Learn online, study dog training, dog psychology, and dog neurological disorders, with self paced online courses.

Course Code: BAG221
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn to Train and Understand Your Dog


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


  • 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.

How Do You Deal with Phobias or Fear in a Dog?

Phobias such as being scared of thunderstorms and noise 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.  

Some treatments 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.

Calming a Dog

There are many things that you can do to help calm a dog. For example, nervous dogs are better approached from the side than front on as this can be perceived as a threatening action. There are many situations where a dog may need calming, such as meeting another dog, a visit to a veterinarian or a new visitor to the home. It is suggested that the owner use calming signals to help a dog choose an appropriate behaviour to deal with a stressful situation. Calming signals are those used naturally by dogs to calm themselves when faced with conflict. 

These calming signals can include:

  • moving slowly with exaggerated movements
  • moving in an arc
  • turn away
  • lip licking
  • yawning
  • sitting or lying down
  • blinking or averting eyes

By being aware of these signals we can help a dog feel more secure. It is important to reward the use of calming signals by a dog once you have identified them. It is recommended that you reward the most frequently used calming signal by a dog to avoid confusion. 

Why do this course?

  • Understand dog psychology.
  • Learn about behavior.
  • Basic training and obedience techniques.
  • Deal with dogs behavioral problems. 

Course Contributors

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

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