Instructor course

The instructor course is for participants from authorities such as law enforcement or armed forces. Objective of the course is to provide well versed dog handlers/trainers with the tools needed to be effective and comfortable in instructing other dog teams.

Each participant chooses themselves what topic/topics to focus on. We prefer having a mix of participants focusing on a variety of different topics. For example detection and tracking together with participants training single purpose attack dogs or patrol dogs. And we do our best to bring on such a mix of participants and skills in the group of 4-8 participants.

The course will be online on two Internet platforms; Zoom and Workplace. The daily training will be done via Workplace where the participants upload their video clips. One advantage of the online format is that participants can fit the course into their ordinary schedule. The participants will receive feedback at least once every day.

The course is divided into two main blocks with shorter segments.

The first block focus on having a systematic approach to the practical dog training. Participants use their own dog(s) to improve their skills in setting goals, identifying skills and breaking them down into separate behaviours for dogs and humans, planning, carrying out and evaluating the effects of the training. Reward development and functional obedience will be done by all participants but the other skills are chosen after discussion with the participants to fit the needs of their units.

Examples of subjects from block 1:

·       How to set specific and measurable goals

·       Creating a procedure for selection of dogs

·       Reward signals

·       Using progression plans to plan and evaluate training

·       Basic learning theory

The second block focus on how to transfer knowledge to other handlers/trainers. As per today there has not been much work done on how to be a more effective instructor. We will therefore depart from a similar but more well researched student-teacher context. Instructing dog handlers/trainers has many similarities to supervising PhD students at the university. While the supervisor has the overarching responsibility for providing knowledge and maneuvering the student towards the end goal, the student is responsible for the daily work.

Participants have the possibility to continue training their own dog(s) or appoint a “project dog team” that they can instruct and receive feedback from for a period of approximately 6 months. Reward development and functional obedience will be trained by all project dog teams but just as above, the other skills to be trained are chosen to fit the needs of the respective dog teams.


Examples of subjects from block 2:

·       How humans learn

·       Creating trust

·       Giving and receiving feedback

·       Basic principles of student-teacher interactions

·       Scenario based training

·       Training for high arousal

Participants and their project dog teams have unlimited access to the SWDI app and SWDI webinars during the course.

Duration: 1st of February 2025 to 1st of February 2026. The participants are expected to devote, on average, one hour per day for this course.

Price: 6 450 Euro per participant. Payment can be done once or quarterly.