Upstate NY college becomes first to offer canine training bachelor’s degree

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COBLESKILL, N.Y. —They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But century-old SUNY Cobleskill will soon become the first college to offer a bachelor’s degree in Canine Training and Management.

“This program really fulfills our mission of providing opportunities for all learners, and access for all learners, to different types of academic programs,” said SUNY Cobleskill Provost Dr. Susan Zimmermann.

 Zimmermann said the idea came from existing courses in the school’s animal science track. The college also says that since 9/11, there has been a surge in the number of K9s and service dogs needed, leading to a demand for more qualified trainers.

“Students might participate in basic canine care classes, canine health for example, as well as agility classes [and] therapy dog classes,” Zimmermann explained.

Students work hands-on with over 50 dogs that live in the local community. Zimmermann’s two-year-old black lab, Molly, is one of the canines students work with.

Though most want to become expert handlers, the degree is also meant for those interested in running kennels, breeding and showing dogs among other paths. The college is currently accepting applicants for the Fall 2019 semester.

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