Professional Working & Service Dog Trainers Course

Course Overview

The TASK-9 Professional Working and Service Dog Trainers (WSDT) Course is without question, the most comprehensive and advanced professional working and service dog trainer certification program in the world today. No other course gives participants such a complete education in virtually every facet of the working dog world.

The WSDT course is, in effect, a combination of virtually all of our training courses; from scent detection, obedience and technical skills, through to Law Enforcement, tracking and search roles. Successful graduates will not only receive full certification for the WSDT program but also additional qualifications/certifications for each of the specialist courses.

This program is structured for the practical application of skill development for dogs employed in working and services roles, and those persons that are looking for the best education in dog training and behaviour modification available.

This course is designed for those persons that are looking for the best education in dog training and behaviour modification available. Graduates from the program will have extensive knowledge and skills across many sectors of dog training that will prepare them for working in a professional agency, training organisation, or to conduct their own private training business. Many of our graduates are currently working in professional organisations or conducting their own professional training business.


Course instructors include some of the world’s leading experts on dog behaviour, breeding and training. You will also learn directly from highly experienced Law Enforcement and detection agency trainers, ensuring you get real-time training, not just the theory!

In addition to extensive practical training with dogs, the program also covers detailed learning on psychology and behaviour, reinforcement theory, animal learning processes, welfare and canine care.


The TASK-9 WSDT Course can be conducted on a full or part-time basis. The total time commitment depends on your previous background and which training modules you choose to include.

The part-time program is structured to suit persons who are looking to complete the course around their work and other life commitments. It requires a minimum average of 10 hours per week, over a 2 – 3 year period (depending on RPL and modules selected). For example 2 or 3 practical training sessions of approximately  3 hours each and 2 hours per week (on average) of home-based learning; including videos, webinars and training manuals etc.)

There are also opportunities to do full time Block Training sessions over several days or weeks, if you choose to accelerate your course and/or accrue training hours. We also cater for interstate and international students who wish to attend in blocks (weeks or months at a time).

The full-time program runs annually.

Areas Covered on the TASK-9 Working and Service Dog Trainers Course

  • Canine Psychology and Behaviour
  • Training Fundamentals and Learning Processes
  • Advanced Obedience and Control
  • Technical & Complex Skill Training
  • Agility & Obstacle Training
  • Pup and Young Dog Development
  • K9 Search Operations
  • Tracking and Trailing
  • Search & Rescue
  • Scent Detection Handler
  • Scent Detection Trainer
  • E-Collar & Electronic Training
  • Security & Law Enforcement Handler (Elective module available to eligible students)
  • Security & Law Enforcement Trainer (Elective module available to eligible students)


Training With TASK-9

Student instruction will be led by TASK-9’s Training Director, Boyd Hooper who has more than 35 years professional experience in breeding, training and working dogs. He is internationally recognised as an expert in K9 behaviour and training and is supported by our team of TASK-9 Instructors who have developed numerous dogs, from foundation through to an advanced technical level. Students will greatly benefit from learning from a team of professionals that regularly works with, consults to, and provides training for, a range of working and service dog agencies and organisations.

TASK-9 training is designed to develop the skills and knowledge of handlers and trainers involved in working and service dog roles, and also those persons that require high-level training in a diverse range of skills and situations.

All TASK-9 courses are hands-on, practical based training that allow students to work directly with our highly trained, working and service dogs through all aspects of their development. Students will also be actively involved with Australia’s leading working dog breeding, pup and young dog development program. This unique opportunity for hands-on experience with the development of young dogs and the training of advanced dogs is one of the key elements setting TASK-9 apart from other training programs. We are normally training/developing at least 20 dogs of various ages and breeds at any given time. Students will be part of the development and training process with all these dogs.

At TASK-9, we have a holistic and immersive teaching strategy with students involved in all aspects of dog development, training and care. Alongside our skilled team, students will follow the development of young pups through to world-class service dogs.

General Course Information


Due to the advanced nature of the training offered, persons who have no (or very limited) previous experience with dogs (or other animals) will require some training / education prior to commencement. This can be done via a range of options. To discuss these, please contact our Training Coordinator.

The course is primarily designed for persons who have completed a recognised certificate level course, Law Enforcement agency K9 handlers, and detection agency handlers, who are looking to enhance and develop their knowledge and skills in the specialist areas

Students must be able to read, write and speak English, unless the course is being conducted for international students (further details below).


Your Own Dog

In addition to working and training with TASK-9 dogs, you may choose to have your own dog to handle and train during the course. If you do not currently own a suitable dog, we can potentially arrange a candidate for you.

Student dogs are required to undergo a basic behavioural assessment (conducted by a TASK-9 representative) to ensure suitability for training in a working environment (reasonable levels of sociability, and general confidence, etc.).

Further details can be obtained by making an enquiry through the TASK-9 Training Coordinator.


TASK-9 offer Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for relevant experience and Recognition of Current Competency (RCC) for related qualifications / certification (including dog training, psychology and learning, animal training, service dog handling, dog care and welfare etc.).

Many of our students / clients receive at least some RPL or RCC and this may significantly reduce your commitment and the cost of our training programs. For example, persons with the NDTF Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training qualification are automatically eligible for RPL for all (or some) elements of several modules.

Further details can be obtained by contacting the TASK-9 Training Coordinator.

International Students

TASK-9 welcomes international students and can run courses in foreign languages utilising translators, either in Australia or in your home country.

Further details can be obtained by contacting the TASK-9 Training Coordinator. 


Course Delivery

Nominal Hours (without RPL / RPQ): 1350 hours

Each Module has a minimum number of hours (nominal hours) to achieve certification. The student is encouraged to do more than the minimum hours in each module in order to optimise their learning opportunities (there is no additional charge for completing extra hours).

Time Frame To Complete Course: Average time is 36 months from date of commencement for part-time students. For full-time students the program generally runs for 12-18 months (based on about 30 hours per week).

Course Program: There are regular training sessions run throughout the week, as well as some held on weekends and evenings.

Students will receive a copy of the TASK-9 training program (issued at least 7 days in advance) to allow you to plan around your schedule. TASK-9 courses are designed to provide flexibility, allowing you to train around your lifestyle and work commitments.

Although there is a minimum practical attendance requirement in each month, very few individual sessions are compulsory. Students are welcome to attend all training sessions relating to their selected modules – depending on their availability (particularly for part-time students). There is no minimum or maximum number of sessions you can attend in any given week. We recommend you attend as often as your schedule allows.

If you work full time business hours Monday to Friday with no flexibility, it is probably unrealistic to consider this training course due to the time availability and commitment required. Having said this, we will consider any reasonable application and try to accommodate your schedule.

Training Venues

Training is conducted at our professional working dog breeding and training facilities located in Melbourne’s outer Eastern Suburbs and offsite at field locations. Elements of the training program can be conducted at our Queensland facility – The National Canine Academy.

Our venues have large indoor and outdoor training areas and are equipped with full audio visual training facilities and the latest in training equipment and resources. Kitchen facilities and student amenities are available on site and a shopping centre is only minutes away, however public transport access is very limited.

Further details can be obtained by making a course enquiry through the TASK-9 Training Coordinator.

Course Resources & Learning Materials

Students will be provided with detailed course notes that will assist and facilitate their learning. In addition, students will receive an extensive range of highly detailed instructional videos each week throughout the course.

We will also be videoing students’ training regularly, for ongoing review and evaluation which you will have access to. This process will allow you to monitor and evaluate your own performance, as well as discussing your specific strengths and areas for development with your instructors.


Our facilities have an extensive range of professional training equipment, much of which has been developed by our research and development team to ensure safe effective learning for both students and dogs.

Much of our equipment is innovative and specially designed to facilitate the development and training of high-performance service dogs. Virtually all training equipment you will require throughout the course is provided

Students may wish to purchase their own equipment from TASK-9 for use during and after the course, as we are a supplier of high end professional training resources.

We also have a broad range of training equipment and resources available for sale to students.

Course Assessments

In order to consolidate your learning, you will be assessed on both theory and practical elements. If any assessments are deemed as Not Yet Satisfactory, you will receive further training and be given the opportunity for re-assessment.

Course Fees & Payment Options

Course Fees

Total Course Cost: $14,000 (AUD)

If you choose to pay in full, you will receive a discount of 10% (off the total course cost).

Instalment payments are available

We also offer commercial rates to agencies and specialist organisations.

Course Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of 5% (of the total course cost) is required with your enrolment application (Note: your application will not be processed without the deposit)

RPL / RCC: Any person eligible for RPL / RCC will have a reduced requirement of hours and a reduction in course fees, based on their approved RPL / RCC.

We will thoroughly discuss your background and experience prior to enrolment, to ensure we can offer the most RPL / RCC available to you.

Assessments for RPL / RCC are charged at $35 per Module (whether partial or full RPL / RCC).

Further information can be obtained by contacting the TASK-9 Training Coordinator.

Payment Options

After enrolment forms are submitted and a non-refundable course deposit of 5% of the total course cost is be paid, the balance of course fees can be paid using one of the following options:

  1. In full, no less than 30 days prior to course commencement
  2. In quarterly (3 monthly) instalments; the first instalment to be paid no less than 30 days prior to course commencement, with each subsequent payment to be paid on the same date each quarter, for the full period of 36 months
  3. In monthly instalments (by direct debit only); the first instalment to be paid no less than 30 days prior to course commencement, with each subsequent instalment to be paid on the same date every month, for the full period of 36 months


Note: Instalment Plans incur an Administration Fee of $150

If none of these options are achievable for you, or the course you are interested in is commencing in less than 30 days, please contact our Training Coordinator to discuss other options.

How to Enrol

An Enrolment Application can be obtained by emailing