We teach inspired animal training through innovative programs designed for animal enthusiasts at every experience and professional level.
At Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA) we teach effective force-free training in all of our courses. Our aim is to build a community of positive reinforcement trainers who see shared value in collaboration and in discussion of training and behavior science practices and related issues.


Pioneering animal trainer and author Karen Pryor designed and launched KPA's first program—the Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in 2007. Karen is considered to be the catalyst for the positive reinforcement training movement, along with her ground-breaking book Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training.

Karen Pryor Academy is part of the family of positive training education services and training gear from Karen Pryor Clicker Training, a leader in the field of animal training and in the science and application of marker-based positive reinforcement, or what is popularly called “clicker training." 

Did you know?

» Since 2007, more than 13,000 people have taken a KPA course to enrich their lives with animals, sharpen their training skills and become a better teacher.

» More than 2,600 trainers have earned a KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP) professional designation. These graduates work across the globe, as professional dog trainers or as professionals in the animal-care field, including veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

» We estimate that tens of thousands of pet owners train their pets annually, applying what they have learned in one of our courses or through the help of a KPA Certified Training Partner. The positive training methodology improves the lives of all these people and their dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, lizards, and fish!

Positive reinforcement training programs at the Karen Pryor Academy feature force free, clicker training for operant conditioning


Karen Pryor is a pioneer in the development of force-free training methods, and one of the leading proponents of operant conditioning. Karen continues to have an enormous influence in the animal training field, and is much admired for her influential body of work and generous spirit. Karen retired from the day-to-day management of the company in 2014 and turned the positive training education reins over to a person she greatly admires, Ken Ramirez.


Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice President and Chief Training Officer at Karen Pryor Clicker Training, overseeing all educational programming since 2014. Ken is one of the most respected animal trainers in the world. He is known for his boundless energy, his skill in every area of animal training, his experience with an enormous repertoire of species, and his commitment to positive training practices with animals and people.


At KPA, we develop, update, and maintain our own curriculum. The content of our courses and workshops keeps up with evolving science, practices, and perspectives. We frequently collaborate with other thought and practice leaders who may also facilitate, coach, or teach KPA course material.

KPA courses are designed to keep students interested and engaged in learning— as well as set up for success. Intrinsic to our teaching philosophy is that both people and dogs (or other animals) will enjoy the learning process together. Great training is both science and art, and, done right, it creates a joyful partnership.


We are committed to the conversations and dialogue, education, and steps that lead to greater understanding and that can make the profession more inclusive. Read our latest updates here.


We teach our students to be skilled trainers and effective teachers

We don't teach positively just because we're nice (though we are), but because we understand the history and use of punishment in training. Karen Pryor Academy's approach is more effective in every meaningful dimension.