DTIA in the Community


Photo Credit: Kathy Kukuc

DTIA Scholarship

Each session, DTIA offers a full scholarship position to a shelter or rescue worker. Everyone at DTIA knows the hard work and dedication involved in the daily care of homeless animals and we feel strongly about facilitating those efforts in every way possible.

Scholarship Recipient, Luba, Tells Her Story

As a lucky recipient of the DTIA scholarship, I got to advance my career in animal welfare through this comprehensive, professional program. I gained a much deeper understanding of behavior and training, body language, stress, fear, and how environment plays a major role in a dog’s life. As the Adoptions Manager at a local rescue, the knowledge I acquired has been incredibly valuable. I truly feel that this program will help me save more lives by placing dogs in more appropriate homes and giving adopters the follow up support they need to work through common issues. I am now able to give every client professional, yet easy to understand, advice that can change the way they view their dogs and set them up for success.

Photo Credit: Kathy Kukuc

Attending the DTIA program was a wonderful decision. Not only will it advance my career, but it has also opened the door to so many other professional possibilities. I use the skills and techniques I learned every single day, even with my own dog! I’d like to thank the DTIA instructors for being so open with sharing their knowledge and for choosing me for the scholarship.

San Francisco Instructor, Gee, Tells Her Story

A generous act allowed me to pursue my career path as a dog trainer and I’ve never forgotten it. I was an animal shelter kennel supervisor and dreamed of becoming a dog trainer. I read everything I could get my hands on about reward-based, force-free training, then applied it to my work with the dogs in the shelter who needed extra help—even coming in on my days off to do so. Trying to save up the money for tuition at the SF SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers proved difficult on a shelter worker’s wage and I’d resigned myself to trying to find another avenue into the field. Then something amazing happened: my wonderful manager at the shelter spoke up on my behalf to the Board of Directors and convinced them, in recognition of all my hard work, to cover the cost of my tuition to attend the Academy. It changed my life path in so many ways. I’m delighted that we’re able to give other shelter and rescue workers the opportunity to attend DTIA.

Partnership between DTIA and San Francisco’s Animal Care and Control

Photo Credit: Kathy Kukuc

Free Behavior Consultations for Adopters

DTIA has supported adopters since 2013 by donating free behavior consultations for recently adopted dogs who need some additional guidance. 

Citizen Shelter Dog Program

At DTIA, we all have backgrounds in animal sheltering and we know all too well the challenges for dogs who, through no fault of their own, experience longer lengths of stay. We’ve partnered with SF Animal Care & Control to offer a 5-week “Citizen Shelter Dog” class as a way to help these dogs while they wait patiently for their new homes. The dogs are paired with shelter volunteer training partners and work together each week practicing what they learned at the weekly class taught by DTIA instructor, Gee.


ACC Alumni, Darwin

The dogs learn skills that will help them succeed in their adoptive homes, such as loose-leash walking in the presence of distractions and polite greetings. More importantly, the dogs get the opportunity to develop focus and engagement with their handler and learn how fun training can be!

On the other end of the leash, the volunteers get to add to their training skill sets, coming away from class with enhanced training abilities they can utilize with other dogs in the shelter population. DTIA graduates assist with class, facilitating their ability to fine tune their observation and coaching skills and providing excellent one-on-one attention for the volunteers.

Muttville Support

DTIA provides free behavior consultations to Muttville adopters to help senior dogs transition into their new homes.


From the Grads

"The wonderful trainers in the Dog Training Internship Academy (DTIA) helped make my dreams a reality. Not only do I have a greater understanding about how animals learn best and many hours of practice under my belt, but I also was given the skills to start my own dog training business right after graduation!" --Alyssa Hosbach, Owner of Dancing Tails Dog Training

From the Grads

"DTIA gave me a real understanding of the how and why of science-based, positive reinforcement training. I now come into new training situations with the ability to pinpoint all the necessary information and make a plan with confidence." --Sathid Pankaew, Behavior & Training Coordinator, East Bay SPCA

From the Grads

"Dog industry business consultant Veronica Boutelle recommended the DTIA program to me when I asked about apprenticeship programs. She is familiar with every program in the country and unequivocally pronounced the DTIA the best one available. Well, she didn’t oversell it." --Erik Grendahl, Canine Behavior Consultant

From the Grads

"Attending the DTIA program was a wonderful decision. Not only will it advance my career but it has also opened the door to so many other professional possibilities." --Luba Podolsky, Mutt Manager, Muttville