BHARCS Applied Canine Behaviour & Ethology Diploma
This is our rigorous canine behaviour diploma that empowers you with all the education, coaching, practice, support and preparation you will need in your career working with dogs. BACBED is a UK Level 4 Diploma, accredited by Laser Learning Awards at 50 credits. (Read more).
Topics that we will cover include, but are not limited to the following :
Basics of physiology and ethology of dogs : Our education is based primarily on work of Norwegian Canine Ethology expert, Turid Rugass. Turid's concepts advocate bringing balance to a dog's body and mind and then relying on the dog's cognitive abilities to communicate and problem solve. In this module, students will gain a basic understanding of the physiology of stress and the impact of emotions and activities on the dog's body and mind. Students will be introduced to simple ethological study through primary and secondary research. The module also includes practical tasks, to introduce students to the idea of practical self learning and how to self critique their work. This is to ensure that students continue growing well after our education programs.
Dog cognitive ethology & zoosemiotics : Zoosemiotics is the study of communication in animals. In this module students will learn about how dogs think and communicate. Students will learn not only theoretical aspects of these topics, but will review existing research in the area and conduct several small ethological studies of their own. They will learn how to objectively document behaviour and mathematically analyse it. Students will be encouraged to work with dogs they don't know, ones that are not trained or street dogs to help them get better at understanding and using signals. The unit includes plenty of guided practical exercises which students will complete, not just with the help of their tutor, but also peers.
Biosociopsychology of dogs : Physical health impacts behaviour, which impacts mental health and mental health, in turn, impacts physical health. Social connection impacts both, in social animals. This is true for both humans and dogs. Dogs, however, are very stoic and do not show discomfort easily. In addition, there is the invisible impact of micro stressors. It is a known fact that humans impact animals, increasing micro & macro stressors in their lives and sadly this is true of companion dogs too. Here we dive deeper into the topic of physiological impact of chronic stress on a dog’s body, as well as the impact of stress and health on a dog's behaviour. Students learn to look for signs of chronic stress, poor health and imbalance in movement, considering both physical and behavioural indicators. Students will conduct a few studies to help them understand these concepts thoroughly. It is a heavy topic, but this holistic approach is what sets BHARCS apart.
Application & limitations of behaviourism : The actual act of training a dog is a very small part of our education system. By the time students are done, it is unlikely that they will see the need to train much. So we take a slightly different approach, of questioning classical training tools (behaviourism). Students will start out by learning about the different types of training, key terminology of behaviorism and techniques used. They will taking a closer look their history, purpose, utility and most importantly, their limitations. Students will be conducting some studies to help them understand the impact of these tools on dogs. Students will also be developing alternatives, to tackle limitation of these tools.
Hands-on skills when working with dogs: We are particularly proud of our practicals. Although the entire diploma is online, there is no dearth of practical exercises. We have our own unique way of not only teaching our students practical skills, but also pushing them to improve their newly learned skills. But what we are particularly proud of, is the structure. Students are put on a path of constant learning and improvement, so they continue to improve their practical skills, well after they have completed our course. We team students up with each other, to help them through practicals, a support structure that we hope they will use for the rest of their lives. We look at practical skills as an art, and the more students practise, the better they get, all through their professional lives. That is what we are setting them up for.
Ethics of working with dogs & setting up a small business: Dogs are unique animals in that their lives are constantly impacted by the humans around. Anyone who wishes to be a change agent in a dog’s life, must therefore, know how to influence people. Influencing people could be via the conversations we have with them or the educational and marketing tools we use. While BHARCS students are taught how to do this, we maintain a strong emphasis on putting the welfare of the animals we work with ahead of all other considerations. BHARCS graduates are expected to learn to primarily be advocates for the animals they work with, be it companion animals, shelter animals or free ranging animals. This unit not only covers all the theoretical aspects of ethics and business set up, but also guides students through defining ethics, business policies & processes, marketing & communication strategies and branding. In addition, there will be plenty of opportunity for case studies & research. Basically, once you are done with this unit, all that is left to do is to start working with dogs, be it consultations, research, education or rescue.
NOTE: These online courses are ONLY available for students who have completed Canine Essential 101. Contact the office to apply.
If you have questions on student life, the type of learning involved or guidance provided, the classroom experiences or career prospects, who better to ask than the seniors. We are eager to welcome you.
- The BHARCS Student Community