If you have a technical question (computer help, website help, etc.) please see our Help Page.
Questions about Registration and Payment
How do I sign up for a course?
Start by clicking on the Schedule link at the top of this page. If registration is open, select the course you wish to take from the list and click on that link. From that page, click on the registration link and choose the enrollment level you are interested in. This webpage describes the steps in more detail.
Why does it say that registration is closed? When can I register?
Registration opens approximately two weeks before the session begins, and closes approximately two weeks after the session has started. You cannot register outside of this period.
What does it mean when it says a class is using a lottery system for the Gold spots?
Some of our classes are extremely popular and as a result, they fill instantly when enrollment opens. To allow more people a chance at a spot in those classes at the Gold level, we have instituted a lottery system for a very small number of classes (rarely more than two or three per term). If the registration tab says the Gold spots will be assigned by lottery then that means you need to enter the lottery when it opens (usually a week before regular registration) for a chance at a Gold spot. We send out an email to inform all of our current or former students of classes that will be run by lottery, so make sure that you are on our mailing list so that you will be notified! If you win a spot in the class, you will be expected to pay the full $260 and enroll at the Gold level within 12 hours of notification. If some spots are not claimed another lottery will be run to fill the class with the remaining contestants. We ask that you do not enter the lottery unless you plan to enroll if you win. Repeated violation of this rule will eliminate you from eligibility from future lotteries.
The course I want has a prerequisite. Can I sign up for Gold in the current class without it?
No. If a class has a prerequisiste listed then the instructor feels that success in the current class requires the prior class. As a result, you cannot sign up for Gold or Silver. You MAY sign up for bronze, but do so knowing that you are taking a risk, because you may lack the foundation knowledge which is assumed for the current class.
Other courses have "recommended" classes. In that case, you may sign up for gold even if you do not have the recommended class.
Can I buy that prerequisite class?
If a class is running that requires an earlier class, then the prerequisite class will be available for sale during open registration for the current term. For example, if you want to take "Drives and Control 2" but you do not have "Drives and Control 1", then when registration opens for Drives and Control 2, you may purchase the first level class at the same time. Be aware that you are purchasing the teacher's lecture notes and videos only - there will be no forum for the first level class because it is not in session. Purchases are never made outside of open registration for any courses.
To make a prerequisite purchase, please visit our Prerequisite page during open enrollment:
What is a retired class? When I can purchase it?
A retired class is one that will not run again, so it becomes available for purchase. Some retired classes simply didn't garner sufficient enrollment to justify running them as a live class, and others are retired because they are "time critical" (such as a puppy class) so it makes more sense to offer them year round. You can purchase retired classes during open enrollment only.
The class I need is not on the schedule. Can I purchase it for the lecture notes only?
No. Unlike a DVD which has no culture or underlying community, we are a school, and as such we feel it is important that people take the fulll class with the forums and instructor feedback - not just the lecture notes - whenever possible! As a result, you cannot purchase classes outside of the period of time when they are offered (with the exception of prerequisiste and retired courses).
What kinds of payment do you accept?
When you register, you can choose to pay by credit card or with PayPal. Our credit card transactions are securely handled by Stripe.com
Please note that on occasion, PayPal will block a credit card payment if you have a balance that is large enough to cover the entire transaction. In addition, during periods of high server load, the PayPal option may be blocked and you will need to pay directly with your card.
Can I register and pay by check or money order?
No, this is not possible as our entire system is automated. If you do not have a credit card, you can do a electronic check or bank transfer through PayPal. You will need a PayPal account to do this.
I am not in the United States. Can I enroll? How will I pay?
The process is the same regardless of what country you live in.
English is not my first language. Can I still participate?
Absolutely! However, because we are based in the United States, all assignments and lectures will be presented and submitted in English. You may wish to sign up as a silver or bronze level participant to see if you'll be comfortable in class.
Do you have scholarships? How do I apply?
Scholarships are offered to students who do not feel they can afford the full tuition, but who have a sincere interest in expanding their skills as a dog sport trainer. Scholarships are offered in the form of a tuition credit at the Bronze level. To apply, select the Scholarships link from the top menu. We ask that if you are on a scholarship, you limit yourself to one class.
What is your refund policy?
We offer a 90% refund for all classes if you meet the conditions related to your class level. (The other 10% covers non-refundable processing fees.)
If you signed up at the Gold or Silver level, you will receive a refund if:
- You request your cancellation at four days before the class begins, AND
- The level you are cancelling has not already sold out.
Because our classes often sell out very quickly, please do not sign up for a spot at the Gold or Silver level unless you are sure you can commit to the class.
If you signed up at the Bronze level, you will receive a refund if you request your cancellation at least 24 hours before the class begins.
Class has started but I don't like it. Can I get a refund?
No. We offer very well qualified instructors who care about the success of their students, and our survey results consistently show this; more than 95% of our survey respondents plan to take more classes with us. However, not every instructor or class is the perfect match for every student and there is always some risk when you purchase a service. In order to maintain our very reasonable tuition, you accept this risk when you enroll. Please take a moment to review our refund policy if this is of concern to you.
I picked one class but I want to switch to another. Is that possible?
No. Each instructor is an independent contractor so you cannot switch between classes. If you change your mind about class, then you can ask for a refund for the first class (see requirements above - the session may not have started yet), and then enroll in the class that you want at this time.
I'm not sure if the class I am considering is the right one. What should I do?
Our instructors work hard to ensure that potential students are provided with an accurate class description and a syllabus to help you select the right course. However, sometimes you'll need more help than that! You can always contact Denise Fenzi if you need help selecting between courses, and you can contact the individual instructors if you're still not sure about the suitabiity of a class for your situation. Because we do not offer refunds after instruction begins and materials have been released, it's important that you take care when selecting the correct class for your situation. Anyone at the academy can be contacted through the "People" link, which is at the top of this page.
The class I wanted has filled! Can you put me on the waiting list?
No. We do not maintain a waiting list. If a spot opens up in an level that already filled, we offer the currently enrolled students the opportunity to upgrade their status on the first day of class.
Are your courses optimized for mobile phones?
No. Many of our students do choose to use their phones to check in with their classes, but due to the very large number of mobile phone systems, we are not "optomized" for mobile use. You will find our website much easier to navigate if you use a PC, Mac, or Ipad
Questions about Class Levels
What are the different enrollment levels and what do they cost? (Gold, Silver, and Bronze)
We offer three enrollment levels for our courses. They differ in the amount of interaction with the course instructors and other students.
Gold Level Access includes access to all lecture and video materials, gives you the ability to post questions and videos to the course forum, answers to all questions asked in the forum, as well as feedback on both written and video assignments. $260
Silver Level Access includes access to all lecture and video materials, ability to post questions to the course forum, and feedback on questions asked in the forum. Questions should be specific to the lecture materials or to the Gold student videos and threads; Silver level is not designed for you to ask specific questions about your own dog. (Check with the instructor of the specific class you are considering if you want more inforation of how specific you can be regarding your situation - this varies by instructor). You will not submit video or written homework for feedback. $130
Bronze Level Access includes access to all lecture and video materials and the ability to read all questions and answers posted in the class forum. You will not post questions or submit written or video assignments. This is NOT a good choice if you think that you may have questions or need clarification; this level is for experienced trainers who feel comfortable problem solving on their own. $65
May I work more than one dog at the Gold Level? Can we switch off handlers?
No. You must purchase a separate Gold level membership for each dog and only one person should be handling the dog.
I want to upgrade my status in a class to Silver or Gold. Is this possible?
Yes. If there is still space at the level you are interested in, you may upgrade simply by purchasing the new level. The system will automatically charge you the difference between your current status and the one you are upgrading to. If the higher level is already full, you will not be able to upgrade. If you are on a scholarship, you will not be able to upgrade.
If I choose Silver or Bronze level status, how do I ask questions?
If you are a Silver status participant, you simply start a topic in the forum if you have a question about the materials or if you need clarification. If you have Bronze status, you do not have the ability to ask questions. The only exception is technology issues; anyone may post in the technical forum, and our Technical Advisor will do her best to help you.
When you sign up for class, give some thought about the level that is right for you. Do you need personal interaction with the instructor, or do you feel comfortable with learning by watching and listening to others? You might choose different levels for different courses, depending on your goals or needs for each class.
I am a Bronze level participant and I really need to ask a question! What do I do??!!!
You may upgrade to either Silver or Gold level status, assuming that status is still available and registration has not closed. Bronze level is intentionally kept at a very low price to allow as many people as possible to watch and learn. Think of it like watching a TV show with a live audience rather than being in the audience. The trade off for the low price is that there is no way to ask a question, so please respect that and do not contact instructors privately. Due to the workload, instructors cannot answer questions that are asked outside of the forum.
Be aware that FDSA has an extremely active presence of Facebook, and many classes have strong interactive communities in forums where class materials are discussed among each other. If you are interested in joining the FDSA facebook community and if you are an FDSA alumni, search for Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Alumni and submit a request to join. Be aware that we will check your eligibility against our database, so please do not ask to join if you are not a current or former student.
When class ends, all students will be encouraged to submit a survey. This is your opportunity to suggest improvements to the course materials. In most cases, however, you will find that a Gold or Silver level participant will have already asked your question if a portion of lecture material was not sufficiently clear.
Questions About Our Classes
Can I take a single course even if I have no interest in becoming a professional trainer?
Sure! Most Fenzi Academy students are simply hobbyists who want to be the best motivational sport trainers possible. You don't need to be a professional trainer.
What classes should I take?
See our suggested courses of study here.
I see classes that sound similar listed under different schools. Will these classes be the same?
No. Each instructor brings their unique skill set, interests, and preferences to their courses. While many classes will have similar goals (for example, raising a performance puppy), each school or instructor will have a special take on how to get there. Your best bet is to consider the sports you are most interested in, and also to consider the specialties and interests of the instructor, when deciding which course will best suit your needs. At Fenzi Academy, we consider it a strength that classes are approached in many different ways - dog training is a highly individualized event, and the more methods and approaches available to help you reach your goals, the better off you'll be. You will find that all of our instructors use methods that are dog and people friendly.
Over time, many of our students find instructors who have a style that particularly appeals to them. Maybe they prefer instructors who work more with video lectures than written ones, or maybe they feel that the instructor undertsands their type of dog. Some instructors give out information on a weekly or twice a week basis, while others give a skills list in the first days of class. All of these are very effective teaching strategies, but if you have a question about the approach of a specific instructor, then we strongly recommend that you contact them and ask in advance of class. We are more than happy to explain how we plan to lay out any particular course.
How many courses can I take at one time?
That's up to you! We don't limit the number of classes a student can enroll in. We do recommend that if you are a first-time student, you only take one Gold level course unless you have a lot of free time. While the class itself is not hugely time intensive, most students become quite involved in the subject matter for the period of time the class runs. Our average continuing student takes two classes at a time.
What do I need to know before signing up for a course?
Gold level participants must have access to a video camera and have the ability to upload documents to youtube. Please ensure you can do this BEFORE you register for a class. It is also important to ensure that you meet any course prerequisites or requirements (or have prior permission from the instructor) before enrolling. See the prerequisites link next to any class that might interest you.
Silver level participants also need to meet the prerequisites or have instructor permission for the class to ensure that questions are not duplicating topics covered in lower level courses.
Bronze level participants do not need to meet the prerequisites or requirements.
Does a course count as a prerequisite if I participate as a silver or bronze level participant?
Yes. The only requirement is that you have adequately mastered the course materials.
I want to sign up for a course that has a prerequisite that I do not have. I am an experienced trainer. Will I be allowed to register
Our system does not "check" to ensure that you meet the requirements for a class. If you believe that you can follow the materials without the prerequisite class, and if you are enrolling at bronze or silver, then you will be able to register. If you choose this path, be aware that the instructor will not repeat materials from the earlier level(s), and you will not be allowed to ask questions about materials from the earlier levels. If you are unsure about the suitability of a class for your skill level, please contact the instructor before enrolling to check the suitability of the class for your situation, but be aware that you are enrolling at a higher level class 'at your own risk'. There are no refunds once classes begin.
I own a video camera but I don't have any editing skills. Will this be a problem?
Your video camera does not have to be fancy; many people use a flip style video recorder with a direct USB link to their computer and then upload directly to you tube with no editing at all. Most of the time this works well, but there are a few points to consider before posting your video:
- Are you in the range of the camera? Laying down ground poles and testing this before you start can save you the heartache of taking an entire video, only to realize that you were walking in and out of range the whole time.
- Is there unnecessary footage? Editing the video down to the part you want the instructor to see will give you the best feedback on your video. It's not necessary to add words, special fades, or anything else, but clipping the beginning and end will make your video more compact. Most of the time a 2 - 3 minute video is more than sufficient to target the relevant behaviors for review.
- Is the lighting sufficient and the video lens clean? Your videos do not need to be movie quality, but the easier it is to see, the better the feedback you will receive.
- As a rule, several videos over the course of the week is far preferable to one long video. Watching a student's progress every other day for a few minutes will yield the best results.
Once you have a found a good place for your camera, consider marking that spot on the ground and using it routinely. You'll find that videotaping your work rarely adds more than a few minutes once you get the hang of it. Many of the Silver and Bronze level participants also choose to videotape their sessions even though they will not submit these for formal review. Videos are really useful for developing your training!
What time and day of the week is class?
Class is anytime and any day that works for you! Unlike a traditional class, there are no meeting times or dates. This extreme flexibility is one of the most attractive features of online courses.
How many weeks long is a class?
Most classes are six weeks long. During that period, you will have complete access at any time of day or night. After class ends, you'll still be able to see the forum for a few more weeks, but there will no more feedback from your instructors. For one year after class, you will have a library pass that will allow you to review videos and lectures from your courses at your leisure.
How do I get notified when new lectures are released in my class?
In the discussion forum for each class you will find a topic called "Class Announcements". Any level of participation (Gold, Silver or Bronze) may "subscribe" to that thread. Then when an instructor posts a new lecture you will be notified by email. We suggest signing up for that thread right away so that you don't miss anything or forget to check your classroom!
Questions about Homework and Handouts
How do I submit assignments?
It's easy. Each student has their own thread in the forum. Once class starts, you will post all of your written assignments directly into the forum. If you are including a video, you will copy and paste the youtube link into your thread as well. The instructor will respond to your assignments and videos within your thread. At the end of six weeks, you will have all of your questions, comments, and assignments in one place!
I'm embarrassed to have others see my work. Can I have a private thread?
No, all work is public. This is to allow all of the participants to learn from each other.
Can I share the materials that I receive in class?
If you wish to share the materials (written or video lectures and video examples), you must contact the instructor for that class. The written materials and the accompanying videos are the intellectual property of the instructor, and you may not legally share this material without permission. However, you MAY share what you learn in class and indeed we encourage you to do so! As a courtesy you may also consider giving credit as to where you learned the information, but this is not required.
A good deal of time and preparation goes into each class, and the tuition compensates the instructors for their efforts. If you share their materials with your friends, then you are taking income away from the person who created those materials. We have worked hard to keep our fees extremely reasonable with the hope that anyone who needs the information can afford a class, and we offer the scholarship fund for those who still need extra help. Please do not undercut the system by sharing materials without permission.
Can I have a PDF of the class's materials?
No, sorry. Because our instructors are constantly updating their materials and classes, links quickly become broken, especially to videos. A PDF would quickly become outdated. Furthermore, the videos are embedded within the lectures and it's not possible to create a PDF in this situation. If you wish, you can copy the materials to your own computer. Instead, we do provide you with a library pass that allows you to access the most current materials and videos from your instructor for a full year from the start date of your class. However, please note that we do not take responsiblity for the library as part of your tuition - tuition covers the courses as they are in session.
What is a library pass and how do I get one?
Each student is automatically given a library pass for one year from the point of enrollment in a course. A library pass allows you to log onto the site and review all of the lectures and videos posted by the instructor over the course of the class. The lectures are updated every time the class is offered (with the same instructor), so you always have the most current version. Library passes do not allow you to review courses that you have not previously enrolled in. Library passes also do not give you multiple versions of a class if it is taught by multiple instructors.
You can keep your library pass current by enrolling in at least one course a year. Alternatively, you can purchase a library pass for $50 per year for as long as you wish to have access to prior class materials. Please note that the forum portion of classes is not included in your library pass; that material is removed two weeks after class ends. If you wish to keep access to your personal Gold level forum thread, you will be given instructions on how to do so at the end of class through the tech forum portion of our site.
Please note that under very rare circumstances that are beyond the control of FSDA, it can happen that a class is removed from the library, or video links may end up broken. If this happens FDSA will not provide a refund or credit. When you sign up for a class, you are paying for the "live" version of the class, which includes the lecture materials, the forums, and the instructor feedback. The library is a courtesy which we provide, but which we do not take responsiblity for. We strongly suggest taking courses when you have the time to work through the materials.
Why do I lose access to the forums two weeks after class ends?
Because we re-use the classrooms, we remove all of the forum materials when we need the classroom again. If a class is not offered again in the near future, access to the forum may remain significantly longer than two weeks. However, we do not guarantee access past the two week point.
Questions about the Academy
Why should I choose Fenzi Academy over other options?
Please see our About Us page from the link at the top of the page to understand what is unique about Fenzi Academy. We think you'll see what a tremendous opportunity this is for almost anyone interested in motivational training for dog sports.
Who are the instructors and what are their credentials?
Every instructor has been hand picked by Denise Fenzi for their success in dog sports, quality as a trainer of both dogs and people, and in some cases, their academic qualifications (especially when teaching a dog behavior course). In many cases, the instructors are already well known in the dog world. For more information on our instructors, check out their biographies in the courses section.
Are Continuing Education Units (CEU's) available?
Historically some instructors have applied for CEU's for their classes, but too few students actually requested them for us to continue with this practice. Instead, you may apply for your own CEU's for CPDT certification after class ends. Follow this link to apply for CEU's:
If a class instructor has applied for CEU's, this information will be stated at the end of the course description. CEU's are only available to Gold level participants.
Be aware that several organizations exist that offer/require CEU's and their expectations vary, which means that some of our classes may qualify and others may not. If CEU's are important to you then we strongly recommend that you confirm eligiblity for CEU's BEFORE you enroll
Do you offer any certifications?
No, we offer educational opportunities for individuals who wish to further their education. There is no attendance requirement, no testing, and no process for ensuring that a student mastered the materials. We assume self motivated learners who are truly interested in becoming better dog trainers.
Do you give grades?
No, neither coursework nor the overall course will be graded.
Do you have a mascot?
Our school mascot is the very busy, active, and engaged Ferret!
Does Fenzi Academy have a physical school location?
No, our instructors are world wide, so it would be quite difficult to have a physical location.
Does Fenzi Academy have a phone number? I have some questions that are not answered here.
Do you have a support network?
Yes! Fenzi Academy has an extremely active Facebook presence. There are several lists designed for FDSA current students and alumni. The main list is called "Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Alumni". From there, you can learn about many other lists that will support students with a variety of goals and interests. There are also a variety of student run discussion forums to assist each other with their classwork. Feel free to join the lists after you have signed up for a class!
What is the FDSA dog Sports Camp???!!!
Dog Sports Camp refers to our annual in person conference! Please refer to our Camp page for more information http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/camp