Dog trainingCA4 The Canine Mind - Exploring the Psychology of the Behaviour of the Dog


A course for owners, vets, vet nurses and other professionals wanting to develop their skills of interpretation of canine behaviour.


The vast majority of dog owners who have any kind of relationship or bond with their dog are naturally anthropomorphic. That is, they interpret the likely motivation and accompanying feelings, such as happiness or sadness, driving a particular aspect of their dog's behaviour as if they were human.


As the saying goes 'a dog is man's best friend, while a cat is man's best formal acquaintance' but, beyond the bark, just how much do we really know about the mysterious inner workings of the dog's mind?


This nine month distance learning course can be successfully completed by anyone who wants to take their understanding of the canine mind and behaviour a stage further. It will also provides an excellent basis for further study, and successful students automatically fulfil the qualification requirements for the CDP COAPE Diploma Course.


Each Unit of the course presents the facts in an accessible, jargon-free style that will help you unlock the mysteries of the inner workings of the dog's mind and give you the information you need to enrich the relationship between You and Your Dogs.


What the student will learn

Unit 1: The Stuff that Brains are Made of: The components that make up the canine brain and how they work together is the subject of this first Unit. A grounding in basic brain anatomy and physiology forms the bedrock on which the other Units of this course are built.


From Foetus to Fido: From fertilised egg to fully functional adult dog and on through to old age. We chart the dog's journey through life exploring the critical points of development. We find out why these developmental stages are important and what actually happens inside the dog's brain that makes the difference between a well-balanced, sociable dog, that every owner wants, and an unruly, antisocial mutt that most of us would rather avoid.


Unit 2: Sit… Click… Good Dog!: Every dog owner can testify just how quickly their dog is able to learn something new, be it taught or something they picked up on their own, often quite inappropriately! What actually happens in the brain when dogs learn something? How can we best utilise the latest scientific information to make learning fun for dogs and for us?


The Infinite Storehouse: When dogs learn something, it has to be remembered and later recalled somehow. This is the job of memory. How does memory differ from learning? Do dogs remember events in the same way that we humans do? Here we try to answer these questions and many more on the nature of canine memory, its strengths and its limitations.


Unit 3: The Great Illusion: The way a dog 'sees' the outside world is nothing more than a clever 'trick' played on it by its brain. The dog relies on its brain's sensory systems to gather in, process, interpret and make sense of all the information, such as light, sound, smell, touch and taste bombarding its senses. The dog has inherited its predatory sensory systems from its ancient ancestor, the wolf. But selective breeding for function by humans over the last few thousand years has altered the dog's senses to best suit its role working alongside man. Over the last few hundred years’ dogs have been selectively bred for appearance leading to huge diversity in shape and size across the different breeds. In this Unit we explore how dogs perceive the outside world and the variation across the various breed types.


Unit 4: I, Dog!: Can we ever know how dogs really think? The quest to answer this question is fascinating, perplexing and highly controversial. Do they have an imagination? Can they think creatively? Can they think at all? We delve deep inside the dog's mind and explore the very foundations of emotions, consciousness, personality and intelligence. We also explore communication and language and gain insight into just how much we can expect our canine companions to comprehend, drawing a line where anthropomorphism is no longer an asset, but becomes an obstacle between You and Your Dog!


Course Information

Authors and Tutors: Dr Robert Falconer-Taylor BVetMed, MRCVS

Course Type: Distance Learning. This is an unaccredited course. See our qualification-accreditation jargon-buster HERE .


Course Format: Each Unit of the course notes is e-Mailed out to students as a separate e-Book. Students also have access to the COAPE Student Resource Centre where additional support and course material are available online. The Resource Centre gives you access to a range of rich media content to complement the formal course notes, including video, sound, graphics and pictures, web links, and additional written content.


Much of the coursework for this course is conveniently completed online. We also supply you with a specially designed ‘template’ to assist you in completing the components of the coursework that require more application and writing so you can use your own computer and preferred word processing software. Your can then submit these components to your tutor via the internet, which are marked and returned back to you the same way.


Course Duration: Start in February and September of each year. The duration of the course is 9 months.


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

Course fee: £474.00

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