Despite sharing our lives with dogs for years, it is often the case that we are unaware of the many ways that they are constantly communicating. They use virtually every part of their body to communicate, and the study of canine body language provides us with a deeper understanding of our dogs. This course is designed to help you become more aware of the ways that dogs communicate and why it is so important for you to become adept at observing and understanding what they are saying at all times, including during play therapy sessions. Human co-therapists must be able to communicate effectively with each other to provide quality, coordinated services. Similarly, the human-canine co-therapy team must communicate well to ensure that sessions go smoothly. The well-being of clients as well as the dogs depends on it! Recognition and accurate interpretation of canine communication is probably the most important skill a therapist can develop to ensure safety for all involved, to make effective decisions during therapy sessions, and to maximize therapeutic gain. This course covers many details about dogs’ body language and offers some practice opportunities to build awareness and skill in this vital area. Successful completion of this course is a prerequisite for the live 4-day Animal Assisted Play Therapy Level 1 workshop offered regularly in the US and the UK, and it is included at a discounted rate within the registration fees for the AAPT Level 1 workshop (see details of the live AAPT Level 1 workshop at www.playfulpooch.org, under Training. If you have already registered for the 4-day AAPT Level 1 workshop, you do not need to register here. You will be sent the password needed to enter this course.). The contents of this course are relevant for those engaging in many forms of therapy dog work, as well as for others interested in understanding their dogs better. This course can be taken as a stand-alone program. Registration fee includes all course materials except the textbook and CD.
Instructor Rise VanFleet, PhD, RPT-S, CDBC
Further Course Information
This course consists of a self-paced PowerPoint presentation supplemented by videos and documents. It is eligible for 10 continuing education credits/contact hours, distance learning for most mental health professionals. For more information on our mental health continuing education approvals, as well as canine and equine continuing education approvals, please return to the Courses page. After you register for this course (as a stand-alone course or as part of the AAPT Level 1 workshop), you will be sent a password to enter the course. This password is changed each quarter (~January 1, April 1, July 1, October 1). Should you need to renew access to the course beyond the quarter in which you first register, simply contact Dr. Rise VanFleet to obtain the new password. One renewal is permitted per registration. You are permitted to make one personal copy of the course materials. This is for your own personal use only. Any further copies or use of any of the course materials must be approved in advance and in writing in accordance with U.S. and international copyright laws.
Required Text and CD (sold separately): Byrnes, C. (2008). What Is My Dog Saying? Canine Communication 101 [CD PowerPoint Presentation]. Spokane, Washington: Diamonds in the Ruff. Pelar, C. (2009). Kids and Dogs: A Professional’s Guide to Helping Families. Woodbridge, Virginia: C&R Publishing (Dream Dog Productions). These are available at a discount in our store under Playful Pooch Products.