For people interested in learning how to get into dog training, pet grooming or veterinary assistance, there is an online option that can fit around just about any schedule.

Animal Behavior College offers courses in each of the three categories and the first portion can be completed online and is self-paced. It was founded in 1998 and has since become the largest career vocational school of its kind in North America, according to a spokesperson for Animal Behavior College.

When the online courses are complete, the students enter into the next section that involves hands-on training with an actual dog trainer. Teresa Mathers said students will spend 100 hours or more working with their mentors, who can be found in just about every city in Arizona.

“We find trainers for ever student who will work with them to complete that section of their training,” Mathers said.

Once those hours are complete, there is a final online test and if they pass, a student becomes certified by the college.

“The goal is to let students work at their own pace while giving a comprehensive experience,” Mathers said. “The program can take a year or more.”

She said there are externship coordinators on staff and that their sole responsibility is to find mentors for the incoming students.

Once the course is completed, students have access to a job board through the Animal Behavior College website, which is only open to alumni. There they can find work with independent trainers and groomers, or even bigger places like Petco.

“They have a lot of options,” Mathers said. “Students start working with their mentor trainers or places like Petco. Or vet students usually find work within a vet hospital.”

Tuition for the Certified Dog Trainer Program ranges between $3,290 to $4,045. Tuition for the Veterinary Assistant School starts at $2,780 and the Grooming Program is less than $5,000.

To find out more information, visit the website,, or call 1 (800) 795-3294.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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