Animal behaviour and training

Qualification Number: 600/7110/2

Qualification Title: Certa Level 5 Diploma in the Practical Application of Companion Animal Behaviour and TrainingDipCABT (RQF Level 5)



Year 2: The Practical Application of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training


Building on Year 1 this course covers the practical principles and applications of canine and feline behaviour therapy including  Emotional Systems Therapy Application (ESTA), behavioural pharmacology, understanding of modern companion animal training techniques, animal welfare and counselling methodology. 


Certa RQF-Listed Regulated Qualification

Level 5, Credits: 84

Comparable in Level to the second year of a degree, but different in content and smaller in size. Click HERE for more information.


This qualification is particularly targeted at those students who are:

  • Considering a career in companion animal behaviour therapy or have already started in companion animal behaviour therapy as a career option.
  • Wish to further develop their existing knowledge and skill base.
  • Seek to gain a firm understanding of good working practice.
  • Want a practical skills based national qualification in recognition of their learning.
  • Wish to work in a variety of organisations and settings.
Level 5 students undergoing their practical assessments in a variety of scenarios.

Specific entry requirements

It is equivalent study level to the second year of a degree and is only available to students who have successfully completed the CERTA Level 4 Diploma in the Principles of Companion Animal Behaviour and Training (RQF). Students must have:

  •  Sound literacy skills
  •  Sound communication skills 
  •  Academic study skills 
  •  Ability to think analytically


What does passing the CDP Year 2 achieve for you?

COAPE - Centre of Applied Pet EthologyThis course enables students to study the practical principles of canine behaviour therapy, including modern hands-on training techniques, to apply in combination with the principles of canine behaviour practice taught in the first year of the programme. This enables students to reach a first class understanding and application of canine behaviour therapy in practice.


On this course you will learn how to develop your ability to engage in practical companion animal behaviour therapy through (a) approaching specially organised complex case studies, (b) from completing your own case behaviour assessment and then (c) evaluating, devising and implementing an appropriate treatment plan for your case.



You will also carry out an individual research-based project using a format designed and provided by our companion animal behaviour scientists. This will be presented as a written dissertation and form part of your final assessment for the course.


On-line Student Resource Centre: A new Student Resource Centre has been designed specifically for the research-based project modules and the case studies modules.


What the student will learn

Module 1

Residential (Venu TBA)

October 2019 (TBA)
Introduction to the scientific study of companion animal behaviour
Planning a companion animal research project: A group discussion on what is involved in designing, implementing and successfully writing it up. You will be then be required to write up the research project in the style of a scientific paper to include: abstract, introduction, literature review, review of methodology, critique of methodology, presentation of results, conclusions and recommendations, and bibliography.
1. Know how to develop an effective research strategy for a study of companion animal behaviour.
2. Understand how to define an appropriate research question to study companion animal behaviour.
3. Understand how to design an appropriate research study to address a specific research question about companion animal behaviour.
4. Be able to assess the feasibility of a research study of companion animal behaviour
5. Be able to present a research proposal of companion animal behaviour.
6. Be able to conduct a scientific study about companion animal behaviour.
7. Understand how to analyse and interpret research data for a scientific study in companion animal behaviour.
8. Be able to present data from a scientific study in companion animal behaviour.
9. Be able to evaluate a scientific study in companion animal behaviour.
10. Be able to evaluate the relevance and importance of research generated data of a scientific study.
11. Be able to present a scientific study report.

Developing your problem pet behaviour assessment and treatment skills – PART 1
Introduction to and planning of your own case studies – one dog and one cat
Planning your case studies: A group discussion on what is involved in selecting, carrying out and successfully writing up one canine and one feline problem behaviour case.
1. Understand the causes of problem behaviour in dogs and cats.
2. Understand the development of problem behaviour in dogs and cats.
3. Be able to assess behaviour problems in dogs and cats.
4. Be able to respond to owners of dogs and cats with behaviour problems.
5. Be able to create a suitable plan for treatment of canine and feline problem behaviour.
6. Be able to review the effectiveness of the treatment plan.
7. Be able to communicate effectively with third parties.


Developing your problem pet behaviour assessment and treatment skills – PART 2
The development of EMRATM (Emotional, Mood and Reinforcement Assessment) and ESTATM (Emotional Systems Therapy Application) from Year 1 and their application in the treatment of behaviour problems in companion animals using a series of provided case studies and class discussion. Including: dog-dog aggression, dog-human aggression, anxieties and phobias, separation-related problems, feline social problems etc. An evidence-based approach to the use of pharmacological support in a variiety of canine and feline behaviour problems.

Module 2
Residential (Venu TBA)

December 2019 (TBA)

During these long weekends students will learn a range of essential dog-handling skills working with dogs in a variety of situations and training scenarios including luring, shaping, capturing, adding cues, timing, criteria, tips for teaching a class / individuals, body language and stress (dogs and handlers), working with special needs people and dogs.

Students will also learn how to interpret and manage a number of common canine behaviours in a controlled environment using video and hands on practical sessions to review strategies for dog:dog problems. Student will get the opportunity to work with a range of carefully chosen dogs / owners with a range of aggressive behaviour towards other dogs.

Evaluation of all available types of training aids and their application and mis-use. The appropriate use of equipment and best practice controlled and emergency introductions of training aids in different behavioural scenarios.


Module 3

Residential (Venu TBA)

March 2020 (TBA)

Developing your problem pet behaviour assessment and treatment skills – PART 3
Development of EMRATM and ESTATM from Year 1 and their application in interesting and challenging problem cases, dealing with client special needs, how to manage conflict situations and the treatment of chronic stress in animals and its impact on their owners. Real life problem cases, owner and family counselling and motivation, and the assessment and validation of the interpretation of behaviour and behaviour problems, for example through the expression of 'body language'.


Module 4

Residential (Venu TBA)

May 2020 (TBA)

A thorough examination and review of modern dog training techniques with leading trainers using practical examples in a variety of media and with real dogs. Evaluation and application of learning theory in practice including operant conditioning, signals of reward and non-reward. Design and application of different types of training classes including handlers with special needs, confidential data procedures etc. Investigation of different training and behaviour scenarios relating to dogs and owners commonly encountered in practice using role-play, video, etc.


Course Information

Authors and Tutors: COAPE Behaviour, Veterinary and Nutrition Experts, Research Scientists, Dog Handling and Training Experts.


Course Type: Four residential Modules taught over one academic year, plus written coursework and a research-based project.


Course Format: Each student has access to a password-protected dedicated on-line COAPE Student Resource Centre where the case histories are presented for study along with other course materials. Students also receive Course Notes and a Workbook to complete for each Module.


Course Duration: 1 academic year. The course commences in October each year.


Course Venues: To be announced (TBA).


Additional Information: One night's accommodation, lunch and dinner, and daytime refreshments are included in the cost of the residential components of the course as detailed above.


Abilities Required for This Course: This course contains practical assessment activities which involve sight, hearing observation and physical interactions/handling skills. Evidence and assessment will  require a demonstration of practical skills.


Course Cost: An early bird discount of £250 is available for registration and payment in full for the course made prior to DATE TBA we can offer interest-free payment by instalments on the full cost price for those who wish to spread the cost. Please contact the Registrar in the first instance for more information about both possibilities.


Course cost includes all teaching materials, access to the online Student Resource Centre, accommodation and meals.


A deposit of £500 is required in order to secure a place on the course as numbers are strictly limited. This includes the CERTA registration fee.


2019-20 Course fee: To be announced (TBA)


Course fee: £6,495.00 + Registration Fee of £500.00 = £6,995.00

Deposit: £500.00

ALL fees shown include VAT (registration no. 187211800).