Applied Canine Behaviour Management Diploma  Level 6

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Applied Canine Behaviour Management Diploma

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Applied Canine Behaviour Management Diploma

Ofqual Regulated Qualification Coming Soon!

Contact us to register your interest in this new qualification

Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management 


The Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management  is accepted by Sparsholt College and can provide direct access to BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour providing you also have your APEL portfolio.

This Applied Canine Behaviour Management Diploma has been designed for those who want to work with dogs as a Canine Behaviourist.

The course is in-depth and arranged over 9 units with an emphasis on the welfare and behavioural needs of dogs.

Successful completion of the Level 5 Dog Behaviour Practitioner Diploma Course will ensure your acceptance onto this course.

CPD: This advanced canine behaviour course counts for 400 hours Continued Professional Development (CPD)

Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma course
Canine course

The New Level 6 Applied Canine Behaviour Management Diploma is an Ofqual regulated qualification.  

It is progression from the Level 5 Canine Behaviour Practitioner Diploma.

This Level 6 qualification is aimed at those who wish to work as a Canine Behaviour Practitioner. The course is pitched at Honours Degree level. As well as completing a Level 5 qualification, you will also need a good level of English and Maths for entry.

The course is 370 guided learning hours and total qualification time is 424 hours 

You will need to log 30 hours working with dogs – this can be in a voluntary capacity, in your current job working with dogs or at a placement.

The course also includes 4 days of workshops/practical training over 2 weekends. 

  • The course contains the following subjects: The origins and natural behaviour of canines, canine anatomy & physiology, canine communication, how dogs learn, natural behaviours of dogs in modern society, dogs and the law, influences on behaviour, welfare & behavioural needs, internal & external environments, canine aggression, body language and understanding dog-owner relationships.
  • Please note that as this is an Advanced course, we do advise those wanting to enrol to ensure that they are able to study at Degree level.
  • It is also crucial that students have good understanding about canine behaviour before enrolling.

Qualification Description

Module 1

Human/canine bond 

Students will consider legislation and legal requirements for working with unwanted behaviour problems and the human/canine bond

Module 2

Canine Development 

This unit takes an in depth look at puppy development and life stages, the role of socialisation and puppy training.

Module 3

Interaction between Health and Behaviour 

Students will consider the behavioural consequences of medical disorders and how medical differentials contribute to behaviour disorders. The role of nutrition in health and behaviour is also considered.

Students will also consider the role of psychopharmacological intervention in the treatment of common behavioural disorders and the role of complementary therapies. The unit also considers common pharmaceuticals that may impact behaviour.

Module 4

The Language of Dogs 

Canine social structures, body language and non verbal communication are discussed in this unit.

Module 5

Canine Cognition and Consciousness

Learning theories, habituation, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, reinforcement types and schedules, shaping and extinction. 

Application of learning theories in effective dog training.

Module 6

Nature versus Nurture

Nature vs nurture debate, definition and requirements of socialisation, what does latest research suggest.

Importance of early experience and learning.

Module 7

Consulting and Canine Behaviour Management

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a significant range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices associated with working with clients and dogs

Students will learn about effective coaching skills and how to prioritise managemental and health related investigations and interventions in order to safeguard the welfare of the dogs.

The professional and ethical role of the behaviour practitioner is considered, along with the role of the veterinary surgeon and paraprofessionals in the treatment of behavioural disorders

Module 8

Practical Training Demonstration

For this unit, students will need to submit video evidence demonstrating how to train dogs in a force free, no pain, no fear manner 

Module 9

Research methods 

Students are required to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the application of the principles of experimental design, the principles of survey design, and the principles of qualitative research for different sorts of research questions.
  • Critically evaluate the designs used and the analysis of data in scientific reports and articles
  • Learn methods available for the analysis of qualitative data and be able to perform simple tests of association on such data and demonstrate understanding of the ethical issues relating to the use of humans and non-human subjects in research.
  • Carry out an individual research project or dissertation, choosing the most appropriate statistical test for quantitative data to be analysed.
  • Carry out in depth case studies and produce accurate behaviour modification plans for each one.

Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course

The course contains the following subjects: The origins and natural behaviour of canines, canine anatomy & physiology, canine communication, how dogs learn, natural behaviours of dogs in modern society, dogs and the law, influences on behaviour, welfare & behavioural needs, internal & external environments, canine aggression, body language and understanding dog-owner relationships.

This Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma course covers Ancestry and evolution, asking the question “Are dogs descended from wolves”? It also takes a look at the physical and behavioural similarities and differences and genetics. Canis familiaris – the Latin designation for the domesticated dog.  In this module we discuss and discover how domestic dogs came into being including the very much discussed idea that domestic dogs are descended from wolves. Humans have long held the belief that dogs are descended directly from wolves.  Much research has been carried out on this subject with resulting differing opinions.

To say dogs are descended from wolves does not make them wolves.  It is the same as saying we are descended from apes but this does not make us apes.  We certainly would not raise our children as apes raise their chimps.  In the same way, we should not raise dogs as wolves.

This course also looks at nature versus nurture. What is natural behaviour for a dog?  It could be a number of behaviours ranging from hunting through to digging and barking.  Dogs and humans have lived together for a long period but we often frustrate our canine companions by misunderstanding them, ignoring what they value, and need. What about domestication? Learn about domestication, process and requirements of domestication, history of domestication of the dog, selective breeding of physical and behavioural characteristics, and different uses of dogs.

What is behaviour? In its simplest form, behaviour could be a series of muscle contractions, performed in clear response to a specific stimulus, such as in the case of a reflex – for example, a dog scratching with the hind leg. Since behaviour is such a complex biological phenomenon, it can be studied from a number of different perspectives.  Behaviour is the response of the system or organism to various stimuli, whether internal or external, conscious or subconscious, overt or covert and voluntary or involuntary.

The course also covers Canine Anatomy, Physiology and Behaviour. Behavioural adaptation depends on the coordinated interaction of many neural and sensory substrates. Together the brain and senses orchestrate what is experienced and what will be learned from experience.  It makes sense to study their various contributions as they have implications for learning.  Dogs receive information from environmental stimuli through their senses.  The senses detect and stimuli, relay them into appropriate neural tracts where they undergo sorting and analysis and finally, the input is transformed into meaningful information, cognitions, emotions, and actions. 

Explore canine communication and the application of learning theory. The brain is responsible for interpreting and acting upon all the information or signals it is sent by the senses and the body’s hormones. The dog’s response to these signals is predetermined by the ‘fixed wiring’ of his genetic makeup. However, that does not mean he can only respond is a consistent or mechanical way.

There are two ways in which the brain stores information.   Information concerning the relationship of one event to another is stored.  This is called the brain’s ‘conditioned response’ or Pavlovian conditioning. The other way the brain stores information is called ‘instrumental conditioning’. Both of these responses depend on the individual dog’s information storage system.  His response depends on the actual circuitry of his brain.  However, a dog’s behaviour is capable of being shaped or formed. Maternal and peer imprinting is also examined.

Some archaic training methods are still taught and frequently shown on television and it sometimes results in an apparently quick ‘fix’ of unwanted behaviours. However, there has been strong evidence of the fact that old techniques which use mainly aversive stimuli are associated with increased incidence of undesirable behaviours reported.

*(ii) (e.g. Hiby et al, 2004; Blackwell et al, 2008). 

Trainers and handlers should review their training methods in order to incorporate more positive interaction, through positive rewards and enhanced quality time with their “pupils”. This will prove to be effective especially in terms of decreasing behaviours indicative of impaired animal welfare (Lefebvre et al, 2007).

Learn about the Nature vs nurture debate, definition and requirements of socialisation, and the importance of early experience and learning. The course also explores the importance of exercise, nutrition and appropriate outlets for natural behaviour and behavioural indicators of compromised welfare, kennel environment and understanding stress induced behaviours. Learn about variables that affect canine behaviour, e.g. sex, age, owner interference/reinforcement, nutrition, medication, hormonal influences, neutering, illness, etc. Canine aggression and the dog-owner relationship is also explored.This qualification  has a number of case studies that you will examine and diagnose.

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