Diploma in Canine Studies


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Diploma in Canine Studies

 Why Oxford Learning College


This level 3 qualification provides students with a wide range of topics that form a foundation to learning about aspects of the canine species. These units have been selected so that the student can develop their underpinning knowledge within this field of study. By developing their understanding through reading and research the student will complete a number of assessments to demonstrate this understanding. Upon successful completion of alls assessments the student will be awarded with a Level 3 Diploma in Canine Studies. This course can be used by those who have a specific interest in this field or by those who wish to use it in a professional capacity. The aim of the course is to develop the students understanding and form the basis for further study at a higher level.


Module 1-Introduction to Canine Studies


This first unit will discuss how the dog has changed over time, through evolutionary processes, its ancestors and how the canine became domesticated. The unit will also examine the human, canine bond by discussing the following

  • Taxonomy – canine classification. How is the canine categorised within the animal kingdom
  • The origins of canines, and the various theories as to how they evolved and how they evolved through adaptation.
  • The history of domestication of the canines, why it happened and how it came about.
  • The links between the domestic dog and its wild ancestor the wolf. A review and evaluations of similarities and comparisons is provided
  • Domestication and how the ways in which humans used dogs in the past and in the present day has evolved. Evidence of how canines are used today and how this role has greatly increased as a clearer understanding of the domestic dog has allowed these to roles to develop into a wider range , from sport to assistance dogs



Module 2-Canine Anatomy and Physiology


This unit will cover the anatomy and physiology of canines. Anatomy and physiology will start from the basic unit of life at a cellular level, to tissues, organs and full body systems. The areas that are covered, include:

  • The skeleton, muscles and the locomotory system
  • The nervous system including the central and peripheral systems. All sensory organs will be discussed in detail.
  • The endocrine system and the roles that hormones play in the body
  • The circulatory system, including the transport system of blood, through the heart and blood vessels.
  • The respiratory system, including gaseous exchange and the parts and function of the lungs.
  • The immune system, including the role of the lymphatic system, blood and the lymph-nodes.

The digestive system and reproductive systems are covered within further units.



Module 3- Canine Nutrition


Nutrition is more than just eating food, good nutrition is essential to the health of an animal. Canines need to have a balanced diet and this requirement may vary due to physiological changes that occur during its life. Diet has to be taken in at the correct amounts to ensure the canines health and welfare are met. This unit covers the following:

  • The structure and function of the canine monogastric digestive system
  • The nutritional requirements of the dog and how the various nutrients affect the functioning of the physiological systems
  • A knowledge of the levels of all the main food groups according to the canines age and lifestyle, looking specifically at the following : growth, adulthood, senior, pregnancy, lactation, working, injury and illness
  • The evaluation of how effective a dogs diet is and the importance of understanding this
  • The health problems associated with incorrect feeding such as obesity and anorexia.
  • Foods that are poisonous to dogs which include plain chocolate and raisins
  • Ailments of the digestive system which will look at causes of diarrhoea, vomiting and other problems associated with the digestion of foods



Module 4-Canine Diseases


Diseases can vary considerably in terms of their ferocity, some harmful and obvious, others more subtle. There is an endless list as to the causes and number of diseases that could be potentially harm a canine. They can be divided into two groups; infectious and non infectious. This unit looks at:

  • The disease causing organisms - bacteria, fungi and viruses, and the difference between them. Pathogens are described as those microorganisms that are deemed to be harmful
  • The main internal and external parasites that affect the dog, looking particularly at fleas, ticks, round worms and tape worms
  • The signs and modes of transmission of the main infectious diseases affecting the dog. This looks at direct contact, non contact and the role vectors play in disease transmission.
  • The signs of some degenerative diseases that dogs may suffer from. These can be influenced by the breed of the dogs, so a clear link in gene inheritance is important.



Module 5-Canine Health and Veterinary Care


In this unit students will look at how diseases can be diagnosed and treated. To understand disease management we need to recognise the importance of disease prevention in the form of diet, exercise, vaccination and routine treatments for ectoparasites and endoparasites. The following areas are covered:

  • The diagnostic methods and medicines used for a range of canine diseases, will particularly looking at systemic treatments which include antibiotics, antiviral drugs, antifungal drugs, parasite treatments and vaccinations
  • The diagnostic methods used usually include examination of clinical parameters and the treatments may involve those linked to the surgical or medical treatment of the dog. Prognosis for injuries affecting the canine can be deemed to be good to guarded which is the poorest or all prognosis
  • The legal restrictions placed upon the veterinary profession and lay people. This is linked to the bodies that these members are registered with and the professional guidelines they may set out in relation to the roles and limitations to each, to maintain their professional status
  • The application of first aid to a dog, who can do it, its limitations, its aims and outcomes
  • Some of the technological equipment used in small animal veterinary practice, from those used within a consultation which includes a thermometer and stethoscope to those that are used to make a diagnosis such as imaging

equipment and laboratory apparatus



Module 6-Canine Genetics


The process of evolution is explained to students within this unit and explains how dogs and wolves have naturally evolved over millions of years, due to the process of natural selection to become the creatures that they are today. Genetic inheritance and diversity are also considered within this unit. This unit will look at:

  • The terminology of genetics which includes DNA, alleles, homozygous and heterozygous and their definations.
  • The process by which genes are passed from parent to offspring, the use of pedigree charts will enable the student to understand how this occurs.
  • Genetic mutations, how these happen and why can some canines be carriers whilst others can develop the disease.
  • The difference between natural selection and artificial selection. This will consider Darwin's theory on natural selection against the use of selective breeding methods,

Some common genetic disorders in the dog which will be linked to specific breeds and genders.



Module 7-Canine Reproduction


This section focuses on the reproduction process for canines. Following on from the previous unit on the genetics of the dog, this unit looks at how this knowledge can be put to use when choosing suitable dogs and bitches for breeding. It covers the physiology of reproduction and the care of the newborn puppies. The following topics are examined:


  • The reproductive anatomy of the dog and the bitch and recognising the role each part plays
  • The oestrus cycle and the recognition that female canines are spontaneous ovulators, which usually occurs every 6 months.
  • Conception and development of pregnancy. The female canine is pregnant for 63 days and does not vary between breeds.
  • The process of whelping and parturition. Knowing the signs that a bitch is about to give birth and how to prepare for this
  • The development of neonatal puppies, this will look at the developmental time line of the puppy until it is weaned.
  • The different methods of insemination - natural and artificial and the consideration why each might be used
  • Problems associated with pregnancy and birth, which can be linked to the breed of the bitch, its age and the number of offspring in the womb



Module 8-Canine Behaviour Part 1


The study of canine behaviour and why dogs do the things they do is a large subject area to study so has been split up into two segments. Canine behaviour encompasses many branches of science, such as biology, neuroscience and psychology. This unit looks at why dogs behave in the way they do, and covers normal canine behaviour, and explains how dogs learn what they are taught by their human owners and from their own actions. The following topics are discussed:

  • The similarities and differences between wolf behaviour and domestic dog behaviour. This considers those behaviours that the animal is born with and not learnt
  • How genes play a part in behaviour, and the differences between breeds. Recognition of why these dogs were bred is paramount to understanding why these problems arise when they are taken on as pets
  • How dogs learn, and the different learning theories. This will consider Pavlov's theory and how positive reinforcement is essential as training tool for dogs
  • The areas of the brain associated with various aspects of behaviour. This will consider the hemispheres of the brain and the parts that affect behaviour
  • The senses of the dog and how these affect behaviour. If a dog is born with one of its senses missing such as sight or weakened which often occurs in white breed dogs, this may well have an impact on their behaviour
  • The effects of diet, hormones and health on behaviour. Studies in humans have shown that inadequate diet can have an impact on their behaviour. Can the same be said for canines?



Module 9-Canine Behaviour Part 2


This section looks at problem behaviour that can arise in dogs. It is important to understand that the main reasons dogs are re-homed or euthansed are due to these problem behaviours. This unit will be of particular interest for anyone with a pet dog or anyone who trains or works with dogs. It is also useful as a basis for anyone who wishes to pursue further study within this field. The unit covers:

  • The types of behavioural problem that are commonly reported in pet dogs, which will include territorial, aggressive and anxiety related problems.
  • Some of the possible reasons why problem behaviour may occur. It muse be noted that some of these problems need much more work with the dog to eradicate them, whilst others need minimal work and effort. Most problems arise as a result of dogs being left for long periods on their own or poor ownership through lack of understanding
  • Some of the techniques we can use to go about finding out the cause of the problem can be linked to the breed of dog, the environment they live in or the history of the dog, in relation to prior homes if they have been adopted.
  • An idea of some of the ways that behaviour can be altered, either through training the dog, changing the owner's behaviour, or by means of veterinary treatment



Module 10-Working with Canines


This last unit of the course takes a look at the canine industry sector. Working with canines is a growth area as we train dogs more within the role of assistance dogs. Issues such as working with canines will also be discussed within the following areas:

  • The various organisations involved with dogs and research
  • The types of jobs available working with dogs from charity organisations,which are involved with assistance dogs, to those used within the public sectors, which include law enforcement and the military
  • The law with regards to working with dogs, health and safety and animal welfare are key areas that are addressed
  • The laws relating to ownership of dogs and how this has changed recently, where more emphasis is placed upon the owner in relation to the behaviour of the canine.
  • Running a canine business - the regulations involved, insurance requirements, presenting a good image to clients or customers, marketing the business and managing staff.
  • Setting up a boarding kennels or a breeding establishment and meeting planning regulations and considering environmental issues


Entry Requirements


All student must be age 16 years of age or above.


Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.


Study Hours


Approximately 20 hours per module.


Assessment Method


10 tutor marked assessments


Entry Requirements

All students must be 16 years of age and above.

Level 3 Diploma courses require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order that students can manage their studies and the assumed knowledge within course content.

Study Hours

Approximately 20 hours per unit

Assessment Method

Final online multiple choice examination.

Please note that you can enrol on this course at anytime.


Diploma in Canine Studies

This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
Quality Assured by QLS

At the end of this course successful learners will receive an e-Certificate from Oxford Learning College. There is also the option to purchase an Embossed Certificate and also a certificate from ABC Awards for the qualification.

The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.

The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.

The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.

ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.

How can I progress

For more information on how to progress after completing this course, please click here

Additional Information

You will receive a certificate from the College. A digital version is included in the price and will be emailed to you within 5 days of taking your online exam.

Should you require an embossed hard copy of your certificate to be sent to you by Special Delivery post, you can order this separately after taking your exam.

The course can be enrolled upon by students Internationally. There are no deadlines for enrolments.

To view the differences between our qualifications, please click HERE

What's Included

Online study materials to enable the student to successfully complete the Diploma. Support is provided by the tutor department for the duration of the course (1 year). Certification upon completion. All examination fees.

Course Fee


Payment by Instalments

Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.

Further Information

The Quality Assured Diploma is a Level 3 equivalent on the National Qualifications Framework. The Diploma is a 1 year course which is self study and is examined by online examination. The Diploma is awarded by Oxford College. Upon completion of the course you will receive certification awarded by Oxford College.

The Level 3 Diplomas require a minimum prior learning to GCSE standard in order to for students to manage study and the assumed knowledge within course content.

They provide an ability to gain and apply a range of knowledge, skills and understanding in a specific subject at a detailed level. Level 3 qualifications such as A levels, NVQ3, BTEC Diplomas etc. are appropriate if you plan to progress to university study.

Level 3 Diploma courses can assist you in career development, continued professional development, personal development, and provision of a basis for further study.

Progression from Level 3 is to specialist learning and detailed analysis of a higher level of information (for example university level study, Diploma Level 5 study).

Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.

This is a flexible learning course, so the more time you have to commit to your studies, the sooner you are able to complete.

In the student 'On Campus' you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.

After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.

Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning. Oxford Learning

For more information please visit our FAQ page.

Overall rating 5 out of 5 based on 2 student reviews

I have just finished my Level 3 Diploma in Canine Studies and have thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the course. I found the course easy to download and follow, all of the modules were informative and easy to read and the SAP's at the end really helped me to retain the information I needed for my exam. The tutors were also very helpful with their feedback of my work and gave me plenty of praise when it was deserved and helpful critique if it was needed, they got my work back to me marked very quickly too. Student services were very supportive and always replied to any questions I had, they were also understanding when I needed them to be and sympathetic to my plight this year which held me up slightly with my studies. The course has thoroughly helped me understand every aspect of the canine world and as I have just started up my own canine business this qualification means the world to me because all of my hard work and stress has finally paid off and I have achieved results I never thought I would. I would recommend this course and the college to anyone that wants to distance learn as they are brilliant, in fact I am going to go on and do the Equine Science and Physiology courses here to gain the equine experience I need to run alongside the canine side of my business, as eventually I will be working with both horses and dogs. Thank you Oxford College for helping me gain such a valued qualification and for all of your help and support over the last 18 months, it has been an absolute pleasure to study with you.

Rating: 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]
Because of the oxford online education (Canine studies)I had received, I am now starting to build my personal work. I strongly encourage people to enroll in this program. You will be glad you did. It\'s a very informative and easy to understand program.. When I applied at oxford collede for the canine studies program I knew I had to give my best in order to get the best outcomes possible. But I never thought by doing so I would develop a wide knowledge which would serve me for the rest of my life. Consequently, I have the confidence to be successful . But most importantly, I know I can achieve anything if I work hard at it. Oxford college education was very convenient for me, affordable and efficient. At this point, there is no doubt I had chosen the right path. I most certainly will apply for another program and I strongly encourage people to enroll in this program. You will be glad you did.it\'s a very informative and easy to understand program.

Rating: 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]

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This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 13 August, 2009.

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