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PACE Instructor Certificate

Your path to professional dog training

This program takes 12–18 months to complete, depending on the time commitment each individual student can devote to their own personal schedule.

It is designed for people driven to pursue a professional pet dog trainer career in either a classroom or private setting. This certificate includes the Canine Handling Skills and Behaviour Knowledge Certificate but delves into instructing group classes and teaching people how to teach dogs.

New session starts March 16, 2024. Application deadline is February 10, 2024.

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Canine behaviour, handling skills and instructor certificate at Cochrane and Area Humane Society

Register today!

To register, send your completed PACE Application Form to If you have any questions, please email

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Program requirements

  • Minimum 18 years of age
  • Complete the CAHS PACE application form, interview, and program acceptance
  • Can attend monthly Saturday afternoon workshops at CAHS
  • Can attend weekly Tuesday evening mentoring sessions
  • Fully complete hours, duties, quizzes, and sessions described in the program outline
  • Achieve at least 70% on all program exams, including final skill and knowledge exams
  • Complete program contract
  • $5000 plus GST program fee (includes books and classroom materials)
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Mentor meets

Students meet weekly with Tracy Keith, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA, as their personal mentor to practice, hone and test skills weekly.

Required practical hours (239+)

  • 36+ hours group class observation/assisting
  • 50+ hours working with complex behaviours in the CAHS Behaviour Department
  • 6+ hours observing Leash Lungers – for dog-reactive dogs
  • 12+ hours group Co–teaching with a Certified Professional Dog Trainer
  • 8+ hours observing/assisting/participating in Private Behaviour Consults with a Certified Professional Dog Trainer
  • 6+ hours of dog training classes with your own dog
  • 75+ hours working with shelter dogs under the mentorship of a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (we provide a variety of breeds & behaviour issues)
  • 4+ hours participating in CAHS’s popular Canine Boot Camp handling and training a shelter dog
  • 30+ hours observation/assistance dog interactions and introductions
  • 8+ hours shelter dog evaluations and assessments
  • 4+ hours preparing and delivering canine kennel enrichment  

Note: Program graduates with a final overall grade of at least 90% will have the opportunity to earn their head instructor hours required by the Certification Council for Professional Trainers through the CAHS. Some restrictions apply.

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Program fees & what's included

  • $5000 + GST (non-refundable)
  • Includes all program books, DVDs and materials valued at approximately $1000
  • Payment plans are available as follows with a credit card on file:  
  • $500 + GST at registration, $4500 + GST at class start
  • $500 + GST at registration, $2283.75 + GST at class start and at 6 months
  • $500 + GST at registration, $1153.13 + GST at class start and at 3, 6 & 9 months
  • Free access to the CAHS’ extensive library of books on dog and cat training and behaviour, dog body language and communication, pet health and nutrition, rally-o, agility, starting a daycare, humane education, working with blind, deaf, or amputee dogs, and much more
  • Free enrollment in one of the CAHS obedience classes with your own dog
  • 10% discount at Norm’s Nook while enrolled in the program
  • If you have any questions, please contact Tracy Keith, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KSA, at

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Workshops & course content

Monthly workshops (minimum 49 total hours) will set the stage for group discussions pertaining to learning theory, training techniques and training challenges.

Workshops will include live demonstrations, examples, and participation opportunities in various program topics including, but not limited to:

  • Breed Development Stages
  • Canine Body Language & Calming Signals
  • Dog Evaluations and Assessments
  • Dog Training Tools and Equipment Demonstrations
  • The Power of Clicker Training & Brain Games
  • Modifying Food Aggression & Resource Guarding Behaviours
  • Canine Handling Sensitivities
  • Dog to Dog Introductions
  • Private Behaviour Consults
  • Training a Species Other Than a Dog
  • Classroom Management & Training Techniques
  • Canine First Aid
  • Tellington Touch Techniques
  • Canine Kennel Enrichment

Course content includes:

  • Breeds, Development Stages & Canine History & Evolution
  • Canine Body Language
  • Learning Theory
  • Basic Dog Training
  • Dogs in the Shelter Environment & Dog Assessments
  • Dog to Dog Interactions
  • Instructing Group Classes
  • Common Behaviour Problems
  • Complex Behaviour Problems
  • Fear & Anxiety
  • Reactivity & Aggression
  • Private Training
  • Canine Health & Nutrition
Tracy Keith
CBCC-KA, CCPDT, Fear Free Certified Professional, CPDT-KSA, Pet First Aid

About Your Trainer

Tracy Keith, co-founder and former Executive Director of the Cochrane & Area Humane Society (CAHS), has been training and rehabilitating dogs in a shelter environment for 25 years. Tracy specializes in fear and aggression in dogs and is committed to using only positive methods with both humans and animals.