The school you choose for training needs to fit your personality.

I just responded to an inquiry from a RVT about our school. You may have similar questions. If you do – even if you don’t – please read on. 

She writes:


I am an RVT from California currently working as an instructor at a college. I am interested in your program thinking of starting a pet-sitting with adaptive features. 

I have a few questions:

  1. I understand that there is some home requirement after the meeting at the facility. Is there a list of the requirements somewhere?
  2. If I attend the foundation level in June will I still be able to attend the advanced level in August?
  3. Can the video and home-work be done on feline patients or do they have to be submitted only on canine?
  4. Do you go over body-talk at all?
  5. As there are a few schools, is there anything that makes your facility different?

Thank you. 

Here’s my response. 

Hi —,

Thank you for expressing your interest in training at PetMassage. The Foundation course that we offer RVTs is approved by the RAIVE for 28 CEs. It does not include the marketing and basic canine anatomy home study modules. Marketing and creating a canine massage business is not included because most RVTs are working in veterinary clinics and Canine Anatomy, because it would be redundant. You are welcome to take the Creating and Marketing Your Canine Massage Business as an additional home study course.

All course materials, books and DVDs are included in your course fees and are mailed to you prior to your attending a workshop. Students are encouraged to study them to prepare prior to the workshop; and use them to review after their hands-on training. 

Every skill described in the books and videos is tweaked and refined in the workshop. There is no substitute for hands-on instruction for a hands-on skill set. That’s why the workshop is so important. 

The requirements to complete the certification course are 

  1. submission of 2 take home tests
  2. documentations of 10 canine massage sessions, 
  3. a research paper on a topic agreed upon during the workshop, 
  4. a short video of you demonstrating the skills you learned in the workshop
  5. a 2nd video of you critiquing your 1st video.

You are welcome to take the Advanced Level Training as long as you complete all the requirements from the Foundation Level Workshop before the Advanced class begins. Over the years several students have submitted their Foundation work on the first day of the Advanced.  

I have found that I cannot give everyone the individual attention they need when we had large classes so we limit the number of people in each workshop. We have 1 space left in the June class. 

This is a canine massage class. You are welcome to adapt the skills to work with cats – and they do translate well with cats, horses, rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, and birds – however your documentations and videos for this course must be with dogs. If you would like my feedback with your cat massage, I’d be happy to offer it. 

Body language and body mechanics are significant elements in this training. The Foundation workshop includes a half day of dog handling skills (body talk) and a half day of working on Practitioner gait and movement. We see the Practitioner as the leader. Dogs respond better when they can sense that the one responsible for their safety is stable and balanced in her/his body. 

I cannot compare our school to others that teach canine massage. I cannot speak about what or how they teach. I can tell you that we do not offer certificates from the PetMassage Institute for home study of canine massage hands-on skills. (See paragraph 2.)

The PetMassage School has been teaching workshops for 22 years. That’s over 350 workshops and over a thousand people. Several of our graduates have gone on to create their own schools in several countries.  With each class we review and refine what and how we teach. Our classes are limited to 8 students. That way we are able to tailor the training to fit the needs of each individual group. The workshops you attend will be the most current iterations of our training. 

If you would like to preview my style of teaching and the perspective from which I approach canine massage – that would be the difference your were asking about – please visit our YouTube channel:

and review some of my weekly instructional blogs:

Again, thank you for your interest. I’m confident you’ll be pleased with the training you receive at The PetMassage Training and Research Institute. 

Warmest regards, 

Jonathan Rudinger
2950 Douglas Road
Toledo OH 43606

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