Dog Psychology and Training

Learn how to become a dog trainer. Explore the knowledge, skills and business possibilities for working in the behavioural management of dogs. 100-hour course.

Course Code: BAG221
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn How Dogs Think.  

 
Working dogs are commonly used on all sorts of farms; from herding livestock, to deterring predators and trespassers.

The key to getting the most from a working dog is to understand the animal, appreciate how its mind works differently to the human mind, and develop techniques for controlling the dogs behaviour in the way you need to control it.
 
Understanding the Dog mind allows you to predict and manage its Behaviour

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Nature and Scope of Canine Psychology
  2. Canine Senses
  3. Understanding Natural Canine Behaviour
  4. Canine Behavioural Development
  5. Canine Behavioural Disorders
  6. Basic Dog Training
  7. Dog Obedience Training
  8. Controlling a Dogs Movement
  9. Training Working Dogs

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.

Dog Training Tips from the Course Tutors

Training is beneficial for both owner and dog. It will assist with obedience and toilet training and can be used to end undesirable behaviours. If you are purchasing a pure breed, research its temperament thoroughly first to ensure it is suitable for your home.  Behaviour has both genetic and learned components. Encourage good behaviours with positive reinforcement and avoid physical punishments, especially with more aggressive breeds.   

Training by using treats and other positive enforcement such as praise consistently gets the best results as opposed to punishing a dog if it does not do what the owner wants it to. For example if you ignore the dog that constantly jumps up at you as a greeting but reward it with a treat as soon as it stops, it will soon learn that there is a definite advantage to not jumping up. This works better than constantly knocking the dog down as he sees this as a way of getting the owner’s attention and will continue to do it. The same principles of reward apply for all forms of training.

Puppies have short memories and attention spans and need to learn by repetition. Aim for short but frequent training sessions in the beginning (once daily is ideal as a minimum).  It is important to teach certain basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘down’, ‘stay’ and ‘come’ and how to walk on a lead without pulling. Training basic commands are particularly important for the control and safety of the owner and dog. Imagine a situation where there is busy traffic, having a well trained dog able to sit and stay calmly is important, whilst you may also be busy securing children into a vehicle at the same time.

Combinations of voice and hand signals are useful as then the dog can be controlled at a distance as well as close up. The best way to get a dog to come on a regular basis is to encourage it with a small food treat and a verbal cue. The dog will soon learn to associate coming to the owner with a reward. Never sound panicked and lose your temper when calling the dog as it will sense that something is wrong and will be less inclined to come back. It is a good idea to call the dog to you several times during a walk and not just when you are going to put the lead on otherwise it will soon associate returning to you with a loss of freedom.

Another way to reward your dog is by using a ‘clicker’. This is a metal strip inside a small plastic box that makes a distinct clicking sound when pressed. To teach a dog the meaning of the click, a treat is given immediately at the time of clicking. Once the dog learns the positive effects of the clicking sound, the clicker itself acts as a conditioned reinforcer, although edible treats should not be stopped completely otherwise the clicker will lose its effectiveness.

A dog should never be smacked as punishment, especially on the nose, as the dog’s sense of smell can be easily damaged by doing this. If a dog is punished, you must catch it in the act of wrong doing or it will not associate the punishment with the deed.  Do not expect too much too soon but persist. Particularly with large or aggressive breeds it is crucial you are dominant. Even with smaller dogs, lack of dominance by the owner can result in nuisance and even aggressive behaviours. Seek professional training for large or aggressive breeds or if you have dominance issues.

 
WHAT CAN THIS COURSE DO FOR YOU?


A properly trained farm dog is a huge asset to the farm - if you know how to handle dogs you may have a better chance of finding work on a farm
If you own a farm and need dog handling skills then this is a great starting point.
Dog training skill are useful outside of farming too - both for your pets but also to train dogs correctly, dog training is a growing industry.
  
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ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


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Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

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Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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More information is here

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You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Tracey Jones (Psychologist)

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE.
Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc.
25 years industry experience in writing,

Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert.
For several years, Cheryl managed the distance

Alison Pearce (Agri & Animal)

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Megan Cox

Megan has completed a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Conservation) with Honours from Writtle University College, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Countryside Management from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her experience includes working as a Botanist, Ecologist, Head Gardener, Market Gardener and a Farming and Conservation Officer.

She has worked in various roles in Horticulture, Agriculture and Ecology since 2005. Megan has worked for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Centre for Environment and Rural Affairs among other organisations in the UK, as well as in Australia and Cambodia.

Kara Wight

Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels.

Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events.

Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.

Jade Sciascia

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

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