This course includes separate qualifications, a Diploma in Dog Psychology and a Certificate in Research Dog Handling. The Diploma allows you to work as an animal behaviourist while the Certificate shows your abilities to work as a handler and dog trainer. The Diploma course includes 10 modules whilst the Certificate includes three training modules. Both courses include practical and theoretical modules.

Diploma in Dog Psychology modules

Dog evolution: includes 15,000 years of history. How dogs are similar to wolves and how have they fundementally changed?

Dog cognitive learning stages: as dogs develop from puppies to adults their cognition goes through various stages. In this module we examine how their experience can fundamentally alter the adult personality as the dogs go through these cognitive stages.

Canine personalities: extrovert or introvert, novelty seeking or preferring the familiar? Dogs have complex personalities that express genetic predisposition and environmental factors. Here we examine how this alters training and behaviour.

Canine body language: dogs can’t talk so good behaviourists and trainers have to become masters of reading subtle cues and understanding the emotional contexts behind these. Fortunately dogs do communicate large amounts of information through their behaviour and learning to interpret their body language is simply a matter of learning and experience.

Motivation and learning of canines: tied to personality, motivation covers the drive of dogs, how to create drive in dogs that have very little and how to make games enjoyable for dogs learning.

Breed specific learning styles: an in-depth look at the evolution of dog breeds, their historic jobs and how breed affects behaviour.

Enrichment and behaviour issues: understanding the role of the right environment, stimulus and boredom in behavioural problems and how to remedy these.

Health, nutrition and behavioural issues: many canine behaviour problems stem from health or nutritional problems so in this module we examine possible medical issues that could be resulting in changes in behaviour.

Rescue rehabilitation: trauma significantly alters a dogs world view and, given that they are prone to spurious correlations, this can result in very difficult behaviours. This module goes through the steps that rescuers can follow to help rescues cope better in human environments.

Working dog evaluation: in the final module we look at how all of the characteristics of a dog work together to enable a dog to work, or not.

Certificate in Conservation Dog Handling modules

Basic obedience and field safety: here we work through the necessary tools a working dog needs to have in order to do their tasks effectively and safely.

Scent detection and tracking: a mostly practical module that builds an understanding of canine olfaction and how to build reliable detection dogs.

Cognition training: students will develop a project to assess certain aspects of canine cognition and write a report on this. 

Upcoming course dates

12 December – 22 January, 2021 – sold out

28 January – 10 March, 2021 – 3 places left