Juniors 8-12 Study Guide


Membership Information


Credential Submission Guidelines


Provisional Junior Basic (8-12 years)





Welcome to the Pet Professional Guild’s Junior Membership Information and the Pet Professional Accreditation Board’s Junior Credentialing Program.

The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) is a membership organization representing pet industry professionals who are committed to results-based, science-based, force-free training and pet care. Our adult membership represents veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, behavior consultants, trainers, dog walkers, pet sitters and groomers. PPG represents training and behavior professionals across many species.

We are very aware that the next generation of pet professionals is at a point in their lives where we can help them to understand and implement those methods and ethics that will see the continuation of the force-free movement.

To this end we are opening membership to children (8-12 years), teenagers (13-17 years) and young adults (18-20 years) as a way of helping them to learn and understand about pet care and give them an insight into the possibility of working with animals, in a force-free, fear-free way in the future.  This Guide is for the 8-12 year age group.

Through the Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB), a credentialing organization that credentials force-free pet professionals, we are also offering the opportunity for our junior members to gain preliminary credentials in force-free animal care.

The PPAB program is independent of any industry trade school, college or credentialing body.  Applicants are not required to be members of the Pet Professional Guild, but they must meet and maintain all the eligibility criteria (see the PPAB website for more details https://www.credentialingboard.com).

This Guide has been created to help junior members to prepare for the Pet Professional Accreditation Board’s Provisional Junior Basic (8-12), assessments.  It also serves as a syllabus to assist our junior members to work towards provisional credentials. We aim to help junior members to understand the breadth and depth of knowledge they will be expected to possess, fundamentals they should be familiar with, skills they need to be competent in and scenarios they must be able to address to successfully pass these provisional credential assessments.

It will be essential for this Junior group that parents/guardians are on board with what the Junior is doing and be willing to assist, where necessary, with video recording and explaining all of the requirements to the children. Parental permission for provisional junior members must be provided at registration

Welcome to the wonderful world of force-free pet care.


Table of Contents

Membership Information. 1

and. 1

Credential Submission Guidelines. 1

Introduction. 2

Eligibility for Membership – Juniors 8-12 years of age. 5

Pet Professional Guild Junior Pledge. 5

Membership Fee. 5

Benefits of Membership. 5

General Membership Benefits. 5

Category Benefits. 6

Annual Training Deed Challenge. 6

Training Deed Challenge for Provisional Juniors (8-12 years). 6

Eligibility for Credentialing for Provisional Junior Members 8-12 years. 6

Provisional Junior Handler Basic (8-12 years) Credential Gatekeepers. 7

The Assessment Process. 7

Section I:  Knowledge Base Assessment. 8

For Provisional Junior Basic Candidates (8-12 years). 8

Knowledge Base Assessment Information Provisional Junior Basic 8-12. 8

Canine Body Language. 8

Canine Needs. 9

Exercise. 9

Socialization. 9

Barking. 10

Common causes of barking. 10

Senses. 11

Training. 11

Crate training. 11

Humans greeting dogs. 11

Dog – dog play. 11

Growling. 12

Suggested Reading List for Provisional Junior Basic. 12

Section II:  Film Clips – Basic Training Skills. 12

Requirements for All Basic Training Skills Video. 12

Submission Format for All Videos. 12

Skills Requirements for Provisional Junior Basic (8-12 years). 13

How to Train the Basic Skills. 14

Five Basic Skills Required for Provisional Junior Basic Candidates (8-12). 14

Condition the Bridge – this is a requirement within some of the above listed behaviors. 14

Sit. 15

Gotcha & go, Gotcha & go home – collar grabs. 16

Condition your dog’s name. 16

Gaining your dog’s attention by using his name. 17

Condition your dog’s name. 17

Go to place – mat training. 17

Lie Down/Drop. 18

Loose Leash Walking. 20

Section One Checklist: Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz. 22

Section Two Checklist: Basic Skills Videos. 22




Eligibility for Membership – Juniors 8-12 years of age

The Pet Professional Guild’s (PPG) junior memberships are divided into three categories.

  • Category One: Provisional Junior Basic (age group 8-12 years)
  • Category Two: Provisional Junior Advanced (age group 13-17 years)
  • Category Three: Provisional Apprentice (age group 18-20 years)

At each level of membership, the junior members will be required to sign the force-free pledge that appears below.

Pet Professional Guild Junior Pledge

  • The animal’s welfare is a priority in any task I choose to undertake.
  • I must make decisions on behalf of the animal, based on the animal’s species, age, physical and emotional capacity.
  • I will protect the physical, emotional and environmental well-being of the animal.
  • I must only use tools and equipment in a manner that reflects the no pain, no force, no fear mantra of the PPG. Tools will not be used in a way that is contrary to their design and intent, i.e. not used in a manner which would cause psychological or physical pain, harm or damage.
  • I must always work within my personal capabilities and the guidelines set out by the PPG.
  • I must communicate with other people in a respectful manner, even if I don’t agree with them.
  • If I don’t know the answer, then I will ask someone else who has more expertise in the relevant area.
  • I will always seek to do no harm
  • I will always strive to do good
  • I will be faithful to promises made

Membership Fee

A membership fee of $20 per year will apply


Benefits of Membership


General Membership Benefits

  • Individual level member badge
  • Membership Certificate
  • A moderated chat group on the website
  • Junior Members in good standing, who wish to participate in the Pet Dog Ambassador Program assessments with their dogs, may register free of charge for the program.
    • Please note that this is registration for the program only and does not include any costs incurred by attending lessons for the Pet Dog Ambassador Program in group classes or privately.
  • Listing in Junior Membership Directory on PPG website
  • A FREE e-book – A Kid’s Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog
  • Participation in the Annual Training Deed Challenge
    • This challenge is divided into categories that reflect the Junior members’ age status.
    • Full details of the Challenge requirements for each group can be found below.
    • The winners of the Deed Challenge in this category will receive
      • Provisional Junior Basic (8-12) $50


Category Benefits

Category One:  Provisional Junior Basic (8-12 years)

  • Access to the Provisional Junior Basic Accreditation Program
    • The ability to undertake this assessment process is included in the membership fee
    • The assessment consists of a simple online quiz, the answers to which can be found later in this Guide and in the free e-book that accompanies membership.
      • On successful completion of the quiz the candidate then has a video assessment to submit. For more details see the information on Credentialing, below
      • Successful completion of these tasks will result in the Provisional Junior Member receiving an Accreditation card.

Annual Training Deed Challenge


Training Deed Challenge for Provisional Juniors (8-12 years)

  • This is to be a video training challenge
  • The video must demonstrate the junior member helping a pet dog or cat
  • The video must demonstrate a baseline behavior, progress and the achieved goal
  • Goal behavior must be selected from one of the following:
    • Teaching a dog/cat to sit
    • Teaching a dog/cat to down/drop
    • Teaching a dog/cat to go to place (mat, bed, crate)
  • The application must include
    • The Junior Member’s name, age and membership number
    • The demonstration dog or cat’s name, age and breed (or breed mix)
    • A demonstration of the steps taken to train the behavior
    • A demonstration of the successfully trained behavior in at least two different locations i.e. inside/outside, at home/at the beach, different rooms

Eligibility for Credentialing for Provisional Junior Members 8-12 years


  • All applicants must agree to the Pet Professional Accreditation Board Guiding Principles and operating policies. A violation in this code of ethics will result in an immediate removal of any credentials. View the Guiding Principles here
  • Provisional Junior Handler Basic (8-12) applicants must be aged between 8-12 years
    • A parental/guardian letter of consent must accompany this application
  • An annual renewal fee of US$30 will be necessary to maintain accreditation.


Applicants who pass the PPAB Provisional Junior Handler Basic – Accredited (age 8-12 years), will earn the specific title PJHB-A after their name.  See the Gatekeepers below for more details about the application process.


Find your credentialing application form here:

PPAB Provisional Junior Basic (8-12 years) – Accredited (PJB–A)


Provisional Junior Handler Basic (8-12 years) Credential Gatekeepers



Your Accreditation Gatekeepers 

Gatekeeper One 

  • Review your Study Guide
  • Read the book “A Kids Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog”- the link is on your member benefit page
  • Click on the link in your member area and take your Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz
  • Complete the Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz within 30 days of commencing it.
  • Receive your quiz results within an hour of taking your quiz

Gatekeeper Two 

  • Receive confirmation that you passed your Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz
  • Login to your video quiz software, found in your member area, and receive your computer randomized skills videos
  • Submit your randomized skills videos within 90 days of receipt of using the link to select them. The link is found in your member area
  • Receive your video assessment results
  • Become an accredited member and receive your certificate and badge
  • You will then be listed on the Pet Professional Accreditation Board website



The Assessment Process

The Provisional Junior Basic assessments are divided into two sections.

Section I                      Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz

Section II                     Basic Training Skills Videos


At all levels, each section must be successfully completed before the next section can be undertaken.



Section I:  Knowledge Base Assessment

For Provisional Junior Basic Candidates (8-12 years)

Quiz components that may be assessed:


Tail positions Fear vs Relaxed
Ear positions Smiling vs Warning
Play bow vs Alert Reading faces
Exercise Barking
Socialization Senses
Crate training Greeting people
Dog/dog play Growling


Your Knowledge Base Assessment is broken into 3 categories.  Each category is as important as the other. You will have 10 multiple choice and/or true/false questions.


You will have 1 hour to complete the 10-question quiz.  You do not have to do the quiz all at once.  You may log in and out of the quiz as often as necessary.  The program will log the time you spend online each time you log into the quiz.


To be successful in this section of the assessment, you must obtain a score of 80% or more.


If for any reason you are unable to take the online quiz, please have a parent or guardian contact the PPAB Administrator regarding your special circumstances. You can reach the Administrator by emailing info@credentialingboard.com

Knowledge Base Assessment Information Provisional Junior Basic 8-12

Canine Body Language


All questions regarding canine body language for your Knowledge Base Assessment will be taken from

A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog – Niki Tudge

You will receive this book as a download when you have successfully passed Gatekeeper Two.


Canine Needs



Dogs have primary needs of food, water and shelter. They also have secondary needs of social contact, mental stimulation and physical exercise. Going for a daily walk with your dog has the advantage of meeting his secondary needs all at once.

A daily walk also helps to develop the bond with you, his Guardian. A walk gives your dog the opportunity to socialize with others and to use his brain to interpret the smells in the environment outside his home.

Every dog is different regarding the ideal length and intensity of his exercise requirements. You must know your own dog’s specific exercise needs to adequately meet them. Considerations may be the age and size of your dog, current fitness level and breed, e.g. brachycephalic dogs (short-nosed breeds like bulldogs and pugs) can often overheat more quickly. Discuss your dog’s specific exercise needs with your vet and happy walking!



Socialization is “a special learning process whereby an individual dog learns to accept the closeness of other dogs, as well as members of other species.” (Australian Veterinary Association: Puppy Socialization Statement). It also includes everything your dog is likely to encounter in your world.

Appropriately socializing your puppy from 8 to 12 weeks is very important because unwanted behavior issues can develop at an early age. It is not possible to ‘un-teach’ behavior. Even if it seems to disappear, it will remain in the dog’s repertoire for life, so it is better to teach your dog what you want in the first instance. Hopefully your dog’s breeder has done the work required during the first eight weeks of the puppy’s life. Do not forget though that ongoing socialization for life is also very important.

There is always a small health risk associated with taking your puppy out in public before the entire course of vaccinations is completed.

Not socializing your puppy early, however, carries a greater risk of surrender or euthanasia for behavior reasons when older.

Attending a suitable and well-managed puppy class in a sanitized area will give your puppy the best start in life. Organize a ‘puppy party’ with friends and family in a safe environment to start exposing your puppy to everything he will have to deal with as he grows: different people including children, other dogs and animals, different sounds and music, different surfaces and objects. Never force your puppy to deal with anything he is frightened of, instead allow him to ‘advance and retreat’ in his own time, rewarding with treats as he becomes braver.



Barking is a natural canine behavior and can occur for a range of reasons, including excitement, frustration, boredom, play, seeking attention and alarm. The types of bark will differ, and you will get to know what each one means if you listen carefully. If you wish to stop your dog barking, do not yell at him as he will think that you are ‘joining in’ and you are all barking together. Instead make a noise that will attract/distract him (a hand clap is a good idea) and give him a treat as soon as he is quiet. Alternatively, you could thank him for his watchdog activities (i.e. “job’s done, good boy”), call him to you and then reward the quiet time. In both instances, follow up with a chew or a toy so he is not inclined to return to his barking.


Common causes of barking

 “Attention/Demand: Your dog may want to eat, go outside, or your undivided attention.

Boredom/Frustration: Your dog may have been left outside day and night or confined to one room for a long period of time.

Fear: Your dog may be afraid of objects, people, places, other animals, or loud noises such as thunder and fireworks.
Tip: Your dog’s posture can tell you if he’s barking out of fear. Typically, his ears are back, and his tail is held low.

Territoriality/Protectiveness: Your dog is barking in the presence of “intruders,” which may include people and other dogs in adjacent yards.

  • Tip: If your dog is being territorial, his posture appears threatening with his tail held high and his ears up and forward.

Playfulness/Excitement: Your dog may be overly playful and excited when greeting people.

Health Issues: Your dog may have Canine Cognitive Dysfunction or deafness, causing him to bark because he’s unable to hear himself bark.” www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/barking_causes.html



Dogs view the world in a very different way than humans do. While humans rely heavily on their sense of sight to function in the everyday world, dogs rely heavily on their sense of smell and their sense of hearing to interpret the human world in which they live. While their sense of sight is still important, it is not as good as a human’s (except for sight hounds) and will often be used to back up what they smell and hear rather than being used as a primary sense for gathering information. It has been said that if the scent receptors of a dog’s nose were all spread out, they would amount to the size of a handkerchief, compared to the size of a postage stamp for a human. This explains why using attractive smelling treats and scenting exercises can be useful when training our companions.



Crate training

It is a good idea to introduce your puppy to a dog crate at a very young age, not only for toilet training but also to prevent chewing and to encourage calm b


Dogs like to have a safe place of their own and a crate is ideal if it is trained positively early on. A crate is ideal for managing a new puppy around children as well, particularly when puppy is going through his teething stage.

Humans greeting dogs

All questions regarding people greeting dogs will come from Section 2 of A Kids’ Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog!


Dog – dog play

Not all humans want to go out to dinner with everyone they meet, and it is no different in the dog world.

If a dog has not been well socialized or has had a bad experience, he may find other dogs threatening and may even want to avoid them altogether. Allowing your dog to make his own choices is very important in preventing conflict and ensuring your dog is not put in a situation he can’t handle. Dogs should not be forced to play with other dogs and socialization at a distance may be more suitable for some dogs.

Dogs have different play styles and a boisterous dog may overwhelm a calm dog. Recent studies have shown that dogs are more likely to choose one play friend and may even resent another dog interrupting their play. Good dog play would include a ‘play bow’ (front paws leaning on the ground and the bottom up in the air) by at least one dog. The dogs should take turns to lead and chase and have frequent rest breaks.



Although dogs often get into trouble for growling, it is actually good information that the dog is uncomfortable for some reason. If you reprimand your dog for growling, next time he may escalate to biting to get his message across. If your dog growls at you, another person or dog, simply remove him from the situation and make a note of the cause. You should contact a behavior specialist if the growling occurs frequently.

Suggested Reading List for Provisional Junior Basic


  • A Kid’s Comprehensive Guide to Speaking Dog (this will be received on successful credentialing application)

Section II:  Film Clips – Basic Training Skills


Requirements for All Basic Training Skills Video


  • Evidence of training methods presented in each video must comply with the Pet Professional Accreditation Board’s Guiding Principles and operating policies. http://credentialingboard.com/Guiding-Principles/
  • All training methods used must be force-free. Force-free is defined as:
    • No shock, no pain, no choke, no fear, no physical force, no compulsion-based methods are employed to train or care for a pet
    • 100% compliance is expected.
  • Each film clip must be between 1-3 minutes in length plus 1 extra minute if required for any discussion requested
    • Any video that exceeds 4 minutes will not be assessed
    • A brief verbal or caption explanation of what you intend to teach and how you intend to teach it must be at the beginning of your film clip
      • g. I am going to demonstrate how to train a “Sit” in two different locations.
      • g. A caption tile before the film clip begins with “Sit – in two locations” written on it.
    • If asked to demonstrate how something is taught, you may show short sections of each step of the teaching process to ensure your video stays within 1-3 minutes.
      • If also asked to discuss or describe something, you have one extra minute (i.e. 4 minutes all together)

Submission Format for All Videos

  1. At all times you must be visible and identifiable in the film submission.
  2. Care must be taken that you can be clearly heard during training.
    1. Often wind across a camera speaker masks human voice.
    2. Ensure that your film clip is clearly audible.
    3. Film clips with inaudible sound tracks will not be accepted as evidence of your training skills
  3. Care must be taken that your film clip is in focus.
    1. Blurred film clips will not be accepted as evidence of your training skills
  4. The format in which you should submit your Training Skills Application is via YouTube. All your videos must be uploaded to YouTube and marked unlisted. Then all 8 videos must be put on to one playlist. The playlist link should be emailed to Videos@credentialingboard.com


Skills Requirements for Provisional Junior Basic (8-12 years)

To determine your skills and knowledge in relation to basic training you are required to present to the PPAB, filmed evidence of you participating in three of the following five basic skills.  On successful application, you will be randomly assigned three of the five behaviors listed below.


  1. Ask the dog to sit, take the dog’s collar from the side or under the muzzle, bridge and reinforce (treat).
    1. You must demonstrate this twice, each time in a different location
    2. The bridge can be a clicker or a verbal bridge
    3. The collar must be taken such that the dog shows no sign of stress
      1. E.g. dipping his head, turning away, standing up, moving away, lip licking etc
    4. For safety the treat should be offered on an open hand


  1. Demonstrate that the dog will respond to his name.
    1. You must demonstrate this twice, each time in a different location
      1. E.g. in different rooms of the house, inside/outside
    2. Call the dog by name and when he looks at you, bridge and reinforce
      1. The dog must respond on the first cue
    3. The bridge can be a clicker or a verbal bridge
    4. For safety the treat should be offered on an open hand


  1. Demonstrate that your dog will go to his place (mat, bed, crate) and stay there for five seconds
    1. Ask you dog to go to his place (mat, bed, crate)
    2. Your dog must go to place on the first cue
    3. It does not matter if the dog sits, drops or stands on the mat
    4. Then ask your dog to stay in place for five seconds
    5. Appropriately bridge and reinforce the dog for staying on the mat for 5 seconds
    6. For safety, the treat should be offered on an open hand
  2. Tell us in less than one minute why teaching your dog to go to his place is a good behavior for the family and for the dog


  1. Demonstrate that the dog will respond to your cue to lie down once on his mat, bed or crate and once on the grass or on the pavement
    1. Ask your dog to lie down on his mat, bed or crate – the assessment will begin when you give the cue to lie down
      1. Your dog must respond within three (3) seconds
    2. Ask your dog to lie down on a very different surface from his mat, bed or crate.
      1. This can be on the grass or on a non-carpeted floor or on the pavement
      2. Your dog must respond within three (3) seconds



  1. Loose Leash Walking
  • You must demonstrate that you and your dog can walk 20 metres (65 feet) on a loose leash
    • You may reinforce the dog twice, if necessary, in your demonstration
    • You can use markers to determine the distance
    • You may do this walk outside or inside a training facility
    • The leash should not become tight at any stage during the walk
    • Your dog should be no more than 1/2 a metre (2 feet) away from you

How to Train the Basic Skills

There are many ways to train the above-mentioned skills listed.  Below are some methods that can be used to train these skills using force-free methods.  We strongly suggest that if you need help with techniques required to train these skills, that you contact a Pet Professional Guild trainer/instructor.  You can do this via the following website and searching in the Member Search of the sites

PPG USA                      https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/

PPG British Isles          https://ppgbi.com/

PPG Australia              https://www.petprofessionalguild.com/


Below are some suggestions about how to train each of the five basic skills listed above.  These are suggestions only and it is recommended that help be sought from a PPG listed instructor if a parent/guardian is unfamiliar with these methods.


Five Basic Skills Required for Provisional Junior Basic Candidates (8-12)


Condition the Bridge – this is a requirement within some of the above listed behaviors

A bridge allows a connection from one side of the river to the other. Similarly, a bridge in dog training is used to connect, in the dog’s mind, that the action that he is performing is the one that earns him a reinforcer (treat).

The bridge pinpoints the exact behavior you wish to reinforce. It is also helpful when you are some distance from your dog and are unable to get a treat to him at the precise moment you wish to reinforce.

The bridge can be verbal (a word), a sound (a clicker or a whistle), or visual (a flashlight or thumbs up, often used for deaf dogs). Dogs can be conditioned to respond to any or all the above as a bridge once they learn that the word, sound or light means something.

Correct bridging is a powerful tool; care should be taken to only bridge the exact part of the behavior you wish to reinforce. Sloppy bridging can result in a completely different behavior to the one you wanted. You get the behavior you bridge, not necessarily the behavior that you thought you were training.

Whatever bridge you use, you need to let your dog know that your bridge has meaning.

  • Do not ask the dog for any behavior. Say your bridging word (e.g. ‘yes’) or, if using a clicker, click, or a short blow of the whistle. Pause for a fraction of a second, then give the dog a small, tasty treat.
  • Do this four times. Then bridge and see if the dog looks at you as if to say, “where is my food?” If he does, he has got the connection – give him the food.
  • If he doesn’t, take a break of a minute or two and then do it again. It won’t take long, and he will know that your bridge means something good is coming.
  • When you know that your dog is responding well to the bridge both indoors and outside then you can move on to training specific behaviors.

A bridge is a promise to pay. You must reinforce your dog after each bridge – no exceptions – even if you have accidentally bridged the wrong behavior. Later we will talk about fading both the bridge and the food.

Do not use the bridge to gain your dog’s attention. It is strictly mark correct behavior.



Ensure you have your dog’s attention. Without saying anything and keeping your body movements to a minimum:

  • Move your hand containing a treat towards the dog’s nose and up over his head between the ears. Move your hand slowly enough for the dog’s nose to follow, but not so slowly that the dog gives up. Hold the treat so the dog lifts his head up, but not so high he jumps up for it.
  • As the head lifts, his spine begins to slope backwards and, if the treat is in the correct position, the dog will bend the back legs and sit. The instant the rear end hits the ground, bridge, and reinforce the dog.
  • You can reinforce the dog with the food lure you used or preferably use a different treat and use the lure treat again for the next trial. If possible treat the dog from above to keep the dog in the sit position.
  • Reset the dog for another trial.
  • Repeat five times. Try luring without any treat in your hand, but make sure you can quickly get the treat and reinforce the dog from above so his head remains up with his bottom on the ground.
  • Do not get out a treat while the dog is in the process of sitting as it will cause the dog to focus more on the treats than on you.
  • The movement of your hand with the food as a lure becomes your sit hand signal. As dogs are generally more responsive to visual signals than verbal ones, this is a good habit to get into.


  • If your dog jumps up to grab the food, you are holding the food too high. Bring it closer to his nose and then slowly over the top of his head.
  • If your dog is turning to get the food rather than sitting, you are probably taking the food too quickly over the top of his head. Go more slowly.
  • If your dog keeps walking backwards with his head up looking at the treat in your hand, practice this near a wall so the dog has his back to the wall and cannot back up any further.


Gotcha & go, Gotcha & go home – collar grabs

There may come a day when your dog’s lead breaks or he may be off lead and someone will grab him by the collar. Dogs can be startled by their collars being grabbed if they are not used to it. Often it happens over the top of their heads and may result in them biting. Conditioning your dog to having his collar grabbed means your dog will be more accepting of this action if it happens.

Gotcha & go

  • Gently touch your dog’s collar while giving him a treat (you don’t need to bridge first).
  • Repeat until he is happy with your gentle touching of the collar
  • Next, touch the dog’s collar from different angles and give him a treat, so he gets used to your hand approaching from all directions (including underneath). Do not move onto the next step until your dog is comfortable with this.
  • Next, become a little firmer in your holding of the collar. Give the collar a gentle shake and reinforce your dog for his tolerance.
  • When he is happy with this grabbing of the collar you can add the verbal cue ‘Gotcha’, and reinforce the dog. Make this a game and ensure that all members of the family can join in this game also (one at a time of course).


Gaining your dog’s attention by using his name


Condition your dog’s name

This exercise teaches your dog that his name is important.

  • Take five pieces of food (small and tasty).
  • Say the dog’s name, hesitate a fraction of a second and then give him the food.
  • Do this four times in a row.
  • On the fifth attempt say the dog’s name. If you get an immediate response, bridge and reinforce the dog with another treat. If you do not get an immediate response (i.e. the dog doesn’t look at you) then repeat with five more treats (perhaps the treats may need to be just a little more interesting for the dog).
  • Generalise this behavior. Be sure that your dog will respond to his name in every room in the house, outside, with children around, despite other distractions, whilst out for a walk etc.

Your dog’s name should only ever be used to tell your dog that you are going to give him some other instructions. Don’t reprimand your dog by yelling his name. We don’t want him afraid of his name.

Don’t just use your dog’s name for recalls. His name will become ‘white noise’ and not mean anything to him. Calling “Fido, Fido, Fido” does not tell your dog what you want him to do, he will soon switch off and/or become frustrated.


Go to place – mat training

It is important that your dog has a secure place to settle. This is his spot, his crate/bed/mat and is not to be shared by anyone else in the family. Ensure that small children understand and respect your dog’s personal space in this one safe, secure area he has for himself.

This is also a useful tool for you. Going to his mat becomes a cue to your dog to settle and be calm or can be used as a place for him to go if he is pestering you – however it should never be a place of punishment. Never send him to his mat in anger.

  • Stand adjacent to the mat and lure your dog a short distance onto it. As soon as any part of his body touches the mat, bridge, and reinforce by tossing the treat away from the mat to set him up for another trial. Repeat five times. Once he knows how to drop/lie down, follow the points below.
  • Without using the ‘drop’ cue, lure your dog down into a drop on the mat. Bridge and reinforce. Do not ask the dog to drop. We want him to go into a drop by himself when he gets to the mat. Repeat until the dog is reliably going to the mat and lying down.
  • Begin to fade the lure and add the cue word ‘On your mat’ or similar. Use the same hand signal you used in the steps above but without the food in your hand – the lure becomes the hand signal. Bridge and reinforce your dog (not from the signal hand).
  • As the dog becomes better at going to the mat you can move yourself away from the mat and make the request.
  • Gradually increase the distance from which you send him to his mat.
  • To increase the time the dog spends on the mat you should delay the bridge so that the dog settles for a longer and longer time. However, during this time, you can toss him treats while he is on the mat or, if you are close to him, offer them to him in your hand. Remember you don’t bridge this (as bridging can end the behavior). This is merely paying the stay on the mat.
  • Move the mat to different locations so that he will go to his mat, no matter where it is. This means that you can take the mat with you and have your dog settle anywhere you go. You can also teach him to go to multiple mats if you have them around the house.
  • When you have bridged and reinforced, the dog can get off the mat. If you reinforce in place (i.e. on the mat) then you may find that the dog is quite happy to be on the mat.
  • Remember to ‘release’ him from the mat once the exercise is over. He won’t stay there forever but you may need him there for a period without breaking.


  • If your dog is not going to his mat, think whether you have ever sent him to his mat when you were cross with him. The mat is for quiet time, NOT a punishment tool or ‘jail’. Never send your dog to his crate/mat/bed/blanket etc. in anger. If you have used this as a punishment spot, you will need to find another mat or location or possibly both and begin again. You can’t blame your dog for not wanting to go to a place of punishment if he hasn’t been ‘bad’!
  • If your dog is confused, you have probably gone too far, too fast. Go back to basics and refresh his memory on what you want.
  • If you’re having trouble getting your dog to settle, put him on the lead and attempt the steps above while he is limited to the distance he can move from the mat.
  • If you’re having trouble getting him onto the mat, toss a treat on his mat and bridge when he touches the mat. Reinforce by tossing the treat away from the mat.

Lie Down/Drop

Four different methods can be used to help your dog lie down/drop

to ‘lie down’ or ‘drop’. Before practicing, please consider your dog’s comfort levels. Lying on a cold, hard surface is not conducive to wanting to do it again. Set your dog up for success by ensuring that the training environment is safe, secure and comfortable.

We recommend that you do not use the word ‘down’ for this exercise as you will find that it is often used if we want him to get off the couch etc. It will confuse your dog if you ask him to ‘get down’ off the couch and then cue ‘down’ if you want him to lie down.

Teach the dog to lie down in front of you and on both sides to help generalise the behavior. Begin with your dog in the sit position.

Lie down – Method 1 – Wait him out

  • Count out five treats.
  • Hold a treat to the dog’s nose and SLOWLY lower it vertically towards the floor, so that you place your hand between the dog’s front feet.
  • Now wait him out. Hold still and see if he lies down.
  • Bridge and reinforce when he does.
  • Repeat four times more with the food in your hand. Then try without the food in your hand. Bridge and reinforce from the other hand when job is done.

Lie down – Method 2 – L-shape

  • Count out five treats.
  • Hold a treat to the dog’s nose and SLOWLY lower it towards the floor, so that you place your hand, with the treat, between the dog’s front feet.
  • As the dog lowers his head to get the treat, slowly draw the treat away from the dog to draw the imaginary horizontal leg of an L.
  • If done slowly, the dog should lower his body into a drop position that can then be bridged and reinforced.
  • Reinforce in position and then move away to set the dog up for another trial.
  • Repeat four more times with the food in your hand. Then try without the food in your hand. Bridge and reinforce from the other hand when job is done.

Lie down – Method 3 – Fold back

  • With the dog standing, SLOWLY lower the food to the floor. As the dog lowers his head to the floor, slowly move the food back towards the dog’s chest like a reverse L so the dog drops back onto his haunches.
  • When the dog lowers his body to get the food, bridge and reinforce.
  • Repeat four more times with the food in your hand. Then try without the food in your hand. Bridge and reinforce from the other hand when job is done.

Lie down – Method 4 – London Bridge

  • Sit on the floor with one leg bent at the knee forming an arch and the other out straight.
  • The dog should be lured down and under the arch. As he goes down to go under to get the lure, bridge and reinforce.
  • If your dog is too big for you to do this, you could use a chair, stool or coffee table.
  • Repeat four more times with the food in your hand. Then try without the food in your hand. Bridge and reinforce from the other hand when job is done.


The down position is one that some dogs really do not like, so care must be taken to ensure your dog is not forced. If he doesn’t go down the first time, don’t immediately switch to another method. He may just take a little while to be comfortable with this.

Reinforce those successive approximations – small steps. If he lowers his head, bridge and reinforce, then only bridge and reinforce if his shoulder goes down too and so on until you have a down position. Only after unsuccessfully trying five times a day, for five days do we recommend that you then try one of the other methods.

When all else fails – capture it. He must lie down to sleep sometime. Remember to offer the reinforce in position, preferably from below his chin so he has no need to reach up and break position to gain the reinforce.


Loose Leash Walking

Loose lead walking – Method 1 – Food on the nose

We will assume you are walking your dog on your left-hand side.

  • With the lead in your right hand, ensure that your left hand contains five treats.
  • Allow your dog to smell the treats by placing your left hand immediately in front of his nose.
  • Start walking and, as you walk, gradually allow your dog to have a treat from your hand as you walk along. Before releasing a treat for your dog ensure you bridge.
  • Walk a few steps, bridge with ‘yes’ and then give your dog one of the treats in your hand while you are still on the move. Try very hard not to drop any treats because you just know your dog will stop to pick them up!
  • Repeat four more times. When the hand is empty the training session is over.
  • You should be training this at home first with few distractions so when the session has ended just drop or remove the lead until you are ready to start again. This may only be a few seconds after the first attempt. If you are training in the street you can reinforce by running to a tree or grassy patch and allowing the dog to sniff.
  • Next time hold the five treats in your hand, move off and bridge and reinforce your dog after an appropriate short distance of good LLW and then just raise your hand, still with treats in it up across your waist.
  • Immediately lower your hand again, bridge and then reinforce (if he is still with you).
  • Repeat until all the treats are gone.
  • Repeat this until the dog is happy to walk near you while your hand is at waist level (still remembering to bridge and then reinforce appropriately).
  • Next time you try this, simply place your now empty left hand near the dog’s nose and start walking. However, don’t go too far before your bridge and reinforce your dog (while still on the move) from your treat pouch.
  • Hey presto! Your dog has walked quite a distance without the lure but with the promise of good things to come.
  • Sadly, if your dog is very close to the ground (i.e. a little dog), this method is much harder on your back!

Loose lead walking – Method 2 – Be a tree

  • When our dogs are attached to us via a lead, they pull and we follow. Guess what – pulling works! Your dog gets to move forward – he is positively reinforced for pulling because you both move forward.
  • Tied to a large tree, your dog would perhaps pull for a short time and then give up, realising that his pulling was futile. (We do not recommend you tie your dog to a tree!)
  • If we can be more like a tree (i.e. not move if the lead is tight) then our dogs will get the picture – they will stop pulling.
  • Stop every time your dog moves to the end of the lead. Don’t even allow your arm to move forward – really plant your feet and do not move.
  • Stand still and wait out your dog. He will eventually look at you as if to say, “Well, c’mon, let’s go!”
  • When he does, bridge and reinforce his contact with you and then head off in another direction so that he needs to catch up and be by your side.
  • If he again tries to pull, stand still and wait for him to re-engage with you. If he does not re-engage with you try the ‘Are you ready?’ game
  • Reinforce any attempt the dog makes to come back towards you. Present the treat to the dog very close to you – within your prescribed walking area. It brings him where you want him and he gets paid for being in that area AND he gets to continue walking.

Hey presto! Your dog is with you again. Off you go again until your dog moves out of position again. Don’t wait for the pull. Stop and repeat the steps above.


If your dog is just not getting it, look to yourself. You may be moving just a little, even just extending your hand to arm’s length, when he pulls and this is reinforcing his pulling. Remember, every step he takes whilst the lead is tight is getting him towards his goal!

It is very important that you maintain a high rate of reinforcement of the dog if he is loose lead walking near you. If he is in the desired position, reinforce him! Behavior that is reinforced will increase.

Do not ask for too much too soon.

You may become frustrated using this method and because of that become inconsistent or give up and move (which reinforces your dog for pulling). If this is the case, then stop training or change to another method.


Section One Checklist: Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz

Please ensure you use the checklist below to include everything that is necessary for your Knowledge Base Assessment


Have you:

□          Undertaken the online Knowledge Base Assessment Quiz and passed with a minimum of 80%?


Section Two Checklist: Basic Skills Videos

Please ensure you use the checklist below to include everything that is necessary for assessment of your video submissions


Have you:

□          adhered to force-free training methods (as defined earlier in this document)?

□          considered the physical and emotional wellbeing of your demonstrator dog(s)?


Have you:

□          correctly formatted the film clips (defined in the section Submission Format)?

□          they must be audible

□          they must be in clear focus

□          you must be visible and identifiable during the film clip

□          adhered to the recommended timeframes for each film clip

□          appropriately titled each film clip?


Have you:

□          filmed your videos in at least two different places where requested


Have you:

□          filmed the correct number of behaviors required for your credential

3 of 5 for Provisional Junior Basic


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