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Canine Behaviour Training Course
Our Advanced Canine Behaviour Training Diploma Course provides students with an education on the origins of the domestic dog, canine behaviour, the physiology and anatomy of dogs, the canine learning process, how dogs communicate, the role of dogs in modern society, the legal framework governing dogs, the behavioural and welfare aspects of canine care, aggression in dogs, canine body language and the relationships between dogs and their owners. As with all of our courses, we only promote force free, relationship centered training.
This 13 module course is designed for students who are planning on a career as a canine behaviourist. It is recommended that students first successfully complete our Level 5 Dog Behaviour Practitioner Diploma Course before enrolling in this course. The course is accepted by Sparsholt College and students with an APEL portfolio can access BSc (Hons) in Applied Animal Behaviour through the college. Please note that this is an advanced course and it is strongly recommended that students not enrol unless they are prepared to study at Degree level and already have a good working knowledge of canine behaviour before beginning the course.
The opening module of the Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course delves into the evolution of dogs and their wild ancestry. Students will learn about the controversy surrounding the question of whether dogs evolved directly from grey wolves, as some experts think, or if their lineage is more complex as other researchers believe. This module also covers the natural behaviours of dogs, including feeding, bonding, social structure within pack groups and reproductive behaviour.
The second module of our Canine Behaviour Training Course takes a look at natural canine behaviour in relation to human society. Here, students will consider the question of nature vs. nurture and what is truly natural, instinctual behaviour as opposed to behaviour that has been learned. These include hunting and prey drive, barking, digging and other behaviours which were once considered useful, but are now sometimes defined as behavioural problems in dogs. Also covered are owner perceptions of canine behaviour and current legislation affecting the behaviour of dogs.
In Module 3, students will learn about the physiology and anatomy of dogs, especially as they relate to canine behaviour. The module introduces students to the physiological workings of the canine senses and nervous system, how dogs experience the world and their implications on how dogs learn about their world, about us and how they learn new things generally.
The fourth module of the Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course is an intensive exploration of how dogs communicate with one another and with humans. In this module, students will learn more about the social organisation of dogs as it relates to their communication skills, body language and nonverbal communication in dogs, verbal communication including an introduction to different types of vocalizations used by dogs to communicate and the role of pheromones in communication between dogs. Also covered in Module 4 is understanding and interpreting canine behaviour in order to better communicate with dogs.
Module 5 of our Canine Behaviour Training Diploma Course is all about how dogs learn. This in-depth look at canine learning includes an introduction to different theories of how dogs learn, including classical and operant conditioning, habituation, the importance of schedules, the different types of reinforcement commonly used in the teaching process and the practical application of canine learning theories for the successful training of dogs.
Students will learn about what works and what does not – especially in relation to aversive stimuli in dog training, which we do not approve or endorse. While these outmoded methods of training may still be seen on television programmes and are even still taught in some schools, the evidence makes it clear that aversive stimuli-based training is associated with a higher incidence of undesirable behaviour in dogs which have been trained using these methods and that the use of such “training tools” are against welfare. The course emphasises the importance of positive reinforcement, including rewards and play time, which have been shown to be more effective and more ethically sound training practices.
Module 6 of this Canine Behaviour Training takes another look at the question of nature vs. nurture with an exploration of how dogs are socialised. Students will study the concepts associated with socialisation in dogs and learn about the importance of socialising dogs at an early age.
The seventh module of this Canine Behaviour Training Diploma Course introduces students to the behavioural implications of canine health and welfare. In this module, topics covered include nutrition, the importance of exercise for the health and welfare of dogs and providing outlets for natural canine behaviours. Students will also learn about the kennel environment and how compromising the welfare of dogs leads to behavioural problems, as well as behaviours which may be exhibited by dogs who are experiencing severe stress.
Module 8 is something of a mixed bag, taking a look at a number of different factors which can influence the behaviour of dogs, including age, sex, the personalities of their owners, medications, nutrition, illnesses, neutering/spaying and others. All of these variables can have a significant impact on a dog’s behaviour and in this module, students will develop an understanding of these factors and exactly how they can affect canine behaviour.
Canine aggression is the key topic of Module 9 of our Canine Behaviour Training course. Students will learn the role of aggression in the natural behaviour and social organisation of dogs, dig deeper into canine body language and learn about the factors which can lead to aggression in dogs. Also included is a discussion of whether particular breeds of dog are genuinely more prone to aggression than others and a look at the different types of behavioural problems in dogs, the distribution and frequency of these problems and an examination of whether these figures are as reliable as many people assume.
Module 10 of the Canine Behaviour Training course examines the bond between dogs and their owners. Students will learn more about the different types of dog owner and their reasons for bringing a dog into their households, how owners perceive their dogs and how the owner’s behaviour affects that of their dogs. Also covered in this module is how individual people learn and how we can train them. Working as a behaviourist also involves training people.
Module 11 provides students with a review of what they have learned so far in our Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course through study and analysis of case studies. Students will learn to identify various behaviours in dogs and the variables which influence these behaviours.
Module 12 is an observational study project for students, who must conduct a study and compose a thesis on a particular facet of canine behaviour. Students will be introduced to the science of behavioural study, including presenting their findings and how to interpret graphs and other data presentation formats.
The final module of the Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course is an assessment module, where students submit videos to demonstrate their mastery of various skills and concepts covered in the course.
(Course cost is all inclusive of tutoring fees, assessments, materials and course registration)