Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program

Welcome to the Fear Free Animal Trainer Program!

Completing the Fear Free Animal Trainer Course allows trainers to work in partnership with veterinary teams to prevent and alleviate fear, anxiety and stress and improve an animal’s emotional wellbeing during veterinary care and home care. The certification course is designed to give qualified animal trainers the knowledge and tools required to begin implementing Fear Free techniques with their clients’ pets at the veterinary hospital, through in-clinic training classes for puppies and kittens, and in day-to-day training of animals in the home.

Trainers who complete the Fear Free Animal Trainer Course will acquire the skills to manage and handle dogs and cats alongside the veterinary team during veterinary visits and care to ease the pet’s apprehension regarding exams, procedures and other care. The techniques may also be used in a home setting for carrying out or administering specific veterinarian-prescribed care plans or routine care such as grooming. Most important, the Fear Free Animal Trainer is equipped to prepare pets for what to expect at the veterinary clinic so they have an enjoyable, stress-free experience.

By collaborating with and complementing the veterinary team’s efforts, the trainer can better provide preventive services and partner with the veterinary team to address training and behavior concerns, working from a whole health concept and with the oversight of the pet’s vet. In doing so, the pet and pet parents have a higher quality, unified team providing quality, complete care.

The purchase of the Fear Free Animal Trainer Program courses provides you with an annual membership to the program (separate from the Fear Free Certified Veterinary Program) and requires an annual renewal fee. See FAQ below for full details.

NOTE: The Fear Free Animal Trainer course is only open to training professionals who meet prerequisites that ensure a specific level of knowledge, education and experience. This includes passing a short test. Please be sure you are familiar with all of the prerequisites (outlined below) prior to registering, as refunds will not be given for misrepresenting or failing to meet the prerequisites.

Six modules, each with three to five lessons, comprise the Fear Free Animal Trainer certification course. Online training includes audio narration of information, videos, and course information in writing.

Module 1

Module 1 lessons address the Fear Free mission and core concepts, the trainer’s role and goals, how to work with the veterinary team to manage a pet’s fear, anxiety and stress, and teachable moments for calmer behavior and care.

Module 2

Module 2 lessons cover ways to take pets safely, comfortably and serenely from the home to the hospital, gentle control techniques as applied to veterinary care, team planning for care, modifying care when needed, preemptively acclimating pets to the veterinary environment, and integrating training and veterinary care.

Module 3

Module 3 lessons deal with trainer services that may be offered. These include socialization classes in the hospital or clinic, integrating veterinary care preparedness into puppy and kitten classes, familiarizing animals with veterinary equipment, conditioning animals for calmer care, and developing communication cues.

Module 4

Module 4 lessons teach cooperative care concepts such as positioning, voluntary interaction with veterinary equipment, and pet participation and permission for care.

Module 5

Module 5 lessons include stationing and active participation behaviors such as pets remaining in place for specific periods of time as needed, developing active pet participation in care, and teaching behaviors that can be useful during care.

Module 6

Module 6 lessons address how to implement and integrate the information acquired in prior lessons for administration of prescribed care as well as calmer home care. It also covers working with the veterinarian and veterinary team and ways to apply Fear Free certification.

The Fear Free Animal Trainer course is open to training professionals who meet prerequisites that ensure a specific level of knowledge, education and experience. Trainers seeking Fear Free certification are highly encouraged to have experience working in a veterinary hospital/practice setting. Eligible trainers will meet the following prerequisites:

  1. Passing score on intake exam testing baseline knowledge (preview the exam below)
  2. Current certification with approved organization and/or proof of completing approved continuing education course
  3. AT LEAST ONE of the following approved Certifications, Licensing and Educational Programs:

To successfully complete the course and attain certification as a Fear Free Animal Trainer, all qualified registrants must:

  • Pass each online module with a score of 80 percent or higher
  • Sign the Fear Free Pledge, a commitment to uphold a humane, emotionally protective code of conduct and ethical standard for pet care, training and professionalism.

NOTE: There is an annual renewal fee to maintain certification. See full details in “Annual Renewal Fee & Requirements” section below.

There is an annual fee of $99 to renew your Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification. Renewal fees includes access to new courses (specific to trainers) that will be published annually around the end of the calendar year.

Some important things to remember about your start and end dates:

  • Renewal fees are due annually, one-year from your original registration date (not one year from your certification date). Watch for reminder emails and instructions on how to pay your renewal fee.
  • Certification is only valid from the time you meet all of the requirements outlined in the Certification Requirements section above (passing the course, signing the Pledge, etc.) until your renewal date.
  • Because of this, registrants are encouraged to complete the course in a timely manner to make the most of your membership.

Maintaining Fear Free certification also requires remaining in good standing with the Fear Free organization by upholding ethical standards and codes of conduct.

Skills Learned

  • Reduce or remove anxiety triggers that can cause pets to become fearful at home, in transport, and at the veterinary hospital
  • Help owners deliver calm pets to your hospital
  • Enhance the quality of care your training clients receive
  • Increase compliance with administration of veterinary care
  • Improve safety for the veterinary team

Additional Benefits

  • Downloadable handouts and work sheets specific to the trainer course
  • Downloadable educational material to take home for your clients
  • Fear Free Educational Library
  • Fear Free Toolbox: Downloadable marketing tools, drug charts and more
  • Private Facebook group
  • Fear Free Podcast Series
  • Additional courses offered complimentary or at discounted rates

Continuing Education

  • This course has been approved for 10 CEU’s from CCPDT, IAABC, and KPA as well as 10 RACE approved CE hours


  • $99/person for current members, or $199/person for nonmembers



$199 for first year

 ($99/year to renew)

Current Members

$99 per year

(counts as renewal, see FAQ below)

Fear Free Animal Trainer Program

Frequently Asked Questions

I am a certified professional, and a trainer. What are my options to renew?

As a certified professional and animal trainer, you have two options for renewals:
1) Renew under the veterinary professional course with Level 2, or
2) Renew by registering for the Animal Trainer Certification Course.

Each course is priced at $99 for already certified professionals. And if you would like, you can of course take both courses!

I have not taken any Fear Free courses before. Can I take the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program?

Yes! This course is designed for trainers without any previous Fear Free experience. You do need to, however, be certified/accredited or a diplomate of one of the organizations listed on our website in order to qualify for the course.

I already took the veterinary Fear Free Certification program, can I also complete the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program?

Absolutely! This course is designed for animal trainers and will provide trainers with invaluable education and resources as it relates to working with Fear Free certified veterinary professionals. As an existing member, you will be able to take advantage of preferred pricing for this course of $99.

Can I take this course instead of the Level 2 course?

Yes, animal trainers are encouraged to take the Animal Trainer Certification Course rather than the Level 2 course, as it is written for trainers. To renew, simply purchase this course and email wags@fearfreepets.com so we can set it up as your renewal.

Help! I just renewed and would rather have the animal trainer course than the Level 2 course, can I swap them out?

Yes! Please email wags@fearfreepets.com and we will be happy to assist.

Will the animal trainer program offer a new course every year?

Yes, the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Program will offer a new course annually, in time for renewals.

Who should take the Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Course?

The Fear Free Animal Trainer Certification Course is written for experienced, and accredited/certified animal trainers. It is not suitable for professionals looking to become animal trainers; rather the Fear Free course is designed to be a way for existing trainers to increase their knowledge and skills. The course is designed to teach animal trainers with the knowledge, tools and skills to work alongside the veterinary team as a Fear Free professional.