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Dr. Sophia Yin’s pet-friendly animal handling techniques are shaping the new standard of care for petcare professionals. Low Stress Handling leads to safer and more satisfied staff, efficient workplaces, lowered liability, loyal clients, and of course, happy animals.

Download your own copy of the Low Stress Handling Certification Guide now!!

About this Program:

Veterinary hospitals and individuals can earn Dr. Yin’s Certification in Low Stress Handling through online training sessions and testing.


The purpose of this Certification in Low Stress Handling is to provide the teaching content needed to understand and improve the individual or hospital’s ability to create a low stress environment and handle animals in a less stressful manner. Coursework for this Certification goes beyond the teaching available form Dr. Yin’s book (with complementary DVD) Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats and related training videos. While these sources include improvements to the hospital’s design, to its preparation of and for the patient prior to a visit, and to its use of tools and sedative agents, a large portion of Low Stress Handling relies on the development of important hands-on skills. Among these are the abilities to:

  1. Recognize the overt and subtle signs of fear and anxiety in dogs and cats and identify the common mistakes people make when approaching and greeting pets that make the animals more fearful or aggressive. Learn to approach and handle pets in a relaxed, non-threatening manner.
  2. Learn how the sights, sounds, smells, and surfaces in your practice may be increasing the stress in your patients. Discover ways to create a calmer, safer, and more secure environment.
  3. Learn 5 methods for controlling the rear and 7 for controlling the front end of dogs. Determine which directions of movement (forward, back, right, left, up, and down) each hold controls. Evaluate which restraint hold is best for a given dog and procedure.
  4. Understand how every interaction – how you approach, pick animals up, move them from place to place, or restrain them – affects the animal’s perception of you and their willingness to cooperate. Learn how to position your body and adjust your movement to provide the direction and guidance the animal needs.

Benefits of Hospital or Pet Care Business Certification

  1. Improved client confidence

    • It will allow staff to project that they are both caring and skilled, rather than projecting a desire to rush through their visits to earn more money.

  2. Lower anxiety for staff and clients

    • Clients know their pets will be handled in a caring and calm manner. Staff know they won’t have to struggle since they understand how to get patients to comply willingly to procedures.

  3. Increased staff efficiency and higher productivity

    • Less staff time is spent on restraining animals due to increased skill.

  4. Lower injury rates and fewer worker’s compensation claims

    • Improved handler skill results in a decrease in animal-induced injuries.

  5. Higher job satisfaction

    • Better training leads to lowered stress in staff.

Additional Benefits of Individual Certification

  1. Resume Building

    • Clients, employers, and potential  employers know that the certified individual has added a valuable skill set.
  2. Continuing Education Units

    • Coursework earns 20 RACE-approved CE units. CCPDT, CBCC, and IAABC CEU are also available.
    • This course meets the requirements for 20 RACE hours of continuing education credit for veterinarians and veterinary technicians in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB’s RACE approval.
    • Participants should be aware that some state boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in specific categories and/or restrictions on specific methods of delivery.

Silver-Level Certification: Coursework & Online Testing

Individual Certification at this level demonstrates to clients and employers the individual’s dedicated interest in Low Stress Handling. Hospital Certification at this level demonstrates to clients and staff the hospital’s commitment to appropriately training staff in Low Stress Handling methods.


  1. Individual Certification Requirements

    1. Certification requires that each individual take all 10 lecture and lab courses in the pre-determined order. The classes are taken online, via and easy-to-use portal. After each lecture, the individual takes an online multiple-choice examination. Grades will be displayed as soon as each quiz is completed. If the student does not pass a quiz the first time, the grade page has an option to retake the quiz. Each quiz must be passed with a 90% or better in order to move on to the next module. After passing all 10 multiple-choice  quizzes and a final multiple-choice exam, scoring 90% correct or higher, the individual receives Certification in Low Stress Handling, Silver-Level. This program is open to all individuals, including: Veterinarians, Veterinary Technicians, all other clinical staff, veterinary and veterinary technician students, groomers, dog trainers, animal rescue workers, shelter staff, and animal owners.
    2. How much time do I have to complete the course?
      1. Six months (180 days). Individuals who have not completed the course after 180 days must re-enroll to attain certification.
    3. How long does certification last?
      1. Like Board Examinations for Veterinarians or the Veterinary Technician National Examination, Certification in Low Stress Handling is a one-time process.
  2. Hospital Certification Requirements
    1. Certification requires that a minimum of 51% of staff (including part-time) who work more than 8 hours per week become certified in Low Stress Handling as described under the Individual Certification section.
    2. How long does my hospital have to complete certification?
      1. Once a hospital registers to begin the certification process, it has 180 days for a minimum of 51% of its staff to complete the course. Individual enrollee re-enrollments will prolong the amount of time it takes for a hospital, clinic, or group to become certified.
    3. How long does certification last?
      1. Unlike individuals, hospitals must re-certify every three years. The majority of veterinary hospitals see a 30% or higher staff turnover rate each year – meaning that even just after two years, only 30% – 45% of the original team members may remain.
    4. What is the process for hospital re-certification?
      1. To re-certify, hospitals must re-establish the a minimum of 51% of current staff is Certified in Low Stress Handling.
        • At 2.5 years, the hospital receives notification that it’s time to re-certify. Only staff members who are not Certified in Low Stress Handling need to take the course.
          • For Example: When first certifying, a hospital has 51 staff members out of 100 become certified. Over the next 2.5 years, they lose 30 staff members and must rehire. With the turnover, now only 40 LSH certified individuals remain on staff. To re-certify, this 100-employee hospital will need to certify at least 11 additional staff members in order to fulfill the “51% minimum” requirement.
        • Note that a certified hospital may decide to make it standard policy for all new technicians and staff to receive Certification in Low Stress Handling as part of safety training. In that case, those employees join the hospital’s roster of certified staff members as they become certified. As a result, when it’s time to re-certify the hospital may easily still retain the 51% minimum of certified staff, even with normal staff turnover.
        • Note that during the three-year period, a certified hospital may hire new technicians and assistants who completed their Certification in Low Stress Handling elsewhere. When it’s time to re-certify, those new previously-certified employee are counted toward the “51% minimum” requirement.
  3. Group Silver Certification for Student Groups
    1. Student groups of 4 or more may pay the discounted hospital rate if:
      1. They attend an accredited school.
      2. It is recommended that each student has access to (either via direct purchase, through a student library, or other means) the Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs & Cats textbook.
    2. The students do not need to be part of an official campus group –  they can form their own groups of 4 or more people.
      1. Official campus groups, however, are highly encouraged to sign up as well.


  1. Individual Certification Process

    1. Register

      1. Go to and enroll in the Low Stress Handling Certification Course.  

      2. Note that if you are seeking certification, you must enroll in the entire Low Stress Handling Certification Course.
      3. You will not receive certification if you enroll in the component classes individually.
    2. Complete the coursework and exams

      1. Watch the lectures and lab videos in the pre-determined order. Take the multiple-choice examination at the end of each lecture or lab. For the five labs, we recommend that you practice the skills as you are working through the videos. We also strongly recommend that you download the accompanying Low Stress Handling Certification Workbook on ProProfs and read the Study Tips ahead of time so that you will know how to get the most out of the program.
        • After you successfully pass each multiple-choice test (scoring 90% correct or higher), you automatically move on to the next course in the series.
        • After you complete the entire series and pass all of the tests, you receive a certificate of completion with your CE units listed (AAVSB for veterinary staff, IAABC, CBCC, or CCPDT for members of those organizations). It is the responsibility of the student to submit their own CE units to the appropriate agencies.
        • Email [email protected] to let CattleDog Publishing know you have completed the Low Stress Handling Certification Program.
    3. Publicize your accomplishment

      1. You will receive a PDF certificate of completion via email that you can display on your wall.
      2. International Customers: Please contact CattleDog Publishing at [email protected] to let us know whether you would like a Low Stress Handling Silver Certified badge sent to you. If you would like a badge, there will be an additional shipping cost based on shipping charges to your country. We can provide you with the cost once you contact us. There is no shipping charge for customers in the United States.
      3. We can include you on our website’s listing of certified individuals.
        • Listings may include, name, credentials (DVM, VT, etc.), business name/address/email/website/phone number.
      4. You may add to your e-mail signature and website the words “Low Stress Handling Certified – Silver” and the year of certification. You may include the Low Stress Handling Certified – Silver logo (available upon request and verification of certification) on you website, along with a link back to the Certification in Low Stress Handling page, so your clients can see what the certification means.
      5. You may tell clients that you have been trained in Low Stress Handling via online lecture and testing, or that you are Certified in Low Stress Handling.
      6. You man NOT claim to be certified to teach Low Stress Handling. You may NOT claim that you have been “certified as having Low Stress Handling skills.”


  2. Hospital Certification Process

    1. Register and set up an account
      1. Contact CattleDog Publishing directly at [email protected] so an employee can calculate your group’s cost. CattleDog Publishing with ask for the following information:
        • Hospital Information: Hospital name, hospital address, name and job title of the hospital member who will be your primary contact, phone, fax, and e-mail. (Note that you will have six months for staff to complete the course.)
        • Staff information: Number of staff working 8 or more hours per week. At least 51% of employees working more than 8 hours per week must pass the certification course regardless of their hospital duties, in order for the hospital to be considered certified.
        • Enrollee information: Number of employees who will be taking the certification course. Per-person cost for the hospital varies depending on the number of staff registered. See the Pricing Information in the next section.
        • Enrolling additional staff members after initial registration: If you decide to add more staff members, you can enroll them at the same per-person rate by contacting CattleDog Publishing at [email protected].
        • CattleDog Publishing will respond to submissions within 48 business hours to answer any questions and to provide a personalized fee quote. Once the business indicates they want to proceed, CattleDog Publishing will help them with payment and team enrollment.
    2. Individual students will receive a Welcome email from ProProfs that tells them how to access the certification course.
    3. Individual staff members complete the course
      1. What individuals need to do: Individual staff members watch the lectures and lab videos in the pre-determined order and take the multiple-choice examinations. For the five labs, we recommends that participants practice the skills as they are working through the videos. We also strongly recommend that they download the accompanying Low Stress Handling Certification Workbook form ProProfs and read the Study Tips ahead of time so that they will know how to get the most out of this program. The discussion questions, and practice exercises will be especially important for students to enhance their learning experience.
      2. Once the staff member has completed the entire course and passed all of the tests, they will receive a PDF certificate of completion and a clip-on badge to wear with the Low Stress Handling Certified – Silver logo. These will be sent once the staff members have completed their Silver Certification (For international customers, there is a shipping charge to receive the badge).
      3. Monthly milestone reports: Upon request, you’ll receive “monthly milestones” e-mails documenting the percentage of your enrolled staff members who have completed the various classes and how many have completed the entire certification, so that hospital administration can ensure staff is keeping up.
      4. How management can facilitate the learning process: We recommend that the hospital uses the Low Stress Handling Certification Workbook discussion questions and practice exercises to help facilitate learning. Weekly staff meetings to discuss the questions or practice exercises can help keep members on track and ensure that the process is a group effort.
      5. Minimum requirements for certification: When a minimum of 51% of staff completes the program, the hospital receives certification. For example: If 12 are on staff but only 10 employees work over 8 hours/week, then only 6 must complete the training.
    4. Publicize your accomplishment
      1. Within 6 weeks of notifying us of your completion of the Low Stress Handling Certification Program, you will receive an official certificate of completion that you can display in your lobby, stating that the hospital is “Certified in Low Stress Handling Silver” because a minimum of 51% of staff are certified via online course. To help you generate client awareness and interest, you also receive Low Stress Handling Silver Certified badges for all certified staff to wear. The certification mark includes the URL, where the public can learn about Low Stress Handling and find out what your certification means. (For international customer there is a shipping cost associated for delivery of the badges.)
      2. Your hospital is listed as Certified on (including number of certified employees), along with a link leading back to your website. Individuals will also be listed on the certified individuals page.
  3. Payment Information

    1. Is Certification Cost-Effective? Compare the cost with other CE: Hiring a lecturer to come out to present 20 CEU hours of lecture (two days) to your entire staff can easily cost $6,000. The cost of closing your hospital for two days and losing those days of revenue, while paying staff to take the two days of CE, could run as high as $75,000.
    2. Individual Certification

      1. Individual certification cost
        • Cost is $330.00. Price includes:
          1. $40 certification fee
          2. $290 course fee includes viewing access to all of the online videos that make up the course content as well as the online quizzes.
      2. Payment is 100% in advance

        • Individuals pay through ProProfs
        • Credit card only – All major credit cards companies are accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express.
      3. ProProfs then sends the participant the link to the Certification Program and their logon information

      4. Additional Discounts for Individuals

        • Individuals who have taken three or more of the individual Certification in Low Stress Handling online classes within the last four months can receive a 20% discount on enrolling in the full Low Stress Handling Certification Program. To receive the discount, they must inform us of the previous coursework prior to enrolling for verification purposes.
    3. Hospital / Group Certification

      1. Hospital Certification Cost

        • Variable cost depending on the number of people being certified at that hospital/clinic/group:

          1. Group of 4 – 14 people

            • $305.00 per person

          2. Group of 15 – 19 people

            • $280.50 per person

          3. Group of 20 – 44 people

            • $264.00 per person

          4. Group of 45+ people

            • $246.50 per person

      2. Each group pays

        • $75 one-time base set-up fee for the whole hospital regardless of size.
      3. Payment is 100% in advance

        • Groups must contact CattleDog Publishing so that we may calculate your group discount.
        • Groups will pay through CattleDog Publishing.
        • Groups may pay by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express), check / money order (payable to CattleDog Publishing), or PayPal.
        • Groups must give CattleDog Publishing the participant’s contact information so we can enroll them in the program.
        • CattleDog Publishing then send the group participants the link to the Certification Program and their logon information.
      4. Cost for enrolling additional staff members

        • After initial registrations, hospitals and groups may enroll additional staff members or decide to certify new staff as part of regular training even after the hospital is certified. Hospitals will only be charged the discounted individual certification price per additional staff members, based on total enrolled group size.
      5. Cost for Re-certification

        • The only cost associated with re-certification will be to enroll additional / new hospital staff in order to meet the 51% minimum certified staff requirement.
  4. What if you are not able to finish on time? Re-Enrolling:

    1. If the participant does not finish in the allotted time, they must re-enroll to get certification

      1. There is a $15.00 fee per individual to re-enroll

      2. This also applies to hospitals, though only those individuals who have not yet completed the Certification Program after 6 months need to re-enroll.

    2. When a participant re-enrolls:

      1. They are given a new account and password.
      2. A custom re-enrollment course will be created which takes into consideration the progress already made by re-enrollee.

Lectures Included in the Silver-Level Certification Program

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Module 5

  • Towel Wrap Techniques for Handling Cats with Skill and Ease

Module 6

  • Kitty Kindergarten: Creating the New Improved Cat Through Early Socialization

Module 7

Module 8

Module 9

Module 10

All Rights Reserved. The Low Stress Handling name and logo are registered Trademarks and may not be used without permission from CattleDog Publishing.

For more information about the Low Stress Handling Certification program please contact CattleDog Publishing at [email protected] or (530) 757-2383.


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