Attend the Foundation Workshop to Learn Canine PetMassageTM

What to expect when you attend a PetMassage Foundation Level hands-on workshop
This is one of the most often requested pieces of information about our training. We understand that making a commitment to attend a school away from your home town; and making a commitment to follow your dream to learn canine massage, is a big step. What kind of training can you expect? Who are the instructors and what is their experience in the canine massage field? What kind of things and experiences can I expect? These are all good questions to ask. We have a lot of information about our workshops on our website,, and I’d like to share a bit about them here in this newsletter.
There are three levels of professional canine massage training offered at the PetMassageTM Training and Research Institute. There is the PetMassageTM for Dogs Foundation Level, the Advanced Level, and Canine Aquatic Massage. All Foundation and Advanced workshops are taught at the physical PetMassageTM School in Toledo OH. 
Are there schools near me where I can learn PetMassageTM?
All Foundation workshops are taught at the physical PetMassageTM school in Toledo OH. Northwest Ohio is within 500 miles of  around 70% of the population of the US. That said, we have attracted students from every state in the US, from Canada, Uruguay, Japan, South Korea, South America, Taiwan, Australia, the Philippines, India, the UAE, the UK, and several countries of Europe.
Getting there and Lodging

Students fly into the international Detroit airport (DTW) and drive their rental car the 50 miles to Toledo. You can also choose to fly into the smaller Toledo Express Airport (TOL). 
Students usually find lodging at local hotels, some of which offer special rates for PetMassage students. A list of suggested hotels is included in the Workshop Travel information packet that will be mailed to you when you register. Or, if you prefer, you can find lodging at RV camps, through Airbnb, or make your own online hotel arrangements.
The Foundation Level workshop
The Foundation Level workshop was created to provide training for people who want to create businesses and careers working as canine massage practitioners. Learning PetMassage is like learning a new language. It’s a new and very different culture. And like traveling to any new country, it is best to have a knowledgeable guide.
Training is on-line and on-site.
PetMassage training is offered in two forms: on-line and on-site. There are the factual modules which do not require supervision and counseling: they are taught as on-line, home study courses. These include basic canine anatomy and business development and marketing. The content that cannot be effectively taught from a distance, the hands-on massage part, is the core of the instruction. It is the reason you are taking the training. You want to learn the correct and most effective way to massage dogs right?

Massage training, by its very nature, requires an instructor who is an expert that can clearly demonstrate, explain, correct, coach, encourage, and validate. For the hands-on instruction, you need someone who is more than a teacher. You need a mentor.
I’m an MT, an RVT, and I know all about dogs, so can I learn at home?

PetMassageTM has published many levels of books and videos to promote canine massage and for use as at-home training materials. Thousands of people have followed them learning to massage their dogs. Some have gone on to become excellent canine massage practitioners. However, for most of us, there is more to learn than that which can be conveyed in even the best –and ours are the best–books and DVDs. Even the people with the most experience with dogs and massage: pet care professionals, human massage therapists, dog trainers and handlers, can only get the most rudimentary level of training learning on their own with books and DVDs. 
There are so many interrelated facets of canine massage; one cannot expect to become an expert with just the textbooks. Several of these books and videos are part of the training material that Foundation workshop students receive to prepare for the workshop.  Serious students use them to prepare for the real training. 
PetMassageTM Foundation Level workshop is the integration of the most current theories and techniques of massage/bodywork with canine anatomy, physiology, and canine behavioral psychology. PetMassageTM is a vocation, a skill set, a philosophy, an approach to bodywork that can only be learned one-on-one. 
The best, and most enjoyable way to get this training, is in a workshop atmosphere. 
There are several benefits to learning with others. One, is that we learn best by observing others; talking about it, practicing it, sharing our challenges and successes. Another is that the feedback, the emotional support, the comradeship with fellow students helps the learning process. Attending a workshop, you discover your tribe; people who share your views and passions for helping and nurturing dogs gently and holistically, with massage. Some of our PetMassage students are still in contact 15 years into their practices. How often do you find like minded and like intentioned people? How often do you find dog lovers as fascinated and fixated about dogs as you are? 
Day by day descriptions.
PetMassageTM workshops, at the Foundation Level, are 5 days. They are scheduled over an extended weekend to accommodate people who need to take time off from jobs. Workshops begin on a Thursday morning and end Monday afternoon. 
The first day of the workshop is a day of introductions, getting to know your fellow students, instructors, staff, the dogs that people bring, your hotel, the route to the facility and restaurants. Toledo is an easy place to visit with friendly locals. The first morning you will get a preview of the contents of the course, share your expectations and massage your first dog. The morning is capped off with everyone going out to lunch together. Here we continue to share our stories, discover common threads, and begin to develop friendships that will continue long after this long weekend of activities. 
We want you to be able to practice PetMassage safely, comfortably and joyfully for many years. If you are not comfortable or injure yourself picking up a dog, you’ll stop practicing. That’s not in the dogs’ best interests or yours. The afternoon includes a special course we developed to identify and correct your body mechanics and gait. This specialized training offers personal analysis and exercises that will enhance every part of your life. This is a gentle course correction for you as you embark on your new career.
Day two begins with training in the specific type of dog handling that is necessary for canine massage. This dog handling is a PetMassage original. It’s unlike any other dog training or handling that you’ve ever heard of. In this mini-workshop, you will learn how to communicate with dogs using universal trans-specie body language, yoga breathing, and intention rooted in your self awareness. This is an awesome class, especially because you are moving as you practiced the day before. 
In days three and four, you learn to assimilate the body and gait mechanics and the dog handling, and combine them with the specific skills of PetMassagTM. This is often a confusing time. In these few days you are learning a new way of moving your body, holding your hands, using your fingers, and coordinating your footwork with your breath. You are learning concepts and practices based in Swedish massage, myofascial release massage, Tai Chi, yoga and meditation, and applying them all to canine massage. 
There is so much to remember! While you are immersed in learning the skills, applications, and the culture of PetMassageTM, you’ll enjoy the many “aha” revelations about yourself. And, you’ll absorb massive amounts of relevant information about dogs, canine massage, the culture of holistic therapy, and business; all in the fun and supportive environment of the PetMassageTM School. 
On the final day, we take a field trip to our local Humane Society. There, we provide PetMassageTM sessions to the temporary dog residents. This is a powerful-and-memorable and favorite experience for everyone who takes the Foundation Level Workshop. The safe practice sessions of the first four days, the ones under close supervision with dogs you know are left behind. This is the real world, with real-life needy dogs. The staff at the humane society love when our students visit because they “make their dogs more adoptable.”
After the Humane Society rite of passage, we have lunch together where we discuss and happily analyze what we just accomplished. Then, we’re back to the school for review, final return demonstrations and closure. 
Well, that’s the description. Make an informed decision about where you’ll receive your canine massage training. Would you like to read more? Here’s the link to the Foundation Workshop page:
I encourage you to read the testimonials that students have written:  
We have one more Foundation Level Workshop this year. It is November 10-14, 2016. Please join us. End this year with the beginning of an amazing new PetMassageTM career!

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