Have you ever wondered why your dog sometimes eats grass? Or wished you could communicate with your pet more easily? We've done a round-up of online courses for dog owners who want to learn more about their pets.
Introductory level courses are helpful for learning the basics, and giving you a taste for the subject. The Driving with Dogs team have taken several of the entry level courses from the Centre of Excellence and we all learned new skills and knowledge about our dogs. The Centre of Excellence specialise in introductory courses and you can work entirely at your own speed and with no time limits. The courses they offer to dog owners include the canine basics, as well as introductions to holistic health and alternative therapies for dogs including Animal Reiki, and some very dog centred courses on Herbalism and Zoopharmacognosy - this tells you about the different herbs and grasses which pets use for self-medication. For the full range of dog-related courses check out the Centre of Excellence course guide.
The British College of Canine Studies is a long-established course provider and they offer online courses for pet owners up to Level 4 and also professional qualifications for dog groomers, dog walkers and pet sitters. We particularly like their Dog Law Certificate and online accredited Pet First Aid certificate. BCCS also offer a certificate in Dogs and Children, which we haven't done but this sounds like a useful guide for new parents with pups.
Online courses leading to professional qualifications are available from Animal Courses Direct. These are Level 2 and higher courses up to Level 6 and most have a time limit for completion. You can use these qualifications at Level 3 and above for CPD credits and professional accreditation. Animal Courses Direct are regulated by Ofqual and Defra Animal Activity Licencing (AAL) Regulation requirement. Some examples of the courses on offer are: Dog Grooming, Kennels and Cattery Management, Veterinary Receptionist, Veterinary Nursing, Canine Welfare and also Pet and Wildlife Photography.
Just a word of caution though before you start looking for courses. We found a number of really good course providers with external UK validation and clear explanations about the level and purpose, price and outcome of the programmes on offer. All the courses mentioned above are from these recognised and established organisations. Social media channels in particular carry advertisements for many private dog training establishments and we noticed that some of these courses offer no external validation process or recognised learning outcomes or qualifications. Before parting with any money always check for Trustpilot reviews, the accrediting bodies and do ask your vet or dog trainer for advice too.