Rescue Study Place: ISCP Diploma in Canine Behaviour


Rescue charity volunteers are able to receive a 50% discount on the ISCP diploma course fee, so can enrol for the full course for £499.50 or the equivalent.

The Diploma Course qualifies you to work professionally with dogs.

Students on the diploma course have the added bonus of lifetime membership of the private ISCP Facebook support group.

SKU: N/A Category:


The rescue study places are open to anyone who is involved with a dog rescue, shelter or charity, whether you run a rescue, or volunteer as a dog walker, transporter, fosterer, fundraiser or in any other capacity. Rescue students receive the full diploma course at a 50% discount. Please note that this discount is only available for students who enrol on the full course, and is not offered if the course is taken in three separate stages.

The aim of this programme is to encourage the sharing of information about dog psychology and behaviour with other members of the rescue organisation, so that more dogs, especially any with behaviour issues, can be successfully rehomed.

As well as having the option to join the private ISCP Facebook group, our rescue study members have an additional private group on Facebook. This provides opportunities for members around the world to exchange information, share experiences, and support each other.

Some of the charities who have benefitted from ISCP rescue places are listed below, and all charities are welcome. Please click on the names to visit their websites.

Oldies Club, UK

Friends of Cardiff Dog’s Home, Wales

Senior Staffy Club, UK

Blue Cross, UK

Blind Dog Rescue UK, UK

Glendee Rescue & Rehoming, UK

Swindon’s Needy Dogs, UK

Lizzie’s Barn Sanctuary, UK

Pro Dogs Direct, UK

Doglost, UK

Wolfdog Rescue, UK


Hounds First Sighthound Rescue, UK

Hope Rescue, UK

Dogs Trust, UK

French Bulldog Saviours, UK

Bath Cats & Dogs Home, UK

The Toller Club of Great Britain, Rescue, UK

DDA Watch, UK

C.A.N Animal Rescue, UK

Happy Staffie Rescue, UK

Stokenchurch Dog Rescue, UK

Foal Farm Animal Rescue, UK

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, UK

The Animal Team, UK

German Shepherd Rescue Elite, UK

Waggie Tails Rescue, UK

Saints Sled Dog Rescue, UK

Finding Furever Homes, UK

Terrier SOS, UK


Westie Rehoming, UK

Shar Pei Rescue Scotland, UK

Brighton & Hove Retired Greyhound Trust, UK

Munlochie Animal Aid, Black Isle, Scotland

Aber Falls Kennels, Wales UK

Friends of the Dogs, Wales, UK

PACT Animal Sanctuary, UK

Worcester Animal Rescue Shelter, UK

Cheltenham Animal Shelter, UK

Snoopy Dog Rescue, UK and Romania

Yappy Ever After, UK

Happy Landings, UK

Marley’s Dog Rescue, UK

Mutts With Friends, UK

Rescue Remedies, UK

Helping Yorkshire Poundies, UK

Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary, UK

Fife Dog Rescue & Rehoming, Scotland, UK

K9 Focus, UK

Babbington Hall Dog Rescue, UK

Appledown Boarding Kennels, UK

Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare, UK

F.A.I.T.H Animal Rescue, UK

Saving Yorkshire’s Dogs, UK

Snowdonia Animal Sanctuary, Wales, UK

Give a Dog a Home (Global)

Manx SPCA, Isle of Man

Jersey Dogs, Jersey, Channel Islands

Dublin SPCA, Irish Republic

Dogs in Distress, Meath, Irish Republic

CARE Rescue, Cork, Irish Republic

Refuge de L’Angoumois, France

Tierheim Bielefeld, Germany

Nowzad, Afghanistan

HaGS for Animals, Katerini, Greece

Healing Paws Rescue. Greece

Helping Paws, UK, Spain, Portugal

A.M.P.A.R.E., Spain

Canisa Braga, Portugal

Axarquia Animal Rescue, Andalusia, Spain

Adopt a Sicilian Stray, Malta

Friends of the Dogs, South Africa

Fallen Angels Rescue, South Africa

Beagle in Mind, South Africa

Sharm Action for Animals, Egypt

Dogfather’s Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, Bahrain

Amichii Dog Rescue, UK and Romania

ELI for Animals, Romania and UK

Santer Paws Bulgarian Rescue, Bulgaria

Street Hearts BG, Bulgaria

CAREWEL Canine Rehabilitation & Welfare Shelter, India

Carewell Trust, Karnataka, India

American Black & Tan Coonhound Rescue, USA

Friends of Michigan Animals Rescue, Michigan USA

Alachua County Humane Society, Florida USA

Abandoned Pet Rescue, Florida USA

Franklin Animal Shelter, New Hampshire USA

Happy Endings Animal Sanctuary, California USA

Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Florida, USA

Helen Woodward Animal Centre, San Diego, USA

Team Inch Sighthound Rescue, USA and South Korea

Bow Valley SPCA, Alberta, Canada

Pawsitive Match Rescue Foundation, Calgary, Canada

Shenton Park Dogs’ Refuge Home, Perth, Western Australia

Pet Rescue, Randwick Vet Med Veterinary Hospital, New South Wales, Australia

Animal Welfare LeagueSouth Australia

Animal Welfare League of Queensland, Australia

Australian Working Dog Rescue, South Australia

Maggie’s Rescue, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

RSPCA Lead by Example, South Australia

Doggie Rescue, Sydney

SAFE, Esperance Branch, Western Australia

HUHA, New Zealand

Christchurch Bull Breed Rescue, New Zealand

Blk2 Furever CanineSingapore

SOSD, Singapore

Causes for Animals, Singapore

Animal Refuge Kansai, Japan


The course is amazing and taps into current scientific breakthroughs on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of dogs in trouble. It evolves us as professional rescue practitioners to use the most current methods and thinking. I continue to have myth-busting conversations about rescues and only hope that others take this course to engage in changing our approach and attitudes on rescues and their care.

Susan Smith – Canada

The knowledge I have learned from studying your course has been invaluable. It has taught me to look at every dog as an individual and to understand how the dog is feeling from their point of view, their surroundings, their owners and their body language. Also their health and diet. Not only is this helping me to help any dog in need, but it is also helping many owners to understand and help their dogs. The network of help and support through the ISCP is first class. I would highly recommend every dog owner takes the course.

Michelle Holland, Helping Paws – UK, Spain and Portugal


Study Modules

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.
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.

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.
Case history.
It’s a dog’s life.

Assessing basic character.
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.
The importance of socialisation.
Encouraging socialising.
What to look for in dog classes.

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.

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.

The story of Betsy.
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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
The differences between adoption, giving a permanent home, fostering, and sponsor fostering.

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.

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.

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