Foundation Mechanical Skills

Online, self-paced, mechanics course for trainers, training enthusiasts and those working toward becoming a trainer!

Mechanical Skills

Do you remember learning to drive? It seemed daunting, and even impossible, that you would eventually be able to work all the controls, moving feet and hands independently and in tandem, while also concentrating on the road, changing the radio station and adjusting the AC.

Maybe you have taken dancing lessons. Learning where exactly to place your feet while marking out each step, movement and posture. After some practice, you are able to do these moves seemingly unconsciously, without too much thinking required.


We attribute the term “muscle memory” to such skill building often experienced with learning to drive, dance, play an instrument or in sports.

These are mechanical skills and animal training is founded in mechanical skill. Not magic, or “instinct” or mystical powers as so many trainers and TV trainers attest. It just requires skill, knowledge and observation…oh, and tons and tons of practice.

We are sorely lacking good teachers with many believing that just getting behaviour, in animal training to be sufficient. Just getting behaviour is just not good enough.

Good teaching is particularly important for our animals learners, who cannot truly consent to training and who are vulnerable to the whims of humans. Good teaching is part of providing the animals in our care with good standards of welfare.

If you want to teach behaviour, get results and keep you learner happy and engaged, no matter the species, mechanical skills are the keys.

This program, made up of three component courses, will introduce the foundation concepts in teaching from setting up learning environments to monitoring your learner’s comfort, to applying learning theories and drilling mechanical skills.

Foundation Mechanical Skills Program

At a glance: 

When? You can start any time!
Apply here and let us know about your teaching and training experience.

Where? From the comfort of your own home, anywhere, any time!

Who? This course is for professional and student animal trainers, and enthusiasts.
This is a beginners course suitable for those who wish to build on this start, working toward becoming a professional trainer.
This is also a great revision and refinement opportunity for established trainers, who will benefit from structured work, with feedback.

How long? This is a self-paced course, usually taking 3 months to complete. You will have access to the online course area, materials and supplementary resources for four months from your enrollment.
There are three component courses taken concurrently as part of this program:

  • L1 Set-up for Success
  • L2 Fundamentals
  • L2 Clicker Mechanics

How much? Program fees are €80 payable via PayPal or bank transfer, for the entire program. Assessment submission is optional and costs a further €20, payable at submission.

Foundations group image

To participate, you will need:

  • access to suitable learner/s of any species
  • teaching equipment such as clickers, reinforcers and so on
  • appropriate places to work with animal learners, with a chair, table, bowls and so on
  • dice
  • a device and internet access
  • you need to be able to use the internet, blogs, Facebook groups and if you wish to participate to the fullest, be able to record and upload your short training clips
  • means to film your work for guidance and feedback when it’s posted to our Facebook group; it’s best that you can set up the camera or have someone else hold it so that we can see you and your dog.

You get: 

  • 24/7 access to the course online areas, from anywhere, for four months
  • optional assessment submission and self-paced learning
  • multiple media learning resources for viewing or downloading
  • course manuals and assessment portfolios
  • three courses with over 20 instructional and demo clips
  • comment facility at the online course areas for participation, enquiries, interactions
  • access to a Facebook group to post videos for feedback and to interact with participants

Topics covered include:

  • behaviour and environmental interactions
  • training session set-up and planning
  • enrichment and learner welfare
  • reinforcers
  • precision and competency
  • ABCs of behaviour
  • mechanics of reinforcement
  • markers, clickers
  • seven clicker mechanics games including positioning, reinforcer handling, observation and capturing

Your mechanical skills are the foundation for your teaching success and something that AniEd prioritises in all our trainers. Join us on this journey to building mechanical skill,  and lots of skills, ideas and knowledge applicable to all areas of animal teaching.