Can you see yourself assisting classes or teaching them yourself? If that intrigues you, even if it scares you a little, keep reading!

What the shadow program is:
The Shadow program is meant to develop future trainers into the trade in a positive way, to ensure your success! This opportunity allows you to shadow Barbara 1+ days per week for 6+ months. This is a learning experience and only offered to those candidates who have long-term aspirations of a career (full or part-time) in the professional dog world.
What you will gain:

  • Personal private mentorship. Learn from Barbara, voted #1 Dog Trainer in Rock Co. every year running.
  • Gain vast dog training knowledge, including but not limited to a wide range of training styles and strategies for all situations. TTK9 has the largest number of clients in all of Janesville, which offers you the most opportunity to learn and grow!
  • Gain awareness of the academic background and technical/interpersonal skills required to become a dog trainer. Learn what additional training is also hugely beneficial to have.
  • Build an understanding of the cultures and work environments in which Dog Training careers flourish and what to avoid.
  • Learn how to develop customized training plans and programs for clients, combining the goals and problems identified by the family with a concise assessment of underlying behaviors or concerns. 
  • Gain realistic experience in the workday, including the technical side of running classes, scheduling, administrative work, and more.
  • Develop an understanding of the critical connections between school, work, and professional goals. 

Shadowing varies in length of time, based on the individual candidate’s development. Most individuals apprentice for 6-12months before permanent employment is considered. This opportunity for permanent employment as a part-time trainer is not guaranteed after an apprenticeship but is a strong goal of the program. 

Who we are & what do we do; know the team you're joining!
The Thinking K9’s (TTK9) mission is to provide the highest level of dog training available, encompassing the whole dog. We strive to EMPOWER our clients, resulting in higher success. Our motto is: Obedience doesn’t have to be boring! HAVE FUN WITH YOUR DOG! 
Services we currently offer are: 

  • Group classes including Puppy, Core Manners, Parkour (Ninja Dogg), K9 Detection (nosework), Advanced Obedience, and more! 
  • Private training (must be in a group class as well).
  • Puppy (and dog) parties. 
  • Workshops.
  • Canine Good Citizen testing
  • and more! 


Requirements & Responsibilities:

  • You must want to become a dog trainer. This program may be offered to other individuals at a later time. 
  • The Shadow Education & Mentorship Program is open to serious applicants. The cost breakdown per night is as follows: 
    - $30 VIP. 
    - $40 if you've taken a class at TTK9.
    - $65 for outside applicants.
  • 1 night per week is required, with the opportunity for more. Hours are generally weeknights from 5:45p-9:30p.
  • Each night will consist of 2 training classes and cleanup/setup. There is a potential for occasional private training observations at an additional cost.
  • Applicants must commit to at least 6months of training.
  • Safety and client (human & dog) experience is our #1 priority. Barbara will guide you in which activities are appropriate for observation and others that you can assist hands-on with.
  • Absolutely NO discussing clients’ business with others. This includes, but is not limited to, why they are in training and personal insight into their situation. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Must be comfortable working with dogs of varying degrees of behavioral challenges and in training programs under supervision. This includes the ability to hold back any dog (on leash), regardless of size or breed.
  • Sign a 5-year non-compete contract and confidentiality agreement for both clients & TTK9.
  • Keep timely, open, and above-average communication with the team. 
  • Must be able to be on your feet & active for a minimum of 4 consecutive hours.
  • No recording outside of your personal notes.
  • Must strictly adhere to all safety and equipment protocols.
  • Should you be in isolation relating to Covid, attending virtually will be required.
  • No smoking anywhere on TTK9 grounds.