Trainer Accredited by Kay Laurence


Study course and mentoring program

There is no start date at present for the next TAKL course. If you are interested in getting started on some material I recommend the self-paced courses HERE:


Many of us in the dog training world never set out to be a dog trainer, we arrived in similar fashion from living with a single dog. Our step into the world often began out of necessity and we discovered an adventure that brought sunshine and a feeling of fulfilment. Our journeys travelled in many different directions suiting our interests, capacity and type of dog.

My journey began when the options were few and information limited, but authentic. The journeys in 2020 are looking quite different where information is limitless but often a jumble of nonsense and old wives’ recipes and theoretical rather than practical. Travelling upstream is now more of a nightmare of rapids rather than paddling a voyage of discovery.

Training brings an ever evolving and re-evolving learning cycle.

We learn, we apply, we return to the beginning and learn again.
We explore, we expand, we blend learning from the experience of the dogs we live with and the clients we teach.
We integrate learning from other fields of study, we reach into every aspect of a dog’s life.

Moving upstream is successful and self-motivating when based on clean training skills, a good understanding of teaching and learning in strong, sound core behaviours. Confidence for both trainer and learner ignites enthusiasm and a desire to learn more. It does require a strong commitment, particularly if this in addition to a busy life.

Dogs are incredible teaching masters, they may not tell us what to learn but they do give us clear feedback on what we have learned and how we are doing. We need skills to interpret this feedback and identify how to improve our communication. From successful planning, observation and analysis, to our personal awareness, evaluation and motor skills. All can impact on the quality of our teaching and enhancing a relationship of trust and confidence.

Education, knowledge and understand will underpin how we set out ethical guidelines.

TAKL2020 is a blend of a study course and a mentoring program. You can follow either route or a combination through self-selecting and self-progress. You can regard it as a mentoring process or as a pre-designed curriculum. You can choose your own study options and progress to certification or not. The course encourages self-directed learning and critical thinking developing a new mind-set that will project forward to every dog you share your life with in the future. There is very little space for branded training recipes, off the shelf solutions or quick-fixes.

The course is equally suited to someone who enjoys training with their own dog or a professional teacher and trainer with clients.

We aim to provide a safe learning environment that will develop confidence in your training skills and build a depth of understanding for your future life or career with dogs. We build a network of trainers who support and develop common interests from around the world.

The program consists of a core of forums and resources, membership as a Setter to the Learning About Dogs website, monthly consultations, and credit-options to be used for the Short Courses, Geek weekends, Business or Project Development. The Annual Fee includes 10 credits to be used for your choice of Short Courses, Geek Weekends, and/or Development project, and/or Interim & Final Assessment.

Central Core

This is an open ended series of resources, discussion topics and study support in the Moodle learning environment. It is accessible to all participants of the TAKL2020 program. It provides useful resources such as forums, glossaries, Wikis, books, forms, lesson plans etc.

You can log in on a daily or regular basis, contribute to the forums, participate in research groups, assist in projects, share questions or seek general feedback on your personal projects.

Core Resources

These are resources which cover the study format for TAKL Certification: evidence based learning, preparation for assessment, and learning support.

Assignments and projects from previous TAKL graduates will be available to research.

Monthly Consultation
Private consultation with Kay Laurence

These should be booked in advance and can be scheduled monthly at the same time. You can request a review of written material, review of a case study, short or long term personal training plan, advice on integration of a new dog, rehabilitation, development of a youngster for sport or just an improvement on your heelwork. The format can be by email, a video review, VOIP.

There will not be an option to accrue or carry forward allocated hours.

Monthly Discussions

These topics are designed to focus attention and discussion on several key elements that are not directly covered in the practical Short Courses and may include topics that arise from outside the course to add a depth and understanding.

Topics such as:

  • Integrating a new dog to an existing household
  • Living with multiple dogs: management and training
  • Recovery from punishment based learning
  • Choice in training
  • Setting your ethical guides
  • Curriculum design
  • Development for sensitive and shy dogs

Complimentary topics will be added that may cover health issues, puppy rearing, behavioural specialties, diet, exercise, multiple dog management etc.

Discussion topics in forums will only be accessible for a limited time as the programme is based on a roll-on: roll-off enrolment. As people leave the course, their contributions to the forums will be deleted. Topics will be re-generated on a regular basis.

Study Guidance
Feedback and Review

As you are progressing it is important to prepare your work and get guidance and feedback. This is particularly relevant is you are aiming for Certification. Work can be submitted for feedback and review with Clare Russell, ( Learning About Dogs Teacher). Preparing evidence to meet criteria may be a new form of study but it is an excellent exercise in building a comprehensive body of work at the core of your learning. We consider this process is an integral part of become a trainer of the future whether TAKL Certified or not.

You can select and study for the criteria in any order and at your choice. Many participants already have excellent skills and can achieve assessment credits where they have the evidence for the specific criteria.

All participants will have 10 hours of study assistance within the year with presentation of prepared evidence for feedback. Learning in this format does require discipline of time management, prioritising work-loads and a focus towards a long term goal.

Preparation of your evidence may be presented through journaling, projects, essays, reviews, video, articles or blogs.

This feedback and assessment preparation can be used for Short Course certification or Final Assessment.

Setter Membership

Setter Membership is access to a continually developing series of online resources, including  articles, projects, articles that are “beyond the collar”, questioning popular concepts with discussion options, teaching books from Kay Laurence, forums for sharing your passion: your breed, activity or interest, self-teaching courses library, presentations archive.

If you are already a member, credit for non-used months will be processed.

Additional Options

Credits may be used for these options:

Development of Business or Project

10 hours of consultation, development and design for a personal passion or interest.

This may be launching your own business or adding another income source to your existing business. It can be a course design, sport or activity, breeding a litter of puppies, website development, new resource or product. You are welcome to present on outline for suitability before payment.
This option is only available to those enrolled in TAKL2020.

Interim and Final Assessment

Assessment is based on evidence of competency provided by the individual. Evidence should be authentic, original and sufficient. It may be completion of practical exercises and projects; training your dog, with planning, self-assessment, review and evaluation; written and/or video essays and activities.

Studying for the final assessment will involve good organisational skills and record keeping of evidence for the (37) criteria. Evidence for either interim or final assessment will only be accepted in .pdf format with full referencing to criteria. Collation of this material will contribute to your portfolio for final assessment for certification if you wish to take that option. Successful completion will lead to certification as:

Trainer Accredited by Kay Laurence (TAKL) with an option to progress to

Teacher Trainer Accredited by Kay Laurence (TTAKL) for those teaching other people.

Before booking interim and final assessment a schedule of presentation of the material must be agreed.

At least 50% of the material submitted for final assessment must have been through an interim assessment / feedback. This two-step assessment process ensures the maintenance of acceptable standards. In the case of final assessment not being successful, a student can require independent verification of evidence from an approved assessor recognised by a national qualification body.
Material presented for review can be returned for further evidence to be provided. This must be completed for 2nd review within 60 days.

A certificate is evidence of having met the criteria at the time of completion. It is not intended to be a qualification that is ongoing, but does indicate achievement of an outstanding level of competence, self-assessment and application in training.

Enrolment and Fees

Enrolment is for 12 months from the date of payment and completing at the end of the calendar month 12 months later. Unused credit-options are not eligible to be carried forwards.

Learning Format

Material for studying on the course will be provided in pdf format. You will need to have access to download (streaming) videos to study. There will be no live video or webinars.

For feedback, consultation of videos and certification you must be able to video your training and upload to a suitable video format. All written material must be in pdf format.

Study lessons and certification process with be managed within the Moodle format. Additional resources, such as previous online courses, presentations, are available in the members (Setters) area of the website.

Your learner can be any type of dog of any age that you have access to train several times a week. Competency is measured in your skills as a trainer, not in the skill level achieved by the dog. Simple behaviours carried out to a high standard are valued more than complex or sport behaviours.

How much you get from this course will be dependent on your personal investment in the learning. Competence development is based on a clear understanding of the skills, how they are developed and reliant on regular practice, assessment and feedback.


Previous participants of the Intelligent Dog Trainer Certificate, TAKL 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 are available to give their review of the course.


Refunds are only available within 2 weeks of enrolment, with a deduction of a 10% admin fee. Places on the programme are limited. No refunds are available after that date although deferment is available under exceptional conditions.




Development of Business or Project


Final Assessment


Interim Assessment


Annual Fee subsequent year

The Heartbeat of Geek-land

“Experts”. “Specialists”. Are we?

It really doesn’t describe us, but “Geeks”, yeah, that’s more of a comfy fleece.

“People who have a passion”. “People who talk about it even when they are not doing it, have a hunger to learn more and more …”

Yep, I’m a Training Geek. I would prefer to be a “teacher for dogs” Geek.

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