PetMassage Foundation Level Program

Prospective Students:

The Foundation Level Program is vocational training for people in “transition.” PetMassage students are people who have realized that they can combine their love for dogs and appreciation for massage as a passion and as a career.

PetMassage graduates are recognized for excellence in skills and understanding, sensitivity and compassion, reliability and ethics. Our students create successful private practices for house pets, sport dogs and dogs in veterinary rehab.

PetMassage students are

  1. “veterans” of the corporate world seeking a purposeful career working with dogs
  2. dog care professionals (DVMs, RVTs, dog trainers, handlers, breeders, walkers, sitters, shelter staff)
  3. Human massage therapists and physical therapists

PetMassage programs attract students who are inclined to share our philosophies of touch, connection, service, and commitment. While the traditional physical therapy – medical massage mind-set is important, our approach is holistic and spiritual. We incorporate many of the energy concepts and practices of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Tai Chi in our massage practice. Our practice supports and integrates easily with the work of veterinarians and other animal health and wellness practitioners.

The level of prosperity you can expect is directly tied to your commitment, marketing savvy, and of course, who you know. Hopefully you are already connected to dog agility groups, dog park groups, dog trainers, and/or vet rehab clinics. It’s important to know up front though, that building a business takes time, effort, and lots of patience. You don’t have to do this alone. As a graduate of the PetMassage program, you will have our ongoing complimentary support and guidance.

Over the years over a thousand people have trained with PetMassage. Our practitioners have successful practices in every state in the US and in over a dozen countries. The demand is there...and growing.

A healthy respect and adherence to legal restrictions is essential. We are careful not to suggest that we are practicing veterinary medicine. We do not diagnose, nor do we state that we are doing “therapy” or “treating” any specific condition. Of course you can do more when you are working in a vet clinic under a DVM’s supervision and professional license.

What we can do - and say when describing our private practices - is we assist dogs by optimizing their quality of life.  PetMassage increases circulation of all the fluids in the body, stimulates skin and superficial fascia to enhance flexibility, increases bone density with our manipulation techniques, and helps dogs’ psychosocial skills. Everything we do is done to improve dogs strength, balance, and vitality. PetMassage makes dogs happier and healthier. So, our work enhances dogs minds and spirits, as well as their bodies!

Vocational training. Part of our Foundation workshop is the home study module Creating and Marketing Your Canine Massage Business. We encourage our grads to be entrepreneurs. As a PetMassage graduate, you’ll have the skills and credentials so you can work with your vet in their office, work as an independent contractor in dog day cares, and take private clients as a mobile service or in your own office.


PetMassage has the unique skill sets that will surely enhance what you are doing now. Even if your expertise is as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM), Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), dog groomer, or dog handler with decades of experience, there is always more to learn. Even if you are a human massage therapist, you are guaranteed to have “aha” moments.

This program builds on the information from the PetMassage books, DVDs, YouTube videos, and home study modules.  Our goal is to build your understanding and skill set until they are to a professionally functional level.

Workshops area combination of lecture, discussion, and lots of supervised hands-on practice. All practice work is done with live dogs. Everyone gets to experience a wide variety of dogs’ sizes, breeds, ages and temperaments.

This hands-on on-site program is held Thursdays through Mondays from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Canine massage techniques include:

  • Friction
  • Effleurage
  • Still-holding
  • Lymphatic drainage
  • Joint mobilization
  • Movement to enhance bone density
  • PetMassage MFR, positional release
  • Palliative care
  • Dog Handling during PetMassage

These are essential components for a safe and successful canine massage practice. After all, if you are to create balance and soundness in the dog, you must come from a place that is balanced and sound.

Program Class Size Limit:

5 Students

Waiting List:

If you see that the program you would like to attend is full, add your name to its waiting list. A spot may open up for you. Someone who has registered for that program may need to switch to another month.

Please call Beth at 1-419-475-3539 to register with your 1st and 2nd choices for program dates.



Objectives / Goals:

  • Learn better healthy body mechanics for your own strength, stability, stamina and enjoyment.
  • Learn dog handling in the context of the PetMassage session.
  • Develop an understanding of the theory, techniques, vocabulary, culture and vision of PetMassage.
  • Develop a functional understanding of basic dog anatomy and physiology as it applies to canine massage.
  • Understand your scope of practice, business ethics.
  • Create and Market your PetMassage practice in your region.

Home Study Courses Included In This Program:

Included Materials:

Accredited By:


Before Workshop Info:

During Program Info:


All PetMassage Foundation Level Program are held on-site at the PetMassage Training and Research Institute in Toledo, Ohio.

What to Wear:

  • Comfortable yet professional attire.
  • Closed toed shoes. Note: Sandals or flip flops are not safe, please do not wear them.
  • A smile and positive ready-to-learn attitude.
  • Please refrain from wearing loose jewelry or any fragrances.

Re: Dogs

If you can bring your own pet, we highly encourage it. 

Dogs are crated during the lectures and while students practice skills on each other. Crates are available or you are welcome to bring your own crates or x-pens.

What to Expect:

Class sizes are small. There will be abundant opportunities for you to get individual hands-on instruction with Jonathan Rudinger, the founder of PetMassage.

Building Amenities:

  • Support Staff: Friendly, knowledgeable staff will be available to provide assistance with workshop support.
  • Kitchen
  • Wi-Fi, Printers

After Workshop Info:

Completion Requirements:

You have six months from the last day of your PetMassage Foundation Level Program to complete all of the home study courses, take-home written exam, video recordings and the short research paper.

Certificate of Completion Earned

Two Certificates of Course Completion are awarded for this program:

  • PetMassage Foundation Level Workshop Certificate of Course Completion
  • PetMassage Confident Dog Handling for the Canine Massage Practitioner Certificate of Home Study Course Completion

Certification and Credentials

Upon completion of the PetMassage Foundation level program, you will be a Certified PetMassage Practitioner (CPMP) and added to the PetMassage Training & Research Institute Graduate List.

Continuing Education Credits (CECs) / Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Available For:

Animal Massage Practitioners, Massage Therapists (MTs), Veterinary Medicine Students, Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs), Doctors of Veterinary Medicine (DVMs)


Number of Continuing Education Credits (CECs) / Continuing Education Units (CEUs) Earned:

100 (28 RAIVE CEs for RVTs).

The 100 CECs/CEUs earned within this course combined with the additional 100 CEs of the Advanced Level Program qualifies students to sit for the NBCAAM exam for Small Animal Massage National Certification  

Fee: $2300.00 (includes Workshop, all texts and tests, and home study courses)

Register Now for the workshop dates that best fit your schedule.


3 Options to Pay

  1. Pay in one payment when you register and save 5% at check out.
  2. Make a 1/2 deposit and pay the balance one week before the workshop begins.
  3. Call 1-419-475-3539 to arrange a convenient monthly payment plan. 


Specialized Programs and Rates for RVTs





Foundation Level Program Testimonials

This class was amazing and exceeded my expectations.  Jonathan is an excellent teacher who understands how to instruct students and build our confidence at the same time.  I would recommend this workshop to any dog lover.


Thank you so much for introducing and teaching PetMassage, and the other scopes of the practice.  I’m looking forward to starting my own practice, and feel confident I will do a great job.


This hands on course is

This hands on course is very powerful. A lot of hands on learning and personal gain. At first I thought overwhelming but getting home and practicing what I’ve learnt and the techniques it all made sense and just flowed threw me. I recommend this trip to anyone taking the course to further your education.

Heather Baublitz
United States

The things learned in this class can’t be obtained through on-line or by reading.  The hands-on teaching and the discussions were very enlightening on both a personal level and a professional level.

New York
United States

I have learned so much in the last 5 days, both about myself and about the connection we have with dogs.  It is a profound thing and I am blessed to have learned from the animal massage pioneers.

United States

The Foundation workshop exceeded my expectation and provided me with tools to go in any direction I choose. It has changed my life.


I really enjoyed the hands-on work, learning the massage skills, and seeing how they can make a positive difference in the life of the dog.


I’m very happy with everything I learned in this workshop.


I did not expect such a strong emotional connection. Major energy shift while working with the positional release. Very knowledgeable, good communicator, clear confident speaker. Books, manual, and videos are very informative and easy to follow.

United States

Hi Jonathan and Anastasia,

I just wanted to Thank You for the most life changing 5 days of my life! Seriously! The training you provided is invaluable to me! Not only did I learn proper technique on massage, I gained so much personal growth and self awareness! I am confident that I will no DOUBT be the BEST Canine Massage Practitioner in Charlotte, NC thanks to your training. I am over the moon excited that I can say I was trained and instructed by Jonathan Rudinger! I look forward to continuing my training with the Advanced level as well!


Lori Gammon
United States

Jonathan and Anastasia

Thank you so very much for creating and offering PetMassage training. The drIve back to Pittsburgh allowed for “quiet” time to reflect on the course context and honestly, I cannot thank you enough!

This has enriched my life not only because of my deep passion for animals and desire to learn the art and science of animal massage, but it was your energy work that has opened up a whole new dimension for which I’ve had very limited exposure. I can see that allowing for flexibility during the course training that I would not have been part of the systemic conversions relating to energy work and I see how necessary it is in my everyday life and most definitely to maximize animal massage!

Then to top it off, I now have you as a mentor! I have tremendous respect for your knowledge and for the business that you both have built, plus I like to learn and grow personally and professionally. I am looking forward to a long relationship.


United States

I loved how this workshop created an awareness on such a spiritual and energetic level. I feel like this course will change the way that I approach bodywork with humans. I plan on approaching this work with people and animals in a much more spiritual and energetic way. Thank you so much for everything you both have done! The awareness and new levels of understanding I have about animals and relationships with them, has increased more than I ever imagined! This was truly an experience of a lifetime. Thank you!

United States

I researched several animal massage schools before attending PetMassage™ Training and Research Institute. I felt PetMassage™ would best meet my needs. After attending PetMassage™ I felt it had met my needs and greatly exceeded my expectations. Thank you, Jonathan and Anastasia.

United States

Just wanted to drop a quick line to thank you for one of the most wonderful weeks I’ve had in a long, long time. Not only did I learn a ton, but I feel PetMassage™ is one of my truths. It’s a path I will follow. Your approach to massage for dogs is insightful, intuitive, sensitive, compassionate, yet very powerful… and all with a light, loving touch. You have truly touched my soul and opened up a path that I’m destined to follow. Thank you for making such a powerful difference in my life…and as a result a powerful difference to the many dogs that I will touch.
Love and Light

United States

As a teacher & computer trainer for twenty years, I’m pretty much a student with high expectations of an instructor. Jonathan knows his topics really well and he has a kind and gentle way of offering knowledge as fast as we can soak it up! Thank you for being a loving teacher to your students. I sure learned a lot and enjoyed every day.

United States

Dear Jonathan and Anastasia: I wanted to send you my heartfelt and spirit felt thanks for a wonderful, life changing workshop!! It has inspired me to a whole other level. I cannot thank you enough! I can only liken it to finding the missing piece in the “puzzle” that is my life, my purpose. I am looking forward to seeing you both in September, for the PetMassage™ Advanced Workshop.

New Jersey
United States

Thank you. You are a great teacher.

South Korea