University of Tennessee

Certified Canine
Fitness Trainer CCFT


The CCFT program provides students with the essential qualifications and tools to become an effective university credentialed Canine Fitness Trainer.  Students will be taught through a blended learning environment that includes online course work and live labs to minimize time in the classroom and maximize time with their hands on dogs.

The UT-CCFT provides essential concepts of canine body mechanics, anatomy, functional movement, behavior, nutrition, and an overview of regulatory issues and precautions for those desiring to coach, train or better understand the fundamentals of canine fitness and conditioning.

Students will advance their understanding and skills with hands-on labs focused on conducting canine fitness assessments, understanding injury prevention and care, program design and implementation. An emphasis is included on movement identification and correction as well as the opportunity to explore specialty life stage requirements for working dogs and sporting dogs, puppies, seniors and pet dogs.

Students must complete both the online and the hands-on lab courses to receive the UT-CCFT credential. Successful completion requirements include passing grades for both the online exam, lab exam and 3 case studies. Attendees who pass all requirements will receive a certificate from the University of Tennessee.


The program consists of 4 modules to be completed in order: 

  • CCFT I: Online Lecture Series (25 hours)
  • CCFT II: Live Lab Series (3-day hands-on Live Lab)
  • CCFT III: Case Studies
  • CCFT IV: Online Exam

Hands-on Live Lab Dates (CCFT II)

CCFT II Lab - Certified Canine Fitness Trainer Program (CCFT) - (Live Hands-on Labs)-0


To educate professionals who share a common interest in helping develop proactive fitness and conditioning programs that helps reduce the chance of injury, and encourages lifelong canine health through exercise.

Why our program?

The Certified Canine Fitness Trainer Program is for those interested in understanding proper canine exercise form, technique, behavior, and program design for optimum performance and injury prevention using science based, force-free training methods and canine-specific conditioning equipment.

As a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer, you will have the opportunity to provide guidance, expert instruction and immediate feedback to the dogs you work with and their handlers. As well, to understand your role as a Canine Fitness Trainer and a valued member of the Canine Health team that supports proactive foundations to the health and well-being of dogs in any life stage – from puppy to senior.

Our program offers the following advantages: 

  • The University of Tennessee Certificate Program in Canine Fitness is the only program for Canine Fitness to win the distinguished Outstanding Non-Credit Program Award by the Association for Continuing Higher Education.
  • Instruction by veterinarians and physical therapists, the majority of whom are board certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties. Instructional support by leading dog trainers, vet techs, personal fitness trainers, FEMA search and rescue trainers, and performance sports competitors.
  • Successful Canine Conditioning programs that rely upon in-depth communication between the dog and handler.
  • Commitment to presenting a comprehensive curriculum that provides a solid foundation upon which to develop a results-driven fitness program that utilizes a standardized fitness assessment on which to build and improve the practice of canine fitness and conditioning.
  • Upon successful completion of the program and examination, participants receive the designation of Certified Canine Fitness Trainer (CCFT).
Certified Canine Fitness Trainer Program (CCFT) Live Hands-on Lab: February 26-28, 2016 (Longmont, CO)-253


The program is open to the following:

  • Veterinarians
  • Veterinary Technicians
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapist Assistants
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Dog Behaviorists
  • Certified Dog Trainers

Dog Handling Experience (3 years is best) with proven track record in one of the following professions:

  • Policy, Search & Rescue, Agility Dogs, Therapy, Prison Dogs.*

*Proof of Dog Handling Experience must be provided (business license,
trainer certifications, performance sport credentials, or contracted work).
Other proofs may be considered, but are not guaranteed, to meet this requirement.