With growing public and legislative interest concerning the management of animals (dogs in particular), canine-related industries are on the lookout for work-ready graduates. Study our canine behaviour and training programme and you’ll develop the technical and transferable skills needed to work in canine-related industries.
Begin to understand and recognise canine behaviour, develop your skills to be able to manage day-to-day canine health and husbandry in a training environment, and apply your knowledge to train a variety of dogs in a range of disciplines. Learn about health and safety planning, the ethics, philosophies and regulatory procedures that surround the canine industries as well as develop an understanding of the Animal Welfare Act as it applies to all animals in New Zealand, specifically to dogs.
You’ll also develop a broad understanding of the anatomy and husbandry of a range of animals which enables you to provide them with general care.
- A hands-on approach focusing on practical experience in many aspects of canine obedience and training
- Extensive practical training in Unitec’s on-campus dog agility and fenced “off-leash” areas, and field work in selected off-campus environments
- Self-selected placement(s) in the canine industry
- Highly experienced lecturers who continue to work closely with industry and are experts in the fields of animal behaviour, health and welfare, and practical dog training
- On-campus individual kennel areas for safe housing of dogs
Compulsory dog requirements
To be eligible to apply for this programme:
- You must have arranged regular access to a suitable dog (as approved by Unitec's specialist dog trainers), to ensure a safe and effective learning environment for you and for your dog
- Dogs must be no younger than 18 months and ideally no older than 7 years at the start of this programme
- Dogs must have current registration details
- Dogs must be in good health to be able to cope with and excel in the physical aspects of the programme such as agility and tracking work
- Dogs must have a good play and food drive, and be sociable with other dogs and people
- NB: There are no breed or size restrictions.
Non-compulsory dog recommendations
- In case of injury, we recommend that your dog is insured
- We also recommend that your dog is desexed
Before being accepted on to the programme, your dog must be assessed by Unitec’s dog training tutors. We will try to identify the strength of your dog’s motivation and interest in food and in toys, therefore it is essential that your dog has a good level of food and toy motivation to succeed in this programme. If we feel that your dog does not have these motivations then we may offer you tips to increase these motivations, or recommend another dog. If you do not own your own dog before applying for a place on the programme it is essential that Unitec’s dog training tutors help and guide you towards finding a suitable dog.
Where to next?
If you're interested in continuing your studies, this programme will give you the academic admission requirements for higher-level animal programmes at Unitec, including the Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare).
For this programme, you will need the following:
1. 36 credits at NCEA Level 2 including 12 credits in English
2. 12 credits at NCEA Level 1 in a relevant science subject
3. Have consistent access for the duration of the programme to a dog that has been evaluated and deemed suitable by Unitec’s specialist dog trainers
4. If English is not your first language, you will need one or more of the following:
- Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University entrance
- Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
- Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years
Don’t have NCEA? We also accept:
- The New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) or an equivalent qualification; OR
- Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission.
For more information download the programme regulations:
Courses and timetables
For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.
|Companion Animal Industries Work Experience (Sem A) (NSCI4708-SA)||7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS)||This course synthesises theoretical knowledge with practice based industry learning and skills relating to the care and handling of a range of companion animals|
|Companion Animal Industries Work Experience (Sem B) (NSCI4708-SB)||7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS)||This course synthesises theoretical knowledge with practice based industry learning and skills relating to the care and handling of a range of companion animals|
|The Practice and Theory of Dog Training (Sem A) (NSCI4724-SA)||30.0 credits (0.25 EFTS)||This course aims to enable students to demonstrate principles of dog training based on learning theory and dog behavioural development and have a working knowledge of handling and mitigating problem behaviours using positive training and welfare-focused solutions.|
|The Practice and Theory of Dog Training (Sem B) (NSCI4724-SB)||30.0 credits (0.25 EFTS)||This course aims to enable students to demonstrate principles of dog training based on learning theory and dog behavioural development and have a working knowledge of handling and mitigating problem behaviours using positive training and welfare-focused solutions.|
|Canine Specific Husbandry (NSCI4739)||15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS)||This course will enable students to develop a theoretical and applied understanding of best practice canine husbandry in order to provide for optimum health and a positive welfare state.|
|Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology (Sem A) (NSCI5720-SA)||7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS)||To enable students to understand the concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the maintenance of homeostasis and animal health|
|Vertebrate Anatomy and Physiology (Sem B) (NSCI5720-SB)||7.5 credits (0.063 EFTS)||To enable students to understand the concepts of anatomy and physiology as they relate to the maintenance of homeostasis and animal health|
|Principles of Animal Husbandry (NSCI5738)||15 credits (0.125 EFTS)||To enable the student to develop an understanding of the theoretical basis and application of animal husbandry in a range of animal species.|