Questions to Ask When Choosing a Canine Massage Therapy Program:

  • How long has the school been in existence offering education in canine massage and bodywork?
  • What are the qualifications of the instructors? Do they have real-world experience providing canine massage to individual clients and extensive experience providing instruction in the field?
  • Does the program teach principles of massage as defined by massage industry standards?
  • Does the program include education in the following essential concepts: canine anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, canine behavior, canine structure, gait, basic massage techniques, advanced massage techniques, and techniques for working with special canine populations (puppies, geriatric dogs, differently-abled dogs, touch-reactive dogs, shelter and rescue dogs, etc.)?
  • Does the program focus on teaching canine low stress handling?
  • Does the program teach canine behavior and training methods (specifically positive reinforcement methods) based on recommendations from the American Veterinary Behaviorist Association?
  • Does the program focus on teaching mutual respect between the canine massage provider and the recipient?
  • Does the program stress and teach that every individual canine massage session is different for each individual client? A program should not teach a set protocol or trademarked name for therapy.
  • Does the program prepare the individual for the national certification exam offered through NBCAAM?
  • Does the program offer HANDS-ON instruction and opportunities for real-world experiences in the field?
  • Based on the amount and quality of in-class and hands-on instruction offered, is the program affordable?
  • Does the program offer accessibility to instructor mentoring and resources?
  • Does the program utilize various instructors and leaders in the industry to teach?
  • Is the facility out of which the program is taught comfortable, professional, and conducive to learning?
  • Is there a wide variety of dogs available to learn from and use in training?
  • Is the student-to-teacher ratio low?
  • Are there small classroom sizes?
  • Do internship opportunities exist for students?
  • Are there outside class learning opportunities students can take advantage of?
  • Does the program offer a comprehensive manual and resource guides?