(Previously the Canine Behaviour and Training Instructor’s Diploma)

Upon completion of this course, each student will be able to competently train a dog or puppy to a basic standard of obedience and run effective and professional classes. This course is suitable for anyone who would like to offer puppy socialisation classes, open a dog school, or provide private training lessons. This course is run over a three-month period.

Students will be required to bring a dog to practical training sessions, either their own dog or one that they can work with outside of practical sessions. If the student does not have a suitable dog, then one will be provided. This college only supports the use of positive reinforcement.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will run live webinar (Zoom) lessons for theory and meet at the prescribed venue for the practical sessions with the dogs. The Virtual option is open to students who do not live near one of the venues and the practical exams are delivered via video submissions. The Virtual option requires that the student has a dog of their own to work with.

This course is developed as a foundation course and includes an introduction to problem behaviours and aggression as well as understanding challenges and how to deal with them.


The CBTI DIP requires the following criteria:

•You have some practical experience with dogs.
• You can commit to sessions over 3 months – see dates and times below.
• You can attend physical classes – see details below unless you join the Virtual course.
• You have additional time to read the subject-specific literature and prepare your assignments.
• You have a dog to work with on practical assignments at home.
• Your computer needs the following requirements: Windows 7-10 or Mac OS x, Internet connection – broadband or wireless (3g or 4g/LTE), speakers and microphone, webcam, or built-in.


Course Modules

  •  Introduction to developmental psychology
  • The newborn puppy
  • Associative learning in the newborn puppy
  • Reflex actions
  • Initial development in the newborn puppy
  • The puppy’s vision
  • The puppy’s hearing
  • Lapping behaviour
  • Early experiences with semi-solid foods
  • The Nature/Nurture debate
  • The behaviour of the mother
  • Natural selection
  • Elimination behaviour in the newborn puppy
  • The behaviour of the father
  • The importance of play in the newborn puppy
  • Why do puppies play
  • The play bow
  • The role of hormones
  • Social development
  • Canine senses
  • Artificial selection
  • What is an adult dog?
  • Sexual maturity
  • Physical maturity
  • Psychological maturity
  • The dog as a predator
  • Instincts
  • Types of aggressive behaviour
  • The dog as a social animal
  • The structure of a pack
  • Personality expression
  • Vocalisation
  • Posture
  • Scent marking
  • Burying food
  • The elderly dog

  • What is meant by body language?
  • Personal space
  • Various types of body language
  • Faces and their expressions
  • What the mouth can convey
  • Staring
  • Yawning
  • Body postures
  • The confident dog
  • The shy dog
  • Distraction signals
  • The stress signal
  • Play
  • The play bow and play dance
  • The older dog and play
  • Tail language
  • Positions of the tail
  • Wagging

  • Charles Darwin’s biological adaptations
  • The nature verses nurture debate of learning
  • Environmental influences on behaviour
  • Canine learning
  • The parental influences on learning
  • Critical and sensitive periods of the puppy’s development
  • Classical conditioning
  • Chaining
  • Instrumental or operant conditioning
  • Reward and punishment in learning
  • Reinforcers and punishment in learning
  • Primary and secondary reinforcers
  • Reinforcement schedules
  • Shaping behaviour
  • Sensitisation
  • Cultural transmission
  • The importance of play
  • Insight learning
  • Habituation

  • Why train dogs?
  • The senses and training
  • Schedules of reinforcement
  • Primary and secondary reinforcers revisited
  • Choice of primary reinforce
  • Benefits of using positive reinforcement
  • Putting the theory into practice
  • Basic training of house training, the recall, the sit, sit/stand, down, watch and progressing
    to heel with problems and solutions. Impulse
    control, prevention of aggression over food and
    toys, leash management. Leave-it, take-it, give-it.
  • Puppy socialisation
  • Running classes
  • The advantages and disadvantages of using Clicker Training
  • Summary of training principles
  • Trainer skills

  • Understanding what form and function are
  • Canine sight
  • Canine hearing
  • Canine olfaction
  • Canine taste
  • Canine touch
  • How different breeds originated
  • The difference between natural selection and artificial selection
  • Hound Group
  • Terrier Group
  • Gundog Group
  • Utility Group
  • Toy Group
  • Working Group
  • Pastoral Group

  • The thinking behind this module is to equip
    students with the ability to provide dogs with
    the required social environment to avoid common

  • Introduction to canine aggression
  • Defining aggression in human terms
  • Social communication
  • Can aggression be thought of as a natural and/or beneficial behaviour?
  • Selective breeding and its influence on behaviour
  • Nature /Nurture Debate
  • Group dynamics
  • Social behaviour
  • The dog’s expressive body language
  • The need for understanding body language
  • Stress levels contributing to aggression
  • Calming signals and displacement behaviour
  • Are there any circumstances where aggression is appropriate?


Course Details:
Venue: Dates: Times: Address:
 Cape Town Sep: 10,17,24
Oct: 8,15,22
Nov: 5,12,19


Saturday 2pm to 5pm


Webinar or Vista Nova Highschool, Loerie Ave, Pinelands, Cape Town, 7405

Johannesburg East

Sep: 10,17,24

Oct: 8,15,22

Nov: 5,12,19

Saturday 1pm-4pm Webinar or The Links Bridge Club, 147 10th Street, Linksfield, 2192


Johannesburg West


Oct: 8,15,22

Nov: 8,15,22

Nov: 5,12,19


Saturday 9am to 12pm Plot 294, Sunrise Road, Honeydew, Roodepoort, 2170
Durban Sep: 10,17,24
Oct: 8,15,22
Nov: 5,12,19
Saturday 2pm – 5pm  Kloof Scout Hall, 13 Buckingham Road, Kloof, Durban, 3610
Virtual  Sep: 10,17,24
Oct: 8,15,22
Nov: 5,12,19
Saturday 2pm- 5pm Webinar


8 Module Course – intensive study over 3 months.

Students are assessed on weekly assignments, 2 projects and a practical obedience exam at the end of the course. Every module must be passed as well as the practical examination to gain the diploma. We require strict compliance with attendance of students to qualify for the diploma at the end of the course.

We require strict compliance with attendance of students to
qualify for the diploma at the end of the course.


R9660 (Practical course)

or R8970 (Virtual) VAT Inclusive


Payment options:

Upfront for the whole course


Instalment option – (Practical course)

-R1000.00 non-refundable booking fee is required up front to confirm your booking when registering

-R4330.00 paid by 1 September 2022

-R4330.00 paid by 1 October 2022

Installment option – (Virtual course)

-R1000.00 non-refundable booking fee is required up front to confirm your booking when registering

-R3985.00 paid by 1 September 2022

-R3985.00 paid by 1 October 2022


Download Progressive Dog Trainer Diploma Enrolment Form



Please note that all Covid-19 Prevention and Mitigation protocols will be strictly adhered to.

You will be required to sign a Covid-19 register and allow us to take your temperature. You will be required to always wear a mask and to sanitize upon entering and exiting. If you are showing any symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has Covid-19 you will not be allowed to join at that time. We will not be offering any refreshments, please bring your own. We are able to run this course up to Lockdown level 3.

Contact: 083 407 1316 / 010 006 0193





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