*Apprentices must go through training with their personal dogs. Includes 3 month training commitment with personal dogs as well as 3 months personal and professional coaching. 

At Dharma Dog Training we believe that you have to go through our training program personally with your own dogs before you lead others.  You must understand our training on a deeper level and understand how it can change not only your dogs life but you life as well. Dharma Dog Training Pack Leader Apprenticeship Program is really about self discovery so you can learn to lead humans and rehabilitate their dogs! 

I continue to be grateful for all the incredible teachers (four legged and two legged) I have had over the years. Which is why I was inspired to become a dog trainer, teacher, mentor. I began studying this industry almost 20 years ago, but struggled to find somewhere to fit in and someone to teach me how to make a career out of helping animals. I was determined to figure this out on my own, and now I can help guide others so they do not have to go through the same thing.


 It doesn't matter where you are today, you just have to feel the calling in your heart. And that's when you know it is time to learn the Dharma way to reach humans and help dogs on a larger level. Changing the dogs is the first part, but changing the human is where the real journey begins. Below you will find information on our Apprenticeship Program and how you can become a Leader of the Pack.  


This is an investment in the rest of your life with animals. It is an investment in yourself, your skills, abilities, opportunities, happiness and fulfillment.  It is an investment in time, money and energy but will forever change your life.  You cannot go through this program and not be changed!  Come with us on a journey, find yourself, your voice and become a voice for animals everywhere!


    Take leadership roles at their jobs, teach family and friends and become better communicators

    Start cognitive therapy, yoga and exercise programs, become pack leaders for their family


  • Learn how to communicate with and rehabilitate the most serious canine behavior issues

    Get jobs in the animal industry and start volunteer programs 


  • Start structured pet sitting, dog walking, day care and training businesses

Email DharmaDTAssistant@gmail.com for more information or click on the link above to set up your consultation to find out if this the right fit for the life you want to lead with your dogs.  


All our programs begin with a consultation and the cost for the initial consultation is $300 which is deducted from the total cost of the program should you be accepted into the Mentorship Program. You must also complete a private program with your own dogs as part of the Apprentice Program

  *Payment plans available, 6 months no interest 

Working with dogs and their owners can be a very rewarding but challenging career!  With over 20 years experience studying, volunteering and working professionally in the animal industry Dharma Dog Training has developed an amazing, PROVEN system to help you train dogs and their owners.  Our focus is on teaching you how to work with every dog behavior issue as well as humans that are dealing with a variety of behavior issues, even serious ones.


You will observe and assist Dharma Dog Trainers throughout their daily activities;  training consultations, private sessions, classes, pack walks, workshops, board and trains and work closely with the Dharma Dog Pack.  We will also spend time on personal development to reach your personal and professional goals. Spending hands on time with dogs learning how to work with problem dogs and their owners in a safe, but effective manner.

Our program is not a fast track program, but builds a solid foundation for a long, rewarding career working with animals. We are more interested in quality of our work, not how fast someone can progress through the training. This apprenticeship is an introduction into the world of professional animal welfare, so that you can continue on a life long journey to expanding to become better.  We are looking for committed, passionate people that understand this work on a deeper level, and want to dedicate their lives to helping save dogs lives. So if this sounds like you we look forward to hearing from you and having you join our movement to keep dogs healthy, happy and in their homes! 




You will receive a well rounded education in canine development, body language, nutrition, mental illness and behavior issues while mastering communicative leash work. We gather once a month for dog socials, nutritional lunches, learning and studying. Reading materials and binder will be provided, along with a recommended reading list and movies we will watch together. 
  • Shadow on all weekly training sessions
  • Learn and master communicative leash work
  • Dharma On Leash Program
  • Dharma Off Leash Program
  • Dharma Socialization Program
  • Assist with any board and train client dogs
  • Hands on private work with Dharma Dog Pack 
  • Exploration of new training styles
  • Learn how use pack of dogs to rehab client dogs
  • Socialization of reactive and aggressive dogs
  • Attendance at pack walks
  • Attendance at workshops
  • Private structured pack walks
  • Monthly check in meetings
  • Self Development 
  • Business Coaching
  • Learn to communicate better
  • Leadership exercises
  • Recommended reading and exercises
  • Learn how to work with a team
  • Learn how to lead and inspire others

Hear what they are saying...

"I enjoyed bringing Boss to all the events throughout the year, and watching how much he blossomed and I really appreciate the support system for all the Pack Leaders. The most beneficial thing that I learned was how to adapt and change as things progress. This Apprentice Program helped me become more emotional stable and professionally it has given me a step in a new direction as I have begun a new career path.  I highly recommend this program for anyone who is committed to helping animals and for those that want change in their life."

-Taylor A. 

Professional Groomer and Boarding Staff at Bark Avenue


"The best thing about the Apprentice Program was learning and working from Dharma. I enjoyed Pack Walks and all the business coaching and hearing about everyone's business ideas.  Shadowing and getting hands on experiences with other dogs and meeting the other Apprentices was priceless. The most important things I learned from this program that was beneficial to my life and career plans had to do with my self confidence, learning how to believe in myself so that I could achieve my goals. As well as learning the Life Changing Dog Training Process so that I can go on to train other dogs in a way that is humane, effective and has proven results.


"Throughout this process I gained enough confidence to pursue my goals of quitting my day job and starting working in my own business full time and my business grew so much in the first year. I would definitely recommend this Apprentice Program to others if they have any interest in careers working with animals, especially dogs and/or starting your own business. I think the time frame was a helpful to build a solid foundation for my life and career with animals."

-Katie B.

 Owner & Head Trainer at The Fluff House 


"I really liked the aspect of Dogmanship based on Horsemanship because I trained horses for 10 years before I came to Dharma. Kelley always says you can't go through a program without being changed and that's completely true!" 

-Shilee R.

Owner & Head Trainer at RuffLife, NE

"When I first applied for the Apprenticeship, I had been floating around the pet industry for about 8 years. I loved working with dogs and other animals, but I felt unhappy and stuck in pet stores and doggy daycares. I had no idea what I was getting into, but I was always so interested in dog behavior so I was excited for a new challenge. I knew this would be a completely different experience but I really had no idea how much I would be taking away from this program. 


Working with Kelley one on one has been a life changing experience. It has totally changed the way I live with my dogs, and the way I interact with dogs in my life. Kelley is a driving force behind changing the way our community sees and lives with their dogs. Being able to work alongside Kelley has given me a new mission and purpose when it comes to helping dogs and their owners. 


"Not only has Kelley taught me more about dog behavior, she also taught me how to better myself. I have been able to use the things I’ve learned from Kelley and apply them in my daily life, even outside of dogs. This program has given me a level of confidence I never had. Thanks to Kelley and her Internship and Apprentice Program, I have been able to take everything I’ve learned into my new position as Director of Behavior and Training at Midlands Humane Society and we are already seeing huge success rates!If you have ever been interested in dog behavior or training, Kelley’s program is crucial. You will not find anyone in the area who has more experience or better results with clients. The lessons I have learned from Kelley are invaluable and not only did I gain more knowledge, but I also gained a lifelong friend!"

-Rachael W.

Director of Behavior & Training at Midlands Humane Society

"I discovered new professional goals and decided on a business plan and model and plan to open a new business which I would not have done had it not been for the LCDT Apprentice Program. Personally I have learned more than I ever imagined I would!" 

-Cari H. 

Forever Pawtraits Pet Photography

"I have always had a great love for dogs and passion to help homeless pups.  I have volunteered with various local rescues in many capacities for more than 20 years and have been a foster failure numerous times!! My current Pack of 6 dogs are all rescues that began as fosters but very quickly became my forever four legged kids.  I have worked with hundreds of homeless dog throughout my many years of volunteering, and since I couldn't adopt them all, I began to search for a better way to help dogs and families stay together.

The answer came In June of 2016, my pack was in desperate need of help due to serious in-pack fighting and one of my dogs having a few bite incidents with people outside of our home. Kelley and I spoke for over an hour on the phone and started to put together a plan to help my pack find balance, peace and happiness. The first thing on the agenda was kennel training, which I had never done with any of my pups before. The first few days were very challenging and I learned a lot about my co-dependency on my pups. I cried like a baby but had the first full good night's sleep without my husband and I having to contort our bodies to accommodate 6 dogs in our bed!

Kelley then introduced "communicative leash work" to me, which to be very honest, I nodded and smiled throughout her explanation and demonstration but really had no idea how this would help my pack. Even though I didn't understand how this foundational leash work would help me help my pups deal with stress and manage their emotions and strengthen my relationship with them with clear communication, I was extremely desperate and dedicated myself to doing everything that Kelley told me to do. 

As the months progressed, I began to see, feel and better understand the Dharma process that Kelley was guiding us through. Our relationship with our pups deepened, became more beautiful and solidified a healthier love that brought peace and happiness to my pack and my husband and me. I began to celebrate progress and find peace with letting my expectations of perfection go. I learned to celebrate the victories (large or small) and learn from days that we struggled.  It was one of the HARDEST times of my life and also one of the BEST times of my life.

"After personally learning and living the Dharma Dog Training process to help my pack get into a more balanced state of mind, I knew that Dharma Dog Training was the key to helping so many and I joined Kelley's Apprentice program last year! I am now using my skills to help homeless dogs at Saunders County Lost Pets get the training they need to help make their next home their last home. I am working on developing a training program with our volunteers as well as a New Adopter Training Program to help empower new adopters with the tools they need to help their new family members. Kelley McAtee has been my Awakener, my Mentor, my hero and my friend and I'm eternally grateful to her and the Dharma Dog Training process for changing my world and teaching me how to help other families and pups find peace, happiness and balance."

-Heidi V. 

 Head Trainer at Dharma Dog Training

"I have LOVED, LOVED, LOVED doing this Apprenticeship. I plan to have a doggie daycare after I retire, but that is a way off however this program helped me through a tough patch in my life. It has been an honor and a privilege to meet so many amazing, smart and talented women. I am very grateful to have had this life changing experience." 

-Stephanie H. 

Dharma Apprentice

"When I first began my apprenticeship journey with Dharma Dog Training I had no idea how quickly and for the better my life would change. Before my apprenticeship could begin, Kelley (Owner and Master Trainer) and I started training my dogs through the on and off leash programs that Dharma offers. I have two labs that were extremely excitable, and one with some pretty hefty reactivity issues to other dogs or things that were out of the ordinary. Little did I know, most of the training was for me! I did not realize that my communication with my dogs was off, and they were struggling just as much as I was with trying to understand each other. Kelley showed me how to explain what I was asking of my dogs in a way that they could understand, and it changed everything. It is no longer a battle between my dogs and I, but a conversation that we can ALL be involved in. 


Now that they know that they are part of the conversation, we have been able to do great things. My dogs and I are frequent visitors of Colorado. The trips have previously been exhausting and stressful, as my dogs were often over-stimulated and had very little manners. With Dharma Dog Training these trips have taken an amazing turn. We have progressed to off leash hikes, placing when guests are over or it is quite time, and getting to frequent coffee shops and restaurants that allow dogs. They can now be part of the fun and that is priceless to me.


When my dogs and I had completed the programs, I was able to start my apprenticeship. I have learned more about dogs and their humans in the last six months than most people will learn in their lifetime, simply by shadowing on sessions with Kelley, attending events, and helping with board and train dogs- all of which the apprenticeship allows you to do. I learn something new about dog training and the relationship between dogs and humans every single time that I shadow Kelley. It has shown me that there are no manuals or handbooks for this type of dog training. While there are general methods, tools, and behavior issues, each dog is different. Dogs are living creatures with feelings just like ours and they should be treated as such. That is one of the many things that I love about Dharma Dog Training, that they have taken the time to understand dogs and help owners show them how to feel great about the world that we are living in together. I look at all dogs in a different light now, respecting their intelligence, capabilities, and underlying goodness that is often muffled by misunderstandings of our world.


"I have grown personally in ways that I had never imagined over the last year. I have become a better leader to my pack, a stronger woman in this world, and I have begun to face the things that have been holding me back, such as anxiety. Along with these things, I have even decided to jump into a dog walking business, something that I would have never had the courage to start before now. I will be forever grateful for this experience, for my personal sake and for the sake of my many more years with dogs. This apprenticeship changed my life, my dogs' lives, and it will do the same for you!"   

-Emilee J. 

Owner & Head Trainer at Envision K9

"Going through this program changed my life and I wanted to help other people learn how to do the same thing. This program made me more confident and knowledgeable and has been one of the most amazing things I have ever done in my life!" 

-Bethany T. 

Dharma Apprentice

"My entire life I have always been animal lover! I grew up with dogs & adored spending time with them & I knew from a very young age that I wanted to have a career working with animals! So I began veterinary technician school but soon realized my passion was more about rescuing and helping homeless animals. In 2013 I began volunteering for a local rescue and spent my time walking dogs, taking them adoption events, coordinating adoptions, handling the dog introductions and follow ups with new adopters to ensure the adoptions went smoothly. I loved being able to help find these dogs their forever homes, however I began to realize that no matter how many dogs were being adopted out there were just as many coming in. Dogs were and still are being relinquished to shelters or re-homed for various reasons, but one of the main reasons is due to lack of training. In order to make a larger impact I needed to take a different approach, which was trying to keep dogs in their homes by empowering, educating, and providing their owners with the tools and knowledge to help train their dogs.


I loved the philosophy behind Dharma & their unique approach in training. It wasn’t just about training dogs, it was about learning how to communicate with them, understanding the reasons behind their behaviors, changing your dogs state of mind & creating a happy, healthy, balanced & trusting relationship between dog & their owners.  The relationship my dog & I have after going through the process has dramatically changed! Vito has always been a sweet & loving dog, but prior to training he had a major obsession with lights/shadows. I was truly at a loss of how to help him, nor did I think it would ever be possible to break him of his obsession. However, the Dharma process proved me wrong! Not only has Vito’s obsession been put to rest, but we both have the clarity & understanding that was lacking in our relationship. Vito is now an amazing ambassador for both Dharma and his breed & often assists me on sessions as a mentor to the other dogs, which is something I never thought would be possible just months before!

I'm truly the happiest I've ever been! I've gained confidence, self awareness, knowledge, & reached goals.  But most importantly, for

once I feel like I’m living a life full of meaning & purpose, & that I'm doing exactly what I was supposed to be in life. Throughout this journey I’ve found my life’s purpose! It has taught me so much about myself & has allowed me to find my areas of strengths as well as those that I need to work on! No matter what kind of jobs I worked I never felt fulfilled. However, once I began working with dogs, I realized that I had a natural connection which them. Being able to help mend the relationships between a dog and their owner gave me the fulfillment that I was always missing.


"Kelley is an amazing mentor, friend and trainer. She has taught me so much about myself, opened doors that I never thought would be possible, and has taught me everything I know when it comes to training dogs! My lifelong dream has always been to work with animals and because of her my dreams became a reality!  Having such a supportive team alongside you that is always willing to help, offer words of encouragement, bounce ideas off of, learn from, makes all the difference in the world! We truly bring out the best in another and I’m so incredible thankful and honored to part of the Dharma Dream Team! The best advice I can give to anyone considering working with Dharma is to open your mind and be willing to learn.  Kelley will put her blood, sweat, and tears in to helping you achieve your goals just as long you put forth the same effort."  

-Gina R.

Head Trainer at Dharma Dog Training

Owner & Head Trainer of Bella Vita Dog Training

"We were given opportunities to step up in different areas of our lives and had the support and confidence from each other. This program helped me focus in on what I really wanted out of my relationships with people and with my dogs. I am so grateful for Kelley and her passion in helping dogs and their people become the best they can be. She understands that there is no such thing as a perfect person or dog but we will certainly try to better ourselves. Her program allowed Jasper and myself to do just that. Jasper loved all the bonding and balanced playtime, training and socialization he got with the other dogs."

-Kelly P.

2017 Apprentice Pack Leader

I first stumbled upon Dharma when I was searching for dog training for my own pack. At the time, one of my dogs had become severely aggressive towards other dogs. We were aware of the aggression just from seeing him react on walks and from a few scuffles he had with a neighbor dog. So we did what we thought was best, we contained the situation. I won’t say we controlled the situation because we had no control over him when he saw or heard another dog, but we were extra careful out on walks, always on the look out for another dog or animal of any kind. When his reactivity got so bad, we just stopped going on walks. The dogs were basically confined to our home all day long. During this time I was sort of looking for dog training and came across Dharma’s website several times; reading each page, over and over again, but I still thought we were containing the situation fine (these are the things we tell ourselves to make us feel better about not reaching out for help).


The final incident that lead us to Dharma Dog Training was horrific. My dog, whom I love dearly, did major damage to another dog. He had multiple surgeries and fortunately survived! I had no one to blame but myself. I couldn’t deny it anymore, I had to get help! I chose Dharma because I loved everything they stood for, their morals and their beliefs. I knew I couldn’t effect his aggression just with the use of treats and positive reinforcement, but I also didn’t want him fearful of me or the tools by using too much force. Dharma is the perfect balance!


My dogs are so much happier since completing a program with Kelley. They experience mental and physical exercises everyday. They have learned how to be calm and look to me for guidance. I have become a leader. I have become more calm. At its worst I was having anxiety attacks out on walks for fear that there would be a dog around the next corner. While I was at work I had irrational thoughts of my dog getting out of the house, finding another dog and killing it. I would have to go through a 10 point safety check before I could leave the house everyday to help put my mind at ease.  All of that has changed. I walk all three of my dogs confidently with my tools and skills, welcoming distractions like barking dogs and cars going by.


It has taught me that I am more powerful than I ever could have imagined. It taught me to believe in myself, believe in my pack and believe in the process! Trust me, there were days that I just didn’t understand how teaching my dog sit on command was going to help his reactivity and his aggression. I had doubts! But Kelley help me make the connection to why all the little things are so important. Kelley is a great leader. I love watching her work dogs! She has so much passion for what she does and her experience is mind blowing! I have so much love and respect for all the members of the Dharma Team. It has been so reassuring and motivating to have the support of others who have been in your shoes and have the same goals.


"If you are having issues or concerns with one of your dogs but you feel like you are containing the situation just fine, stop kidding yourself. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help, it takes courage to do that! If you are looking for help with your pack and wanting to find someone who values building relationships and empowering you as a leader, come to Dharma. Check out the website, read the testimonials and educate yourself. If you are committed to dogs, to expanding your skills, to building relationships and becoming the best leader you can be, come to Dharma. We’d love to have you as part of our tribe!"

-Alyse K.

Owner & Head Trainer of The Balanced Pack Dog Training 


"I chose to do this Apprentice Program because Dharma helped me with my own dogs. I'd like to see this training help many other dogs and people.  This program helped me realize that I needed to work on myself to be able to help my dogs."

-Lisa N.

Owner PAWZ at home Pet Sitting

We adopted our dog, Butter, from a shelter in 2016. He is and always has been a very sweet dog, but over time we discovered that he was severely dog reactive, anxious and also completely deaf. Living in an apartment, his extreme reactions to other dogs made the simplest of tasks, like going out for potty breaks, nearly impossible. We eventually resorted to putting him in the car and driving him somewhere remote every time we took him out to potty. Prior to finding Dharma Dog Training, we went through training programs with multiple different training companies, none of whom could help us with his extreme reactivity. After our initial consultation with Dharma, we knew this training was different than anything we had tried before, and not only did we achieve our goals through a program, we completely surpassed them! Before we found Dharma Dog Training, we were prepared to just get by with "managing" Butter's reactivity forever. Through this training, we have completely changed the way Butter feels about the world and other dogs, and we are now able to take him everywhere with us. Through this training we got what we always wanted, which was for Butter to be included in every part of our lives! 


I will forever be grateful for my experience in the 2018 Dharma Apprenticeship Program. My goal throughout the course of the program was to gain the confidence and skills to be able to train at the end of the year. However, I did not anticipate how much it would affect every aspect of my life. Not only did I gain the confidence and knowledge to be able to train, but I also learned the importance of setting boundaries in my daily life, improved communication in my personal and professional relationships, as well as gained the confidence to pursue goals that I never thought would be attainable. Kelley and all of the Dharma trainers are amazing mentors who have showed me the true meaning of dedication, passion and hard work.  My fellow apprentices and the Dharma trainers have truly become like family to me, and I loved learning and growing with them all throughout the course of the program. 


I have had a variety of jobs in the animal industry, but what I always wanted to do was train. However, I never thought I would ever have the skills or knowledge to do so. The apprenticeship program has made my dream job a reality! This training has also showed me that I can live the life I always wanted to with my dog. Prior to Dharma, I truly thought Butter's reactivity was beyond help and I felt like I had failed him as an owner. I am so proud of everything Butter and I have accomplished throughout the course of our training, and we are both much more confident and comfortable out in the world! The knowledge and confidence I gained from the apprenticeship program is invaluable, and I am now able to confront obstacles and opportunities that previously would have terrified me. Kelley and all the trainers have impacted my life profoundly and I cant wait for this next chapter in my life.

- Lucy K.

 Owner & Head Trainer of Leashes With Lucy

"The best thing about the Apprentice Program was hearing and learning from the other apprentices, it was enjoyable to hear their ideas and takes on all the concepts covered. The most important things I learned that were beneficial to my career plans was  great feedback and input on my business.  I gained new customers and and personally it created a better base for training my own pups!" 

-Tyane W.

Owner, C&K Biscuits

I sought out Dharma Dog training because my dog Piper and I were in desperate need of guidance. She had previously had two surgeries on one of her knees and regular walks was an important part of her physical rehabilitation, but she was so uncontrollable on walks. She would light up barking and lungeing at people, cars, bikes, and other dogs so much so that it was so stressful taking her out of our home. She was also reactive towards guests in our home. She would unexpectedly lunge and growl at guests and extended family members. She would seem fine with people then all of a sudden be barking at them when they stood up or laughed. I feared that she would bite someone. I followed Dharma on social media for months researching their techniques and comparing their training philosophies with other training companies. I had tried so many training tactics and leashes on my own with no success, but Dharma's approach was so different than any other company I was following at the time. 

The Apprenticeship Program was one of the best decisions I made for myself. The program encompasses more than just learning how to train dogs, but focuses on self development, ethics, and of course learning about dog behavior. The trainers are supportive mentors that guided me on a weekly basis when I shadowed private sessions and throughout the year gave me so many opportunities to help build my confidence with clients. We met monthly all together and discussed topics and grew together. These monthly meetings became my favorite day of the month because I could see so much growth in my dog and myself! We discussed challenging topics and practiced training techniques with our own dogs under the guidance of the Dharma trainers. Each month my confidence in my abilities to lead my dog grew so much. 


The Dharma dog training process and apprenticeship changed my life in so many more ways then just improving my dogs behavior, which was my original goal with training. During my own private sessions, I saw so much growth in my dog in a short amount of time that I wanted to see her reach higher goals and to strengthen our relationship even more. Through the apprenticeship program, I was able to successfully add another dog to our household which it a huge success and something I didn't think possible before Dharma. I also experienced an incredible amount of personal growth during this process. I gained leadership skills and confidence not only to lead my dog through life, but to lead other people as well. I improved as an employee at my full time job. The apprentices had to make monthly goals and through that I began making goals outside of dog training too, like professional goals at my full time job.  Through the goal making process with the confidence I gained, I applied and received a promotion at work. I saw positive changes in my relationships with my family and friends too. The other apprentices and the Dharma trainers are so supportive. We celebrated victories together, problem solved issues together, and saw through tough times together. These women became a vital support system in my life with my dogs and life outside of my dogs. With that type of support, impossible things seem manageable. This program altered my course in life in the best ways and I am so excited to see what the next year brings! Thank you for this year Kelley! 

- Jessica G.

Owner & Head Trainer of Pups with a Purpose


Hear what else they are saying...

Email DharmaDTAssistant@Gmail.com for more information or

Click on the link to set up your consultation to learn more about our program details and cost. You must complete a private program with your own dogs before completing the Apprentice Program.

  *Payment plans available, 6 months no interest through PayPal Credit