Dogs Abound

Dog Training

Apprenticeship Program


Dogs Abound in San Marcos, California is a premier canine care and learning facility.

We offer dog training to our clientele, addressing everything from puppy manners, to behavioral challenges, to advanced sport training.

Dogs Abound also offers a formal Dog Training Apprenticeship Program (DTAP).

The DTAP will give learners a deep understanding of the art of training, with a focus on science-based and positive-reinforcement-based methods. We begin with the theory and concepts of good dog training, then over the course of the program, transition to more hands-on work. The DTAP will also help prepare you for CPDT-KA certification, which is currently the only standardized testing and certification program for dog trainers in the US.

The DTAP is headed by Liz Randall, a certified CPDT-KA who has not only extensive education, working with and learning from many of the best known dog trainers and behaviorists in the country, but whom also has extensive hands-on experience working with a wide variety of dogs, and who has proven successes not just with client’s dogs (behavioral) but via both competing and instructing in dog sports nationally at the highest levels.

The focus of the DTAP will include;

  • Positive reinforcement-based training methodologies and strategies

  • Learning theory -- why we care and how it works

  • Engagement and Motivation - how to get any dog to work with you, without using punishment, or harsh techniques or tools

  • Hands-on interaction with a wide variety of dogs in a unique setting

  • Learning how to assess, handle, and train each dog as an individual for the most efficient and effective results

  • Access to play groups of dogs with ability to intimately observe dog-dog behavior in action

  • Giving trainers the skills to handle a wide variety of dogs and behavior challenges, as well as the understanding of how to teach and apply concepts for sport, pet, and other applications

  • Each module will include reading materials, open book quizzes, and a closed book test and practical (with dog) exam at the end of the module


  1. Learning to Learn; Expanding Our Knowledge

Content shall include but is not limited to;

  • learning theory; operant conditioning, classical conditioning

  • reinforcement strategies

  • breed and type basics and identification, why it matters

  • assessing dogs; observational skills

  • canine body language

  • teaching skills; luring, capturing, shaping, other methods2.

    2. Developing Observation and Handling Skills -Hands On*

Content shall include but is not limited to;

  • in group behavior observation

  • in group behavior management

  • handling skills--leash techniques

  • antecedents, behavior, consequence--in action

  • shadowing day care evaluations and in house training sessions

Qualified applicants may be able to take this module independently. Please contact us for details.

3. Practical Skills and Application; Application in Real Life

  • building reinforcement systems

  • creating and maintaining engagement in a variety of dogs

  • common behavioral challenges such as reactivity, anxiety, etc

  • developing training plans for assessing and modifying behavior

  • real life problem solving

  • immersion in training client dogs, shadowing trainers in privates, behavior modification sessions, etc


This is an intense program, with an expectation that students already have significant experience handling dogs and a head start on learning theory. This may or may not include already existing credentials, hands-on time working with dogs at a shelter, vet clinic, day care/training facility or other environment, experience training and competing in dog sports, or formal schooling in psychology, husbandry, or other related fields.

This curriculum requires an engaged mind and a learner who is serious about a career in canine training and behavior. This program is not for beginners, we hit the ground running and move quickly. We also structure this program so that the first module is heavy on theory and information. We strongly believe that an understanding of how and why behavior works is critical to one’s success in behavior modification. Once the students have passed the first module, then they will get more and more hands on and practical time. Reading and testing will be required at all levels.

Each module has a maximum completion time of 6 months, though can be completed at students’ own pace. Modules may have somewhat different total hours of commitment, but generally speaking, a minimum of 5-10 hours a week will be expected between “classroom” time and homework, until the module is completed.

Learners should be in healthy physical shape, be able to remain active on their feet for up to 2-3 hours at a time, and have no physical limitations that would prevent them from handling dogs up to 100 pounds.

Learners should have their own dog to train for their homework, or if not, consistent access to another dog for the same purpose.

An application and interview process must be completed before acceptance into the program.


Module 1 is $1295

Modules 2 and 3, $995

Please contact Liz Randall at with questions or for further information.