Diploma of Professional Dog Training (Dip.PDT)

LIMITED TIME TUITION REDUCTION ON BEHAVIOR DEPARTMENT PROGRAMS

 

The Diploma of Professional Dog Training program is a rigorous and advanced completely distance oriented program of study intended to help dog trainers or other animal field related professionals upgrade and expand important skills and knowledge for their careers in dog training beyond the industry standard and attain a valuable credential. It involves an intensive distance course on the principles of behavior and the technology of dog training with both academic coursework and hands-on skill practice. 

This program does not address assessing and resolving problem behaviors. The Diploma of Canine Behavior Science and Technology program would include both training and problem behavior resolution and is worth considering if the student’s goals include working with clients to help resolve problematic behaviors.

Students can expect to do a lot of studying and writing as well as actually working with their own dog, hands-on, in this program, exploring the various topics in depth. CASI uses a shaping model of education, setting the student up for success and provides support/guidance and multiple opportunities to refine and resubmit assignments rather than just slapping a grade on them and moving on. This results in greater conditioning and minimal stress for the student. It also means that incorrect answers do not result in failure or low grades but rather an opportunity, with guidance, to condition the correct response.

The graduate is awarded a Diploma of Professional Dog Training and allowed the letters Dip.PDT after their name.

Tuition: $2000.00 (FOR A LIMITED TIME: $1600.00) Canadian Dollars. (Currency Converter). Textbooks not included in tuition. Canadian Residents pay applicable sales tax.

This program requires approximately 275 work-hours.

Courses (Click here for course details):

  • Environment–Behavior Functional Relations I – 105

  • Environment–Behavior Functional Relations II – 106

  • Introduction to Operant Conditioning I – 108

  • Introduction to Operant Conditioning II – 109

  • Schedules of Reinforcement – 115

  • Differential Reinforcement – 116

  • Aversive Stimulation and its Problems – 117

  • Non-Coercive Behavior Engineering – 189

  • Errorless Training Strategy – 121

  • Animal Training Technology I – 122

  • Animal Training Technology II – 123

  • Advanced Animal Training Techniques (Shaping) – 140

  • Advanced Animal Training Techniques (Chaining and Sequencing) – 141

  • Basic Training Skills Workshop* – 103

  • Training Dogs I – 150

  • Training Dogs II – 151

 

Regular Electives

The following courses are available as electives ($40):

  • Introduction to Behaviorology – 101

  • Basic Training Skills Workshop – 103

  • Shaping Workshop – 160

  • Chaining Workshop – 161

  • Professional Ethics – 191

  • Training Humans – 124

  • Dog Behavior I – 192

  • Dog Behavior II – 193

 

Advanced Electives

The following courses are available as advanced electives ($80):

  • Behaviorology 201

  • Behavior and Relations 202

  • Explanatory Fictions 203

  • Concurrent Contingencies and Analytical Fallacies 204

  • Postcedent Behavior Change Processes 205

 

Schedule: This program is self-paced within a 6–month time limit. Extensions are available at a fee if required.

 

CEUsContinuing Education Credits Available. See Course Approvals page for credits available for each course.

 

Entrance Requirements (click here for details and elaboration)

Course Descriptions

Environment–Behavior Functional Relations I - 105

This course introduces the student to behavior and stimulation, the two fundamental variables that the natural science of behavior studies the relationship between. It explores what behaviors are and are not as well as the various categories of behavior and it discussions stimulation as it relates to behavior. 

  • Behavior (responses, response classes and response class forms)

  • Categories of behavior (operant vs. respondent & conditioned versus unconditioned)

  • Stimulation

Approximate time required: 15 hours

 

Environment–Behavior Functional Relations II - 106

This course continues an introduction to environment–behavior relations. It introduces the functional relationship between stimulation and behavior, defines conditioning and explores the physics of behavior. Contingency analyses is covered and well as the notation for depicting contingencies. The three-term contingency is discussed in detail as well as the components contingencies that comprise it. The important of externalizing contingencies is emphasized. The course ends with an introduction to increasing complexities in accounting for behavior.

  • Functional relations

  • Causation in operant contingencies

  • Respondent contingencies

  • Conditioning

  • Physics of behavior

  • Effects of conditioning on behavior

  • Contingency analysis

  • Depicting contingencies in formal notation

  • Analyzing episodes behavior

  • Component contingencies in the three-term contingency

  • Externalizing contingencies

  • Increasing complexity in accounting for behavior

Approximate time required: 15 hours

Introduction to Operant Conditioning I - 108

This first course in a two course sequence introduces the Law of Effect and the basic terms and categories of behavior and behavior change processes. Reinforcement and punishment, both added and subtracted and both conditioned and unconditioned processes and procedures are explored. Extinction is discussed, followed by a detailing of the variables influencing the effectiveness of both reinforcement and punishment.

  • Law of effect

  • Basic terms and categories

  • Reinforcement (added and subtracted)

  • Punishment (added and subtracted)

  • Extinction

  • Variable influencing the effectiveness of reinforcement

  • Variable influencing the effectiveness of punishment

Approximate time required: 15 hours

Introduction to Operant Conditioning II - 109

This second course in a two-course sequence continues an introduction to basic operant conditioning processes and principles. Antecedent principles, processes, and procedures are explored in detail, including stimulus control and its transfer, generalization and discrimination, fading of antecedent stimuli, prompting and function-altering stimulation, including motivating operations.

  • Antecedent principles, processes, and procedures

  • Stimulus control

  • Terms and relations

  • Generalization and discrimination training

  • Transferring stimulus control

  • Prompting

  • Function-altering stimulation

  • Motivating operations

  • Fading and establishing function-altering stimuli

Approximate time required: 15 hours

Schedules of Reinforcement - 115

This course introduces the student to simple and compound schedules of added reinforcement and schedule extensions, including the limited hold.

  • Simple schedules of added reinforcement

  • Continuous reinforcement

  • Extinction

  • Intermittent reinforcement

  • Fixed and variable ratio schedules

  • Fixed and variable interval schedules

  • Fixed and variable duration schedules

  • Differential reinforcement of low rate of responding

  • Differential reinforcement of high rate of responding

  • Differential reinforcement of diminishing rates

  • Schedule extensions (limited hold, “jackpotting”)

  • Compound schedules of reinforcement

Approximate time required: 15 hours

Differential Reinforcement - 116

This course introduces the student to differential reinforcement, including its most commonly required forms in contingency engineering practice, including differential reinforcement of incompatible, alternative, and other behaviors and of low rate of responding. The course concludes with a discussion of shaping and the management of schedules of reinforcement throughout contingency engineering projects.

  • Differential reinforcement

  • Differential reinforcement of other behaviors

  • Differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors

  • Differential reinforcement of incompatible behaviors

  • Differential reinforcement of successive approximations of a terminal behavior (shaping)

  • Managing schedules of reinforcement

Approximate time required: 10 hours

Aversive Stimulation and its Problems - 117

This course addresses the topic of aversive stimulation and the problems associated with its use. After an initial discussion defining the topic and terms and of why punitive methods are so pervasive, problematic side effects are covered in detail, divided generally into respondent and operant side effects. The course concludes with a discussion of the role of aversive stimulation in conditioning processes and exploration of whether punishment “works” in a practical and putative sense.

  • Why is aversive stimulation pervasive?

  • Defining aversive stimulation

  • Respondent side-effects (aversive emotional arousal and conditioning) 

  • Operant side-effects (escape behavior)

  • Clarification of punishment and its role in changing behavior

  • Does punishment “work”?

Approximate time required: 10 hours

Non-Coercive Behavior Engineering - 189

This course provides guidance on how to avoid coercive methods and tools in favor of added reinforcement-based methods and identification of impediments that may be resolved without ratcheting up coercive practices. 

  • Avoiding extremism and dogmatism

  • Aversiveness-ratcheting strategies

  • Emphasizing constructional added reinforcement-based methods

  • Importance of constructional added reinforcement-emphasized behavior change strategies

  • Strategy of avoiding vs. banning aversive methods and tools

  • Working through the algorithm 

Approximate time required: 8 hours

Errorless Training Strategy - 121

This course explores the general errorless training strategy as opposed to the trial-and-error approach.

  • Errorless training vs. trial-and-error conditioning

  • Methods of minimizing non-criterion responding

Approximate time required: 8 hours

Animal Training Technology I - 122

This course is the first in a two-course sequence that introduces the student to animal training strategies and the implementation of training plans. It begins with an introduction to modern constructional (as opposed to eliminative) and graded / errorless (as opposed to trial-and-error) methods. It details how to plan a training project, including identification of the target behavior and establishing specific behavior objectives. It provides guidance on selecting both conditioned and unconditioned reinforcers.

  • General systematic training process (graded constructional approach)

  • Planning and preparation

  • Identifying and defining target behavior

  • Preparing formal behavior objective

  • Graded/constructional versus trial-and-error approach

  • Identification of reinforcers and establishing conditioned reinforcers

Approximate time required: 10 hours

Animal Training Technology II - 123

This course is the second in a two-course sequence that introduces the student to animal training strategies and the implementation of training plans. It outlines the principles and procedures involved in working through a systematic training process including acquit ion training, fluency training, and maintenance training. At each stage in training, different procedures and practices must occur and each are discussed in detail.

  • Acquisition stage of training (antecedent and postcedent tactics)

  • Identification of required procedure

  • Handling non-criterion behaviors

  • Fluency stage of training

  • Maintenance stage of training

  • Constructing systematic training plan

  • 10 laws of training

Approximate time required: 10 hours

Advanced Animal Training Techniques (Shaping) - 140

This course is the first in a two-course sequence that introduces the student to advanced animal training strategies and the implementation of training plans. This first course explores shaping in greater depth, providing guidance in all components of implementing a shaping plan. It begins with a detailed analysis of the shaping process, discusses its appropriate uses and inappropriate uses based on the training objectives, describes how to plan the behavior approximations and then how to implement the plan with practical advice. This course requires access to a  companion dog for engaging in training exercises.

  • Analysis of shaping process

  • Appropriate applications for shaping

  • Planning behavior objectives and behavior approximations

  • Implementation of shaping plan

Approximate time required: 8 hours

Advanced Animal Training Techniques (Chaining and Sequencing) - 141

This course is the second in a two-course sequence that introduces the student to advanced animal training strategies and the implementation of training plans. This second course explores chaining in greater depth, providing guidance in all components of implementing a chaining plan. It begins with a detailed analysis of the chaining process, constructing and validating task analyses, describes how to train component behaviors and how to bring each under the appropriate stimulus controls, resulting in a behavior chain exhibited by a single trainer-provided cue. The course covers both forward and backward chaining procedures and under what conditions each is most suitable. This course requires access to a  companion dog for engaging in training exercises.

  • Analysis of chaining process

  • Constructing and validating task analysis

  • Assessment of levels of proficiency of requisite behaviors

  • Training compound behaviors

  • Forward and backward chaining procedures

  • Chain quality

Approximate time required: 8 hours

Basic Training Skills Workshop - 103

This course takes students through a series of specific hands-on tasks, each designed to isolate and promote specific skills including:

  • Timing

  • Concentration

  • Coordination

  • Clicker accuracy/dexterity

  • Quantitative tracking of behavior

Approximate time required: 10 hours

Training Dogs I - 150

This course is the first in a two-course sequence that introduces the student to training dogs. It begins with a discussion of suitable and unsuitable equipment choices before covering the training of a dogs to exhibit the following behaviors on cue: name, sit, down, stand, and wait in great detail from the initial acquisition stage, through the fluency stage, to the maintenance stage. The steps and procedures described for training the above behaviors may then be applied to training other behaviors.

  • Equipment

  • Name

  • Sit

  • Down

  • Stand

  • Wait

Approximate time required: 10 hours

Training Dogs II - 151

This course is the second in a two-course sequence that introduces the student to training dogs. It continues the detailed elaboration of training dogs through the following behaviors:  take it/drop it, recall, off, loose leash walking, and got to place in great detail from the initial acquisition stage, through the fluency stage, to the maintenance stage. It ends with a discussion of common training challenges and training under special circumstances. The steps and procedures described for training the above behaviors may then be applied to training other behaviors.

  • Take it / Drop it

  • Recall

  • Off

  • Loose leash walking

  • Go to bed/mat (location)

  • Training challenges and special circumstances

Approximate time required: 10 hours

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