, and trouble-shooting b-mod cases.
  • Instruction, guidance, and feedback from a master trainer.
  • The chance to teach a variety of obedience classes
  • A Certificate in training

What The Curriculum Covers

  • Dog behavior.
  • Animal learning and motivation.
  • Learning to speak dog
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Behavior problems.
  • Cue training.
  • Kindness in training

We prepare you for professional success in our dog training work force .

Sessions & Tuition
Total tuition:  $5,000 for 12 month program

Deposit: $2,450 due on acceptance to secure enrollment. (Payment plan prior to cohort start date available by arrangement).
Balance:  $2,500 due at class start (Payment plan of 4 monthly installments of $625 each available by arrangement).

Please contact us with any questions about payment arrangements.

Please note: NO Refunds

Admission Details:

Fee: $50 (non-refundable)
Response:  Within 2 weeks
When to apply: Year-round

Requirements:  Minimum 100 hours experience from one or more of the following:

  • Volunteer dog walking for a shelter.
  • Professional dog walking.
  • Employment as a vet tech.
  • Employment as a kennel attendant.
  • Fostering dogs.
  • Pet sitting.
  • Assisting in/teaching dog training classes.
  • Participation in dog sports.