This level 5 course is designed for anyone who needs to get hands-on with a dog in a situation that may be stressful for the dog and potentially difficult for the handler. It will teach you safe and empathic handling methods, whilst improving your understanding of canine communication.


The course is suitable for animal therapists including – chiropractors, physiotherapist, massage therapists, Reiki and energy healers, Tellington TTouch practitioners.

This course is also suitable for veterinarians and vet nurses, therapists, groomers, behaviourists, caretakers, rescue workers, caretakers, and everyone who wishes to find out more about how to handle dogs safely in any environment whilst enabling them to feel relaxed and comfortable.

ISCP Diploma in Safe Dog Handling for Therapists, Vet Staff and Groomers

Excluding VAT
  • UNIT 1. Introduction

    Reasons for taking this course

    What makes a good handler

    Creating a safe, welcoming environment for treatment

    UNIT 2. A brief history of dog training

    Dominance theory debunked; history of dog training

    UNIT 3. Dog learning and personality types

    Common dog training terms explained

    Classical conditioning

    Operant conditioning

    The four quadrants of learning

    Introverts and extroverts

    UNIT 4. Basic body language and communication skills

    Canine communication

    Calming signals

    Body language

    Our body language

    UNIT 5. How to build a rapport quickly

    Working with a scared dog

    Rapport building and safe practice

    When to refer your patient

    UNIT 6. Safety recap and assessment

    Toni Shelbourne, author and tutor of the course

    Toni Shelbourne has three decades of experience working with dogs and wild canids. She is a behaviourist (Full member of The Association of INTODogs and ICAN, the International Companion Animal Network), Tellington TTouch Practitioner, Real Dog Yoga Instructor and co-author of the HELP! My Dog … book series. She lives in Oxfordshire where she sees clients, runs workshops, and gives talks and webinars. For more information about Toni please visit

  • 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 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.