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Online education programs are becoming increasingly popular for many disciplines, and with good reason. Research shows that online education has tremendous value when compared to traditional face-to-face schooling. The Play Your Way Academy gives you the advantage of convenience and flexibility (study with an interactive quiz or watch a video anywhere), with the chance to study under a mentor to provide you with practical learning. This combination provides the best of both online education and experiential learning.

Benefits of This Program

Master the basic principles of Canine Game Theory, with a focus on the fundamentals of structure games and how it fits in force-free training.

A solid foundation in marker training, luring, shaping, capturing and "do as I do" methodologies that make up the core of Structured Games.

Learn with the help of the same outstanding faculty members who have been through this program as apprentices and now have their own businesses.

Study online with stunning, high-quality video lessons, fun and instructive games, and in-home exercises.

Who Should Take This Course

The Canine Game Theory Certified Trainer Program is ideal for anyone who would like to build a solid foundation in positive reinforcement-based training. This would include "traditional" trainers looking to explore force-free techniques.This course is also ideal for those who already work with dogs in some capacity but would like to broaden their understanding of methods that can work in any situation and how to use this knowledge in their work. This group could include:

Shelter workers

Veterinary professionals

Dog walkers

Pet sitters



Course Details

The Canine Game Theory Certified Trainer Program features clear and engaging content designed for our online classroom and includes dozens of high-quality videos and step-by-step training exercises. The course is divided into 8 lesson units that feature 28 in-home practice training activities and 40 high-quality training videos. Students can interact with peers and their instructor via an online discussion board and have access to the library of existing games.

Students proceed through the course at their own pace. The course has been designed to be completed in 8 weeks, but students have up to 12 weeks from their start date to complete the course and take their final exam.

Unlike other classes in our Academy, this course will run as a "semester" based program. There will be start and end dates and registration dates. This program will happen three times a year in Spring, Summer and Fall because many of the activities must be done outside and those living in extreme climates will need to pick the proper season.

Student Support

Three types of support are available: support from the teacher, support from peers, and in-course support.

One-on-one support via email, phone, chat, or video review is included in the cost of course tuition (limited to one hour per student).

Support from peers occurs within the discussion forums provided through the course's online classroom. Academy faculty members monitor and participate in these forum discussions.

In-course support includes an online glossary, an FAQ section, and a digital library - all accessible to students throughout their enrollment in the course

Overview of Your Phases:

Phase 1 – Game Theory and How It Applies to Learning

Phase 2 – How Games and Game Chains are Created

Phase 3 – How Dogs Think and Learn and Where Games Fit

Phase 4 – Create Your Own Games

Phase 5 – What Tools are Necessary In The Learning Process

Phase 6 – Creating a Curriculum for Specific Needs

Phase 7 – How Games Fit in the Non Training World & Helping Dogs in Need

Phase 8 – Integrating Structured Games Into Your Existing Practice

Final Assessment and Graduation



$ 950PGM


$ 600PGM

Shelter Animal Behavior & Welfare Program

$ 600PGM


Fitness Fundamentals, Movement With Purpose, Cooperative Hunting, Beauty In Movement

Functional Training

Functional Training has been around for a long time in the human fitness world, in and out of favor. I remember when I was on the swim team in the 60's and how it seemed that every year something would change in the fundamental exercises we would do to improve our speed, strength and stroke. Many times it would fall out of favor to what appeared to be the smoother paved roads that promised faster and easier results. This deviation from the functional and the fundamental almost always led to an increase in injuries and failures.

This same path has been followed in the dog world as well. It's a longer path however and spans centuries rather than years or decades. Originally dogs were merely there to assist with the hunt and little actual training was done. Then man discovered that dogs could be trained to assist in other areas like herding domestic food animals, marching with armies and guarding the home place. The training that went along with these activities was all functional. Each dog was paired with another dog who already knew the job. With mimicry and observation, the new dog learned the ropes.

As a dogs role changed over the centuries, so did the manner of training. Man started taking a hand in teaching dogs the different jobs they were to perform. But dogs were still there to assist man for the most part. Eventually, most of those tasks were eliminated or changed and the dog became more a companion with no tasks at all. There were still groups of dogs that worked on farms, for the authorities, service and therapy, but for the rest, work became sport or in most cases there was no work at all.

With this major change in the role of a dog in our lives, strange behaviors and aggression started to explode. Companions dogs had little to no training; no purpose other than to just be there; and most humans did not take the time to educate themselves on what a dog is. Enter the training of police and military dogs into the general society. This training was rigid and rigorous and most dogs failed at this training because of the methods. Due to the nature of these training methods where quick results were necessary in times of way, the dog was treated much more as a machine then a thinking being.

But as history shows us over and over, things change and the circle comes around again. People are becoming aware that their dogs are more capable then they could dream of. Television and the Internet are creating a plethora of canine sports and the awareness of service dogs and the apparent freedom they have. But the quick and dirty methods are still there, the myth that the six major obedience commands are necessary for every dog, and the need for instant gratification which these methods appear to promise. The dogs know their jobs, but those jobs are done to avoid the rough handling of the training methods, and they have no clue how to live in a human world otherwise.

Functional Training changes all this. Functional training takes us back to the roots of our association with canines and getting back to the basics of movement, body awareness, the flow that should be inherent in moving from space to space and when navigating obstacles, balance, coordination, flexibility and agility. Functional Agility helps provide your dog with the strength, stability, power, mobility, endurance and flexibility that s/he needs to thrive as s/he moves through life and sports. Using basic functional movement patterns like pushing, pulling, lunging, squatting, rotating, carrying and gait patterns, Functional Training utilizes exercises that improve movement proficiency, enhance performance and decrease injury.

In Germany there are two activities (Degility and Jagility) for dogs that encompass Functional Training. Using agility, flexibility, strength, balance, coordination, scent and cooperation with humans as the basis for these two activities, I call these activities collectively Functional Agility. There is little need for speed in these two modalities, but speed can be built in at the higher levels and that adds a third activity that is rapidly becoming a sport in the US - Canine Parkour.

Life is unpredictable and unstable. So why would you develop your dog's training using stable and predictable routines and equipment? No matter your fitness goal with your dog is, treat variety and practical application as critical components of his training. You don't live in a vacuum; your dog doesn't live in a vacuum, so why would you train him in one?

Shelter Animal Behavior & Welfare Program

This course will help you create or enhance your shelter's behavioral health programs. The program includes how to create or enhance existing play groups for use in assessment, enrichment, training and adoption. 
Week 1 - Determining and Evaluating Stress 
Week 2 - Housing and Population Management 
Week 3 - Enrichment, Play Groups and Entertainment 
Week 4 - Training and Motivation 
Week 5 - Canine Communication 
Week 6 - Behavior Analysis & Rehabilitation 
Week 7 - Common Behavior Issues and Management (Fear, Aggressive Behaviors, Resource Guarding, Impulse Control) 
Week 8 - Assessments (Prey, Toy/Food/Play, Training & Creativity, Resilience, Persistence and Industriousness)