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Canine anatomy and physiology

Course accredited by

UKRS Rural Skills

Biology and care of the dog covers anatomy and physiology for canine care, nutrition and dog behaviour and welfare.

Set at the equivalent to level 3 study you will learn about their digestive system, other body systems, what is in canine foods and how to combine all that into understanding their behaviour.

There are four units each with an assignment set at pass, merit and distinction.

The course will be beneficial to animal shelter workers, animal welfare officers, dog owners, dog walkers and pet sitters

dog bath

Course content

(outline of what you will be able to do after completion of the course)

rescue dog

Unit 1

Anatomy and Physiology

Describe, explain and analyse the structure and function of the integumentary, circulatory, respiratory, skeletal and exocrine systems for the care of the domestic dog (Canis domesticus)

Body systems: integumentary, circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, vibrissae, functions, structures, organs, exocrine, skeletal, spongy & compact bone, synovial joints, yellow & red marrow, Physiology: heart rate, respiratory rate, respiratory gases, ATP, cellular respiration, temperature, exocrine secretions

Care: inter-relationship of systems; vital signs respiratory, heart rate, temperature, CRT

Unit 2

Food groups and food

Identify & assess the nutrients & their components within dog nutritional products, explain the function of each nutrient type & investigate nutritional problems of the domestic dog.

Food groups: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, minerals, vitamins, fibre; water – importance of; structures, functions, malnutrition, diet-related illness, essential fatty acids, essential amino acids, mineral and vitamin supplements, food labelling, energy release & protein dependency, water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, food storage, variety, manufactures, additives, palatability, appearance, home-made diets, preparer ignorance, meat quality

Course fee: £245.00


Instalments: these are made by standing order at £24.50 p.c.m. International transactions will incur additional fees. You can try unit 1 before committing to the whole course.


Course materials are sent via email but paper copies are available for an additional fee of £15 per unit. Postage charges may need to be added depending on your location.

Click here for payment information.

Unit 3

Behaviour and welfare

Recognise and explain behaviours of the domestic dog and justify their understanding in caring for the dog.

Innate & learned behaviours; natural behaviours of Canids; body signals: face, head, tail, whole body; vocalisations according to situation; responding to signals: human understanding; responding to natural behaviours: human intolerance & lack of understanding; reasons for behaviours: scenting, reproduction, territory marking, body health; observing & recording behaviour; physiology; relinquishment, abandonment, neglect

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