Fee: £135 per module.


The level 6 Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour course is for students who have already successfully completed at least a level 4 course in dog behaviour, whether with the ISCP or with another recognised, reputable education provider.


We will need to see a copy of your current qualifications when you enrol on this course. The Advanced Diploma course explains the theories that underlie behaviour and offers students the knowledge and skills to put these theories into practice in their work with dogs and their caregivers.


The modules include links to private discussions with eminent scientists which were recorded specifically for this course. Also included are links to papers, videos and webinars that will further deepen understanding. Denise O’Moore designed graphics exclusively for this course.


The course involves around 360 hours of study and the time limit for completion is 2 years from the date of enrolment. On successful completion of the full course, graduates can use the title Advanced Canine Behaviour Practitioner.

ISCP Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour – Pay by Module

Excluding VAT
  • Authors and Contributors

    Dale McLelland (main author)

    Marco Adda (author of Module 1 and additional video discussion in Module 1)

    Dr. Clive Wynne (video discussion module 5)

    Natalie McLelland (co-author of Module 6)

    Dr. Marc Bekoff (video discussion, Module 7)

    Dr. Franklin McMillan (video discussion Module 8)

    Kaye Scott (contributor, Module 8)

    Dr. Simon Gadbois (video discussion module 10)

    Janice Macleod (author of Module 11)

    Denise O’Moore (Mighty Dog Graphics images, Modules 3 and 10)


    Module 1. Domestication. Author: Marco Adda



    Domestication frame

    A complex and significant topic

    Past-Long term: Various perspectives on dog domestication

    Individual-based selection

    Population-based selection

    Human-dog co-evolution

    Human group selection

    Cultural-technological evolution

    A long-term alliance

    Short – recent domestication

    Recent breed dogs

    Individual domestication

    Diet and starches

    The Belyaev foxes experiment

    Consequences of domestication

    A final note for professionals

    Recorded video discussion between Marco Adda, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma


    Module 2. Social Interactions and Communication

    Social brain network

    Interspecies communication

    Canine communication






    Tail wagging


    Facial expressions




    Conversations between dogs

    One behaviour, two different meanings

    Meeting novel dogs

    Aggressive responses

    Body language


    Module 3. Learning theory

    Learning in dogs

    Associative learning

    Innate behaviours

    Classical and operant conditioning

    Principles of behaviour

    The four quadrants and reinforcement



    Habituation and socialisation

    Counterconditioning and desensitisation




    Concept learning

    Learning with humans

    Different needs

    Bond and connection

    Reading human intentions

    Two-way communication


    Module 4. Neuroscience, the senses, and emotions

    Anatomy and physiology of the brain

    The limbic system

    The autonomic nervous system

    Neuron anatomy

    Synaptic transmission

    The skull

    Neurobiology of the senses

    Emotions and feelings

    What are emotions?

    Trauma and stress

    Stress versus trauma

    Types of trauma

    Recorded video discussion between Dr. Franklin McMillan, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma



    Module 5. Emotions

    Freedom to express natural behaviours

    How does it feel?

    Primary and secondary emotions


    Domestic dogs

    Obedience and unequal power


    Emotion and motivation


    Stereotypical behaviours

    Recorded video discussion between Dr. Clive Wynne, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma



    Module 6. Attachment theory. Co-authors: Natalie McLelland, Dale McLelland

    Part 1: Attachment theory in human children

    History of attachment theory

    Attachment theory and development

    Phases of attachment

    Attachment styles

    Human development: the brain

    Theories of childhood development

    Factors impacting on attachment and development

    Supporting attachment and development


    Part 2: Linking human attachment theories to dogs

    Key development stages in dogs: puppy, adolescent, adult, geriatric/senior


    Module 7. Canine play, resilience and intelligence

    What is play?

    The importance of play

    Dog to dog play


    Play indicators and invitations


    Crouch down

    Parading or possession

    Rough and tumble

    Play deficits

    Puppy play

    Puppy and adult play

    Adult play

    Videos of adult dog interactions

    Object play

    Play between dogs and humans

    Theory of mind




    Recorded video discussion between Dr. Marc Bekoff, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma


    Module 8. Rescue and Rehoming

    Adoption of overseas dogs

    Case study 1

    Establishing routines

    Grief and loss

    Social pain and isolation

    Canine Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    Dogs in rescue environments

    Choices and caregiver matching

    Reasons for choosing to rehome a dog

    Case study 2

    Case study 3

    Case study 4

    Working together - best practice (Kaye Scott, MAPDT)

    Common behavioural concerns

    Recorded video discussion between Dr. Franklin McMillan, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma


    Module 9. Communication and change management

    The way that we think

    Motivational interviewing

    Listening skills

    Body language


    Change management

    Lean processes

    Learning styles


    Module 10. Aggressive Behaviours in dogs

    What is aggression and aggressive behaviour?

    Genetics and breed

    Genetic hitchhiking

    Categories of aggressive behaviours

    Pain aggression

    Food-related aggression

    Toy or possessive aggression

    Territorial aggression

    Inter-dog aggression

    Fear aggression

    Redirected aggression

    Predatory aggression

    Play aggression

    Idiopathic aggression

    Maternal aggression

    Impulse control aggression

    Offensive and defensive aggression

    Behavioural traits


    Control and choice

    Dangerous Dogs Act (UK)

    Contributing factors


    Trigger stacking



    Avoiding incidents


    Human behaviours

    Treatment plans

    Recorded video discussion between Dr. Simon Gadbois, Dale McLelland and Lisa Tenzin-Dolma

    Contributor: Denise O’Moore: graphic


    Module 11. Working collaboratively. Author: Janice Macleod

    Seeking veterinary advice, collaboration between professionals

    Extrinsic environmental factors

    Intrinsic physiological factors

    Challenges for veterinary surgeons when examining dogs

    Possible causes of behaviour changes

    Medical tests and collaboration between professionals

    Low stress handling

    Generalised medical differentials


    Module 12. Dissertation

    Choosing your subject and submitting a proposal


    A stepwise approach using project management

    Ethical considerations

    Structure and layout



    Word count

  • Refunds: There is an optional 14 day cooling off period during which you can ask for a refund on your course fee. However, as the course files are sent electronically, this means we would need to delay sending the course files until after the 14 day period is over. If you wish to take advantage of a cooling off period please send an email to our secretary at secretary@theiscp.com to inform her of your decision, immediately after purchasing. If you do not email the secretary we will assume that you have chosen to receive the files immediately and that you are happy to waive your right to a 14 day cooling off period and the option of a refund. Our secretary will send your files as soon as she receives your form if you have chosen to start the course immediately.