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Earning my Foundation Trainer Certificate from Fenzi Dog Sports

I took my first class with Fenzi Dog Sports Academy back in 2016, it was a scent work class and was part of my journey into Allergy/Medical Scent Detection. I fell in love with the instructors, the values, and the community. FDSA strives to be a place where everyone is welcome and the happiness and welfare of both dogs and people are critical. I have been taking classes there off and on ever since.

When they announced they had developed a Trainer Certification program I was excited to see that they required taking classes with their world-class instructors as well as proof of your training ability in the form of titles with your dog.

On the academic side of things, I was required to complete 40 credits in classes that focus on dog sport foundations in addition to 10 elective credits. Taking classes from a minimum of 5 different instructors. Learning from different instructors with different backgrounds gives you a much more rounded education and equips you with different ways to approach the same training scenarios.

As far as demonstrating the skills learned from those classes Freya was my girl. She is my Fenzi Puppy and has been in Fenzi classes since the day she came home starting with Baby Genius and Julie Daniels.

A black Bouvier Des Flandres puppy with an easter themed bandana
Freya 20 weeks old

The Fenzi Team program has expanded from its origins which focused on general competition obedience skills to titles in nosework, rally, and cooperative care. However, the original team program focuses not on obedience skills not from one specific venue like Mondi or AKC Obedience but on testing various foundation skills that will allow you to compete in multiple venues. Each level increases the difficulty of the exercises and each task is expected to be executed with an extremely high level of precision. Precision that perhaps isn't even expected in competition in some cases but if you can be that precise in these exercises then you should be able to be successful in a wide variety of venues and sports.

A black bouvier des flandres in Front Position looking directly into the camera.
Freya in Front Position

To earn my Foundation Trainer Certification I needed to earn a TEAM 1 and TEAM 2 title. These two titles show a progression of foundation skills such as fronts, heeling basics, stays, reducing reinforcement, holds, resisting distractions, jumps, position changes, nose work, and much more. As you can see in the graphic below these foundation skills can go on to be used in a wide variety of sports.

I am incredibly proud of this accomplishment and I am excited to continue to apply the knowledge and skills I learned through Fenzi Dog Sports Academy to help my dogs, my clients, and their dogs.

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