Dog Behaviour & Training The Cambridge Institute of
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Getting started

Once you have enrolled on a CIDBT course, the assigned tutor will send you, via email, a welcome pack along with the first phase of your chosen module. This is you opportunity to form a relationship with your tutor for future work development.

Although each course is individual, they all carry the same structure, that is distance learning and if a workshop is included then the workshop with more distance learning or reflection to complete.

The distance learning element will include self-study, evaluation of information and ideas as well as preparation for workshops if appropriate.

All modules are split between phase which can be undertaken at any time and over any reasonable period within a time frame of six months from the date of registration. The modules that contain workshops however are more structured to allow for workshop preparation.

Study Activities

Your activities for your course will consist of completion of required reading / DVD watching, research, completing assignments and activity logs as well as keeping learning journals up to date. If your course includes a workshop then attendance will be one your activities.


Each phase within a module will have its own set of assignments for you to carry out. Sometimes that will involve answering from personal experience and sometimes it will require reading and research or watching a DVD.

The assignments generally take the format of essays although you should expect to be set tasks relevant to the course you are enrolled upon, for example observing and recording dog behaviour or interaction between a couple of dogs or creating a session plan for a six week course. The assignments are set to allow you to gain experience and to prepare you for working with dogs in the real world.

Books and Specialised film learning

Contrary to popular belief, there is a genuine shortage of good quality, informative canine behaviour books in the UK and the world market that explain behaviour from a front-line expert’s view. The books that we recommend are written by front-line experts or writers who we know are qualified and who write from quantitative experience.

Educational Film is the most successful way of teaching

Our course research spanning over 25 years has demonstrated that people improve their examination scores by double when gaining information via film compared to lectures (slides) or through writing. Humans are simply wired for visual stimulus making learning through films the most effective medium other than hands-on experience.

Research and objectivity

Being able to research topics is critical when participating in distance learning. That doesn’t mean however, that the information is copied verbatim without thought from your favourite author, rather we prefer you to broaden your research to include authors that you may not necessarily choose to read so that you can be objective and open minded in your approach.

Approaching research open mindedly and objectively will stand you in good stead for when you venture into the canine behaviour arena as you will come across many points of view and will need to be aware of the pros and cons of all; expanding your research, and therefore your mind, will help you do that.

Theory and practice

The majority of our courses have a workshop element to them, whether that is for one day or a whole weekend. There will generally be some theoretical preparation for the course that you will be putting into practice on the workshop, for example observation of behaviour and session planning to name but two.

Theory isn’t just confined to the distance learning element of your module as it will be discussed during the workshop attendances; not only with your tutor but with your colleagues also, which is one of the many elements that make the workshops so valuable.

Examination and practical tests

Examinations are all informal and tend to take the format of multiple choice questionnaires based on required reading books, DVDs or educational films that have been included within the workshop. During workshop attendances you will be evaluated during practical sessions, question and answer exchanges as well as during hands on work either handling the dogs or teaching classes.

How do the workshops operate?

If a course has a workshop element then the workshop will generally be near the end of the module once you have completed most of the course work. The workshop can be from one to three days in duration depending on the module type. Workshops can be viewed in action on this website via a film button.

Any preparation required for the workshop will be included within the assignment of the phase immediately before it so the pressure is off in relation to remembering to take things with you. For workshops of more than one day duration, accommodation is included as are any course materials.

The day will always start with tea and coffee as well as informal banter; the formal introductions take place at the start of the course closely followed by the agenda that that everyone can relax about what to expect and can concentrate on learning and having a good time.

All workshops will contain lectures, educational films, multiple choice questionnaires and informal assessments, and, depending upon the module you’ve enrolled on, handling and working with well trained dogs.

Essential resources

As part of enrolling and in addition to the module handbook you will need facilities to play a DVD, a learning outcomes journal, A4 ring binder, access to a computer with Internet connection and e-mail, access to a printer and to a telephone.

Mandatory and recommended reading and DVD viewing lists will be included within the handbook and you will also need to obtain copies of those listed in order to complete your studies. Whether you visit your local library or purchase copies of your own is your choice.

Learning outcomes

Every module has its own learning outcomes which will be made available either in the welcome pack or the first phase and it is the learning outcomes that are incorporated within the assessment strategy to ensure all that we’ve said you’ll learn, you’ll learn.


Your completed portfolio, which is made up of a workbook, learning outcomes journal, activity logs and assignments, will not only be a record of your studies but also a valuable reference file for the future. A sample document will be provided by your tutor.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is same regardless of which module you complete. At the end of a phase, you will submit work to your tutor in the form of one word document (a sample is provided). Your tutor will review you work and add comments throughout. If they’re happy that you have covered all of the points raised and questions asked, then your work will be returned along with any multiple choices relevant to the course and the phase that you have just submitted.

The process is repeated until the module is completed when you receive your CIDBT certificate.

How Does A Module Education Work