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ACM40321 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training

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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 new ACM40321 Certificate IV in Animal Behaviour and Training is the gold star standard with input from internationally recognised experts in animal training.  Successful completion of this course provides you with the new 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. As a graduate, you will be prepared for employment as an animal trainer.

Course snapshot

NRT - nationally recognised training - for animal studies, horse care and vet nursing
IMDT training and behaviour course for dog trainers
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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 Cert IV Dog Behaviour Training and Cert IV 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 Cert IV Training & 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.
  • 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.
  • Rob HewingsRetired 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.
  • Lori StevensCertified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT) and creator of the Balance Harness.
  • Mikkel BeckerCertified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Lead Trainer at Fear Free Pets and co-author of the book From Fearful to Fear Free: A positive Program to Free Your Dog from Anxiety, Fears and Phobias
  • Ryan CartlidgeKaren Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), creator of the Animal Training Academy and popular podcast – ATA Podcast.

Blended learning, including online learning, online support and 2 x compulsory 4 day practical workshops. 

In addition to home-based online eLearning to complete and submit your assessments and with the support from our tutors, you will be required to participate in two four day practical workshops (as noted below). You will also be required to participate in regular online Zoom sessions.

Workshop Dates
Compulsory Practical Workshops for the upcoming course dates are as follows:-

  • Monday, 2nd May – Thursday, 5th May 2022
  • Monday, 17th October – Thursday, 20th October 2022

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:

  • 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 (ie 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 10 kg 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
  • be proficient in speaking and writing in English
  • due to the required workload and level of study, have a minimum level of schooling up to and including year 10, with a good understanding of science and maths
  • HLTAID011 First Aid Certificate – you will need to show proof of unit completion by the practical workshop on 2 May 2022. 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.

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?

ACM40321 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:-

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
  • Applying basic animal first aid
  • 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
  • ACMGEN309 Provide basic animal first aid

What makes this course different?

Become an IMDT dog trainer
Nationally recognised animal care course in Australia NRT

What students say about our courses

Fees & inclusions

Total course fees: Starting from $6,250

Payable via our monthly payment plan and includes:-

* Fees, inclusions and payment plan amounts are subject to change. The compulsory prerequisite unit (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. 

Apply now

Course Dates
Application Status
March 2022 Intake
Course runs March 2022 - February 2023
Applications Now Open
July 2022 Intake
Register Your Interest

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


To receive a credit for a unit of competency that you have previously been awarded, you must be able to supply a verifiable Testamur (certificate) or Statement of Attainment obtained from the issuing provider.

A Testamur or Statement of Attainment must either contain the wording ‘The qualification is recognised within the Australian Qualifications Framework’ or the AQF logo authorised by the AQF Council.

A Record of Results or Statement of Academic Record by itself is not sufficient when applying for a credit transfer of a nationally recognised unit of competency.

If you do not have a copy of your Testamur or Statement of Attainment you are responsible for requesting a copy from the issuing provider, we are unable to do this on your behalf.

For more information about RPL see our frequently asked questions here.

Why choose AVT?

Dedicated Animal Focused College

AVT has been training Animal Care and Vet Nursing students for over 20 years. It's safe to say there are no plumbing or hairdressing courses here!

Experts in Behaviour and Training

Our qualified Trainers and Assessors have been working in the industry for over 25 years and are regular guest speakers at industry related events all over the world.

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 are approachable and dedicated to helping students succeed.

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