Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course Level 6

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Accreditation Number

QLS-01929

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Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course

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Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course

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     Course Price:  £995

enrol with instalment option

 £475 followed by 7 x monthly payments of £90

(Course cost is all inclusive of tutoring fees, assessments, materials and course registration)



Continued Professional Development (CPD)

This advanced canine behaviour diploma course counts for 180 hours 

Funding Available


Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) funding is available for this course.


Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course Level 6

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

The course is in-depth and arranged over 13 modules 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.

This canine behaviour course is accepted by Sparsholt College and can provide direct access to BSc (Hons) Applied Animal Behaviour providing you also have your APEL portfolio.

CPD: This advanced canine behaviour course counts for 180 hours Continued Professional Development (CPD)

Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma course
Canine 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.
  • 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.

Module 1

Origins and Natural behaviour of canis familiaris 

The first module of this Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma course covers Ancestry and evolution: Do dogs descend from wolves, physical and behavioural similarities and differences, genetics. 

Domestication: Learn about domestication, process and requirements of domestication, history of domestication of the dog, selective breeding of physical and behavioural characteristics, different uses of dogs.

Natural behaviours in dogs: i.e. social organisation, feeding, bonding mechanisms and reproductive behaviour.


Module 2

Dogs in human society

Natural behaviours of dogs in a modern human society; originally  thought of as ‘useful’ behaviours, now labelled as behaviour problems.

Explore what defines a behaviour problem, owner perceptions and current canine legislation. 


Module 3

Canine anatomy and physiology 

Learn about CNS: Structure of CNS, functions of different parts of the brain, types and functions of neurotransmitters, the senses, homeostasis, sympathic and parasympathic nervous system and pain response.

Other body systems: digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular.


Module 4

Canine communication

Canine social structure, verbal and nonverbal, types of vocalisations, body language, pheromones and how to interpret dog behaviour.


Module 5

How dogs learn

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

Application of learning theories in effective dog training.


Module 6

Experience and socialisation

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

Importance of early experience and learning.


Module 7

Welfare and behavioural needs

Importance of exercise, nutrition and appropriate outlet for natural behaviour to prevent behaviour problems.

Behavioural indicators of compromised welfare, kennel environment. Understanding stress induced behaviours.


Module 8

Miscellaneous factors

This module explores a number of variables that affect canine behaviour, eg sex, age, owner interference/reinforcement, nutrition, medication, hormonal influences, neutering, illness, etc.


Module 9

Canine Aggression

The role of the behaviour practitioner, safety and other considerations. Components of the behaviour modification plan, aggressive communication and the causes.

Learn more about Canine body language.

Understand the purpose of aggression in natural canine behaviour.

Learn about the classification of types (and the problems associated with this), neurochemistry, triggers, epidemiology.


Module 10

Dog-owner relationship

Reasons for dog ownership, ‘types’ of owner.

Humanisation of the dog, owner perceptions and attributions, effects of owner’s reactions on dog’s behaviour. 

The concept of dominance reviewed in this module.


Module 11

Case studies

This module involves the analysis of a number of case studies drawing on the knowledge gained throughout the course.

Learn how to identify different behaviours and factors affecting the dog’s behaviour.


Module 12

Observational study

In this module of the Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma course, students carry out an observational study on canine behaviour. This will be a thesis on any chosen aspect of canine behaviour.  The scientific study of behaviour: including presenting reports, interpreting data and graphs.

Module 13


    Video assessment
    You will be required to submit video evidence to demonstrate a number of skills for assessment.
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£995

instalment option image

 £475 followed by 7 x monthly payments of £90

(Course cost is all inclusive of tutoring fees, assessments, materials and course registration)

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.

The first module of 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.

Module 2 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.

Nature versus Nurture is considered in module 6.  However, it is worth mentioning here, when talking about natural behaviour in dogs.

Module 3 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. 

Module 4 is an in depth look at canine communication and Module 5 covers 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).

Module 6 covers the Nature vs nurture debate, definition and requirements of socialisation, and the importance of early experience and learning.

Module 7 covers the importance of exercise, nutrition and appropriate outlets for natural behaviour and behavioural indicators of compromised welfare, kennel environment. Understanding stress induced behaviours.

Module 8 explores a number of variables that affect canine behaviour, e.g. sex, age, owner interference/reinforcement, nutrition, medication, hormonal influences, neutering, illness, etc.

Module 9 covers canine aggression and Module 10 covers the dog-owner relationship.

The Advanced Diploma course has a number of case studies that you will examine and diagnose.

You are required to undertake an observational study on canine behaviour for Module 12 and submit various videos for Module 13.


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