Principles of Animal Handling

Estimated Study Time
15 hours
Start Date
Study mode
Award type
Assessment Method

Animal Handler Certificate Level 3




  •  The Animal Handler course is designed to assist those working hands-on with animals to gain the essential skills of effective and humane handling and restraint.
  • Having this knowledge decreases stress and possible injury to the animal and minimises bite risk for the carer.
  • Learn how to assist animals confidently and calmly.
  • This two unit course concentrates on dogs, cats and rabbits.

At some time in their life, all animals that are involved with humans will be handled and restrained. This animal handler course helps students gain a basis upon which to differentiate an animal’s natural actions when feeling mentally at ease and well, to those shown when they are feeling unwell and anxious. Unlike humans, other animals cannot articulate how they feel – rather like small children really. Nevertheless, an animal can indicate a state of health or ill health through behaviour, and animal carers need to learn what these indications are.

puppi-vet-care-courseThe course enables students to be able to identify what to expect from an animal when they are healthy and at ease and, what to expect when they are feeling unwell or ill at ease. A stressed animal is an unpredictable animal in some ways although species-typical behaviours can be expected from the dog and the cat when they experience something unpleasant or different. Normally, handling does not present too many issues when we consider a companion dog, cat, or small animal such as a rabbit. However, when an animal is distressed for some reason, correct handling and restraint is vital to reduce distress and prevent harm to the handler.

An animal that is clearly in distress requires careful, sensitive and intelligent handling. Even if the animal appears not to be in distress, the motion of trying to handle them may very well cause distress and at the least, anxiety and this course teaches students how to minimise this for the animals in their care.

*You will have access to the course for 6 months only, after which, you can purchase extensions.

Unit 1

Basic companion animal psychology and body language

Learn to recognise and respond to the signs of stress in companion animals.

Learn about animal psychology, behaviour and body language.

Unit 2

Handling and Restraint

Learn how to handle, restrain and carry companion animals in an effective and humane way that minimises stress for the animal and risk of injury or bite for the carer.


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