Dog Psychology and Training

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

Learn How Dogs Think

By understanding a dog's psychology, you have a basis for controlling their behaviour, in the garden; and anywhere else.

Understanding your dog’s behaviour is necessary for you to provide the right environment for your dog to be happy and healthy. Understanding dog behaviour is fundamental if you want to successfully establish boundaries and discipline and train your dog.


Understand your dog’s psyche

  • Are you planning on getting a dog?
  • Do you want to understand your dog better?
  • Do you want to learn about training your dog?

Typically, a dog is a representation of its owner. Well-behaved dogs are the end product of committed owners – Owners that have an understanding of their dogs’ behaviours and put in the time and effort to apply their understanding to discipline and training.

This course will help you understand the natural behaviours of dogs, learn how to discipline your dog by setting boundaries and enforcing them and learn about various training techniques.

Understand “why” to implement “how”

Think about this: “How do I stop my dog digging holes in my garden?”

The first thing you need to do is understand the dog’s psychology behind this. Digging is a natural dog behaviour. Dogs dig for many reasons including:

  • To make a softer, more comfortable place to rest
  • To find a warmer or cooler place to rest
  • To bury items of value
  • To hunt
  • For fun
  • In response to behavioural problems e.g. separation anxiety, escapism, eating dirt

The first thing you need to do is identify the reason for your dog’s behaviour. Only then can you come up with potential solutions.

For example, if your dog is digging to try and find warmth, it may be the case that you need to provide them with additional shelter, warmer bedding or an insulated kennel.

If your dog is digging to hunt small animals e.g. ground squirrels or moles, you may need to find an alternative method to uninvite the animals into your property.

Whatever the issue; whether it’s digging holes, chewing, aggression, barking etc., once you have identified why your dog is exhibiting certain behaviours, only then can you begin trying to modify it.

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
    • Nature or 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.