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This science-based education course looks at modern research on animal behaviour and its modification. 

The training program also includes extensive instruction on the applied training protocols and procedures used by top-tier trainers, breeders and behaviour consultants. 

This course has been designed for anyone looking to advance their theory and practical knowledge in applied animal psychology, behavioural science and canine learning processes. 

The course is a generic program and is therefore relevant to persons from all fields and sectors of dog rearing, caring, training and behaviour modification.


Live & Recorded Online Sessions
Practical Sessions also 


Self-Paced Learning
Guideline: 60 + hours


Technical Certificate


 Professional dog training and behaviour consultancy have evolved over the past 20 years and have moved from what legendary animal trainer Bob Bailey calls a “craft” - reflecting his (and our) opinion that in the 21st Century, with our dramatically increased knowledge - into a true science and technology-based profession. This course reflects that evolution and provides delegates with significantly more sophisticated and detailed knowledge. 

‘Short courses and seminars are great for supplementary knowledge, but they can’t be the source of a serious education.’ (Professional trainer, breeder and consultant, Boyd Hooper)

The Applied Canine Behaviour & Learning 3 (ACBL3) program effectively begins where other training programs - such as the Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training, and other programs offered internationally - leave off. This is not in any way a criticism of these programs/courses, it is simply a reflection of the fact that most of these courses are designed as entry-level, and require no prior learning or relevant background. This course was developed by industry professionals specifically for those wanting to upgrade their knowledge and professional competency beyond the fundamentals.

The ACBL3 course provides delegates with a much deeper dive into the behavioural science, learning theory and contemporary protocols involved in foundational development, behaviour modification and skill acquisition. It also covers a range of more advanced and technical aspects that are not taught in other programs.

The program includes instruction and numerous training videos from leading experts and recognised authorities discussing animal behaviour and its modification, learning/reinforcement theory, applied protocols and training procedures for optimising learning and performance in all breeds of dogs.

This information is at the foundation of all effective dog training and behaviour modification, and as such is a required program for all our higher-level courses. These courses can be done concurrently, you do not need to complete one before commencing the other. For those choosing to do our higher-level programs, this course is currently included at no additional charge. Successful graduates from our higher-level courses (tier 4 and above) also receive an additional certificate for this course.

To be clear, this Applied Canine Behaviour & Learning 3 course can be done as a stand-alone course, and once completed will be fully recognised for all future courses that require this qualification (as outlined in the paragraph above). 

This course is primarily designed for persons who have completed a recognised certificate-level course in dog training and behaviour or similar. The program is also recommended for industry professionals such as; Law Enforcement agency K9 handlers, detection agency handlers, assistance dog trainers and others with the requisite knowledge base who are looking to enhance and develop their knowledge and skills with regard to the psychology of behaviour, learning processes and applied behaviour modification.


  • Causal Dynamics of behaviour
  • Early Development: Neuroplasticity, Critical & Sensitive Periods
  • Developing a dog-human cooperation schema
  • Social cognition & communication in applied behaviour modification
  • Stages of learning in applied skill development
  • Adaptive learning & behaviour
  • Instructional design & cognitive load optimisation
  • Differential reinforcement & constructive behaviour modification
  • Generalisation & discrimination learning processes
  • Applied conditioned appetitive & aversive stimuli
  • Conceptual rule & abstract concept learning
  • Applied performance incentives & motivating operations
  • Advanced & technical behaviour shaping 
  • Stability & reliability development
  • Task parameters dimensions & performance criteria
  • Exercise design & task engineering
  • Training method & protocol selection


All CERT Academy courses are designed to provide flexibility, allowing students to work around their lifestyle and work commitments.

This course is conducted via distance learning, however, you can also do practical training components if you choose.  Online lessons are delivered via live Zoom sessions, assigned video & PowerPoint presentations and reading material. Extensive course notes and related learning resources are also provided. The live Zoom sessions are recorded, so that students who are unable to attend a particular live session/s can access the video recordings at a time that suits them.

We also run regular live group Zoom Q&A sessions with our instructional team and special subject matter expert guests. These sessions provide a great opportunity for students to join the team and their fellow students in discussing the course material and to ask questions.

Students wishing to do some face-to-face “hands-on” training are welcome to attend limited practical training sessions at our facilities during their course. We have sessions running each week and students are invited to attend by booking in advance with our Training Coordinator. For those who live remotely to our facilities we run periodic block training sessions throughout the year.

Students are provided with all required course material and learning resources for the course however, it is recommended that some additional books be purchased by the students to further develop their knowledge. A list of recommended books will be provided.

Assessments are a combination of ‘open book’ multiple-choice assessments, live Zoom group Q&A sessions, and two assignments: one theory assignment presentation, and one training practical task to demonstrate your knowledge and competency. Students can choose their own practical training task (within certain guidelines) in line with their personal training requirements or areas of interest. 

International students are welcome to apply. Our team has provided extensive training and professional development courses to international students and agencies.

Please contact our Course Coordinator at info@certacademy.com.au if you have any questions.


Although there is a competency requirement to complete the course, students are not required to attend most of the live online sessions if their schedule doesn’t permit it. The online Zoom sessions are recorded, giving students full access to presentations in their own time. This allows students to progress at their own rate and review the learning resources as required.


The timeline to complete this course is relatively flexible.
As long as all components of the course are completed,
 the workload can be tailored around individual students' commitments. Thus, the hours listed below should only be considered as an approximate guideline.


60 hours + 


5 hours per week x 12 weeks


The maximum time permitted to complete the course is
 8 months from commencement, however, students may request additional time if necessary (due to special circumstances). The Academy’s policy here is to allow flexibility within reasonable parameters. If you are doing this as part of a higher-level course this time line does not apply.


Due to the technical nature of the material covered in this course, persons who have no (or very limited) previous relevant background will require relevant education prior to admission. 

Examples of relevant backgrounds for admission to this course may include:

  • Persons who have conducted a formal education program, such as a course on zoology, psychology, behavioural ecology, or veterinary science for example.
  • Persons who have completed (or are currently doing) courses such as the NDTF Certificate III in Dog Behaviour & Training, or Steve & Vicki Austin's Dog Training Behaviour Certificate, or other noted and substantial dog behaviour/trainer education programs (not short courses).
  •  Dog trainers with solid knowledge of behavioural and learning science.
  •  Persons with significant experience in related fields such as veterinary nurses, shelter workers etc.
  •  Persons with significant experience as a pup raiser or dog handler in an agency or organisation.

An important point to note is that due to the technical information covered in the curriculum, there is an expectation that anyone doing this course already has a strong working knowledge of animal psychology, behaviour and learning theory, and the basics of applied behaviour modification (as a minimum). If applicants do not have this knowledge, then this program is not recommended. 

Potential applicants who have no previous education relating to the above, but are still wanting to complete this course can email our Course Coordinator to discuss options. Alternatively, they could consider doing an entry-level program with another organisation and then apply for this course at a later date.

All applicants who do have the requisite knowledge & experience are required to submit evidence of such to the Coordinator prior to the commencement of the ACBL3 course. We will review all submissions and respond to applicants directly.

Students must have basic computer skills and have access to a computer or laptop and a stable internet connection for online learning. 

Student LLN requirements: Students are required to be able to read and write in English for this course.
For international students for whom English is not their primary language please refer all enquiries to our Course Coordinator.

Please email any questions and/or required correspondence to our Course Coordinator at info@certacademy.com.au 


This is not an entry-level course so the expectation is that all applicants already have relevant background or education. No RPL or RCC is offered for this course, however, we will consider exceptions to this policy under certain circumstances. CERT Academy's policy is to be flexible and reasonable on all matters. Please email enquiries to info@certacademy.com.au 


Technical Certificate: Applied Canine Behaviour & Learning 3

(*Samples only. Not the actual certificates for these courses)



   Total Course Cost: $750 (AUD) including GST 

N.B. This course may be included in a higher level or specialist course you have selected to complete with CERT Academy. If that is the case it will be clearly outlined in the overview of that course and you do not need to enrol for this course separately. This course is conducted concurrently with the higher level course.

Please enquire if uncertain before enrolling here.


We offer commercial rates to agencies and specialist organisations. This is subject to the number of agency participants. Please send enquiries to our Course Coordinator at info@certacademy.com.au for further details.

Conditions of Enrolment 

Before you enrol for the Applied Canine Behaviour & Learning 3 course please make sure you have the required experience and/or background as explained above.

Applicants who have completed or are currently doing the NDTF CERT III in Dog Behaviour & Training, or equivalent, will automatically qualify and can enrol without concern. Please enrol below. 

This also applies to persons who have significant relevant education/background from other sources.  Our main concern is to ensure that applicants for this course have a significant working knowledge of animal psychology, behaviour science and learning principles. If you have this knowledge please enrol.

All applicants must submit the requisite evidence demonstrating their relevant education and/or experience
- CERT III students included.

You can email us the summary of your relevant experience and/or supporting documents via this button below.

Once you have done this please proceed to the Enrol & Pay section below. 

As always if you have any questions please email the Course Coordinator at info@certacademy.com.au

Enrol & Pay

Full payment for this course is required at the time of enrolment. If after we review your information it is determined that you do not have the requisite knowledge and experience we will contact you to discuss your options. These may include:

  • CERT Academy refunds the course payment (minus any bank or credit card fees) to the account it was paid from. 

or if you wish  

  • CERT Academy can hold on to your enrolment information and payment until you do have the required experience.

If you are satisfied you have met all these conditions, please proceed. We look forward to having you join us.
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