Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

Immersion Program (CLOSED)

There are many new and exciting changes in the works for MES! To make room for these changes, the 2022 Immersion Program will be our last one offered.

We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the response to our announcement that this will be our last Immersion Program. Due to the demand, we have raised the maximum class size from 15 to 20 students, and at this point the program is closed and we are not accepting any more applications. Thank you to all who have expressed interest in our program, we are truly grateful. Please keep an eye on our website and social media for new classes and alternative programs in 2023. 

Our program is one of the most complete and information dense curriculums in the country. It is a perfect stepping-off point for those seeking a career in dog training, or for the serious hobbyist or sport trainer that wants to improve their skills and round out their education.

Students will receive a certificate upon completion of the overall program.

  • The Online portion of the 2022 Program begins on February 14, 2022.
    The In-Person portion begins April 4, 2022
    Applications are due by: CLOSED
    (*late applicants, please contact office.)

The Michael Ellis School Immersion Program includes the following:

  • Students will learn:
    • Puppy Development
    • Basic Obedience Skills
    • Motivation
    • Management
    • Advanced Obedience Skills
    • Proper Use of the Electric Collar
    • Introduction to Detection 
    • Intermediate/Advanced Detection 
    • Protection Theory
    • Decoy Skills 
    • Training Sport Exercises
    • Behavior Modification

    Read course descriptions here.

  • Private Lessons/Coaching with Michael and/or staff each week.
  • "Special Topic"' sessions w/Michael, staff, or visiting instructors.
  • Private meetings with Michael once per month.
  • Dock Diving Instruction and use of our 48ft Dock Diving Pool.
  • Master Classes with experienced, professional trainers.
  • Guest lecturers and various extracurricular activities.
  • Immersion students have additional access to, and use of our facilities outside of class, as well as some opportunities to attend our private staff training sessions.
  • Students, who wish to, will be added to our database of graduates, which we use for referrals.


The Online portion of the 2022 Program begins on February 14, 2022.
The In-Person portion begins April 4, 2022

Graduation June 25, 2022
A maximum of 15 students are admitted per session.
The program cost is $20,500*.
The first 6 weeks will be online and the remaining 3 months will be in-person, here on our Santa Rosa campus.
You must pay a $1000 deposit which includes our $50 application fee
If you are not admitted, your deposit will be returned, less the application fee.
If you are admitted, the entire deposit is applied toward your tuition.
*Lodging and equipment are additional fees.
When we receive your $1000 deposit, we will send you the application, housing options, and equipment list.

Students must bring a dog, or make arrangements with us for a "loaner dog."

Dogs must stay with students during the program, so participants should choose lodging accordingly.

For full participation, student dogs should be generally outgoing, food motivated, and ideally, they should like to play.

All breeds are welcome.

We have references from past graduates upon request.

Please contact us with specific questions, or if you would like to enroll.

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Featured Dog Training Video

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