The IMDT For Today's Dog Trainers & Behaviourists

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LEVEL FIVE. 12 months. Analysis And Application

We are very pleased to confirm that all accredited IMDT distance learning courses can now be paid for via monthly instalments. The payment plans mean that you can book and start your... [ Read more ]

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We are very pleased to confirm that all accredited IMDT distance learning courses can now be paid for via monthly instalments. The payment plans mean that you can book and start your course now, but can spread the payments over a more comfortable period of time.
To arrange, click the red 'Pay By Instalments' button

Understanding and Working with Canine Behaviour – Analysis & Application

Start Date: This Level 5 course can now be booked and started anytime!
No need to be tied to a specific 'term' time.

You can book today, and state on the booking form when you'd like to actually commence your first unit

This course includes recorded webinars tro support your learning:-
  • Understanding Critical Analysis
  • Details Tutorials
  • Case Studies 
Our Level 5 course is supported with several detailed webinars issued throughout the course. These are in lecture format, requiring a standard computer/laptop:
Level 5 Unit 1 
Critical Analysis – Effective approach to research and referencing; when to cite and how to layout source citation, reading scientific papers with a critical eye to avoid taking information at face value.
Level 5 Webinar 1 (Part 1) – Expansion on study skills, building on Critical Analysis webinar including matching answers to questions, word counts, plagiarism, research, marking criteria and resubmission policy. Includes introduction to final Case Study in Unit 5, outlining the type of cases and information required for the study allowing time to prepare.
Includes overview of basic terminology used throughout course and underlying mechanisms behind reinforcement, function of behaviour, motivation, and emotional responses.
Level 5 Unit 1 Webinar 1 (Part 2)
Expansion on concepts and processes that motivate and reinforce behavioural responses, detailed overviews of breed, predatory motor patterns and emotional circuits and their effect not only on behaviour but dog’s mental wellbeing. Effect of chronic stress, anxiety and arousal on level and intensity of behavioural response and effects on learning capabilities.
Level 5 Unit 2
Includes brain chemistry, pharmacology, the law, and approaching vets; stereotypical behaviour and beginning to work with dogs displaying these issues.
Level 5 Unit 4
Supports Unit 5 case study questions and includes segments on Noise Sensitivity and Phobias, Aggressive Responses and Separation Issues and is designed to analyse and consider the variables that may be present within these complex issues.

Level 5 Accredited with OCN London
Completion of this Level 5 course results in the successful candidate being offered IMDTB membership and listed as a Behaviourist on our directory, gaining permission to use the IMDTB logo and title for all marketing material.

The course covers an in-depth analysis of behaviour modification, the science of behaviour, learning theory, functional assessment, emotions, the brain and how, when everything is put together behaviours, whether adaptive or maladaptive, can affect the canine-human relationship. The course then goes on to explore how we can modify these behaviours, change the dog’s perception and emotional responses, and build trust and understanding, by working in close conjunction with the dog’s owners and carers.
The course develops through five Units over 12 months; the final Unit being an in-depth case study of the students choosing, covering all aspects of the preceding Units and focussing on both the canine and human aspects of behaviour modification and learning.
Areas covered include:

The intricacies of canine body language and posture

  • Analysis of the meaning of different body postures in different contexts
  • Meanings of vocalisations and the emotions ascribed to them
  • How misinterpretation can lead to behaviour problems
  • How misinterpretation can lead to a breakdown in the dog-human relationship

The effects of interactions between dogs and other animals on body language and posture

  • Context and its effects on body language, posture and emotion
  • How body language, posture and emotions can be affected by different types of people

Emotions, emotional circuits and their effects on behaviour and behavioural responses in dogs

  • Emotional circuits, how they work, how they affect motivation and reinforcement of behaviour
  • How these circuits can aid in gaining positive emotional responses within the behaviour modification plan
  • The effects of psycho-pharmacology on the emotional circuits and thus behaviour and approaches to modifying it
  • Environment and social relationships effects on emotional responses towards other animals

The effects of disease, illness and pain on behaviour in dogs

  • How medical issues can affect behaviour
  • How certain medications can affect behaviour
  • The effects of pain on behavioural responses

Motivation and reinforcement and how they effect the promotion of successful behaviour modification

  • Critical analysis of motivation and reinforcement in relation to specific behaviour responses
  • The effects of external environments, managing, adapting and the effects on welfare and mental wellbeing
  • How similar expression of behaviour might not indicate the same emotional responses
  • Effects of owner’s personality and emotional responses on behaviour modification processes
  • The effect of owner’s perceptions, beliefs and requirements on behaviour modification processes
  • Increasing compliance and motivation for owners within behaviour modification processes

Intricacies of behaviour modification, analysis, and modification of approaches to achieve compliance and progress

  • Production of behaviour modification plans for at least two case studies
  • Detailed explanation of learning theory and the feasibility of own plans
  • Potential sources of conflict with owners
  • Potential sources of conflict between owners
  • Potential pitfalls in relation to safety and the learning process
  • Analysis of own plans highlighting advantages over other potential approaches
  • Analysing own plans highlighting areas that could be adapted to improve the potential effects on behaviour change

Understand how to plan, review and modify behaviour in relation to your own case study

  • Produce a detailed analysis of a specific case study and analyse the aetiology of the behaviour issues described
  • Include analysis on the effects of the environment, social relationships, motivation and reinforcement on specific behaviour problems
  • Analyse the behaviour issues and explain in detail how emotional circuits could be affecting the dog’s responses
  • Produce a concise and precise behaviour modification plan
  • Produce client and vet reports relating to the behaviour issues and your own modification plan

page1image3694976Analysis and Application – Recorded Webinarspage1image3696016page1image904032

These webinar sessions are designed to supplement the correspondence parts of the course by giving in depth explanations and expanding on areas covered in the correspondence units. 

  • Detailed Tutorials
    Case studies 

  • Stereotypical behaviour – overview of causes, breed, function vs malfunction, adaptative vs. maladaptive behaviour and displacement
    Resource Guarding – overview of causes, definitions, reinforcement, motivation and function, approaching behaviour modification
    Learning Theory for real life situations, positives and pitfalls from our perspective
    Neurotransmitters and neurons – an overview and discussionSeparation Related Disorders – overview, pertinent and valuable points from the dogs perspective

    Noise Sensitivities – causes, emotions, context and protocols
    Noise Sensitivity – anxiety, stress and learning; what can we do to help?

How to study – reading and understanding questions, referencing, structure and research techniquespage1image3690400page1image2952016page1image3691024page1image3691232

Aggression – distance increasing behaviour – causes, perception, motivation, reinforcement & function

Aggression – stress, anxiety and emotional circuitsNeutering and spaying – effects on behaviour?
Case study overviewpage2image3678336page2image2895456page2image3698096page2image3698304



It is expected that the course will require approximately 12 hours study, research and writing per week.

‘This course is suitable for students that have studied to at least Level 4 and to those that are intending to or are already carrying out visits to client’s properties for behaviour modification, or in-depth training consultations. Students will need a solid grounding in Learning Theory and the training process and be able to demonstrate a competent level of practical training skills

The course is designed to be testing, requires commitment and precision alongside good studying processes. If you would like to discuss the requirements of this course, please email [email protected] and one of the tutors will contact you.
The course is accredited by OCN London and falls within their guidelines for assessment.’
Upon successful completion of your Level 5 IMDTB course, you will be offered IMDTB Membership and have the opportunity to be listed on the IMDT Behaviourist directory.

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Course Feedback


The Level 5 behaviourist course was really in depth and challenging and has taught me so much! When I passed I felt a massive sense of achievement. You do already need to have a strong background working with dogs with behavioural issues as well as training experience and knowledge of dog body language and learning theory. The tutors are really helpful, supportive and responsive. I have developed so much since enrolling on this course and I feel much more confident as a trainer too. I would 100% recommend this course to anyone who wants to develop professionally.

Holly Moran


This is probably the most comprehensive behaviour course I have ever done, with any organisation. When I did my 2, and 4 dayer with imdt, and then my assessment, back pre-covid, then even my level 4, I never in a million years thought I would be taking this course, let alone passing it. It is not easy, and you do need to spend time investigating answers, and researching, but oh boy, it's worth it!. It got me looking in books I would never have read (but are amazing!), and researching papers to back up my answers, and the confidence I have gained has allowed me to progress in my teaching, classes and particularly my 1-2-1's in leaps and bounds. I now happily tell people I am a canine behaviourist with confidence. This course is definitely a real insight into understanding dog behaviour, and quite a considerable step up from level 4, (but not unrealistic). It really looks closely at how to communicate with clients to fully appreciate their issues, whilst understanding and meeting the needs of the individual dog.The case study is a very important part of this course, but help is readily available to ensure it is delivered in the right way, and there is plenty of assistance in how to do it.I am rubbish with computers, and my tutors were super patient and helpful when I struggled with technical difficulties and IT issues. They were also lovely and approachable when I needed help. Any queries were dealt with promptly and efficiently by email and I never had cause to follow up a question. This course is also really unique in the skills it develops, and the knowledge I have gained from medical conditions, vet communication and understanding pharmceuticals has been invaluable. I honestly can't praise this course, and the tutors enough.

Samantha Hayward


I loved the learning and the challenge, even though I've been training dogs for very many years I love that there's always something else to learn. The course is very well put together with excellent reference books, webinars and great support if you need it. I wasn't sure about signing up as it was a long time since I studied but it was worth the huge sense of achievement when I finished it.



I highly recommend this course! I found it quite challenging as it requires precision and attention to detail, however the information in the units is very well put together and the webinars are excellent! I was hesitant about signing up as I'd never studied at this level before but after completing the level 4 course I decided to go for it! A lot of time researching and writing but it was well worth it - I've learnt so much in the process and the feedback from the tutors was invaluable! Thank you Dave :-)



Passing this exam and becoming an IMDTB member was the best Christmas present I could receive. I want to thank you and the IMDT team for being so attentive, supportive, and helpful. If it wasn't so, achieving this goal would have been impossible. I learned so much from this course and your comments, which were always extraordinarily concise and enlightening throughout the Units, making me evolve in the right direction.



I honestly can not say thank you enough for your support throughout the course. The tutor notes made were so helpful and everything I learned in all of the units I was able to put together to use throughout my case study. I had moments where I thought it was too difficult but Dave, Lin and the tutor helped me push through and cross the finish line and now I am so so happy I did. I learnt a lot from the case study and will make a huge difference going forward in my approach. I definitely have grown with my knowledge with all your feedback and grown as a better student.

A grateful Dog Behaviourist!


The course was definately a challenge but I learnt so much along the while journey and when I finished was such a feeling of accomplishment as I had never done any education of this level so it was a learning curve. I can't thank the tutors enough for their constructive feedback which I believe saw me improve through each unit . I would recommend for anyone wanting to improve their knowledge and learn more about how's and whys to sign up . IMDTB are there to support you and there are many one day workshops and webinars which can support this course too.



An incredible course and even more amazing support given throughout. The flexibility provided to meet the needs of the individual completing it was brilliant, I couldn't have asked for more.



I thoroughly enjoyed the course and I found it really useful. I took a look away from the course and although it has been a few years since I last did any real studying the tutors were extremely helpful along the way. It was a challenge I wont pretend otherwise but I have found it really rewarding. If you want to help owners with their dogs then this course is the one for you.



I've completed the level 4 and 5 behaviour courses and really enjoyed both years. I’ve never studied to such a higher academic level before, it was hard work but very rewarding.I recommend this course to anyone who wants an in-depth understanding of why dogs behave the way they do and how to help owners to understand their dogs.



I highly recommend this course! I have studied a degree in canine studies, done various courses with other providers and none match up to this one. Having completed the course not only do I understand dog behavioural problems better I have the confidence in writing modification plans. Thank you team for putting such a great course together.



I would thoroughly recommend this course. It was demanding and intense but I really enjoyed all the research required to get a fuller understanding of behaviour. Feedback from the tutors was worth its weight in gold. I was hesitant about doing the course as recently retired but have no regrets now.



After many years working within the industry I decided it was time to put a qualification to my experience. The course didn't disapoint infact despite many years in the field the course opened up my mind and challenged my views. I learnt so much from this course and feedback from the Tutor is very helpful. This course was interesting and challenging well worth doing.

Melanie Barker


This in an intense course during which you will learn more than you could ever imagine. The tutor feedback is second to none and the combination of written units, webinars and independent research keeps the course varied and interesting. Highly recommended.



The course was really informative and interesting stretching me to achieve my absolute best. The tutor gives really detailed feedback so you can improve and learn the skills to become a better behaviourist. Highly recommended!!



I highly recommend this course. I found it demanding, fascinating and hugely rewarding. I learnt so much. The course notes are great and the Tutor's comments on completed work are so valuable.



I finished the course and it was, without a doubt, one of the best trainings I've done. It requires work, dedication, study, and learning is enormous. One of the aspects that I appreciated the most was the scientific foundation and the requirement of referencing the entire work. I highly recommend!

Daniel Carvalho


I have learned more about dogs in the last 12 months of doing this course than I have in a lifetime! Is it challenging? Yes! Is it worth it? Absolutely! For anyone who is on the fence about this course, just do it! Thanks Dave for the journey, it’s been…emotional ;-)

Helen Harris


This course is very case study orientated which allows you to explore various behaviour issues in great detail. I really enjoyed how it got me to read so many journal articles and piece together knowledge whilst also learning new things. The final case study unit really gets you analysing and evaluating your own practice. I feel I have learnt a lot from this course, and whilst challenging I've enjoyed it too. I've done another Level 5 canine behaviour course elsewhere but this course is so much more detailed and really dives deep into the science behind canine behaviour.

Nathalie Yates


I have just finished the IMDTB course and honestly cannot recommend it enough. Despite having a degree in Behaviour and 10 years practical experience this course has taught me I really didn't know much at all. I used to have the worst imposter syndrome and struggled to sleep the night before training sessions. Since completing this I now feel incredibly confident in my abilities as I have a deep understanding of the causes of behavioural issues whereas before it was just a guessing game. If you want to up your behaviour game I would really recommend doing this course, you will learn an immense amount and it's also really enjoyable too

Rachael Claire


Challenging, but so interesting, I learned more that I could have imagined in this year’s course. Tutor support is excellent and very accessible. I would highly recommend to anyone with a thirst for learning about canine behaviour.

Natalie Sargent


I learnt so much whilst doing this course . It all began to make sense and I found myself wanting to dig deeper into the science. Dave is very supportive and is always there when you get stuck. I feel so much more confident as a trainer now as I have a better idea about the emotions behind the behaviour and how to deal with it.



I’d highly recommend this very thorough course. I learned a great deal and I also gained a lot of confidence in my own behaviour work. The tutor is excellent, he’s very encouraging and he constantly shares his knowledge, giving very helpful, detailed feedback on each unit.

Kare Maher


I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to study behaviour and to better understand dogs - it opened my eyes to how unique and individual each and every dog is, and as a school drop out, I was thrilled at how fascinated I was by the scientific aspect of the course. Dave Brice is an excellent tutor. I can't fault the course.

Laura Glover


This course was very insightful, challenging and a lot of hard work. I feel a great sense of reward and achievement by passing. I have not only expanded my knowledge in behaviour , but have also grown confidence in my skills.



This course was interesting and challenging and I am proud to say I have obtained this qualification. The tutor was great and I can honestly say the feedback on the assignments was more detailed than any I had had in any of the courses I have done anywhere. Getting assignments back was the best learning experience.

Tersia Kock

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