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The ISCP Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour – Pay By Module

£135.00 £108.00 ex. VAT

Fee: £135 per module.

The level 6 Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour course is for students who have already successfully completed at least a level 4 course in dog behaviour, whether with the ISCP or with another recognised, reputable education provider. We will need to see a copy of your current qualifications when you enrol on this course. The Advanced Diploma course explains the theories that underly behaviour and offers students the knowledge and skills to put these theories into practice in their work with dogs and their caregivers.

The modules include links to private discussions with eminent scientists which were recorded specifically for this course. Also included are links to papers, videos and webinars that will further deepen understanding. Denise O’Moore designed graphics exclusively for this course.

The course involves around 360 hours of study and the time limit for completion is 2 years from the date of enrolment.


Authors and Contributors

Dale McLelland (main author)

Marco Adda (author of Module 1 and additional video discussion in Module 1)

Dr. Clive Wynne (video discussion module 5)

Natalie McLelland (co-author of Module 6)

Dr. Marc Bekoff (video discussion, Module 7)

Dr. Franklin McMillan (video discussion Module 8)

Kaye Scott (contributor, Module 8)

Dr. Simon Gadbois (video discussion module 10)

Janice Macleod (author of Module 11)

Denise O’Moore (Mighty Dog Graphics images, Modules 3 and 10)


Module 1. Domestication. Author: Marco Adda



Domestication frame

A complex and significant topic

Past-Long term: Various perspectives on dog domestication

Individual-based selection

Population-based selection

Human-dog co-evolution

Human group selection

Cultural-technological evolution

A long-term alliance

Short – recent domestication

Recent breed dogs

Individual domestication

Diet and starches

The Belyaev foxes experiment

Consequences of domestication

A final note for professionals

Recorded video discussion between Marco Adda, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma


Module 2. Social Interactions and Communication

Social brain network

Interspecies communication

Canine communication






Tail wagging


Facial expressions




Conversations between dogs

One behaviour, two different meanings

Meeting novel dogs

Aggressive responses

Body language


Module 3. Learning theory

Learning in dogs

Associative learning

Innate behaviours

Classical and operant conditioning

Principles of behaviour

The four quadrants and reinforcement



Habituation and socialisation

Counterconditioning and desensitisation




Concept learning

Learning with humans

Different needs

Bond and connection

Reading human intentions

Two-way communication


Module 4. Neuroscience, the senses, and emotions

Anatomy and physiology of the brain

The limbic system

The autonomic nervous system

Neuron anatomy

Synaptic transmission

The skull

Neurobiology of the senses

Emotions and feelings

What are emotions?

Trauma and stress

Stress versus trauma

Types of trauma

Recorded video discussion between Dr. Franklin McMillan, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma



Module 5. Emotions

Freedom to express natural behaviours

How does it feel?

Primary and secondary emotions


Domestic dogs

Obedience and unequal power


Emotion and motivation


Stereotypical behaviours

Recorded video discussion between Dr. Clive Wynne, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma



Module 6. Attachment theory. Co-authors: Natalie McLelland, Dale McLelland

Part 1: Attachment theory in human children

History of attachment theory

Attachment theory and development

Phases of attachment

Attachment styles

Human development: the brain

Theories of childhood development

Factors impacting on attachment and development

Supporting attachment and development


Part 2: Linking human attachment theories to dogs

Key development stages in dogs: puppy, adolescent, adult, geriatric/senior


Module 7. Canine play, resilience and intelligence

What is play?

The importance of play

Dog to dog play


Play indicators and invitations


Crouch down

Parading or possession

Rough and tumble

Play deficits

Puppy play

Puppy and adult play

Adult play

Videos of adult dog interactions

Object play

Play between dogs and humans

Theory of mind




Recorded video discussion between Dr. Marc Bekoff, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma


Module 8. Rescue and Rehoming

Adoption of overseas dogs

Case study 1

Establishing routines

Grief and loss

Social pain and isolation

Canine Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Dogs in rescue environments

Choices and caregiver matching

Reasons for choosing to rehome a dog

Case study 2

Case study 3

Case study 4

Working together - best practice (Kaye Scott, MAPDT)

Common behavioural concerns

Recorded video discussion between Dr. Franklin McMillan, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma


Module 9. Communication and change management

The way that we think

Motivational interviewing

Listening skills

Body language


Change management

Lean processes

Learning styles


Module 10. Aggressive Behaviours in dogs

What is aggression and aggressive behaviour?

Genetics and breed

Genetic hitchhiking

Categories of aggressive behaviours

Pain aggression

Food-related aggression

Toy or possessive aggression

Territorial aggression

Inter-dog aggression

Fear aggression

Redirected aggression

Predatory aggression

Play aggression

Idiopathic aggression

Maternal aggression

Impulse control aggression

Offensive and defensive aggression

Behavioural traits


Control and choice

Dangerous Dogs Act (UK)

Contributing factors


Trigger stacking



Avoiding incidents


Human behaviours

Treatment plans

Recorded video discussion between Dr. Simon Gadbois, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

Contributor: Denise O’Moore: graphic


Module 11. Working collaboratively. Author: Janice Macleod

Seeking veterinary advice, collaboration between professionals

Extrinsic environmental factors

Intrinsic physiological factors

Challenges for veterinary surgeons when examining dogs

Possible causes of behaviour changes

Medical tests and collaboration between professionals

Low stress handling

Generalised medical differentials


Module 12. Dissertation

Choosing your subject and submitting a proposal


A stepwise approach using project management

Ethical considerations

Structure and layout



Word count

Additional information


1. Domestication, 2. Social Interactions, 3. Learning theory, 4. Neuroscience, the senses, and emotions, 5. Emotions, 6. Attachment theory, 7. Canine play, resilience and intelligence, 8. Rescue and Rehoming, 9. Communication and change management, 10. Aggressive Behaviours in dogs, 11. Working collaboratively, 12. Dissertation

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 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.