ISCP Diploma in Canine Behaviour

This extensive course comprises both academic and practical work. Students who enrol for the full course are given an in-depth textbook in PDF format, written specifically for this course and regularly updated to include the latest research results. Each student is expected to satisfactorily complete the written and practical assignments given at the end of each unit before moving on to the next unit.

Students using the modules option receive each module as a PDF file.

Practical study days are available in the UK, Cyprus and Canada and are recommended, though are not mandatory. If an ISCP graduate or affiliate is located in their area, students can also attend practical days with that member.

Students have the option to attend our regular Zoom online tutorials, at no extra cost, for a group study and sharing session with the course tutors and guest speakers. There is also a private Facebook group where students can connect up and discuss all aspects of their studies. Students have the option to join The Association of INTO Dogs.

On successful completion of the course, students will receive an International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour Diploma in Canine Behaviour  (ISCP.Dip.Canine.Prac.) and will become full members of the International School for Canine Psychology & Behaviour. They will be able to apply to become individual full members of The Association of INTO Dogs, to apply to join Pet Dog Trainers of Europe as Associate Members, and to apply to become individual members of the international accrediting body, the CMA.

AIM

To provide students with an in-depth understanding of dog behaviour, needs and issues, and train them for careers as practicing Canine Behaviour Practitioners. Volunteers for rescue organisations can enrol at a 50% discount of the standard diploma course fee, so that dogs in their care can receive additional help.

PRIMARY LEARNING OBJECTIVES

  • To give information on all aspects of the dog mind, behaviour and care, including the latest scientific research and its implications.
  • To explore dog issues and problems in detail, and the causes of these, and to apply practical solutions based on compassionate methods and positive reinforcement.
  • To encourage further study in related subjects
  • To prepare each student for a career as a Canine Behaviour Practitioner.

For the Complete Diploma Course, this is £999.00 (or the equivalent in your local currency), to be paid in full on your enrolment.

Rescue Volunteers can receive a 50% discount on the course fee. 

The Diploma is also divided into three certificates, Certificate in Canine Behaviour (£150), Intermediate Certificate in Canine Behaviour (£375) and Higher Certificate in Canine Behaviour (£574). Once all three certificates are completed you will be awarded with the Diploma.

If you choose to enrol for one unit at a time, the fee for each module is £70 (or the equivalent in your local currency).

CPD Professionals choosing the only pay for the units that they and the principal select after discussing previous studies and experience.

Students can enrol anytime.

The full course entails around 360 hours of study. Full-time students usually find that it takes 3 to 6 months to complete the course. Part-time students may need up to 1 year to work through the course. You can set the pace that feels most comfortable and practical for you.

Diploma in Canine Behaviour.

Study Modules

INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE

Studying with the ISCP.
An explanation of the work that will be expected of you for successful completion of the course and your Certificate qualification.
Submitting coursework.
Feedback.
The qualities you need to work with dogs.
Taking case histories.
The science in this course.
The essential nature of the dog.
Case history form.

UNIT 1. EVOLUTION

The evolution of the dog from furthest ancestry.
The wolf-dog theory.
The village dogs theory.
Research into juvenile traits.
The wolf pack.
The dog pack.
Reversion to instinct.
Leadership.
Case history.
It’s a dog’s life.

UNIT 2. CANINE CHARACTER AND PERSONALITY

Assessing basic character.
Introverts.
Extroverts.
Imprinting and conditioning.
Classic (respondent) conditioning.
Operant (instrumental) conditioning.
Case history.
The dog’s past conditioning.
Getting to know a new dog and his background.
Coping with new stimuli.
Matching the dog and the owner.
When the match is all wrong.
The characteristics of different dog breeds.
The dog’s role.
Redirection.
The importance of socialisation.
Encouraging socialising.
What to look for in dog classes.

UNIT 3. THE PHYSICAL NEEDS OF THE DOG

The dog’s essential needs.
Shelter and comfort
Healthy eating: food allergies, protein, raw food, dried food, wet food, home cooking, foods to avoid.
Deterring parasites.
Health insurance.
A special relationship.
Dogs as genetic life-savers.
The work of geneticist Elinor Karlsson and her team.

UNIT 4. THE EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF THE DOG

The chemistry of bonding.
The scientific proof that loving interaction between a person and their dog releases bursts of the nurturing chemical oxytocin in both.
Meeting a dog’s emotional needs.
The research of Japanese biologists Miho Nagasawa and Takefumi Kikusui.
Emotional barometers.
How dogs read our emotions.
The research into left gaze bias by Professor Daniel Mills, Dr Kun Guo, Dr Kerstin Meints and their team at the University of Lincoln.
The dog’s emotional needs.
The signs of a happy, unhappy, uncomfortable, and frustrated dog.
Meeting a dog’s emotional and mental needs.
The importance of play.

UNIT 5. INTELLIGENCE

The story of Betsy.
Cognition.
The research of Dr Juliane Kaminsky.
The research of Professor Brian Hare.
Social partners: an ideal partnership.
How even puppies from the age of 6 weeks are hard-wired to communicate with humans.
A two-way street: how dogs read and imitate us.
Rogue intelligence; the manifestations of a bored dog.
The importance of mental stimulation.
Case history.

UNIT 6. THE LANGUAGE OF THE DOG

The signals dogs use.
A two-way street.
Body talk; interpreting body language.
Confident, nervous, anxious, frightened, excited, happy, angry, aggressive, relaxed, depressed, concerned body language.
Vocalising.
The research of Dr Ádám Miklósi.
Subtle signals: staring, averting the eyes, low body posture, upright body posture, urine marking, scent marking.
Do dogs wear perfume?
Reading the subtle cues.
Using your body language to communicate.

UNIT 7. CALM GUIDANCE

Starting from the moment you meet a dog, how to give clear, compassionate signals that you can be trusted to be in charge.
How to promote acceptance and respect: calm guidance means positive stewardship.
Boundaries, not punishment.
Rewards, redirection and discipline.
Case history.
Calming signals.
The basics of good dog guardianship: rewards, redirection, positive association, dealing with an issue.
How we unconsciously condition dogs, positively and negatively.
Switching to conscious conditioning.

UNIT 8. THE D WORD

How until recently it was thought that dogs needed to be dominated, as otherwise they would try to dominate us.
Do dogs really display dominant behaviour towards humans?
The pitfalls of aggressively dominating a dog: creating fear and aggression instead of trust.
Case history.
The rules of guardianship.
Human leadership: the cloak of confidence.
Why dogs don’t comply.
How to persuade a dog to want to follow your wishes.

UNIT 9. WHAT IS NORMAL?

Why dogs jump up, roll on their backs, bark, bite, play-fight, chew, sniff rear ends, throw toys in the air, pull on the lead, bark at the postman, chase, eat grass.
Although much of the dog behaviour we witness is normal, there are also a number of abnormal issues which can be seen and interpreted early enough to be diagnosed and counteracted: how to spot these and encourage dogs to overcome challenging or undesirable habits or traits.

UNIT 10. TOP DOG AND UNDERDOG

There is a great deal of difference between much-confused dominance, confidence and rank, which is easily read through the signals your dog displays.
Why some dogs are more confident than others.
The top dog.
The underdog.
Passive submission.
Active submission.
Personality.
What happens when a dog’s status changes?
Defusing tension between dogs.
Case history.
Teaching the dog to relax and trust.
Caring firmness and consistency as vital traits to be developed in dog owners.

UNIT 11. STAGES OF LIFE

Puppyhood; toilet training; nipping; bothering other dogs.
Puberty; unruly behaviour; neutering and spaying.
Hormones: testosterone; oestrogen; progesterone.
Behaviour changes due to the mating urge.
Pregnancy and birth; postpartum.
Life stages: the neonatal period; the juvenile period; the adolescent period; maturity; old age.
Supporting elderly dogs.

UNIT 12. EMOTIONAL ISSUES

Do dogs experience a similar emotional life to people?
Addressing emotional issues.
The main emotional problems which can affect dogs, with signs and guidelines for each: Fear; food aggression; fear-aggression; dog to dog fear-aggression; dog to human aggression; anger; nervousness and anxiety; depression; grief; case histories for grief; jealousy; hyperactivity; hyperkinesis; obsessiveness.
Case history; excessive attachment.
Is the emotional or physical environment causing emotional issues?
Terms used in behaviour modification.

UNIT 13. MEDICATION AND COMPLEMENTARY THERAPIES

The dog’s need for reassurance and compassion.
A whole entity rather than a collection of symptoms.
A brief look at the medication groups and some of the complementary therapies which can be helpful in tandem with behaviour work.
Drug groups.
Complementary therapies.

UNIT 14. RESCUE DOGS

Rescue dogs.
Life in kennels.
A new home.
Developing trust.
Step by careful step – how to ease the settling in process.
Health issues.
The dog’s perspective.
Adoption.
The differences between adoption, giving a permanent home, fostering, and sponsor fostering.

UNIT 15. OLD AGE AND BEREAVEMENT

Contributing factors to ageing.
Living with an elderly dog.
Maintaining health; exercise; diet; health conditions;
Canine Cognitive Dysfunction.
The hardest decision.
Letting go; what you can do.
An end, a new beginning.

UNIT 16. DOGS AND THE LAW

The important laws to be aware of concerning dogs and their breeders and owners.
A description of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1871, with the 2014 amendments.
Breed Specific Legislation.

 

UNIT 17. PREPARING TO WRITE YOUR THESIS

The two styles of options you can choose from for your final thesis. 

APPENDIX 1. YOUR CAREER AS A CANINE BEHAVIOUR PRACTITIONER
APPENDIX 2. THE ISCP CANINE BEHAVIOUR PRACTITIONER’S CHARTER

Refunds: There is an optional 14 day cooling off period during which you can ask for a refund on your course fee. However, as the course files are sent electronically, this means we would need to delay sending the course files until after the 14 day period is over. If you wish to take advantage of a cooling off period please send an email to our secretary at secretary@theiscp.com to inform her of your decision, immediately after purchasing. If you do not email the secretary we will assume that you have chosen to receive the files immediately and that you are happy to waive your right to a 14 day cooling off period and the option of a refund. Our secretary will send your files as soon as she receives your form if you have chosen to start the course immediately.