Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about The Masterson Method® Beyond Dog Massage courses. If you have other questions not answered here or on the website, please email us at . We hope to see you in a course soon!

General Questions

Students do not need to own a dog.  However, students do need access to a dog that can be used during online courses, and during independent practice time throughout the week.

Students need to be comfortable working with dogs and be able to “read” the dog to know when the dog needs a break.  If students have limited experience with dogs, working with a trainer may ensure pleasant and productive experiences for both student and dog!

Both online and in-person courses will use the Beyond Dog Massage book.  Students should have reviewed the book prior to attending courses.  You can purchase the book on The Masterson Method® Store https://mastersonmethod.com/product/beyond-dog-massage-book/

The online Beyond Dog Massage Read and Release course is the first course in the education pathway.  All future courses require students to have successfully completed the previous course in the education pathway.  Successful completion includes participating during class discussions and technique practice, completing assigned homework, practicing techniques outside of classroom time, and demonstrating skills proficiency expected for that course level.  

Once students enroll in an online course, they will receive a confirmation email of their enrollment, along with pertinent course information.  The first week’s assignment will be included in the confirmation email.

For some dogs with acute health consultations, it may not be in the dog’s best interest to be the dog used during the learning process.   Special needs dogs may benefit more by receiving short sessions with limited techniques applied. A dog without serious illnesses or health consultations would be most appropriate to be used as a “learning dog”.  If you are unsure your dog should participate as a learning dog, please check with your dog’s veterinarian.

Using a simple dog collar will be helpful to keep your dog close by when practicing the different techniques.

Prong collars, choke collars, muzzles, or body harnesses are not appropriate dog equipment during classes.  These types of gear make it difficult to read the responses from the dog and may prevent the dog from fully responding to the techniques.

The Masterson Method® logos can only be used when the person is certified in that coursework.  Until certification is earned, the use of logos is prohibited.  At the time you become certified as a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner – Canine, you can begin using the canine logo. 

Yes!  We are working on a certification pathway.  Read and Release is the first course and it is mandatory before moving onto next courses.

All students will start with the online Read and Release course and progress through the remaining courses in the program.

You will still need to go through the full certification pathway to become a Masterson Method Certified Practitioner – Canine.  All students start at the Read and Release course.

Beyond Dog Massage Online Courses

Whether in the online course or in-person course, students will learn from observing instructor demonstrations, working directly with the instructor one-on-one, and observing instructors working with other students.  It is a multi-faceted approach to learning.

The Beyond Dog Massage Read and Release course will meet weekly for four consecutive weeks. Students should plan each weekly class lasting approximately two to two and a half hours, depending on class size.  There will be breaks interspersed throughout the class time for both you and your dog!

While we expect students to attend each class’s live session for optimum learning opportunities, we realize that unplanned, serious life events can prevent even the most dedicated students from attending each week.  Students are allowed to miss one class for emergency situations and still receive the completion certificate.  We highly recommend that students review the class recording before attending the next scheduled class so that there are no gaps in their knowledge.  If the student needs to miss more than one class, those absences may be approved on an individual basis. 

 If you cannot attend a class during the course’s duration, please email

Depending on your dog’s size, you can choose to work on the floor, couch, chair, etc.  The important thing is that you are both comfortable and supported.

We suggest the following:

  • A quiet area, free from distractions.
  • A room with a door or areas of your home that can be gated.  This will allow your dog to move about without leaving the area.
  • Avoid backlit lighting, such as a window behind you.
  • A light shining toward you is ideal.
  • A stable, high-speed internet connection.  
  • A device with a camera, speaker, and microphone. 

For detailed information, please read the Beyond Dog Massage Course Logistics document.