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Frequently Asked Questions About the Dog Psychology Course Print E-mail

From experience we know that most prospective students have questions that they would like to ask. The most common questions are answered here. But if there is anything else you need to know before enrolling, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  1. Do I need any prior knowledge or qualifications?
  2. Will I have to buy any extra materials?
  3. Can’t I just get all the information from one of the many books on the market?
  4. So why should I study with the Canine Behaviour Centre, rather than any other organisation?
  5. Will it be a problem that I don't have a great deal of time to study? Is there any help available while I am studying? And how do I get practical experience?
  6. How long does the course take?
  7. Who is the Course Director?
  8. Will I have to attend any examinations?
  9. When I finish the Course will I receive a recognised qualification and certificate?
  10. After studying the Course, will I be able to treat other animals, apart from dogs?
  11. Can I work from home as a dog psychologist, and does it have to be a full time occupation?
  12. Is there likely to be plenty of work available?
  13. How do I enrol?

Do I need any prior knowledge or qualifications?
Apart from an interest in dogs, no. The Course is written in a clear and straightforward style assuming no prior knowledge of psychology. Any psychology terms are fully explained.
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Will I have to buy any extra materials?
No. The Course is unusual in that it is completely self contained. We have done the work for you by collating all the relevant research that has taken place around the world from the 1800's to the present day.
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Can’t I just get all the information from one of the many books on the market?
Unfortunately no. The popular books tend towards listing the common problems, providing an anecdotal example and then giving the solution for that example. If your experiences are not identical, then the proposed solution will fail because canine behaviour therapy provides unique treatment for individuals. Many of our clients have tried some of these books before approaching the Canine Behaviour Centre for help… only a thorough knowledge of the underlying psychology will enable you to treat all problems, whatever the individual circumstances.
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So why should I study with the Canine Behaviour Centre, rather than any other organisation?
There are Courses available at undergraduate and post-graduate degree level but if you have neither the time nor money to embark on a full time Course, home study is the only option.  Since the Canine Behaviour Centre founded the Dog Psychology Course in 1999, many other organisations have jumped on the bandwagon with a variety of courses, some of which are very good but some are not worth the paper they are written on!  No single course can ever be perfect for everyone so you need to consider carefully just what each is offering. The sort of questions you should be asking are: how well established is the organisation (it takes a long time for a qualification to receive recognition)? What is the level and depth of knowledge provided?  If I want help is there prompt email or telephone feedback? Is there back up support both during and after the Course? How flexible is the studying - ie can I fit it around my life?  Can I get your money back if I decide it is not for me?  The Canine Behaviour Centre was the first and is still the only organisation to offer a a specialised canine Course which covers both the psychological theory and the practical details of how to set up a practice. But if you have any doubts as to whether it is right for you, don't hesitate to give us a call.  [Back to FAQ]

Will it be a problem that I don't have a great deal of time to study? Is there any help available while I am studying? And how do I get practical experience? One of the advantages of home study is that you work at your own pace in the time you have available. And yes, if you have any problems or queries you are very welcome to ring or email us.  We teach you the theoretical knowledge to be able to go out and help other people with their dogs but the practice of doing so is not something that anyone can teach.  Your success in this field will depend largely on your own social skills - ie the ability to get on with all sorts of people and, most important of all, to observe and listen.  Of course, it is daunting the first few times you go out but once you realise that yes, you can diagnose and treat so your confidence will grow!  [Back to FAQ]

How long does the course take?
This is an impossible question to answer because it depends on so many individual factors: time available, recency in studying, previous knowledge or experience - but a very rough guide would be not less than three months and not more than two years. But there are no deadlines so in reality you can take as long as you like.[Back to FAQ]

Who is the Course Director?
The Course Director is Deborah Bragg, a graduate member of the British Psychological Society and American Psychological Association who originally practised behaviour modification with emotionally disturbed adolescents. She started to work as a canine consultant in 1990 and she now sees dogs throughout the north as well as dogs visiting from other parts of the country. In addition to hands-on practical work and running the Course, Deborah lectures on Canine Psychology to organisations throughout the country. She has been involved with dogs for many years and has owned rescue dogs, cross breeds and pedigrees but is currently the owner of two working flat coated retrievers.  [Back to FAQ]

 Will I have to attend any examinations? There are no examinations to sit although there are Self Assessment Questions at the end of each Unit for you to monitor your own progress and the optional in-depth case study assessment (see below).[Back to FAQ]

When I finish the Course will I receive a recognised qualification and certificate?
 
Upon successful completion of the Course which involves an in-depth analysis of six case studies that we give you, you will receive a Diploma in Dog Psychology. The award of the Diploma means we, your Course team, believe that you have acquired sufficient knowledge and skills to practise as a qualified dog psychologist. We set a high standard, resulting in a qualification that is recognised and highly regarded worldwide. Application for the Diploma is entirely optional and there is an assessment fee (currently £55) payable at the time of application. [Back to FAQ]

After studying the Course, will I be able to treat other animals, apart from dogs?
To a certain extent, yes, in that that the underlying principals for behaviour modification are the same for most animals. The Course concentrates on the normal and abnormal behaviour of the dog so you will only be able to treat other animals, say horses, if you already possess a good knowledge of that species.
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Can I work from home as a dog psychologist, and does it have to be a full time occupation?
You can work from home , travelling to meet clients in their own homes – or work from a clinic or consulting room in your local veterinary surgery. The choice is entirely yours and the Course covers the pros and cons of the different options. It is also up to you whether you choose to work on a part-time basis, or make it a full time profession – depending on your personal circumstances and requirements.
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Is there likely to be plenty of work available?
Since an increasing number of owners are experiencing difficulties with their dogs, the answer is almost certainly yes! And while there seems to be a proliferation of pet behaviour counsellors, the majority are are practising psychological techniques – with no training or qualifications in psychology. In our opinion, not only is this unethical, it is also potentially dangerous for the dog.
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How do I enrol?
Simply Click Here to order securely online.  Or, if you prefer, you can enrol by post with a cheque made payable to the Canine Behaviour Centre.
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