Dog Behaviour & Training
The Cambridge Institute of
Grey
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A Professional Career in Dog Behaviour & Training

In general you will need to learn Canine Behaviour theory through academic study and this is a basis that you build upon. Learning how to solve the array of pet dog behavioural problems presented to you and, moreover, to understand, empathise and work with people. The majority of the human psychology you need to learn is through practice and your own life experiences and interactions with people.


Dog training is not totally separate to dog behaviour - the two disciplines are inexorably interlinked and few behavioural problems are not countered, solved or managed without a component part of obedience training. managing dogs which have aggressive tendencies for the public require acute managing, handling/training skills which you need to assist the dog owner. Clip board verbal expertise at a safe distance from the dog and owners in unacceptable and not professional. Its important to lead by example and that is what we teach and demonstrate in our dog training and dog behaviour courses, we are the largest course provider/leader in Britain today.


Motivating dog owners and family members to alter their behaviour and viewpoints, which in turn affect the dog’s behaviour, is most critical to success. Behaviour problems vary from mild behaviour problems like pestering the owners for attention or jumping up (nuisance behaviours) to the more serious - such as aggression.


You will need to have a strong, but flexible personality if you are to succeed and immense amount of patience with people’s views on their dogs and their lifestyles. Previous academic work (qualifications). A degree in Veterinary Nursing (similar qualification) Animal behaviour, Zoology, Biology, Ethology can help form the general basis of knowledge but are in themselves not a foundation in core skills relating to the domestic dog. Other skills to help you become successful are small business management, using a computer and report writing. A good grasp of human - pet relationships is very important and for all these skills we also run courses at CIDBT.


The true way to learn is on practical courses where you learn about how the best experts with real hands-on expertise operate and teach. As you build up your coursework and, if relevant, marry this with your own current canine knowledge or previous skills in dog training and behaviour, you gain the cementing factors of knowledge.


The more people and dogs that you deal with the greater should be your accumulation of personal knowledge to help you analyse, observe and solve future complex behaviour in dogs. People who have experience working with dogs hands-on in the disciplines below will certainly have a great advantage when it comes to joining our courses and quicken their acquisition of fundamental canine behaviour knowledge.


Remember most dog behaviour problems can be prevented by a puppy receiving a good education, socialisation and dog training lessons on a continuous basis until adulthood. When this is neglected, for whatever reason, behaviour problems can flourish and become most serious.


Career Entry Requirements

Knowledge of the theory of dog or cat behaviour dog or cat-handling skills and experience. Knowledge and experience in working with dogs is important, as most of your work as a pet behaviour practitioner is likely to be with dogs. Courses in dog or cat behaviour vary in content, so it is important to choose training which will meet your needs. Some courses deal mainly with canine and feline behaviour, others with more general aspects of behaviour, possibly leading to careers involving the management, conservation and welfare of wild or captive pets.


The Canine and Feline Behaviour Association offers courses through the CIDBT leading to qualifications:


Professional Practice in Canine Behaviour and Psychology

80 credits plus a work based learning Professional Practice Profile (PPP)


Advanced Professional Practice in Canine Behaviour and Psychology

Plus a work based learning


Professional Practice in Canine Instruction and Training

120 credits plus a work based learning PPP


The Feline Awards

Professional Practice in Feline Behaviour and Psychology

80 credits plus a work based learning PPP


Advanced Professional Practice in Feline Behaviour and Psychology

120 credits plus a work based learning PPP


It is also possible to achieve a Middlesex University BA Degree (or other uni qualification) by taking a combination of CIDBT modules and Middlesex University, Work Based Learning (WBS) modules. The exact selection and combination is a matter for discussion at each stage between the student and the tutors at either CIDBT (for their specialist modules) or Middlesex (for the WBS modules).Participants who successfully complete the CIDBT courses and who want to progress to a work based higher education qualification are eligible to apply to the Institute for Work Based Learning at Middlesex University and following further assessment may be granted advanced standing based upon their learning achievement from work at the Cambridge Institute and and or other learning from experience. Formally, the nature of our collaboration is that Middlesex recognise CIDBT our courses towards a degree course. They use the "Review of Learning" process (see below).


Professional Practice and Practical Learning

As well as learning the theory of dog or cat behaviour, it is essential to have practical experience of working with pets. This could come from paid work, such as dog training or handling, or voluntary experience, for example in a kennels or veterinary surgery, or with an dog or cat welfare organisation. You can find out about opportunities for volunteering in your area.


Skills and Knowledge



Education Training and Development

Throughout your career, you will need to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, for example by attending workshops, seminars and conferences, and reading professional journals.


You can join the the Canine & Feline Behaviour Association at various levels depending on your qualifications and

experience - see the Canine & Feline Behaviour Association websites for details.


If you have completed an Honours or higher degree in a relevant subject, appropriate specialist

courses, and at least three years vocational experience working with the behaviour disorders of

dogs, cats , you can gain membership in the Canine & Feline Behaviour Association


More Information

Canine and Feline Behaviour Association (Canine & Feline Behaviour Association)

www.cfba.co.uk


Pet Education, Behaviour and Training Council

www.petbc.org.uk


General overview

Pet behaviour practitioners (this includes Feline were appropriate) advise pet owners on dealing with specific control issues and problematic behaviour with their pet dogs or cats including: inappropriate noise, such as excessive barking aggression towards people or pets destructive behaviour toileting issues chasing livestock, cars or cyclists phobias. As a pet behaviour practitioner most of your work is likely to be with dogs or cats.


Your tasks would include: taking referrals from vets holding consultations in your own centre, in veterinary surgeries or in owners' homes talking to the owner and observe the dog or cat to get details of the problem analysing the nature of the problem and the likely causes drawing up a behaviour-modification programme for the owner to follow keeping in touch with owners to check progress adapting the modification programme if necessary. You might also offer a dog training service. You are likely to be self-employed, organising your own tax and insurance, and doing all the administrative tasks involved in running a business.


As you would usually be self-employed, you would decide your own working hours. However, you would need to fit in with clients' requirements, which could mean working evenings and weekends. You could be based in your own premises, in veterinary surgeons' clinics or visit owner's homes. You may have to spend some time outside to observe pets.


Although the work is rewarding, it can also be stressful and upsetting. For example, some of the pets you come across may have problems which cannot be modified because they are too deep seated or have a medical cause. The Canine Behaviour Practitioner (CBP) has acquired on the job vocational training in rehabilitating dogs with behaviour problems and will have extensive training and handling skills experience with dogs of varying ages.


A crucial part of the CBP role is to be able to communicate with dog owners and educate them in the behaviour of their dog and help them understand which behaviour is natural, natural but unacceptable in our society (for example killing sheep), unnatural therefore indicating stress (for example chasing its tail) or just unacceptable.


The CBP needs to able to assess a dog’s behaviour accurately and then teach the owner, sometimes with words (spoken and written) and sometimes with demonstration, how to go about modifying the behaviour in the dog. Report writing skills are essential as a written report should be provided to give the owner information they can refer to following your visit, it is also used to document the advice given, as during the consultation owners are quite often stressed and don’t retain information given or distort it.


The CBP needs to have in-depth knowledge of how dogs develop from birth to old age, how dogs communicate with other dogs and other species, how the pack hierarchy is established within a dog pack and a mixed-species pack and how that effects the dog’s behaviour when it meets with others of its own species.


A detailed knowledge of puppy and dog psychology is imperative as the CBP may be called upon to go to people’s homes to work with their dogs is when they have a new puppy and require advice on how to look after and train them.


Assistance Dog Trainer

Assistance dog trainers and instructors train dogs to help people with physical disabilities, hearing or sight difficulties to live independently. You could work with the following types of assistance dog: guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired - help owners to use stairs, cross roads and avoid obstacles hearing dogs - alert deaf people to sounds such as smoke alarms, crying babies, telephones and alarm clocks disability assistance dogs - carry out tasks such as pressing emergency buttons on phones and opening and closing doors seizure alert dogs - recognise signs that their owner is about to have a seizure.


Your work could include: working with volunteers who foster puppies and young dogs helping dogs to adjust to the routine of basic training training at a more advanced level related to the dog's future work matching dogs to owners training dogs and owners together providing after-care and support for owner-dog partnerships. You may have responsibility for a particular area of the work.


For example, you could work for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association as a trainer (carrying out the first part of the dog's training) or a mobility instructor (doing advanced training and matching the dog to its new owner). Some organisations employ after-care officers and volunteers to provide ongoing support.


The Dog Trainer

The Dog Trainer has acquired on the job vocational training in training dogs on a one to one basis, whether this is as a part time club trainer or a full/part-time professional dog trainer.


The emphasis on the dog trainer is one of training the dog rather than training the dog owner, hence the possible lack of specific experience in people skills, people training skills, people psychology skills or people body language awareness.


The Dog Trainer needs to have in-depth knowledge of how dogs develop from birth to old age, how dogs communicate with other dogs and other species, how the pack hierarchy is established within a dog pack and a mixed-species pack and how that effects the dog’s behaviour when it meets with others of its own species. Likewise the dog trainer needs to have an appreciation of the importance of the whelping bitch’s role in relation to learned behaviour within the litter and nature versus nurture.


The Dog Training Instructor

The Dog Training Instructor has acquired on the job vocational training in training dogs on a one to one basis, whether this is as a part time club trainer or a full/part-time professional dog trainer.


The emphasis on the Dog Training Instructor is one of training the owner to train the dog rather than training the dog themselves, as such the emphasis is on experience in people skills. The Dog Training Instructor will be an experienced dog trainer.


The Dog Training Instructor needs to have in-depth people training skills, people psychology skills and body language awareness. The Dog Training Instructor will have been formally trained in training the trainer (both puppy and dog) as well as having been a training assistant with a more experienced instructor as part of the mentoring process.


Administration and planning skills are essential as part of the role involves session planning and booking in clients.


The Professional Dog Trainer

The Professional Dog Trainer has acquired on the job vocational training in training dogs on a one to one basis, whether this is as a part time club trainer or a full/part-time professional dog trainer.


The emphasis is on the trainer’s ability to work in any environment with any kind of dog; handling the dog, training the dog and then training the owner in the same environment. The trainer needs to be an experienced dog trainer and dog training instructor as they will need to draw on skills of man-management and time keeping as well as being an extremely skilled dog trainer.


Business management skills are essential as part of the role involves advertising and marketing as well as book-keeping and session planning. Although not essential, being able to address the public is highly desirable, as more often than not the Professional Dog Trainer will need to give public talks about and demonstrations in dog training.


Puppy Trainer

The Puppy Trainer has acquired on the job vocational training in training puppies on a one to one basis, whether this is as a part time club trainer or a full/part-time professional dog trainer.


The emphasis on the Puppy Trainer is one of training the puppy rather than training the puppy owner, hence the possible lack of specific experience in people skills, people training skills, people psychology skills or people body language awareness.


The Puppy Trainer needs to have in-depth knowledge of how puppies develop from gestation period to critical development, how puppies communicate with litter-mates as opposed to non-litter mates, how the pack or litter hierarchy is established and how that effects the puppies behaviour when it first starts to socialise with others of its own species. Likewise the Puppy Trainer needs to have an appreciation of the importance of the whelping bitch's role in relation to learned behaviour within the litter and nature versus nurture.


Having experience of owning a puppy although not essential is highly desirable so that experience is gained first hand of the joys as well as the trials and tribulations of puppy ownership.


They will have extensive handling skills experience not only for puppies but with adult dogs of varying ages also. A detailed knowledge of puppy and dog psychology is imperative


The Puppy Training Instructor

The Puppy Training Instructor has acquired on the job vocational training in training puppies on a one to one basis, whether this is as a part time club trainer or a full/part-time professional dog trainer.


The emphasis on the Puppy Training Instructor is one of training the owner to train the puppy rather than training the puppy themselves, as such the emphasis is on experience in people skills. The Puppy Training Instructor will be an experienced puppy and dog trainer.


The Puppy Training Instructor needs to have in-depth people training skills, people psychology skills and body language awareness. The Puppy Training Instructor will have been formally trained in training the trainer (both puppy and dog) as well as having been a training assistant with a more experienced instructor as part of the mentoring process.


if you wish to read more about the full descriptions and canine occupation roles please click here on the www.petbc.org.uk for Britain's dog behaviour and training standards.

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