Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management 

A group of canine

Level 6 Diploma in  Applied Canine Behaviour Management 

Course Fees: £4,200

Instalment option: £2,200 deposit followed by 12 x monthly payments of £190


Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/5090/8

Level 6 Diploma in Applied Canine Behaviour Management 

This Applied Canine Behaviour Management Diploma is a highly sought after and comprehensive qualification for working as a Canine Behaviourist.

This qualification consists of theory and practical training and is split into 3 parts and arranged over 30 theory units. This qualification  includes 10 intensive practical training and assessment days.

Total Qualification Time (TQT): 1,360 hours

Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma course

This qualification is  equivalent to a degree with honours - for example, Bachelor of the Arts (BA) Hons, bachelor of science (BSc) Hons.

The qualification meets the Defra Higher Standard Animal Activities Licensing (AAL) requirements.

Graduates who complete the Level 6 qualification can apply for membership to:

  • The Association of INTODogs - as a full member - Certified Canine Behaviourist. As a full member of INTODogs, you will have accredited canine behaviourist status 
  • Students enrolled on this Ofqual regulated qualification are eligible to apply for a TOTUM Student Card. 
Canine course

This Level 6 qualification is regulated & officially recognised by The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation Recognition (Ofqual). 

Ofqual ensures qualification validity, quality and most importantly, that the stated Level is correct by qualification standards.  

Undertaking an Ofqual regulated qualification provides assurance that the training is an officially recognised and regulated qualification.  Ofqual  ensures that qualifications are sufficiently valid and trusted.

As this is an Ofqual regulated qualification, students can be assured that this Level 6 qualification is equivalent to a degree with honours - for example, Bachelor of the Arts (BA) Hons, bachelor of science (BSc) Hons. Please click  here to view the Regulated Qualifications Level comparison chart. 

There are many training providers who claim that their courses are at set levels - please be aware, that for non-regulated courses, the level stated is determined entirely by the training provider and not by an independent organisation or by Ofqual. 

Undertaking a course that is not Ofqual approved means that there is no guarantee that the stated level is correct, or that completion of the qualification will lead to university acceptance/recognised further education.

Qualification Description

The qualification consists of theory and practical training and is split into 3 parts and arranged over 30 theory units. This qualification includes 10 intensive practical training and assessment days.


Ofqual Regulated Qualification: 603/5090/8

PART 1: The first part of this qualification explores canine anatomy and physiology, training and behaviour, the role of exercise and nutrition, and how to run dog training classes.

Unit 1: Dealing with Canine Behaviour Problems: This unit looks at some of the most common behaviour problems – their causes and solutions.  The wellbeing of dogs in rescue is also covered, along with humane training equipment. This unit looks at various alternative therapies considered for use in conjunction with behaviour modification

Unit 2: Canine Anatomy and Behaviour: From this unit, students will gain a thorough understanding of the skeletal, muscle and locomotory systems and how these body systems can impact behaviour.

Unit 3: Canine Guardians: This unit explores the human role in behaviour problems and how lifestyle can influence a dogs behaviour.

Unit 4: Canine Learning Theory: From this unit, you will gain a thorough understanding of how dogs learn and how we can change their behaviour using fear free methods.  We cover Clicker training in this unit. 

Unit 5: Canine Nutrition: This unit covers the major nutrients that dogs require and provides an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the canine digestive system.  Students will learn the value of various dietary plans for various health conditions and how food can impact behaviour.

Unit 6: Canine Physiology: This unit looks at physiology – circulatory system, the nervous system, the urinary system, skin, the reproductive system, the digestive system and the respiratory system.

Unit 7:  Canine Play and Exercise: Play and exercise can influence behaviour. This unit looks at the consequences of too much or too little play and exercise and how we can use play to improve unwanted behaviour. An understanding of mental stimulation and environmental enrichment is also covered.

Unit 8: Influences on Canine Behaviour: This unit considers the role of nature versus nurture, along with various medical conditions that can impact behaviour. We look at the role of stress in unwanted behaviour problems.

Unit 9: Running a Dog Training Class: By the end of this unit, you will gain an understanding of the essential business requirements and skills needed to run classes and be able to plan a training class. It also considers the limitations of dog training.

Click here for more information about Part 1 of this Ofqual regulated qualification 

PART 2: This part of  the qualification explores the following: The emotional and physical needs of dogs and how to apply learning theories in behaviour modification. In-depth learning of Genetics and evolution and the latest research findings are covered.

Unit 1: Evolution: Students will explore the fundamental principles of evolution and the origin of Canis Familiaris and the process of domestication. Students will learn about the science of Ethology and behaviourism. We discuss their relevance to the domestic dog.

Unit 2: Canine needs:This unit considers the emotional and physical needs of dogs and how various problems will arise if needs not met.

Unit 3: The internal environmentStudents will consider the behavioural biology of dogs. We take an in-depth look at the role of the brain, various body systems, emotions and medical conditions concerning canine behaviour. We cover the biology of aggression in this unit.

Unit 4: The external environment: From this unit, you will gain a thorough understanding of how dogs learn and how we can change their behaviour using fear free methods.  We cover Clicker training in this unit. 

Unit 5: Multiple canine management: This unit considers ways of managing multiple canines and looks at some of the problems experienced in a home environment.

Unit 6: Working canines: Dogs now have many working roles, and this unit considers those working in animal-assisted intervention, assistance dogs and other roles in a human society

Unit 7: Reducing canine stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiety often underpin many unwanted behaviour problems. This unit takes a look at the role of stress and anxiety and strategies to manage and improve welfare.

Unit 8: Normal and maladaptive aggression: Students will consider the importance of bite inhibition and understand the risk factors associated with human-dog aggression. Students will also understand the various categories of aggression and functionality, as well as an in-depth look at canine communication.

Unit 9: Measuring behaviour: Students will consider how to use essential tools for data collection, understand how to use a functional analysis and create a learning environment for dogs.

Unit 10: Working with aggression cases: This unit considers the principles and ethics of working with aggressive canines and the role of the behaviour practitioner.

Unit 11: Canine behaviour change: Understand the principle components of a behaviour change programme. Application of learning theory in behaviour cases and how to ensure a successful behaviour modification plan

Click here for more information about Part 2 of this Ofqual regulated qualification

PART 3: This part of the qualification explores the latest research into the origins and natural behaviour of canines. It covers canine anatomy & physiology, canine communication, how dogs learn, natural behaviours of dogs in modern society and working with canine aggression cases.

Unit 1: Human/canine bond:  Students will consider legislation and legal requirements for working with unwanted behaviour problems and the human/canine bond

Unit 2: Canine Development: This unit takes an in depth look at puppy development and life stages, the role of socialisation and puppy training.

Unit 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.

Unit 4:  The Language of Dogs: Canine social structures, body language and non verbal communication are discussed in this unit.

Unit 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.

Unit 6:  Nature versus Nurture: Nature vs nurture debate, definition and requirements of socialisation, what does latest research suggest. The importance of early experience and learning is  also explored.

Unit 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 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

Unit 8: Practical Training Demonstration: For this unit, students are required to submit video evidence demonstrating how to train dogs in a force free, no pain, no fear manner 

Unit  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.

Practical Training

The practical training aspect of this qualification consists of five separate weekends (10 training days). Attendance at the  training weekends is essential. Each weekend has a maximum of 6 learners to ensure dogs are not overworked and that every attendee has a quality training time.

Subjects covered during the practical training days includes:

  • Recognising the emotional state of canines
  • Analysing potential gait problems by analysing canine movement
  • Creating a connection with an individual dog
  • Handling using force and fear-free methods
  • Assessing the correct method of training for a particular dog
  • Teaching loose lead walking
  • Identify canine communication
  • Demonstrate critical analysis of training
  • Demonstrate reflective practice

Minimum student age: 18

Course Fees: £4,200

Instalment option: £2,200 deposit followed by 12 x monthly payments of £190

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.

Advanced Canine Behaviour Diploma Course