Frequently Asked Questions
How many people can enroll in the course?
The course is limited to a maximum of 24 participants.
How many days is the course?
The course runs for 5 days (Monday – Friday).
Who should take this course?
This course is designed for anyone with a passion for learning positive reinforcement training. In the past, about 25% of the class each year has been made up of students with no training experience, with 75% of the class made up of students who already possess significant training experience.
Novice trainers will receive a thorough introduction to what it takes to be a professional trainer and maintain a professional training program. Experienced trainers will find the course valuable by looking at new ways to teach others about training, building their confidence level with new species, and receiving feedback on their skills
The course is structured in such a way that hands-on animal training sessions will move as fast as your training skills develop.
What is each day like?
Each day you will have classroom time, observation time, and training time. You will spend an average of 7 hours daily in the classroom and 1 hour outside both training and observing training. There will also be 3 additional hours of evening class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday!
Will I get to choose my training partner animal?
We will match you with one of the animals we have on the ranch, depending on your experience level, training goals and our animals. We find that most people will learn best when they work with animal species that they haven’t trained previously.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes! Please visit our Pricing page for details and to enroll today.
Can I bring my dog?
We strongly recommend that you do not bring your dog (with the exception of a personal service dog). You will not have much free time to tend to your dog, and there is no course time dedicated to training your dog. If you must bring your dog, your dog must be well-socialized and comfortable around people and other dogs.
You must bring a kennel to house your dog while in class. Your dog will not be in the classroom with you; the kennel will not fit in the classroom.You will have to find the time to tend to your dog during the brief breaks in class. Classroom and training sessions will start promptly and we will not be able to wait for those who need to tend to their dogs. If you bring a dog, you will also need to provide your own transportation to and from The Ranch.
What should I bring and wear?
The ranch can be muddy. You should bring boots that are waterproof and that can get dirty and muddy during training sessions. Please also bring indoor shoes to wear during classroom time. Wear jeans or clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. The ranch can experience rain showers at unexpected times, so please bring rain gear and layers of clothing to deal with the cold weather.
Will there be food?
Students will be expected to have breakfast prior to arriving at the ranch; breakfast is included in the hotel rate at the recommended hotels. Lunches will be provided for all five days of the experience. Dinners will be provided on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Coffee, tea, water and selected soft drinks will be available all day. Please inform us of any special dietary needs during registration.
WILL I EARN CEU credits?
Students who take the Across Species course are eligible for:
- CPDT-KSA will earn 21 Knowledge and 15 Skills CEUs (36 total)
- CPDT-KA will earn 21 Knowledge CEUs
- CBCC-KA will earn 15 Knowledge CEUS
- 25 CEU credits from IAABC
- 25 CEU credits from Karen Pryor Academy
Students will receive information on the application process at the conclusion of the course.
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How does this course relate to the course Ken used to teach at the Shedd Aquarium and at Western Illinois University?
This is the same base curriculum Ken taught at both places, with a great new component.
This course includes a hands-on component, allowing students to apply skills learned in the classroom by working with one of the resident animals (students will be assigned animals randomly and will be coached by members of the ranch team). This is an opportunity to see the skills discussed in class applied with different species, and a chance for students to work with a species they have never worked with previously.
How does this course relate to the Dog Trainer Professional certification program?
The two courses complement each other nicely. The “Across Species” course has served both as a great follow-up for graduates of the KPA program and as comprehensive preparation for the Dog Trainer Professional program. (If you complete the “Across Species” course, you will meet the educational criteria required for the Dog Trainer Professional program).
There is consistency in the science, principles, and best practices covered in the two courses. There are also distinct differences between the programs in pace, assessment, certification, and curriculum focus.
Dog Trainer Professional
The focus of the applied side of the course is on canines. While all of the theory and most of the skills are applicable across species, most of your work is with dogs.
This course is great for people who are becoming a professional dog trainer, teaching others to train dogs, and developing fluent training skills.
Courses are available in major metropolitan areas in the US and select international locations.
Your dog, other dogs, second species and people
The Faculty of Karen Pryor Academy
Some experience required
64 hrs + (supervised), plus practice hours
Online learning and live workshops; Scheduled deadlines, but self paced
Student to Teacher Ratio
Training for Professionals: Across Species
The focus of the applied side of the course is on hoofstock. While all of the theory and most of the skills are applicable to canines, all of your work will be with the hoofstock on the ranch.
This course is great for people who are working a in multi-species environment, increasing training confidence with non-canine species, preparing for, or following-up on, KPA Dog Trainer Professional program.
Courses are available in Seattle, Washington only.
An animal on The Ranch
Ken Ramirez, EVP and Chief Training Officer of KPCT
No experience required
Approximately 3 – 4 hours total
Live lecture in THE classroom, hands on at ranch; Instructor-paced
Student to Teacher Ratio
Discount for Dog Trainer Professional Program
Enroll in Karen Pryor Academy’s Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program within 18 months of completing the Training for Professionals course and receive a $300 tuition discount on the DTP.
Eligible as Prerequisite for Dog Trainer Professional
Students who have completed the Training for Professionals: Across Species course successfully are considered to have met the training requirements to begin the KPA Dog Trainer Professional program.