Getting established: Graduate Diploma in Canine Unit Instruction

Gain direct access to the world of working dogs in all its variety and learn to train up trainers and manage canine units.

The need for working dogs in today's society has extended to more and more areas, such as detection, security, civil protection and assistance. This creates a need for dog training specialists to prepare dogs dedicated to these different tasks.

At the same time, the profession is being regulated at national and regional level. The international dimension of the profession is taken into account in this programme, with references being made to the work of renowned specialists from different countries, who will also participate in the programme as lecturers.

In the final phase of the programme, four main areas of work will be established: detection, rescue, attack and defence, and assistance. Each of these will have its own specialisations so that future instructors can take decisions on their career paths.

Access to this graduate diploma can be gained by successfully completing the course in Basic Training and Canine Education, or by passing the entry examination.


  • To offer general and specific training so that professionals working with dogs in different areas can consolidate and expand their knowledge of working dogs.
  • To provide new technologies and tools to boost the effectiveness of working dog instructors.
  • To increase and improve knowledge and resources to optimise the working dog's learning process.
  • To optimise dog-training resources and identify needs.
  • To increase the professional self-esteem of working-dog instructors.
  • To manage specialised professional canine units.

Career options

  • Personal assistance and dependency
  • Civil protection and rescue
  • Public security
  • Private security
  • Dog trainer-educator
  • Assistant at dog adoption centres
  • Assistant at dog kennels or shops
  • Assistant at boarding kennels
  • Those seeking a career as canine instructors.

Students wishing to enrol should first carry out the pre enrolment/admission process. Before beginning your application, review the access requirements and the documents you will need for admission.

Programme syllabus

1. Basic training (15 ECTS credits)

  • Training techniques.
  • Assessment and behaviour-modification techniques.
  • Maintenance.
  • Entrepreneurship.

2. Basic concepts (5 ECTS credits)

  • History, evolution and utility.
  • Law and culture.
  • Management of canine units in the context of private and publicly owned companies.
  • Marketing and business.

3. Ethology (10 ECTS credits)

  • Basic ethology and advanced clinical care.
  • Ethology applied to specific training.

4. Learning (10 ECTS credits)

  • Learning types.
  • Advanced associative learning.
  • Learning for specialist dogs.
  • Advanced study of the dog's mental structure.

5. Maintenance: working dog (5 ECTS credits)

  • Anatomy, systems, senses and reproduction.
  • Nutrition.
  • First aid.
  • Care and hygiene.
  • Specialist programmes in enrichment for working dogs.

6. Training techniques (10 ECTS credits)

  • Identification and application of specific training techniques.
  • Material and its specific use.
  • Application of basic principles and specific orders.
  • Application of game techniques in specific canine training.

7. Specialisations

  • Detection (drugs, explosives, fires, corpses and human remains, biodetection).
  • Assistance dogs.
  • Therapy dogs.
  • Search and rescue (avalanches, on land and in water).
  • Tactical intervention and patrolling.