Dog Behaviour & Training The Cambridge Institute of
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The CIDBT Aims and Philosophy

We have set out to create an enterprise that is keenly focused on raising the standards of dog educators in Britain and world wide. The Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour & Training and its associate Cambridge Institute of Pet Behaviour & Care offer a new modern Gold standard in innovation and practical training combined with distance learning of quality, and are committed to forming a national organisation that will train future professionals to meet the needs of pet owners and their problem pets in Britain today.

The CIDBT courses embody these goals in their content which has been approved through Kennel Club external inspection. With our distinctive quantitative knowledge of people and their pets, we are innovative and adept at absorbing new ideas.

Dog Training Methods and Inculcation

We accept all reasonable and humane training methods that teach dogs to be well behaved and fit into our society and its ever increasing restrictive laws. It is standard CIDBT Policy that dogs work better for reward and that should be the critical factor in beginning all learning for the dog or puppy. It's more enjoyable for all when the teaching of your dog is fun and exciting – to see a dog learn a plethora of communications and respond in the way we desire is a mark of mutual knowledge of the other's behaviour.

Dog Training Methods and Variations

Dogs are wired to do what Nature intended for their specific species, domesticated or otherwise. Nothing in that wiring is designed for them to fit in with human lifestyle or to follow training commands. Dogs which have developed serious behaviour and or training problems and will not operate or change solely for reward then compulsion, direct intervention or interruption may be necessary (The same rules apply to humane behaviour in our society and its laws). Even in those circumstances, in the most severe cases of problematic behaviour reward will be a powerful part of rehabilitating the dog.

Dog Behaviour Psychology and Behavioural Advice.

It is our philosophy that there are few dog behaviour problems that are not intrinsically related to formal dog training or lack of it – otherwise known as formal canine education. Moreover, the old adage that a well trained dog is a happy and fun friend to have in the family has not changed. If you cannot understand, execute and be successful at dog training you will have little success as a dog behaviour practitioner. It is our view from long experience that learning all the dog training techniques specific to a problem, which means in practice having trained several hundred dogs of all breeds, is what provides the broad knowledge that is critical to success. This part of the educational training will always be more demanding and harder to achieve than paper study. Theory is important but practice and being highly skilled in dog training is what changes serious dog behaviour problems.

This same dog training and instruction also builds your human interactive knowledge and through dealing with all types of dog owners' personalities you gain a human psychological library of knowledge which cements the skills you will need to be successful as a dog behaviour practitioner. There is no easy route like studying general animal behaviour as a paper exercise. A degree or similar qualification in biology, animal behaviour or similar subjects will not replace the aforementioned dog hands-on skills.

What is a Dog Training Problem and What is a Behaviour Problem?

To a great extent it's just semantics. Whether you wish to solve an anxiety-related problem in a dog or simply get it back to you in the park, individuals will try and tell you it's behaviourally based or dog training. In fact it's both, always both and always has been. The psychological pack bond and initial conditioning of dog and owner is the behaviour/relationship base but the mechanics of fun dog training that build on the pack leadership relationship may not have not been taught or formed. This may result in poor human management skills causing inappropriate behaviours being developed and exhibited by the dog.

The main difference between a practitioner of behaviour and a dog trainer will be that the former spends more investigative time assessing behaviour problems and should have the greater knowledge of dog and people behaviour and psychology combined. The practitioner will set down time in consultation to plan a re-training programme for dog and owner. Understanding human psychology is critical to success in dog behaviour solutions. Learning through canine behaviour theory from experienced tutors is essential and that is where we excel.

CIDBT Tutors' Standards

Pioneering an understanding of dog behaviour in Britain has, in the main, been the work of dog trainers who have the field and life experience to observe, learn and evolve new behavioural techniques and training. With the help of PETbc work based learning qualifications and accreditation, CIDBT have produced the academic structure to accredit acquired life-long knowledge. Work based learning qualifications fit hand and glove into the canine behaviour world and that is why we chose to this accreditation.

We have deliberately made a policy that only highly skilled training and behaviour experts will become teachers, tutors and instructors for the CIDBT. With few exceptions, unless a tutor had a full-time proven record of at least ten years' experience - and we mean qualitative experience they can use as teachers they can not act as teacher/tutors for the CIDBT.

Dog behaviour and training is a hands-on business not an academic ride. The public have a right to expect you to assist them in public places with their dog's bad behaviour - not just chat about theoretical ideas at a safe distance.

They also may expect you to demonstrate how to stop their dog leaping at people, whether fun- or aggression-triggered. Nothing inspires a dog owner more to succeed and train and change and work hard for their dog's rehabilitation than seeing an expert who demonstrates what can be achieved in front of them. Seeing is believing, and a human trait that is a natural safety device we use.

Open Access to All Human Behaviour and Training Ideas.

New ideas and practical methods are often mere buzz words banded about. Gadgets and other devices abound - a bit like the slimming industry relentlessly wishing to sell us what we want to hear: ‘NEW', ‘Fantastic', ‘really works' and so on. In fact, most new workable ideas in dog training and behaviour are simply re-examining what we already do and making adjustments to produce training programmes that work even more effectively.

The great majority of that is the ability to work, motivate and communicate your knowledge and skills to the clients. It certainly has produced the most overwhelming results in the pet owning society of Britain today.

At our workshops in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Kennel Club facilities in Warwickshire we have an open-minded attitude to any student showing us a training or behaviour technique that will help people practise and, more importantly, train dogs effectively.

There is an open invitation to any organisation or individual who feel they have training skills which we don't employ but feel are effective in dog training and behaviour to come along and demonstrate such skills to our students and tutors. Any idea that produces good results and is humane we will consider placing in our future course modules.

We accept new training methods that meet the following criteria:

Because our methods are fluid, we make subtle adjustments on each course as we strive to improve, innovate, test and apply. We, too, learn a good deal from our students, bearing in mind that many have as much knowledge as we do but have enrolled to formalise their knowledge. This means the constant exchange of skills ideas and personal experiences enrich the knowledge base of the CIDBT.

Behaviour and Drug Abuse of Dogs in the UK

It is sad that a number of individuals and some Canine Behaviour Associations in the UK promote the use of drugs as a solution in dog behaviour. We do not use or condone the use of psychotropic drugs in behaviour solutions.

Innovation and Evolution of Knowledge

CIDBT Teachers have created a number of new an innovative training and behaviour techniques that are original in format and application and now used by many other skilled professionals, some are listed below.

Principal - Colin Tennant MA Professional Practice in Canine Behaviour & Psychology

Our Philosophy