Jollytails Dog Training & Behavior Consultant Apprenticeship Program

Tristan Flynn speaking at his Reactive Dog Seminar in PEI.

Tristan Flynn speaking at his Reactive Dog Seminar in PEI.

Jollytails is pleased to offer a hands-on training and apprenticeship course for those looking to become professional dog trainers and dog behavior consultants, the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada. This mentorship program offers personal lectures along with hands-on training for behavioral consultation and reward-based training for pet dogs.

The goal of this program is for participants to become professional dog trainers and prepare the participant to pass an independent certification exam (CPDT-KA)

No previous dog experience is required to start this program. This personalized program will be tailored to the skill level of the participant.  

A chance for employment and continued work as a trainer with Jollytails is possible for successful candidates, however this is not a guaranteed outcome.

How does it work?

This is a 12-week commitment consisting of roughly 6 hours each week (48 hours total – 24 in class, 24 in private)

The program will consist of 4 different phases:

1)      Lectures on specific dog behavior topics (2-4 hours each)

  • Overview of Dog Training learning theory and the Dog Training landscape

  • Understanding Dominance, Status and Rank and the real role they play in pet dogs

  • An overview of Aggression, how to handle aggressive dogs and behavioral programs for improvement

  • Off Leash Dog play and dog-dog interactions

  • Teaching key training behaviors, leash walking, impulse control and leash reactivity

  • Understanding the role of punishment and negative reinforcement and its pitfalls

2)      A structured reading and video instruction guideline of different key material

3)      One on One training and case studies on how to address and help customers with specific dog behavior situations

4)      Shadowing, assisting and leading a live group training class

The participant will also work with the instructor to understand how to conduct private training, in-home behavioral consultations, in addition to prior case studies.

Lectures for the program will occur during the week at a time agreed upon with the instructor. Classes happen during the evening or on weekends.

The participant will shadow two separate six-week dog training group classes (1 hour/weekly) and be provided with class homework along with a structure summary of how to conduct group classes.  The participant will also attend two additional classes as an assistant and lead instructor.

Cost: $2500 + HST. Payment schedule will consist of a $500 non-refundable deposit to begin the program, along with two additional payments of $1000 by week two and week four of the program. Cost of books extra (projected at 500$) however there may be an opportunity to borrow the required materials for the duration of the program.

All instruction takes place at Jollytails Dartmouth, 40 Joseph Zatzman Drive, Dartmouth, NS.

The full program, lectures, classes and instruction is provided by Tristan Flynn, CPDT-KA, CDBC and Jollytails co-founder. For inquires and questions please email

Tristan training at Wolf Park in Indiana

Tristan training at Wolf Park in Indiana

Tristan & his 10 year old Berner, Freyja

Tristan & his 10 year old Berner, Freyja

About Tristan

Tristan Flynn, CPDT-KA, CDBC is a certified dog trainer through the certification council for professional dog trainers, as well as a certified dog behavior consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

He worked as a professional dog trainer teaching group classes and private training prior to co-founding Jollytails with partner Pamela Smith. Jollytails now has 4 locations, employs 35 people and sees over 300 dogs a day for daycare, along with hundreds of dogs in group training classes. Tristan serves as head of behavior for both daycare and training. He continues teaching group classes at Jollytails.

Tristan hosted “The K9 Connection” a radio call in show on dog behavior for 3 years which was heard all over Atlantic Canada and aired on the Rogers Radio network and locally on News 95.7. He continues to be a regular guest on the station. Tristan also hosted “Dog Talk” – a live segment on the Global Morning News by-weekly for all of 2016.

In partnership with Tawzer Dog, at the time the largest provider of videos for reward based dog training – Tristan filmed “The Leash Reactivity Blueprint” a 3 hour training DVD on how to work with reactive dogs. It became their number one selling DVD for that year, continues to be a top seller and was nominated in 2017 for a Dog Writers Association of America Award for best training DVD.

Tristan has lectured at many international conferences including the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, Pet professional guild, University of PEI Veterinary collage, NS SPCA conferences and provided webinars for both PPG and APDT. He was an APDT education committee member in 2016.