Study Dog Care at Home

Manage your own dogs better, or work in the dog industry



There are 9 lessons in this course:

1. Introduction to Dog Care
• What Dogs Need
• Food
• Water
• Physical and Psychological Environment
• Exercise
• Hygiene
• Importance of Routine
• Potential Problems and Owner Error
• Uncertainty of pack position
• Neglect
• Escape
• Attacking other people and animals
• Physical damage
• Illness
• Which Breed is best
• Choosing a puppy or adult dog
• Outside living or inside pet
• Restricting and confining a pet
• Dealing with holidays
• Training dogs
• Socialising with other animals
• Scope of Dog care industry

2. Canine Biology
• Anatomy
• Mouth
• Teeth
• Ears
• Eyes
• Skeletal system
• Digestive system
• Normal physiological values
• Circulation
• Respiratory rates
• Thermoregulation

3. Dog Health Part 1
• Introduction to nutrition and feeding
• Nutritional Components
• Carbohydrates
• ProteinsFats
• Minerals
• Vitamins
• Water
• Changing requirements through different life stages
• Growth period
• Working and high performance period
• Pregnancy and lactation period
• Geriatric period
• Feeding patterns -time controlled or free choice
• Feed products
• Commercial foods
• Medicinal/veterinary foods
• Home cooked Foods
• Snacks and treats
• Foods to avoid
• Common nutritional disorders
• Allergies
• Poisoning
• Preventative health
• Diet supplements
• Immunisation
• Worms, tick and flea prevention
• Exercise
• Dental care
• Skin and Nail Care
• Basic First Aid Equipment
• Assessing the Situation in an Emergency
• What to do... (in accidents or at specific times)
• Basic Resuscitation and CPR

4. Dog Health Part 2 -Illnesses and Treatments
• Introduction
• Haemobartonellosis
• Babesiosis
• Von Willebrand’s Disease
• Aortic Stenosis
• Heart Failure
• Heart Murmurs and Arrhythmias
• Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
• Heartworm
• Vomiting
• Diarrhoea
• Giardia
• Intestinal Worms
• Enteritis
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
• Diabetes Mellitus
• Cushing’s Disease (Hyperadrenocorticism)
• Hypothyroidism
• Postpartum Hypocalcaemia (Eclampsia)
• Conjunctivitis
• Glaucoma
• Cataracts
• Ear mites
• Deafness
• Anaphylactic Shock
• Lupus
• Hip Dysplasia
• Osteoarthritis
• Epilepsy
• Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (CDM)
• Canine Distemper
• Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis (Kennel Cough)
• Asthma
• Mange
• Ringworm

5. Dog Breeds
• Gundogs, Hounds, Pastoral, Terriers, Toy, Utility, Working
• English Setter
• Irish Setter
• German Pointer
• Golden Retriever
• Labrador Retriever
• Cocker Spaniel
• Hungarian Vizsla
• Beagle
• Dachshund
• Greyhound
• Irish Wolfhound
• Bassett Hound
• Bassett Hound
• Australian Cattle dog
• Border Collie
• German Shepherd
• Old English Sheep Dog
• Corgi
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• West Highland Terrier
• Parson (Jack) Russell Terrier
• Australian terrier
• Scottish terrier
• Chihuahua
• Bichon Frisé
• Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
• Pomeranian
• Pug
• Dalmatian
• Poodle
• Schnauzer
• Shih Tzu
• Alaskan Malumute
• Great Dane
• Mastiff
• Newfoundland
• St Bernard

6. Breeding
• Introduction
• Female Reproductive System
• Male Reproductive System
• Sexual Behaviour
• Mating Interaction
• The Management of Reproduction
• Desexing/Neutering/Spaying/Castrating
• Pregnancy and birth
• Parturition (Labour)
• Suckling
• Weaning
• Factors Influencing Puppy Size
• Puppy Development
• The breeding industry
• ‘Back-yard’ Breeders & Breeding for fun
• Illegal Commercial Puppy Breeding Enterprises (Puppy Mills)
• Breeding for Profit
• Legislation and Licensing

7. Dog Behaviour and Training
• Understanding dog behaviour
• The Importance of Training
• Practical training techniques
• Technique for Recall
• Technique for Sit (in front)
• Technique for Sit (at the side)
• Technique for Stand (Beside)
• Technique for Stand (Beside)
• Technique for Leave
• Technique for Down/Lay
• Technique for Stay (beside)
• Technique for Heeling
• Behaviour Problems Present Opportunities for Business
• Attributes of Successful Dog Trainers
• Practical for Business Start-up

8. Grooming
• The Importance of Grooming
• Grooming tools and equipment
• What to groom, why and how
• Skin
• Bathing
• Coat (hair)
• Brushing:
• Claws (nails)
• Teeth
• Teeth brushing
• Ears
• Professional grooming
• Long haired dog breeds
• Short hair breeds
• Other breeds
• Styles and clips

9. Other Dog Services • Health and related services
• Training and related services
• Day care and long term stay services
• Assistance dog services
• Professional dog handling
• Retail related services

Course Duration:  100 hours



Finding the right dog for your home, lifestyle and family is very important. You should research each breed thoroughly so you know what to expect from your chosen dog or puppy. There is huge amount of freely available information on dog breeds on the internet, in specialist magazines and other publications.

Choosing a Puppy or Adult Dog
Acquiring a dog and introducing it into your home is a long term commitment. Before doing so you need to ensure that you have the skills required to train and look after the dog as well as a suitable environment for the dog to live in.

Whether to choose to buy or adopt a puppy or an adult dog can be a difficult decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to both situations. The main advantage of choosing a puppy is that you can train it in your own way to fit in with your specific lifestyle. You do need to be aware that puppies require constant attention in the initial stages and may not be suitable if you have to regularly leave it on its own for extended periods of time during the day. The puppy will need to be house trained and taught basic commands. To do this the owner will need to have some experience to carry out this process safely and effectively. The puppy will also have to be socialised with humans, other dogs and other animals. Again, experience in dog handling is required to carry out this process effectively. Puppies are generally easier to train than older dogs and will generally not bring any psychological or behavioural problems with them.

An older dog will usually quickly fit into its new household and routine without any major problems. They have usually already been house trained and taught basic commands. While they still require attention their needs are not as great as a young puppy and they can be left alone to their own devices without constant supervision. Older dogs can sometimes have psychological or behavioural problems caused by previous neglect; this is something to be aware of, particularly if you have a young family that may stress the older dog and cause it to become fearful.

Some things to consider before becoming a dog owner:

Size and space available: if you live in a small flat with a small garden, then a small breed dog might be most suitable.

Are there children in your family: some breeds of dog may not be ideal if you have small children. Small breeds could be accidentally injured by children. Large breed dogs may accidentally injure the child. Young children should never be left unsupervised with any type of dog.

How much time do you have available: Some breeds require a lot of exercise. If you realistically only have a short period of time in the day to spend on exercise then large energetic breeds of dog should be avoided.

Work and travel: if you work long hours, you need to consider how the dog will be cared for when you are not there. Similarly if you travel a lot; who will look after the dog in your absence?
Finance: owning a dog is not cheap. They require feed, bedding, toys and collars and leads. As well as routine treatments for parasites and vaccinations, accidents happen and you may have to fork out large amounts of money for emergency veterinary care. Depending on the breed of dog, it may live for 10-15 years so the financial commitment is a long term one.

Outside Living or Inside Pet
Pet dogs are social animals that crave human attention and affection. In general, they are happier and healthier living indoors as part their ‘pack’ of human family members.

Working dogs e.g. sheep and cattle dogs are sometimes kept outside in a kennel in the yard. As their primary role is to work, it may be more appropriate for them not to become too bonded to the family and to make sure they stay focused on their work. If a dog lives outside then it is vitally important that adequate shelter is provided. The kennel should ideally be raised off the ground and have some type of windbreak at the entrance. Clean, dry bedding also needs to be provided inside the kennel. A dog kept outside may need additional amounts of food to keep weight on in cold weather and should always have water freely available. If a dog kept in this way is left for long periods chained up, without attention it may be at risk of developing behavioural problems.

Restricting and Confining Your Pet
Adequate confinement is essential to keep you pet dog safe and injury free. In some localities you are required by law to ensure your dog is properly confined and if requirements are not met, prosecution is possible.

If your dog is allowed to roam free in your garden or back yard then adequate fencing is vital. The fencing should be checked at regular intervals to ensure that there are no gaps. The fence should be of an appropriate height that the dog cannot jump over and ideally sunk into the ground so the dog cannot dig underneath and escape.

There are ‘virtual’ or electronic fences on the market. Both of these types of fences rely on a cable dug into the ground around the perimeter. The dog wears a collar which reacts when the dog moves over the cable. The collar may then deliver a shock to the dog or some spray a jet of an unpleasant substance into the dogs face. It is debatable how effective these systems are and may cause further problems of fear and aggression in some dogs. They do also require time spent introducing the dog to the system and training them to deal with it as appropriate. These systems do not stop other animals or humans entering the dog’s territory so are not particularly effective in making the dog feeling safe in its own territory.

What to do when you go on holidays
It is important to have a ‘backup care plan’ for your dog in place in case you have an emergency and you need your dog looked after at short notice, or for times when you go away on holiday and you cannot take your pet with you. You may have ‘dog friendly’ family or friends who would be happy to take over the daily care of your dog for you. It is a good idea to investigate boarding kennels in your local area and perhaps visit and reassure yourself that your dog would be well looked after if need arose. In some areas there may be services available where someone will come into your home a number of times during the day to feed, exercise and give your pet some attention and affection. This may be a good thing to consider for an old dog in particular, which may become very confused and upset when taken away from its familiar home and routine.

Training Dogs
Dogs and humans can live very happily together and create great bonds and friendships that last for many years. This does however, not happen entirely naturally and some degree of training is required by the owner to ensure that the dog leads a safe and happy life.

Through training, lines of communication between human and dog are established and built up that will last for the dog’s lifetime. Whether you are teaching basic commands or complicated tricks, it all helps to build a strong and trusting relationship with your dog, which is vitally important for the dog’s psychological well-being.

There are many different methods of training dogs and no right or wrong way. It all depends on how experienced in dog handling and psychology the owner is and on the type of dog. Often a mixture of different methods works best. Time, patience and repetition is necessary, whichever method is used.

Socialising with Other Animals in the Home
Puppies have a known ‘socialisation’ period in their early development anywhere between 3 and 12 weeks. It is a good idea to actively expose a puppy to as many pleasant experiences with different people, other animals and objects as possible during this time. These pleasant experiences will stay with the puppy and will make him less fearful and more sociable in his following years.

If you are introducing a new puppy or adult dog to a home where there are already dogs or other pets, then some care should be taken. Ideally the new dog should be introduced to existing pets on neutral ground if possible; this will help to reduce incidences of territorial aggression towards the new arrival. Try as much as possible to let the group sort them out themselves out but don’t leave them unsupervised! Ensure you give each pet the same amount of love and affection; don’t spend all your time with the new dog as the other animals in the home may become jealous and cause problems. The process should be carried out slowly and calmly to be effective.