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Dog Psychology and Behavioural Management

Course CodeBAG221
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study Dog Psychology, Behaviour and Management - Change the Lives of Dogs and Their Owners

  • Understand canine psychology and how dogs think.
  • Understand the principles of dog training through determining their psychology.
  • Apply that knowledge to practical training and behavioural management from the beginning of the course.
  • An understanding of canine psychology and behaviour is vitally important for anyone who works with dogs or keeps them as a companion animal.

This course is suitable for anyone who is interested in dogs and the way they behave.

For example -

  • dog owners
  • dog trainers
  • veterinarians
  • veterinary assistants
  • dog rehabilitation workers
  • dog behaviourists
  • dog care workers
  • boarding kennel workers
  • pet shop assistants
  • dog groomers
  • dog walkers
  • dog re-homing workers and much more...

Understanding how the domesticated dog has developed anatomically and physiologically from its wild counterpart, the wolf, will helps us to understand behaviours commonly seen in today’s domesticated dog and therefore allows us to provide an environment in which the dog remains a happy and healthy companion.

 

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Canine Psychology
    • A brief history of the canine evolution
    • Self-domestication
    • Canine industries
  2. Canine Senses
    • Understanding canine communication
    • Sight
    • Body Language
    • Smell
    • Sound
    • Elimination Postures
  3. Understanding Natural Canine Behaviour
    • Social Structure
    • Social Behaviour
    • Aggression
    • Clinical Problems
    • Biological Rhythms
    • Sleep
    • Sexual Behaviour
    • Maternal Behaviour
    • Parturition
    • Suckling and Weaning
    • Eating and Drinking
  4. Canine Behavioural Development
    • Nuture
    • Sensitive Periods
    • Neurological Development
    • Canine Temperament Testing
    • How Breeds Differ
  5. Canine Behavioural Disorders
    • Attention Seeking Behaviour
    • Excessive barking
    • Chewing
    • Running away
    • Chasing moving objects
    • Begging
    • Digging
    • Separation anxiety
    • Aggression
    • Phobias
    • Excessive compulsive disorders
    • Cognitive Dysfunction
    • Calming a dog
  6. Basic Dog Training
    • Forming habits
    • Conditioning
    • Classical Conditioning
    • Operant Conditioning
    • Socialisation
    • House training
    • The use of visual signals
    • The use of voice commands
    • The use of training aids
  7. Dog Obedience Training
    • Practical Training Techniques
    • Recall
    • Sit
    • Stand
    • Drop
    • Leave
    • Down
    • Stay
    • Heel
    • Seek
    • Retrieve
    • Bark on Signal
  8. Controlling a Dogs Movement
    • Territorial nature of dogs
    • Fencing
    • Dog doors
    • Kennels
    • Exercise requirements
    • Socialisation requirements
    • Walking on a lead/leash
    • Electronic barriers
    • Microchips
    • Pet Registration and Licensing
    • Controlling Killing Wildlife
  9. Training Working Dogs
    • Training for scent discrimination or substance detection
    • Training for retrieving
    • Guarding
    • Hearing dogs
    • Herding
    • Tracking
    • Controlling attacks on animals and people

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Describe how canine animals think and discuss the relevance of understanding canine psychology to people.
  • Explain how canine animals communicate and formulate an understanding of possible ways that a human may communicate with a dog.
  • Understand behaviours that are natural and predictable in canines and learn to recognise and understand signals that dogs give.
  • Explain how dogs develop behavioural characteristics throughout stages of their life.
  • Describe commonly occurring behavioural problems in dogs.
  • Develop a program for training a new pet dog when it is brought into a household.
  • Explain how to train a dog to perform predetermined actions upon command.
  • Describe how the movement of dogs can be controlled, both through training and other methods.
  • Describe how dogs can be trained to perform tasks required as a working dog, including a sheep dog, tracking dog, blind dog or substance detection dog.

What You Will Do

  • Describe how canine animals think and discuss the relevance of understanding canine psychology to people.
  • Explain how canine animals communicate and formulate an understanding of possible ways that a human may communicate with a dog.
  • Understand behaviours that are natural and predictable in canines and learn to recognise and understand signals that dogs give.
  • Explain how dogs develop behavioural characteristics throughout stages of their life.
  • Describe commonly occurring behavioural problems in dogs.
  • Develop a program for training a new pet dog when it is brought into a household.
  • Explain how to train a dog to perform predetermined actions upon command.
  • Describe how the movement of dogs can be controlled, both through training and other methods.
  • Describe how dogs can be trained to perform tasks required as a working dog, including a sheep dog, tracking dog, blind dog or substance detection dog.

Sample Set Task From The Course

  1. Interview five people with dogs – try to ensure that they all have different breeds and one has a cross-breed.
    Ask them:–
    a. The breed of the dog. If they are a cross-breed, try to find out the breeds involved if possible.
    b. What influenced their decision to have that particular dog (e.g. size, gender, family friendly, robust etc)
    c. Do they think the dog was the most suitable for them and their lifestyle?
  2. Carry out research on the five breeds of dog that you have interviewed, including the cross breed, and look at their behavioural and physical characteristics. They may have chosen the dog for a variety of reasons, e.g. they were family friendly. Observe the behavioural and physical characteristics the dog is expected to possess. Then compare your research with behaviour and characteristics typical of the breed (from your research).
    For example: Person 1 bought a cairn terrier because they were supposed to be a small friendly breed. Your research suggests...

Develop Your Understanding of how Dogs Think

Dogs may not be able to speak and tell you how they feel, but there are many ways that we can gauge their feelings and build an understanding of the mind of an individual animal.
Here are some examples of the types of things you can learn throughout this course. As your understanding of dog psychology expands, throughout your studies, your ability to understand and better respond to canines, will strengthen and deepen, providing a solid foundation for better training and managing dogs.

The Tail 

Many people associate a dog wagging its tail with friendliness. However, this is not generally the case. If it is held straight up or curled over at the tip and moving quickly from side to side in small rapid movements it is a sign of arousal. Other tail signals include:

  • relaxed tail – dog is relaxed and comfortable
  • light wagging – welcoming
  • broad circle wagging – dog is interested 
  • slow wagging – doesn’t quite understand what you are trying to teach him (e.g. in training)
  • fast wagging – excited
  • hanging horizontal but relaxed – the dog is interested in something, attentive
  • hanging horizontal but stiff – confrontational (such as confronting an intruder)
  • tail between legs – submission or fear
  • tail raised and slowly moving – dog is on guard
  • upright tail - sign of dominance
  • upright tail curled over at end – demonstrates trust and self-confidence
Chewing

Chewing is a natural action for all dogs; however chewing can quickly become a problem if your dog causes destruction.

The most common reasons dogs chew are: 

  • teething 
  • boredom and/or excess energy 
  • anxiety 
  • curiosity (especially puppies)

Encourage your dog to chew on the right things by providing plenty of chew toys. Keep personal items away from your dog. When you are not home, keep your dog crated or confined to an area where less destruction can be caused. If you catch your dog chewing the wrong thing, quickly correct him with a sharp noise. Then, replace the item with a chew toy. One of the most important things you can do is make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Phobias

Thunderstorm and noise phobias are a common problem for dogs and sometimes cats. Dogs can display signs of their phobia at the beginning of a storm such as a drop in barometric pressure, lightning and even the smells associated with storms. Signs that an animal has a phobia can include:

  •  hiding
  •  urinating or defecating
  •  panting
  •  loss of appetite
  •  vocalising
  •  shaking 
  •  trying to escape
  •  pacing
  •  following owner
  •  ignoring commands
  •  drooling
  •  racing
  •  dilated pupils

If you believe the animal has a real phobia of loud noises, it is best to seek expert veterinary advice to best treat it. Treatments will not always have the same effect on different animals.  You may need to try and test a few.

Treatments for phobias may include:

  • Do not reward or punish the behaviour associated with the phobia.
  • Provide medication – there are some homeopathic remedies available. You should consult your local veterinary expert to find out which is the most appropriate for the animal.
  • Reduce or mask noise level – noises from fans or air conditioners may block the noise causing the phobia.
  • Increase exercise – if you are aware that a storm may be coming or fireworks are scheduled, you can exercise the animal prior to tire them out both mentally and physically.
  • Behaviour modification – counter-conditioning, where the animal is taught to display the desired behaviour rather than the instinctive response.
  • Desensitisation – The animal’s response to phobia triggers can be decreased by exposing it to increasing levels of the stimulus which causes the response.

Working with Dogs

Dogs fill a variety of roles in our current human society. Working dogs can carry out a variety of jobs from herding sheep, helping the lives of disabled and blind people, to seeking out and detecting explosives and drugs.

In most countries around the world, the most common role of domesticated dogs is as a companion animal to humans. There are a wide variety of ancillary industries that rely on this companion animal market.

Some examples include:
  • breeding enterprises
  • grooming enterprises
  • training enterprises
  • boarding or kennel enterprises
  • walking and pet sitting 
  • pet shops sell a range of products and equipment
  • canine behaviour therapists
  • complimentary medicines and therapies

Train and Manage Dogs

  • Do you want to understand more about canine psychology?
  • Do you want to know what makes dog behave the way they do?
  • Do you want to learn how to help dogs with their behavioural difficulties?
  • Do you want to improve your job and business opportunities in working with dogs?
Then this is the course for you!

Enrol Today

Enrol to develop your own research and reading into the field of dog training and management. Use your tutors knowledge and expertise as much or as a little as you need.  Our highly qualified and experienced tutors are helpful and friendly ... they have all been in your shoes, aiming for a goal.

 

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Meet some of our academics

Dr. Gareth PearceVeterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
Tracey JonesWidely published author, Psychologist, Manager and Lecturer. Over 10 years working with ACS and 25 years of industry experience. Qualifications include: B.Sc. (Hons) (Psychology), M.Soc.Sc (social work), Dip. SW (social work), PGCE (Education), PGD (Learning Disability Studies).
Tanya MillerBsc (hons) RVN, PGCE, CCRP, Diploma Canine Massage, (Post Grad Cert. Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner). 18 years experience in education and animal sciences.


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