Welcome To NDTF

The National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF) is the National representative body in Australia for dog trainers from all fields. The Federation was established in 1993 in response to the recognised need for a representative and educational organisation for the dog training industry.

Professional Dog Training Courses

The National Dog Trainers Federation (NDTF) is Australia’s only government-approved provider for professional canine trainers. We offer a nationally recognised Certificate III in Dog Behaviour and Training. Our courses can be studied hands-on in Melbourne or via distance education throughout Australia.

Our History and Goals

The NDTF was established in 1993 to serve as a representative and educational organisation for Australians involved in the professional dog training industry. By bringing our members together, the NDTF opens up channels of communication and mutual support for all Australian dog trainers. We also promote ongoing education with professional dog training courses for Australia.

The NDTF also acts as an advisor to state, federal, and local government, industry, and the private sector – we make sure your voices and the voice of the dog training industry is heard.

Promoting a Higher Standard

By bringing dog trainers together, the NDTF encourages cooperation and collective action to promote higher levels of professionalism, integrity, and communication. As individuals, we often feel that our voices go unheard – but, as a coherent group with similar ideals and concerns, we can effect change and help steer our industry in the right direction

Pooches At Play


Educating owners and their pets of the importance of training your dog

National Dog Trainers Federation have decided to partner with Channel 10’s exclusive show “Pooches @ Play”. Working together we look to educate and create awareness around the importance of training your dog appropriately; as well as sharing tips an tricks on based around the care and well being of your companion.

NDTF Newsletter Sign-up

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National Dog Trainers Federation

Tips and Tricks to help you and your companion

Don’t Be A Square

Don’t Be A Square:

An Interview with Canine Connect

Observing the dog training industry there are no grey, or colourful areas, in terms of the ways in which trainers asses and develop a dogs behaviour. Ideas that were deemed contemporary are no longer “modern” as everyone is adapting the same training style; however, there is always a show when it comes to Canine Connect.

Based out of South Australia ‘The National Dog Trainers Federation’ come across Canine Connect who we feel is shaping the future of dog training. If you feel like the dog training industry is aging and is becoming ‘square’ than you might want to continue exploring the circus. Understandably that remark might become perplexed but it’s the only way to explain the trend we feel is coming to Australia. Interviewing Showman Scott (in the most humble of ways), we wanted to dive deeper into the world of “Canine Carnival”.

Scott explained how he come to develop the concept of a circus and how it “was developed after attending a seminary by Josh Moran (Barefoot Dog Trainer) in Melbourne” to which “he spoke fondly of the work being done by Francis Metcalf from ‘Canine Circus School’ in the USA.” It comes to our attention how prevalent trainer collaboration is not only on a domestic but international level within the Dog Training Community. He explained further how he and colleague Aleisha (Dog Training and Behaviour Specialist) realised “this was something we really wanted to do, something that matched our style”. Canine Connect explained “we have always been a creative bunch and this really helped us utilise our creativity and showed us we didn’t have to be the trainers the industry made us feel we had to be”, and this is where the conversation opened up.

It’s revealed that Canine Connect “believed to have helped more dogs through trick training then we did during our obedience days”. This isn’t the first time trainers have encouraged others to find their niche but previously the reward was for business fulfilment as opposed to personal. Scott implores that “trainers need to find their niche in training and stray away from being a ‘jack of trades, masters of nothing”. Now not to discredit all the traditional methods created and developed over time as Scott admits there is a clear need for classic practices, specifically for those with severe behavioural issues for the sake of not only the safety of the dog but Canine Connects trainers as well.

The NDTF have always encouraged trainer individuality and enjoy seeing success stories such as Canine Connect, so we instinctively “Do you think more trainers like yourself should develop innovative ways to train their dogs or are you a believer in traditional training only?”. His advice was

“I do however believe trainers need to learn to be more creative in their thinking and approach. Learning to brainstorm and think outside the square has been incredible for our training, our clients and has allowed us to reach more people in need.”

Canine Connect is constantly engaging with their social channels, where you’ll be able to recognise how they intertwine traditionally, “formal training skills such as solid drop, sit on place” but incorporate “creative use of distraction for proofing”. It’s small things like this that makeup Canine Carnival. Dressing up in crazy costumes that relate to the dogs’ natural surroundings (although the following example may not be so natural) are small ways in which Scott aims to develop a fun innovative method of training.
“In one of our videos, we had a lovely young German Shepherd named Senka. Her mum loves her Jiu-Jitsu and wanted to take her dog with her to some of her sessions but found it difficult as she would become frustrated and aroused watching people sparring.

None of our trainers are into martial arts but we wanted to do something along the lines near the end of her stay to simulate her real-world scenarios, in come the sumo suits and lots of laughs and fun. An easy combination of formal training in a not so formal way, this helps our clients understand that formal training does not need to be sterile or boring but in fact enriching for both the dog and human and functional. The more fun the client has, the more likely they will continue the training.”

The closing of that story, about clients continuing their training at home is something we include in Part Two of our interview, click the link to be notified when Part 2 is posted. INCLUDE LINK HERE

At the close of the topic of discussion being creative freedom in the dog training industry, we wanted to explore the integration of all facets of the canine industry to which Scott and Co-worker Aleisha both have been a part of.

Both trainers began their careers in dog daycare, where they worked with numerous dogs of various breeds and they recognized whilst studying with The National Dog Trainers Federation that this would have been a noticeable advantage. To further this ideology, Scott also provides the resources for their new training team to some hours in their one of two boarding kennel facilities and “strongly look for or suggest doing some time in a daycare, grooming, veterinary or other animal-related industry.” Being a seasoned trainer we would say Scott and Aleisha both see trainers coming through that are overly excited about becoming the best they can be as fast as they can. Although he can respect their eager attitude he exclaims “Life experiences can be greatly under-appreciated and a lot of new trainers seem to want to jump right into hard cases with very low experience or understanding.”

In Part 2 “Training Dogs; Training People” where we look at how sometimes our animals aren’t the problem but we are. Scott gives us insight to the thoughts of a trainer after they hand the dogs back to their owner, how misunderstood animals are in some cases, as well as his role in dog rehabilitation and companion animal training.


Canine Connect Digital Platforms:

Facebook: Canine Connect Australia

Instagram: @canineconnectoz

Website: http://canineconnect.com.au/


The Real Life of a Dog Trainer w/ Kacie Gauld

Every trainer comes into their own after becoming certified with us, and so they should. This is something we feel Kacie has done amazingly well as she is constantly explaining how over the years she has met many trainers both domestically and internationally that align their training philosophy with her own, in which she feels is very important.

“With so many trainers and training organisations available, I would say that the most important aspect of choosing a place to study is to find someone reputable, and whose training philosophies and values align with yours.”

So what is Kacie’s training method? She says she bases it around “finding what motivates dogs”. She applied a strong belief that there is no one size fits all method and that there should always be constant alterations to a dogs training regime dependent on what works best for them. With a strong belief that training should be fun, for the owner and the dog, and to Kacie it’s all about teaching the dog that they can control and make good decisions, not controlling or compelling the dog to make those decisions.”

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Defining Your Own Path as a Trainer w/ Kacie Gauld

Every trainer is different in the way they approach their expertise, and after talking with Kacie Gauld from “Kacie’s Puppy School” we discovered how important this is.

Kacie has built a long-term relationship with us, as we first come in contact with her many years ago, completing her Certificate III in Dog Behaviour in Training as a Distance Learning student. We got back in contact with her recently as she became a part of our Find A Trainer Service, and recently opened her new business.  We discussed all areas of the industry from extending her knowledge on an international level, and her development as a trainer to opening her puppy school and her opinion on the role of child awareness when it comes to them interacting with the dogs around them.

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An Insight Into the Industry- Part Two

Continuing on from our previous post with an experienced trainer and business owner Brydie Charlesworth, we asked her for her outlook on being a business owner and if her experience with The National Dog Trainers Federation helped her in any way.

Like all of our graduates that we continue to keep in contact with or they decide to keep in contact with us, we look to ask them why they do what they do. Brydie again struck a core as she explains that

“Nothing makes me happier than a happy dog and owner who are in a cohesive relationship. Seeing a new bond form between the dog and the owner where the dog feels heard and the owner understands how to communicate properly with their dog brings me so much joy”.

Brydie graduated with her Certificate Three of Dog Training and Behaviour and we wanted to know how completing her course made a difference in her career. Brydie explains how “her career was underway” prior to completing her course, but she does admit that “it’s opened more doors for me and allowed me to help more dog owners.”

Brydie continues as she tells:

“Gaining the certification has paved the way for me to be able to complete more business goals that I have set. It also introduced me to a lot of knowledgeable trainers who I’ve been able to seek help from when needed.”

Thanking her for being so genuine and honest with her responses we decided to close the interview with the question any cliché writer would ask,

“What is one piece of advice you would give someone looking to become a dog trainer themselves”

“To study the Certificate 3 in Dog Training and Behaviour through NDTF and do some work for another trainer to get plenty of hands-on experience before launching your own business. Be prepared for long days and hard work and keep an open mind. There are lots of brilliant trainers out there who will give advice if you are willing to listen and learn.”

We think she closed out the interview perfectly as she explains how being a dog trainer and opening your own business is no easy feat, and the hours although long and hard are all worth the smile on your clients face and the wag of their tails. She tells us that working alongside others is some of the best experience you’ll be able to get before you look to open a business of your own and how not only are their trainers out there wanting to teach, but they are also always looking to learn.


Feel free to check out Brydie’s website at:


An Insight Into the Industry- Part One

An interview with Brydie Charlesworth:

Getting insight into how others grow and develop within the dog training industry is always helpful for those aspiring to become a dog trainer one day themselves. People often say that we learn from our own mistakes but what if we didn’t have to. Working collaboratively in our industry is important as there is always a way in which we can learn from one another. As we work towards our end goal of assisting in the development of our furry friends, if we can bypass making our own mistakes by learning from the mistakes others have already incurred, than our own companions education won’t be negatively impacted also.

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Simply Communicate… or Communicate Simply

Today I got a message through from a client who has been incredibly pro active in training her new pound dog Murphy. The Murph had a few typical rescue type issues such as pulling on the lead, jumping up and was a little reactive in low light situations. Just a bit young and undeveloped and certainly exuberant in his Lab x way.

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