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The aim of the course is to introduce participants to the behaviour and psychology of the domestic dog. It is designed to equip students with a basic knowledge of normal and unusual behaviours and their purposes or what they can tell us about the dog.

Course Modules

  • Ways of Explaining Canine Behaviour
  • Understand the terms ‘psychology’, ‘behaviour’ and ‘mind’. Appreciate the phrase ‘canine intelligence’. Understand the term ‘biology’.
  • The effect of biology on behaviour. Inherited physical characteristics.
  • Health disorders that may be inherited and how these might influence behaviour.
  • The problems associated with assuming all behaviour is inherited.
  • Illnesses other than inherited ones that can affect behaviour.
  • The effects of anatomy on behaviour.
  • The difference between ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’. How diet might affect behaviour.
  • An introduction to food allergies.
  • Appreciate that medication can alter behaviour.
  • The interactionist approach to behaviour.
  • An introduction to social learning with examples.
  • Understand trial and error learning; what a puppy might learn through trial-and-error learning.
  • Understand associative learning.
  • Appreciate the term ‘cognition’.
  • Canine communication with examples. Nonverbal communication.
  • The problems of comparing human emotions and behaviours with dogs.
  • Canine behaviours that humans might interpret as emotion.
  • Understand what is meant by maturation and the many ways in which a dog matures.
  • Instincts as a way of explaining some canine behaviour.
  • Understand the term innate and why innate behaviours are important.
  • What is a ‘behaviourist’.


2) Mating Behaviour and Birth

  • Understanding sexual maturity and behaviour that leads to courtship rituals and mating.
  • The reproductive cycle.
  • The role of hormones in the reproductive cycle.
  • The bitch in whelp, the development of the foetus, birth, and associated behaviours.

3) The Psychology of the Young Dog

  • The stages of development of the newborn puppy.
  • The importance of the development of the senses in the newborn.
  • What the newborn pup can and cannot do.
  • The development of early behaviour and the importance of early learning including exploration and play.

4) The Psychology of the Adult Dog

  • The continued development of the dog into adulthood. Different types of aggressive behaviour; how early learning might affect adult behaviour.

5) Unusual Canine Behaviour 

  • The difference between unusual and abnormal behaviour.
  • The importance of consistency in relation to canine behaviour.


6) Avoiding Problem Behaviour

  • Choosing the right dog.
  • The importance of socialisation.
  • Obedience training methods.
  • How to provide the dog with the required environment to avoid common problem behaviours developing.


Course details:

  • Study Level 3
  • The study Level relates to the how demanding the course is. 1 is beginner and 5 is HND / Foundation Degree level.
  • 6 Module Course
  • This course is delivered in 6 study modules which need to be passed to gain the qualification


Fees: Excluding VAT

  • Course fee – R10100.00 (includes registration and 6 modules)


  • Installment option – R1750 registration and R1560 per module

(pay registration fee only once per course)


Register Here