TFDP's Fear Abatement Mastery (FAM) is the most humane, comprehensive program for fearful dogs.

Begun in 2014, this program is continually expanded & refined. See below for latest information.


The FAM program offers powerful opportunities for those who are serious about achieving the most humane & effective

trust-building, behavior modification, and training skills to help fearful and other disadvantaged dogs. 

FAM's process is the Fear Abatement Cumulative Training (FACT) approach, created by TFDP's founder.

If you seek transformation, not just information, you're in the right place at The Fearful Dogs Project.

Beginning & Intermediate Levels of the program are for anyone not seeking certification.

Advanced Level of the program is for professionals seeking certification.


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The Fearful Dogs Project offers a comprehensive program of learning in order to best help fearful dogs, including feral dogs in captivity, puppy mill survivors, and others. We’ll cover the anti-aversives philosophy that underlies the program, as well as theory and activities that comprise best practices for working or living with this population of dogs.

Who is the program for?

Professionals and non-pros welcome. Private dog owners and caregivers welcome, including anyone living with or working around one or more fearful dogs.  Canine behavior consultants, dog trainers, veterinary staff, rescue, sanctuary, and shelter staff, fosterers, & other volunteers, dog groomers, dog daycare owners, boarders or sitters, pet store staff, animal welfare & protection organizations, post office, UPS, FedEx, & other delivery workers, animal control officers, and police officers.

Beginning Level Program

Private, one on one instruction via video conference:

Understanding Fear and Fear-Based Behavior

Misconceptions & Clarifications

Canine Body Language/Communication

Key Concepts of Behavior Modification

Principles of Cooperative Care & Handling

Advocating for the Dog

     Investment: $ 100/hour (three hour minimum) or $500 for six hours

Note: You may also wish to inquire with our recommended fearful dogs professionals about one-on-one help outside this program.

Intermediate Level Program

Live, group instruction via video conference:

Introduction to Fearful Dogs 

Abridged Glossary Related to Work with Feral and other Fearful Dogs

Understanding Fear and Fear-Based Behavior

Anti-Aversives, "Fear-Free," and Force-Free Principles

Misconceptions & Clarifications 

Canine Body Language/Communication

The Spaces between Training. Advocating for Fearful Dogs and their Caregivers

General Rules for Fearful Dog Caregivers

How We Got Here: A Brief History of Domestic/Pet Dogs 

ABCDs, Assessment, and Prognosis 

Working with Fearful Dogs & Their Caregivers: Detailed, Step-by-Step Instructions

Considerations for Special Needs Dogs

Preparing the Fearful Dog for Life as a Pet 

Classical Conditioning 

Behavior Modification versus “Training”

Cooperative Care & Handling

Fearful Dogs & Shelters

Fearful Dogs & Rescues

Fearful Dog Adoptions

Increasing the Likelihood of a Fearful Dog’s Survival in the Human World 

Fights and Bites

Equipment Considerations

Changing Futures

- Open to all.

- 6 hours of live virtual lectures plus 30 minute Q&A at end of each lecture

- Purpose: Provide depth and breadth of information crucial to working successfully, anti-aversively, with disadvantaged dogs.

-Investment: $650 per person, paid via PayPal no later than 30 days before start date (Discounts for large groups enrolling together may be available. Contact us to inquire.)

The Fearful Dogs Project encourages anti-aversives canine behavior & training professionals to apply for the FAM advanced program.

The FAM program is the path to becoming one of the select few fearful dogs professionals recommended/referred to by TFDP:

Advanced Program (Professional Certification Track)

Principles/practices covered in the intermediate program, and application of principles/practices via 12 hours of one to one coaching, observation, and feedback via Zoom (live video conference) and submitted session videos (recorded) from each candidate.  The certification program maintains a measure of fluidity to provide focus on the specific needs of each candidate, while still ensuring mastery in the program's principles and practices.

Advanced Program Structure: Certification track for qualified behavior consultants and trainers

-12 hours of private, one on one observation, coaching, evaluation, and feedback

- Written application (online here) is required, followed by a short phone conversation to ascertain a good match

- Limited number of certification-track applicants accepted at one time. When full, approved applicants may join the waitlist.

- TFDP Code of Conduct/Ethics agreement to be signed upon enrollment

- Flexible start dates/schedules

- Breadth and depth of coverage in anti-aversives work with fearful / disadvantaged dogs.

- Homework (written and/or oral, plus video/virtual) completed successfully per TFDP criteria

- Upon successful completion of all program requirements, certification awarded:

  -- CFDP (Certified Fearful Dogs Professional) or CFDA (Certified Fearful Dogs Associate)

  -- CFDPs and CFDAs are added to the TFDP referral base and appear on the approved Behavior Consultants section of The Fearful Dogs Project website.

-Investment: *First three candidates to begin the program in 2021: $1500 per person, paid via PayPal no later than 30 days before start of program 

 (*$2000 per person regular price)

Purpose: Elevation of expertise, skills, and outcomes

CFDP prerequisites: Anti-aversives behavior/training professionals holding the CBCC-KA, CDBC, CTC, KPA CTP, or equivalent; approval of application

CFDA prerequisites: Anti-aversives behavior/training professionals holding the CPDT-KA with proof of passing exam at 85% or more, or equivalent; approval of application

Certification titles:

Records will show full certificants as Certified Fearful Dogs Professional (CFDP)

Records will show associate certificants as Certified Fearful Dogs Associate (CFDA)

Associate-track student homework requirements are the same as full certification track. At TFDP’s discretion, all candidates may be asked to submit additional work  in order to confirm program competencies if not evidenced in initial attempts. Certification is at the sole discretion of TFDP.

Time to completeThe 2021 certification track program’s official end-date shall be six months from start date but TFDP may extend, at its discretion on a case by case basis, the end date for up to one year to allow sufficient time for successful completion. 

CEUs as appropriate are available for advanced level graduates (2020: KPA, 16 CEUs. CCPDT, 8 CEUs. IAABC, 22 CEUs, PPAB, 18 CEUs; 2021 CEUs tba)


The advanced, certification program for professionals enrolls and proceeds on an as-accepted basis.

Behavior Consultants and Dog Trainers may apply here

I’m not a professional trainer or animal worker. Is there a program appropriate for me?

Yes! Because there are very few opportunities for serious, comprehensive learning about fearful dogs, we feel it is important to include everyone who has or might someday have contact with a disadvantaged dog. The beginning and/or intermediate programs are available to all.

When do classes run?

UPDATE: Due to COVID era challenges for the public, the group program has been postponed. However, if your group would like to schedule the program for its own staff and volunteers, contact us to discuss options. The private options (beginning or certification/advanced levels) are currently available.

Is there a payment plan?

Currently we are not able to offer payment plans.

TFDP programs are taught by fearful dog expert Rain Jordan, CBCC-KA, KPA CTP, CPDT-KA, for The Fearful Dogs Project.

Have a question?  Email us or her.





Copyright © 2019, 2020  Rain Jordan / The Fearful Dogs Project®   All Rights Reserved

The Fearful Dogs Project  is a program licensed to the 501c3 charity, Protect Them All