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Understanding Our Canine Companions - Certificate

Saturday May 30, 2015

Course Overview

The Train with Kindness method of dog training has been developed by Alex Petrilli in conjunction with the DSPCA over a number of years. This course provides a twelve week introduction to this and other theories of training, building on an understanding of canine physical and mental make-up. Students are encouraged to develop a critical viewpoint and to explore the process from theory to implementation. The "CANINE COMPANIONS - CERTIFICATE" course emphasises the early avoidance of problems and discusses some of the techniques to deal with common day-to- day issues. There will be a component of practical work where the implementation of these theories will be explored.


Fee: €500

Duration: 12 weeks, 2 hour per week + 6 hour Workshops

Practical Session: Two 3 hour Workshops

Assessment: Combination of theoretical and practical

Prerequisites: None

Award: DSPCA Certificate

Start Date: Thursday, 17th September, 2015 (7:00pm-9:00pm)

End Date: Thursday, 10th December, 2015


  1. Study Skills

  2. Evolution/History

  3. Physiology

  4. Canine Communication

  5. Canine Learning

  6. Training Methods

  7. Increasing Interaction

  8. Equipment

  9. Health

  10. Nature vs Nurture


  • DSPCA, Mount Venus Road, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16



This course aims to give a full introductory overview of the modern canine looking at such topics as core physiology, evolution and canine learning theory. Once we have a clearer picture of what makes our dogs tick, we move into covering topics such as canine communication and models of behaviour. Finally, we build on this foundation to compare and contrast the most current fore- runners in canine training theories; equipment usage; and basic training following the work of such trainers as Alex Petrilli (MSc), Jean Donaldson and Dr. Ian Dunbar. All of our programmes begin with a module discussing learning and study skills that outlines how best to follow our courses but also provides a re-introduction to those that have been out of the education scene for some time.


The programme consists of a number of assessment types. Each module will be assessed via one of the following: Multiple Choice Quizzes (MCQs); short written discussion; short-answer exam; examinations and analysis of case studies; and practical examina- tions. Each component of assessment must be passed to com- plete the programme. The specific requirements for each piece of assessment will be clearly marked on the module descriptor. While there is rigorous assessment throughout this course, we want you to succeed. There will always be an instructor available to help with any questions or worries you have as you go through this course, and the material has been designed to be as clear and thorough as possible.

Career Opportunities

This programme is designed as a short introduction with only a small practical component. It is not sufficient in isolation to become a dog trainer or behaviourist. It does, however provide a solid grounding to allow the learner to make decisions on whether or not to pursue such a career or to advance to our internship programme, along with being a foundation module for other courses currently in development.



Thursday 17th September 2015 - Thursday 10th December 2015

12 Weeks (Every Thursday 7:00pm - 9:00pm) + two 3 hour workshop  - €500.00

DSPCA, Mount Venus Rd, Rathfarnham, Map



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