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Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Dog Psychology course?
- By mentalcat [gb] Date 21.10.04 13:35 GMT
Hi guys,

Has anyone out there completed the Dog Psychology course (Home study) run by the Canine Behaviour Centre in Cumbria.  I'm thinking about doing it, but wondered if anyone could give me any feedback.

Cheers Ali :)
- By Lindsay Date 21.10.04 15:25 GMT
Hi Ali

It does depend on what you want to do it for; some are very lightweight and i would say, good for pet owners to give more idea of what makes their dog tick sort of thing, and basic behaviour. I may be totally wrong and will have a look if i can find a website, but i have a feeling this is one of the lightweight ones.


Edited to add: Just looked at the site; I am not keen on the fact that people who have done the course can supposedly go out there as behaviourists :(  It takes a lot more than that IMO. This was a course i looked at when i was first interested in starting in behaviour;  if i remember rightly i got the contents and sent it back because it was very flimsy.

Sorry to be negative! :(
- By mentalcat [gb] Date 21.10.04 16:32 GMT
Lindsay, thanks for the info,

I've done a fair amount of basic canine psychology anyway- I work as an instructor for pet dogs, but just wanted something extra to work towards.  I was interested in doing a COAPE course, but they're quite a lot of money, and as there is no recognised qualification at the end of it (or indeed at the end of any course!) I don't know if its worth it, although I've heard very good things about it.
  Even if I do complete a course, I wouldn't go out and be a behaviourist anyway, I'd leave it up to the experts with more practical experience, its just something that interests me and the more experience I get, the better off my customers will be.

Any further help greatly appreciated.
- By KymStubbs [gb] Date 20.08.05 13:34 GMT
Hi, I would like to do the diploma in COAPE and I wondered is it well known and is it worth it. Everything I have read seems fine, but I was just wondering if its all above board if you understand as I've only heard about this about 4months ago I just wondered if you could tell me any information about it and if its a good qualification to have to in the future become a behaviourist.
Thank you
Kym Stubbs
- By daisym [gb] Date 22.10.04 07:05 GMT
I've been doing the course for about 3 years. I wasn't very impressed with the content & consequently have lost interest in it although if I ever find the time I do hope to finish it. My concern was also that there is very little to the course & they say you can practice as a behaviourist at the end of it. I certainly wouldn't take my dog to anyone who has only done this course.
- By Lindsay Date 22.10.04 08:27 GMT
Well said DaisyM :)

I would suggest either COAPE or Compass Education then for your needs Ali  :)

I have a lot of respect for Peter Neville and the other directors of COAPE; in fact i emailed him recently and we had a discussion on dogs and emotions and whether one needs a degree to become a behaviourist. He was flying between Germanyand the US but still made time. He is of the opinion that many degree courses are padded out and that as long as you have the real core of understanding, hands on experience,  and a sound knowledge of the neurochemistry side of things you have a good foundation. Val Strong of course is involved with support/assistance dogs and has a whopping amount of experience.

I think either one would "stretch" you in a positive way. I'm doing a Compass animal behaviour course in order to get accepted at Southampton Uni for the degree course in behaviour, and it is very good and is pushing me; getting the grey matter churning <g>. They also do some good canine courses.

There is also the Animal Care College, which offer again lots of different courses. I did a basic course with them and was very happy. Oh - and Bishop Burton does an HNC I think.

- By dvnbiker [gb] Date 25.10.04 17:04 GMT
Hi there

I actually got the dog psychology course and wished I had never wasted my money on it.  They dont tell you that none of your work is marked via a tutor and you could basically just answer the questions and go out and do behaviour.  A qualified behaviourist friend of mine took a look and was astonished at the really bad content.  I now go along to all her visits so that I get practical experience.  I am also doing the compass course and finding it very rewarding and mentally stretching as well.  It is also reasonably priced and you can pay each module you do.  I also have a tutor who emails me and keeps up to date with me.  Well recommended!

- By daisym [gb] Date 27.10.04 08:19 GMT
There are questions at the end of the course which you have to answer & send in to be marked.  You get some sort of diploma if you pass.
- By dvnbiker [gb] Date 27.10.04 17:46 GMT
I know there are but really please steer clear of it.  There are much better courses at much better prices with better qualifications at the end of it.

- By Nikita [gb] Date 20.08.05 23:08 GMT
I agree, I looked at various coruses but in the end I just don't think these sort of courses are any good - I wouldn't feel comfortable giving people advice and potentially changing their dogs' lives/routines completely without a sound academic background at least.

I'm starting a foundation degree in canine behaviour and training next month - it's based at Bishop Burton College in Yorkshire.  3-year course, a mix of practical training of my own dogs to do various tasks and assignments, I have to travel up for a week each summer for assessments, but the rest is being sent to me, and I'll send work in to be marked.  I've received the prospectus for the first year, and it looks very thorough - half a dozen units on basic learning principles and so on, which are expanded on each year and other units added.  Also, although it's not much use to me as I can't travel there to do the course all the time, the college has full facilities - agility, flyball, tracking/scent detection trainers/facilities, and so on.  I am desperate to go!

Good luck with whatever route you go down!
- By Patty [gb] Date 21.08.05 07:33 GMT
Hi Ali,

I looked at several course and all seemed very Mickey Mouse to me. If you really want to learn properly about behaviour then go to Compass Education and then aim to get into the Southampton course. I am currently doing the Diploma in Southampton - hard, but very rewarding.

With regards to becoming a behaviourist, I am afraid that anyone can call themselves a behaviourist, whether they have the knowledge/practical experience or not. At least those people with the knowledge have shown dedication by spending plenty of money, time and effort in the aim to learn as much as possible to try to give the best service.

You will need the practical experience too, so you will need to seek the help of other trainers and behaviourist to help you in this department.

Best wishes,
Up Topic Dog Boards / General / Dog Psychology course?

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