Dog Care

Course CodeBAG105
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn about Dogs

  • A course for dog owners.
  • Learn about the anatomy, physiology, nutrition and health care of dogs.
  • A course for anyone considering a business or career in the pet industry
This 100 hour distance learning course in dog care tells us more about caring for man's (and woman's) best friend.
Understand the needs of dogs, and provide for those needs either as a dog owner or a professional working in a business that provides goods or services to dogs.

Lesson Structure

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.
    • Thermo-regulation.
  3. Dog Health Part 1 - Nutrition
    • Introduction to nutrition and feeding.
    • Nutritional components.
    • Carbohydrates.
    • Proteins and fats.
    • 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.
  4. 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
    • Gun dogs, 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.
    • Dalmatian.
    • Poodle.
    • Schnauzer.
    • Shih Tzu.
    • Alaskan Malamute.
    • 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.


  • Determine the typical daily needs of a dog, both physical and psychological. Discuss the nature and scope of services available to dog owners.
  • Describe the internal and external anatomy of a dog. Explain the standard physiology of a dog.
  • Identify common health issues that impact on a dog’s health, wellbeing and longevity.
  • Determine appropriate measures to prevent problems arising or respond to problems in the first instance when they do arise.
  • Describe common ailments and optional treatments for those ailments.
  • Compare differentiating characteristics across breeds of dogs, including both desirable and undesirable characteristics.
  • Describe how dogs are bred and how the purity of breeds is controlled. Discuss the dog breeding industry and how to operate a dog breeding business.
  • Explain ways in which dogs can be trained. Discuss how to successfully operate a dog training or behavioural consultancy business.
  • Explain how to groom a dog.
  • Determine how to successfully operate a dog grooming business.
  • Explain the scope and nature of a wide range of products and services involved in the dog industry.
  • Determine how to successfully operate a range of different dog service businesses.

Career Opportunities

The dog industry is a lot bigger than what many people might realize. People spend a lot of time and money on dogs, and opportunities for working in this industry are diverse. Consider the following.

Working in a Pet Shop

Pet stores are like any other shop, a retail outlet for products. To be a successful pet shop owner, manager or employee, you need to be able to sell merchandise, from pet food and toys to cages, fish tanks, leashes and the pets themselves. Obviously you need to know about caring for different animals in order to keep the animals you are selling in good condition; and advise customers on the products they might buy.  Some pet shops may be more caring for the animals than others.  
Some pet shops (or departments in other stores) may sell non living products that relate to pets; without selling the actual pets. Some pet shops specialize in the type of pets they sell (eg. An Aquarium shop).

Working in an Animal Shelter
Animal shelters may be either run by government (e.g. A municipal council), or a community organisation such as a charity. They may undertake some or all of the following tasks:
  • Animal rescue of abandoned, mistreated or injured animals
  • Controlling stray or feral animals
  • Licensing or registration of domestic animals
  • Enforcing laws relating to animals
  • Relocation of abandoned animals through adoption programs
  • Relocation of wild animals
  • Euthanasia and disposal of dead animals

A lot of the work involves dealing with the public This may include people who have mistreated animals, others  who are regretfully in a position that requires them to surrender their animals; the general public who report strays or nuisance animals, and people visiting the shelter to register pets. Part of the work also involves caring for animals (feeding, watering, exercising and grooming), ans part is dealing with administrative tasks behind a computer or desk

Becoming a Dog Groomer
Grooming is an important part of dog care and, in some cases, it may become part of a daily task. If you love animals and care for their appearance, comfort and health, then here’s the job for you.
As a Dog Groomer, you will care for both, the hygiene and cleanliness of a dog, as well as earning a living from doing what you love.
Being a Dog Groomer can be quite rewarding as you are in constant contact with the dog creating, therefore, a closer bond as you are handling and caring for the dogs best needs. You will be gratified by knowing the dog is clean and by decreasing its chances from various health problems such as thrush, scratches, infestation, parasites on the skin, and other skin problems, as well as a general health check making sure its free from any cuts, heat, swelling, lameness or temperament changes which, in turn, can be an indication of illness.
As a Dog Groomer you will be in charge of keeping the dog’s coat, nails, skin and health in optimal conditions to satisfy the owner’s desires, as well as giving the owner advice on the dogs general care and diet for maintaining its health.
Other Jobs with Dogs
Dog Breeder
Dog Walker
Boarding Kennel
Veterinary Assistant
Dog Trainer
Dog Behaviourist
Greyhound/Racing Dog Trainer
Dog Handler - e.g. sniffer dogs, sheep dogs and other working dogs.
Working in a Dog Kennel

Boarding kennels look after dogs whilst their owners are away. Usually this may due to a holiday but it could also be due to other circumstances such as family illness, moving house, a domestic upheaval such as a new baby or a separation or in some cases if the owner dies and the family are deciding what to do about the pet.

The dogs are usually kept in individual pens (unless there are more than one from the same household and then they cam be kept together). The pen will consist of an indoor area and an outdoor run or exercise area. Dogs will be walked and exercised outside of their runs at least twice a day

Jobs would include feeding, cleaning out, grooming and exercising the dogs. Good customer service skills are also required. To run a boarding kennels you will need good management skills as well as an excellent knowledge of dogs care and behaviour. Most countries require boarding kennels to have a licence to prove they meet the required standards.

This is a good job for people who like to work specifically with dogs. Kennels are found in most locations providing good scope for job opportunities.
Animals in new or strange environments may become stressed and unpredictable. This may lead to aggression so if not handle correctly there is a danger of being bitten or scratched by the animals in your care.
How to become a kennel worker
A love of dogs is essential. It is a good idea to get as much experience within this environment as possible before deciding on this as a career choice.  Courses in dog or cat care are very helpful to support the practical experience as well as more specialist subjects such as Dog Psychology and Training. Some larger kennels employ full time staff; but many may only engage casual or part time staff.

For a long term career, you may need to consider eventually running your own business; and to do that requires not only animal skills, but also business skills.

Enrol today - learn all about caring for dogs

You can enrol on Dog Care today. You study by distance learning, with the support and guidance of our specialist tutors.

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Phone on (UK) 01384 442752, or (International) +44 (0) 1384 442752, or

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