Frequently Asked Questions/Answers:


1. Are there any prerequisites required for the 250-hour Canine Massage program?

All incoming students must have previous experience in handling dogs. To be eligible for our certification courses, a student must:

-Be at least 18 years of age (prospective students under age 18 may be admitted with the approval of the students parent / guardian and with the submittal of a Parental Release form).
-Be socially and psychologically capable of performing massage.
-Be physically able to perform massage.
-Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
-Understand the English language (Ojai School of Canine Massage does not offer ESL instruction). All instruction will occur in the English language. Incoming students must be proficient in English. Proficient means 75% or greater proficiency in the English language.

2. If attending onsite classes, do I bring my own dog to the onsite class?

Yes, you are encouraged to bring your dog to the 13.5 day onsite class. Your dog must get along with other dogs, be neutered or spayed and treated for fleas. The OSOCM will provide a dog for you if you do not plan on bringing a dog to class.

3. May I finance my education at OSOCM by making monthly payments?

Any student taking the online certification course may opt to finance their education by receiving individual lessons. You can do this by purchasing lessons directly from our website. If paying by check, please call us to arrange a payment plan. Tuition is due in full by the first day of the onsite class.

4. Is there any coursework required prior to coming onsite?

We highly recommend and encourage all future incoming onsite students to begin the online canine massage course prior to coming onsite. The onsite course is condensed with information and is presented in an “intensive” format. Proceeding through as much of the online course (as possible), prior to coming onsite, will enhance your onsite learning experience by helping you to absorb the information presented onsite much more efficiently. This will also assure the safety of the animal being massaged. All students taking, and paying for, the onsite course in full will receive the online course at no additional tuition cost.

5. Is Veterinarian supervision required when doing canine massage? Is it legal to practice canine massage?

It is legal to practice canine massage in California. There are no regulations requiring veterinary supervision in the state of California. It is legal to practice canine massage in California as long as you are not claiming to do rehabilitation therapy and are not claiming to treat any medical condition. The IAAMB link below shows state by state regulations in the field of Canine Massage.
Laws By State-
IAAMB State List

6. How long do I have to complete the online or onsite certification course requirements?

There is no deadline to complete the online or onsite course requirements. The OSOCM encourages students to complete no more than one lesson per week when taking the online course. This allows for practice time.

7. When can I schedule a Skype visit with the instructor?

Your instructor is available, via Skype or email, Facebook Messenger or FaceTime to assist students during the online portion of the course and through to completion. Students are encouraged to maintain interaction with the instructor throughout the course to be sure they are performing the hands on techniques correctly and to assure the safety of the animal being massaged. The final hands on practicum is required only for students taking the Online course certification and may be completed via Skype.

8. Are there any written quizzes in the online or onsite course?

Only the Anatomy & Physiology portion (required for both online and onsite students) of the online course requires students to take quizzes. The quizzes are taken online and are open book. These quizzes are a learning tool and may be taken twice. There is no way to fail a quiz, on the part of OSOCM, since they are taken twice.

9. What kind of job position can you get after getting certified through the Ojai School of Canine Massage?  Does the business portion of the course include ways to obtain clients?

Unless you already have an existing job offer from a Veterinarian, groomer, doggie day care center (or other animal related business) you will have to set up your own business.

In our business class, we help you to identify the independent business opportunities that exist in your area. The business lesson also includes various ways to build your clientele and customer base. Most of your referrals will come from dog owners, groomers, dog sitters, dog walkers and doggie daycare facilities. What city do you live in? Are you near a large metropolitan area that has wealth? In the beginning, it is a good idea to combine massage services with other dog and animal related businesses such as dog walking, day care, agility training, swim therapy and pet transport to name a few. Go around to some of these already existing businesses and see if they would be willing to refer customers to you once you become certified.

10. How long will it take to complete the 250-hour online Canine Massage course?

Students generally complete the course in 3-6 months. The best way to compute the amount of time it will take to complete is to divide the total hours of the course (250) by the total hours you plan to study/practice each week. For example, if you plan to study/practice for 10 hours per week, then the course will take 20 weeks to complete.
250 /10 = 25 weeks.

11. Can I take only a portion of the onsite class?

Yes, although not required, any student completing the full 250-hour Online Canine Massage certification program may take as much, or as little, of the onsite class as they like. The cost is $100 per day when attending only a portion of the onsite class. Students who have purchased the full online course will only be charged for the first 5.5 days of the onsite course, if they choose to attend. There will be no charge after the first 5.5 days of the onsite class. Your total tuitions paid, for both the online and onsite course, will never exceed the onsite tuition cost of $2,250 (PIF).

12. Do you help students find accommodations when coming onsite?

Yes, please email us and we will be happy to provide you with our “Student List of Accommodations”.

13. If I take the 250 hour Distance Study/Online Canine Massage course, am I eligible to take the NBCAAM exam? Will I need additional training?

The NBCAAM exam is only required in the state of Washington at this time. You can take the NBCAAM exam if you have taken our (a) distance learning course, but you will also have to complete:
“A minimum 50 hours of supervised in class/hands-on work which includes assessment and execution of bodywork skill being studied, benefits of massage/acupressure and practice guidelines.”
The Ojai School of Canine Massage onsite program does satisfy the above subject requirements, thus satisfying the 50 hours of supervised in class hands-on work required by the NBCAAM.
The link below provides additional information regarding the National Certification Examination for Animal Acupressure & Massage.
 NBCAAM Requirements.

** Please note: Veterinary rules may change from year to year. We highly recommend that you check the regulations in your state.

14. When is it necessary to become nationally certified through the NBCAAM?

The only state requiring national certification, at this time, is Washington State: To practice small animal massage in Washington state, the applicant must pass one or more of the following exams: Washington state animal massage requirements.

The National Certification for Canine massage is the test for dogs.

15. How is OSOCM different from other Canine Massage programs?

OSOCM has offered comprehensive instruction in the field of Canine Massage for over 18 years. Students receive a well rounded, thorough and personalized education. Students leave the school fully prepared to enter the field of Canine Massage as well equipped professionals. Our graduates are available, via email, to share their experiences. Please contact the school for more information.

16. Upon graduating, who should I contact to acquire insurance for my Canine Massage business?

Please call the Hands on Trade Association.

17. Is the certificate of completion the same for both the online and onsite course?

Yes, your certificate of completion is the same whether you complete the online or onsite course.