Behaviour and Training

ACM40322 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training

Gain a Nationally Recognised Qualification in Animal Behaviour and Training

Do you love teaching people to have a better relationship with their dog? Would you love to learn how to influence an animal’s behaviour? How would you like to take your training to the next level? Our ACM40322 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training (previously ACM40321) is the gold star standard with input from internationally recognised experts in animal training

Successful completion of this course provides you with the nationally recognised animal training qualification as well as membership to the internationally renowned Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT).

This is a 12-month blended course and is the perfect mix of online and practical training in a supportive learning environment. Our philosophy incorporates modern, positive-reinforcement based and force-free animal training, perfectly combined with clear and compassionate training for the human half! As a graduate, you’ll be prepared for employment as an animal trainer.

Course snapshot

1 year

Next intake: February 2025

Application status: Register interest

Practical training: 2 x 4 day intensive practical workshops

Classroom training: Fortnightly Zoom virtual sessions

Online study time: Approx. 23 hours per week 

Prerequisite: HLTAID011 Provide First Aid (to be completed by first practical workshop)

Best suited to: Students with some knowledge or experience in the animal care and/or animal training industry, who are looking to consolidate their skills with a national qualification, and/or are looking to take the next step as a qualified animal trainer.

IMDT training and behaviour course for dog trainers
NRT - nationally recognised training - for animal studies, horse care and vet nursing
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Course outline


Laura has worked as the Head Dog Trainer and Behaviour Consultant for a busy veterinary clinic for over 25 years. She is a Fear Free Certified Professional and Member of the Fear Free Speakers Bureau. She holds her Certificate IV in Dog Behaviour Training and a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment is a full member of IMDT, APDT and PPG.

She has presented both locally and overseas to the AVA, VNCA, IMDT, APDT (USA) and PPG on a wide range of dog behaviour and training topics.

Fiona Cowie, IMDT

Fiona also has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, including 14 years as a detection dog handler with two government departments. She has also run a successful dog training business and is passionate about supporting new dog trainers entering the industry.

Fiona holds a Level 3 Certificate in Principles of Dog Training and Behaviour and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. She is also a full member of IMDT and PPG.

Both Fiona and Laura are passionate about professional development and have completed numerous industry recognised courses.

Guest Video Presentations

The course also includes guest video presentations by leading international experts:

  • Steve Mann – Founder of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers and Author of the books Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy, Easy Peasy Doggy Squeezy, Easy Peasy Doggy Diary and Easy Peasy Awesome Pawesome Dog Training for Kids
  • Ken Ramirez – Executive Vice-President and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training and Author of the books Animal Training: Successful Animal Management Through Positive Reinforcement and The Eye of the Trainer: Animal Training, Transformation and Trust.
  • Dr Susan Friedman – Psychology Professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. Susan created the concept of ‘Unlabel Me!’ and the Hierarchy of Behaviour-Change Procedures.
  • Dr Robert Hewings – Retired police dog trainer (Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment – London), creator of the UK College of Scent Dogs and Author of the book Scent Training for Every Dog.

Plus, you’ll also hear from these highly respected industry professionals:

  • Hannah Branigan
  • Michael Shikashio
  • Mikkel Bekker
  • Lori Stevens
  • Laura Monaco-Torelli
  • Lori Chamberland
  • Allie Bender
  • Emily Strong
  • Carrie-Anne Selwyn
  • Mary Hunter
  • Louise Ginman
  • Dr Rachel White
  • Scotti Harvey
  • Peta Clarke
  • Barbara Hodel
  • Helen Motteram
  • Aileen Stevenson
  • Ryan Cartlidge
  • Petra Edwards

This is a blended learning 12-month course. You will participate in:

  • Online learning from home (Approx. 23 hours per week)
  • Compulsory fortnightly Zoom (virtual) training sessions
  • Compulsory 2 x 4 day practical workshops based in Perth, WA. See: Key dates for workshop dates

Requirements for Practical Workshops:

  • Suitable training dog required
    Each participant will need to have a dog that is comfortable around other dogs and humans, crate trained and capable of lots of training. If you do not have access to a suitable dog, or are travelling from elsewhere in Australia to attend, you will need to advise us so suitable arrangements can be made.

Students must:

  • Complete a pre-training review, including a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) assessment. More info about the LLN >>
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be available to participate in ALL practical training days
  • Have access to a dog who will be comfortable to undertake the practical training elements. For the at-home learning components, there are no training pre-requisites for the dogs, as they will be in their safe environment. If you do not live with a dog, you will need to ensure you have access to a dog (i.e., family or friend’s dog they are happy for you to train with)
  • Be physically capable of restraining animals, lifting and carrying objects up to 10kg and standing for extended periods of time.
  • Have a reliable internet connection and access to a desktop computer or laptop. You will be required to write, submit and in some cases upload assessments and various types of multi-media files online in your own time, therefore we strongly recommend using a desktop or laptop computer for your studies
  • Hold the HLTAID011 First Aid Certificate – you are required to show proof of unit completion one week prior to the first practical workshop. You will need to study this certificate with an approved provider (see for a full list of providers)

This course is highly competitive and has limited places. Therefore, successful students are selected based on prior work experience, education, individual attitude and aptitude. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by an AVT team member.

At workshops, you will be required to wear:

  • An AVT polo shirt and name badge (supplied by AVT)
  • Enclosed black shoes (supplied by student)
  • Neatly presented, long comfortable work pants suitable for bending and manual work (supplied by student).

What will you learn?

ACM40322 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training contains 16 units of study (including your compulsory prerequisite HLTAID011 – Provide First Aid) covering a broad range of topics relating to animal training and behaviour. You will become competent in:

  • Interpreting animal behaviour
  • Understanding and applying animal learning theory
  • Evaluating best practice conditioning and training methodologies and techniques to meet the welfare needs of animals,
  • Conducting group training classes and consultations
  • Providing ethical training services for carers/clients
  • Developing and implementing enrichment strategies
  • Understanding animal anatomy
  • Interacting safely with animals

The skills and knowledge you will learn can be applied in a range of roles from trainers to animal handlers. For more information on careers working with animals read our article Top 6 Animal Care Careers.


Behaviour and Training Qualification for animal dog trainers

Course outcomes

Our graduates can go on to a wide range of roles across the animal behaviour and animal training industry. 

Job outcomes

Graduates from this course can go on to careers such as:

  • Animal Trainer (self-employed or working for an organisation)
  • Puppy Class trainer
  • One to one pet dog training consultations
  • Group Dog Class Trainer
  • Trainer in an animal rescue/shelter
  • Shelter Worker
  • Assistance Dog Trainer
  • At home enrichment Provider
  • Walk and Train Dog Trainer
  • Trainer in an animal boarding facility
  • Trainer in an animal services facility (day-care, veterinary clinic, etc)
  • Trainer or handler for a government organisation
  • Educational role within the animal care industry

Skills outcomes

Some of the skills you will be able to apply once qualified include:

  • Providing group dog training classes
  • Providing one to one animal training consultation services
  • Conditioning and training animals
  • Provision of appropriate enrichment for individual animals
  • Interpretation of animal body language
  • Understanding animal learning theory
  • Ability to interpret animal behaviour in a safe manner
  • Customer service and client education

Course content

You must complete the following 8 units (in addition to completing your compulsory prerequisite, HLTAID011 Provide First Aid prior to the first practical workshop. You will need to complete this unit with another provider).

  • ACMBEH301 Identify behaviours and interact safely with animals
  • ACMBEH403 Evaluate animal conditioning methodology and program design
  • ACMBEH404 Condition animal behaviour
  • ACMWHS401 Maintain workplace health and safety processes
  • ACMGEN402 Advise on animal industry compliance and practices
  • ACMBEH402 Develop, implement, and monitor enrichment strategies for animals
  • ACMGEN304 Promote positive wellbeing in self & others in animal care workplaces
  • ACMGEN303 Assess the welfare status of an animal

Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training Students will also be required to study:

  • ACMARM403 Identify and respond to animal behaviour in animal management and regulation environment
  • ACMBEH405 Provide individual advice on animal behaviour management/training
  • ACMBEH406 Conduct group training classes for animal owners or carers
  • ACMBEH407 Conduct animal behavioural assessments
  • ACMVET411 Prepare, deliver and review animal care education programs
  • ACMARM407 Conduct community awareness programs
  • ACMADT403 Train dogs using operant and classical conditioning techniques

What makes this course different?

  • Study with the Best

    Professionally written and delivered – this course is written and presented by industry experts Laura Ryder IMDTB KPA CPDT-KA FFCP and Fiona Cowie IMDT.

  • Supportive Learning

    Fortnightly Zoom classroom sessions, mentoring and training at your practical workshops plus additional assistance from our Student Support team.

  • Stress-Free

    You will follow a structured study timetable to ensure you stay on track. Our Trainers and Assesors will follow your progress and provide feedback.

  • One Year Course

    This course is interactive, engaging and hands-on. You will enjoy the flexibility of studying online and gain practical experience at our workshops.

  • Industry Leading Knowledge

    We develop and deliver our own tailored course material, so you get the latest and most up-to-date knowledge.

  • IMDT Membership

    A kite mark of quality in the dog training industry, also ensures you have continued support as you transition to employment in the industry.

What students say about our course

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: $6,850

Payable via our monthly payment plan. Initial payment of $1,500 plus 10 x $535 monthly payments and includes:

  • Learning guides (Downloadable)
  • Textbooks (Downloadable)
  • Dedicated student support
  • Support from AVT Trainers
  • Assessments and Certification
  • Membership in Private Facebook Group 
  • Practical training insurance
  • Practical Training Kit: Uniform, name badge, workbook 

*Fees, inclusions and payment plan amounts are subject to change. The compulsory prerequisite unit (HLTAID011 Provide First Aid) is an additional cost to the student.

If you decide to withdraw from study for any reason, refunds are not issued. Please see our policies page for full details. 

Register interest

Course Dates Application Status
Feb 2025 Intake
25 Feb 2025 - 5 Dec 2025

This course has limited places with high demand. We reserve the right to close course intakes before any advertised close date. 


All qualifications have been evaluated against the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) to determine the student’s proficiency in the essential core skills required for successful participation. These core skills include learning, reading, writing, oral communication and numeracy.  

All applicants will be sent a request to complete a language, literacy and numeracy (LLN) assessment evaluated by an independent organisation to assess if their current core skills are of the required level, to determine their suitability for the course. Where minor skill gaps are identified in successful applicants, those students will be provided with the necessary support to develop the required skill level throughout the course. 

The course will not be suitable for applicants where a significant core skill gap is identified in the LLN assessment. In such instances, unsuccessful applicants may be referred to an alternative study pathway or external support services to develop their core skills. 

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Care College

AVT has been delivering Vet Nursing and Animal Care related courses for over 25 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Outstanding Track Record

A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report found 93% of AVT graduates were employed or enrolled in further study after training and 95% of graduates would recommend the training provided by AVT.

Prerequisite course for veterinary nursing

Safe and Supported Learning

Our qualified teaching team have many years of experience as well as extensive backgrounds in the veterinary and animal care industry. They're approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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