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You Can Make a Difference in the lives of dogs - Start Training to Become a Canine Mental Health Professional Today!

New Evidence - New Approach

The old way of working with dogs through an obedience model only focuses on the behaviour of dogs. It doesn't celebrate individuality, or consider what the behaviour communicates and how a dog feels. Many people similarly approach obedience training as they would if they were installing software on a computer. They believe that they can install "good behaviour" in their dog without considering if that behaviour is important or meaningful to the dog. However, dogs do not come into this world with a blank slate waiting to be programmed by a human. Dogs are thinking, feeling, intelligent beings who deserve to be raised and valued as precious members of the family. Obedience training is not the solution to canine behaviour problems. Meeting their needs is. 

Join the Movement

There's no doubt about it, the canine industry is going through an exciting evolution within the behaviour professional realm. You're probably here because you're interested in working with dogs in a professional capacity. Maybe you were thinking about becoming a dog trainer or a canine behaviour consultant. These are amazing and fulfilling careers, but there is a new option for those who want to help dogs live their best life. 

You could start training to become a canine development coach and positively impact the lives of dogs and their families by earning a Certificate in Applied Canine Development Sciences! ACDS is the only course combining elements of applied ethology, behaviour learning theories, cognitive learning theories and neurobiology with an intuitive connection to provide graduates with the skills and knowledge to support clients in a way not currently offered in the dog behaviour industry. 

The Certificate in Applied Canine Development Sciences offers accelerated, online training for an entry-level career in the canine mental health & behaviour field. The program consists of 3 parts and 12 courses and can be completed in just one year. Upon completing all requirements for this program, you'll earn the Registered Canine Development Coach (RCDC) designation. 

Canine Development Coaches play an important role in supporting families with new adoptions of puppies or adult dogs to help them start on a meaningful journey full of connection and cooperation. The RCDC designation signifies that you are committed to a compassionate, fear and pain-free program for behaviour support that seeks to improve a dog's mental and emotional health and increase the quality of their life, not just change their behaviour. 

The Applied Canine Development Sciences program follows an integrative approach to raising dogs and supporting canine wellness. It follows a bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of care to heal a dog from the inside out, improve their resilience, maximize their ability to cope with daily life and foster healthy self-expression. 
The canine mental health movement is one of the most important advances in how we raise our dogs, navigate their development stages, support their mental fitness and help them thrive in life. Registered Canine Development Coaches will be leading the way and truly making a difference in many lives. 

Apply today and you can work towards earning a Certificate in Applied Canine Developmental Science and start a meaningful career helping families and dogs live in harmony and connection. 

What you'll study...

Part One
  • Canine Evolution & Domestication 
  • Canine Breeds & Genetics
  • Canine Brain Development 
  • Canine Communication & Body Language 
Part Two
  • Canine Social Development 
  • Applications of Behaviourism
  • Canine Emotions & Stress 
  • Canine Cognition & Social Learning 
Part Three 
  • Canine Enrichment & Environment 
  • Canine Personality Types
  • Integrative Canine Counselling Skills I 
  • Raising Resilient Dogs Program 

Program Objectives

At the end of this course, the graduate will…

  • Demonstrate the ability to conduct an integrative behaviour health coaching session with a client.
  • Evaluate theories, concepts & techniques for healthy canine raising and development to prevent mental health conditions & unhealthy behaviour expression. 
  • Recognize symptoms of canine mental health conditions and formulate an appropriate coaching plans or referrals for each.
  • Understand the differences between behaviourism and an integrative model for behaviour health in dogs. 
  • Develop the ability to read canine body language and communication signals.
  • Recognize the limitations of associative learning and utilize other coaching techniques when applicable. 
  • Understand the value of the canine cognitive revolution. 
  • Evaluate genetic & instinctual influences on canine behaviour. 
  • Understand puppy development stages & normal life stages of dogs.
  • Understand an ecological approach to social behaviour in dogs and how to coach clients to meet a dog's social needs. 
  • Identify arousal, over-arousal and stress and develop intentional presence, mindfulness and stress reduction techniques.
  • Assess the interaction of foods and nutrients with the microbiome, canine brain functioning, canine mental health, and behaviour.
  • Understand and assimilate cognitive-behavioural and regulated-emotive coaching skills for mild canine mental health conditions. 
  • Evaluate and discuss the ethical guidelines of a canine development coach. 
  • Develop a personalized integrative behaviour health coaching toolbox.
  • Develop skills for effective communication, active listening, and intuition.
  • Practice motivational interviewing skills and inspirational coaching techniques. 

Here's the Deets...

Ok, so I know you're interested but you need the details of when, how long the course runs, how many hours per week and what is the cost, so here are the nitty gritty details: 

  • You can start studying anytime. Once you are registered you will receive your course information and you can start learning right away. 
How Long
  • The ACDS Program consists of three parts that each consist of four required courses. 
  • Each course take approximately 3 weeks to complete. 
  • Each part takes approximately 12 weeks to complete, depending on holidays, breaks and how quickly you complete the assignments. 
  • This is a DISTANCE education program meaning that you will be sent a package for each course that you complete on your own time with a goal for completion within a three-week time frame. 
  • Once you have submitted your course assignments for grading, the next package will be sent to you. 
  • Once all three parts have been completed and passed, you will receive your certificate in Canine Development Sciences and awarded the designation, Registered Canine Development Coach. 
How Many Hours Per Week
  • No more than 5 hours of instructional time per course.
  • 2-4 hours of live study sessions (optional - not instructional time) per course.
  • Homework may take up to 20 hours to complete over the three-week study period.
  • Career Shadowing requirement: 10 hours per trimester or 30 hours in total (required for graduation).
  • Part One: $2400
  • Part Two: $2400
  • Part Three: $2400
Monthly payment plan available.

The Distance Learning Model

We follow a distance learning model that includes live webinars, reading, videos, written assignments as well as video assignments to prepare our graduates for important work as a canine development coach. 

The program is made up of three separate parts that each consist of four courses. The courses run one at a time, each for three weeks and students will need 10-15 hours per week to complete the course materials and submit assignments. 

Your instructor will deliver course details, assignments, readings and videos on the first Monday of the course and live study sessions will take place on Wednesday evenings at 6pm PST. 

Here's How to Apply...it's as Easy as 1-2-3!


Complete Online Application

To start the application process, simply fill out the online application form. Once submitted your application will be reviewed and an email will be sent out to you with your next steps. 


Book Admissions Interview

If your application form is accepted, you will be invited to book an admissions interview to determine your suitability for the program. There is a non-refundable $150 fee required.


Payment & Contract Signing

If you are accepted into the program, you will be issued an acceptance letter and student contract. Then full payment or payment plans will be arranged to complete the process. 

Are you ready to apply?

Are you looking for a meaningful career helping dogs and families live in harmony and connection? Apply today and you can become a Certified Canine Development Coach, specializing in dog-centred care and preventative canine mental health support. With this certificate you can start your own private practice, work in a kennel or daycare setting or even run a dog walking or pet sitting business.