Solving Canine Behaviour Problems Diploma Level 3

Continued Professional Development
40 hours CPD

Course Summary

Leaving-dogs-aloneThis in-depth canine behaviour problems course explores the external and internal influences that affect behaviour in dogs . Learn about the common factors that can create canine behavioural problems, why they occur and how to deal with them.

A major factor for the increase in dogs being abandoned and surrendered to re-homing organisations is problem behaviour; it is also the most cited reason for re-homing failures.

Canine behavioural problems can be serious and potentially dangerous to humans and other animals.

Module 1

Understanding Canine Behaviour

Learn about evolution and domestication of the dog. Gain an understanding about natural canine behaviour and learn how to evaluate natural canine behaviour and its importance. This module also includes information about reviewing and understanding canine aggression.

Module 2

How do dogs think and learn?

Understand canine learning and different learning theories. Investigate and evaluate different thinking processes in dogs.

Module 3

Dealing with common canine behaviour problems

Part One

How to deal with some of the most common behaviour problems including: destructive behaviour, excessive barking, jumping up, begging, chasing, recall issues and separation anxiety.

Module 4

Dealing with common canine behaviour problems

Part Two

This canine behaviour problems course module continues with the theme of how to deal with common behaviour problems and includes additional information specific to canine behavioural problems experienced in animal rescue shelters.



All careers working with dogs require an understanding of canine behaviour, including being able to interpret canine body language, recognising and dealing with unwanted behaviour and preventing problems from occurring. This understanding is appropriate for everyone in contact with dogs including dog owners, dog walkers, kennel workers, dog sitters, dog re-homers, animal welfare officers and of course dog behaviour practitioners.This is the foundation course for those wanting to embark on a career as a dog behaviour practitioner.





This canine behaviour problems course begins with a look at evolution and domestication and what implications this may have on our domestic dogs.  The course also takes a look at various breeds and their natural behaviour and how that may translate in a domestic setting.  Canine signalling and body language is also examined and the module also looks at canine aggression.

Understanding how dogs learn is vital for anyone working with dogs. We will also look at how dogs do not learn. For many years the emphasis in dog training and dealing with behaviour problems, has been on using physical force and punishment. Research has clearly shown that punishment does not work in dogs (or in any other animal for that matter), but unfortunately this evidence is all too often ignored. Module 2 takes a look at the four quadrants and learning theories.


Module 3 examines some of the most common unwanted behaviours experienced by owners – most of these behaviours are natural and normal for dogs, thereby creating conflict in the home. Many problem behaviours in dogs can be prevented or minimised when a dog is getting what it needs in terms of exercise and environmental enrichment. It is common for people to underestimate or overestimate how much exercise and stimulation dogs require and this lack of awareness frequently leads to behavioural problems – which if not dealt with or prevented, may result in a dog being given up by the owner for re-homing.It is a useful exercise to consider what a dog will be doing over an average 24 hour period.


Let’s say the dog is getting walked for an hour a day – this still leaves 23 hours in the day! Clearly some of that time will be spent sleeping, a little time eating and the dog owner or carer needs then to think about what else the dog could be doing during the rest of the day.

Thinking this 24 time clock concept through often helps those caring for dogs to ensure that adequate stimulation is provided and therefore unwanted behaviour is avoided! The last module of this canine behaviour problems course takes a look at the “dominance theory”.  Despite scientific evidence to the contrary, the concept of “pack leader”, “alpha status” and “dominance” continues to rear its head, leading to frustration, broken relationships and misery for many dogs and their owners.

This canine behaviour problems course also examines how we can help dogs that are fearful or anxious.  An in depth look at Classical conditioning covers counter conditioning and desensitisation. All of our canine courses are ethical, welfare orientated and relationship based.  We do not support the use of aversive training or so called “tools”.  One harmful way of dealing with fears and anxieties is called “Flooding”.  This is a technique that instead of exposing the dog to the lowest form of the stimulus he is fearful of it exposes him to the highest possible form.  The theory behind this is that he will “get over it” as adrenalin and fear can only affect the body for so long.  After that the dog will calm down.  This is a dangerous approach based on similar behaviour therapy principles that were originally invented for humans.

This module also looks at dog bites and puts these into perspective.  Figures for the year ending April 2012, showed a total of 6,450 admissions for dog bites or strikes, an increase of 5.2% on the previous year. Of those 1,040 were children under 10.

The RSPCA has stressed the vast majority of bites treated by the NHS would not necessarily be down to dogs being more aggressive, but rather due to human behaviour around dogs. Although there most certainly are dogs that are a risk to society, often due to irresponsible breeding or irresponsible owners, they are not the dogs responsible for the statistics.

More often than not, the subtle warning signs the dog gives are ignored by humans (the signals discussed in module 1), leaving the dog with no other option but to bite.

We offer a selection of accredited and employer recognized courses specifically designed for careers working with animals.

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