About the Academy

The Fenzi Dog Sports Academy is an online school dedicated to providing high-quality instruction for competitive dog sports using only the most current and progressive training methods. 

Our Goals

We focus on providing clear, concrete information that will help you meet your competitive goals. We believe that the best way to do this is through a mutually respectful relationship with your dog. Dogs are not playthings; they are thinking, breathing, feeling creatures - pets, first and foremost. Dog sports allow us to develop relationships that many of us never dreamed possible. Our goal is to help you develop the flexible, warm, supportive partnership with your dog that we have found with our own.

Our primary goal is education above certification; anyone who is interested in dog sports is welcome to join us. 

Our Philosophy

We do not believe that compulsion is needed in either the training or proofing phases of dog sport preparation.  At the same time, we do not believe that “purely positive” exists, so we do not use that term.  Our courses are taught in a manner that respects the well being and emotional comfort of both halves of the team - not just the handler.  We do not teach pain compliance techniques in our courses.  

Because we want to help as many people as possible learn about motivation-based training, we meet our students where they are. We do not require our students to sign a pledge or in any other way specify how students should or should not train. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that a student of our school will not make decisions that we do not agree with. 

Our Courses

We offer a comprehensive program of courses that lay out a plan for raising a cooperative sport dog and strong working partner. This program includes core courses that provide a strong foundation for both the dog and the handler, classes that teach the specific exercises found in dog sports, and finally, courses on proofing, trial preparation, and stress management. 

Each class emphasizes the need to work with the dog in front of you. You will not be given a set of textbook recipes. Instead, you will learn to train based on what the dog’s skills and behavior are telling you is the correct course of action.

As you progress through the courses, the plan for excellence should become clear – understand dog behavior, develop excellent training skills for whatever sports interest you, and master the requirements for taking a dog into the world of competition. 

For answers to frequently asked questions about online learning, please visit our FAQ page.

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Why Fenzi Dog Sports Academy?

If you are seriously interested in furthering your dog sports education, either as a hobbyist or as a professional trainer, Fenzi Academy has a lot to offer you. 

World Class Instructors

The quality of our instructors is unbeatable.  All of our instructors have three things in common:

  1. They are thoroughly familiar with dog sports as active trainers or competitors,
  2. They are are patient and kind with both humans and canines, and
  3. They have been hand picked by Denise Fenzi for their in-depth knowledge and skill.  

In the case of courses with a heavy science or theoretical basis, our instructors tend to have a Ph.D, making them highly qualified and experienced at teaching these academic subjects.


Because Fenzi Academy is online, you can take courses without leaving the comfort of your home. This allows you to concentrate on a topic without disrupting your life or committing to a long term program. You'll never have to worry about weather cancellations, travel expenses, or missed classes. To see how the classes work, visit our sample classroom.

Courses that Meet YOUR Needs

Our courses are designed to give you a path to your goals, not ours. Instead of taking random courses that someone else thinks you need, you can select the classes that exactly meet your interests and goals. 


Our courses are affordable - especially when you consider that you will be learning from a world class trainer! You are no longer limited to the trainer who lives closes to you.

We offer three levels of participation. The Gold level is $260 and allows you regular access to your instructor.  You'll be able to submit questions and videos to ensure you're going the right direction. At the Silver level ($130), you can ask all the questions you can think up, but you cannot post videos. For those of you who are self-motivated, the Bronze level is a steal at $65. You will have access to all of the same lectures, demo videos, and discussion forums as your other classmates; you just won't be able to post. This is significantly more information than you would be able to get through a DVD or book. 

If finances still pose a burden, we encourage you to apply for a scholarship; if you are serious about getting information, we are serious about providing you with the help you need. Our scholarships cover half the cost of a Bronze level class subscription.

Ideal for Dogs with Behavior Issues

Our classes are perfect for reactive, shy, or aggressive dogs who aren't ready for a class setting - without the expense of ongoing private lessons. You will also be able to carefully watch other students' lessons without having to worry about your dog. Further, you can take classes right here on the very topics your dog is struggling with!

From Foundations to Ring Ready

Fenzi Academy is the only training school for sport dogs that teaches motivation based (R+) training from start to finish.  Our instructors have the experience and knowledge to take you through all aspects of training without compulsion - not just the beginning steps! We will cover the proofing and trial preparation steps as well.  Instructors with this information are few and far between in many dogs sports, and they are right here to help you on your journey! 


About the Founder

Denise Fenzi is the founder and head trainer at Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.

Denise has competed in a wide range of dog sports, titling dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), mondioring (MRSA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She is well known for her flashy and precise obedience work. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known worldwide as an expert in no force training for sport dogs.  She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm, as evidenced by as demonstrated by two AKC OTCH dogs and perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio ringsport obedience. 

Although Denise has found success as a competitor, her real passion lies in training dogs; she loves solving the problems that dogs present, whether it's one of her personal dogs, or her students' dogs. Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs.  Fenzi Academy is the culmination of her efforts and represents a huge step forward in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn.  

In her efforts to reach as many motivated trainers as possible, Denise has set up the Fenzi Academy scholarship fund for those who need a little extra help with their tuition.