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    • We both loved the way Sheila Harper presented herself - not to 'tell' or 'advise' us on what to believe or not (like many trainers do in a sometimes intimidating manner) but to allow us to think...
    • It was superbly facilitated and directed with dog handling, case studies, and in-depth perspective being important.
    • Sheila is not into "Sit", "Down", "Stay". The concentration is on having a positive and gentle development with your dog - you are a team - so that you can both enjoy...
    • I have been to presentations before where your attention starts to wander and where you can’t wait for the course to end. I was completely focused on this course for the whole 2 days; there was...
    • “What a weekend that was! Will life with my dog ever be the same again? I hope not! I now have some tools for a new start with my first ever dog who, at 14 months, had lost his trust in me...
    • “I soon realised that my inexperience really didn’t matter, as what we had come to learn about was new to everyone. We all had a similar motivation for doing the course. To do the best...
    • “A wonderfully stimulating and well organised weekend. It exceeded my expectations both in content and presentation.”
    • “I admire Sheila’s passion, calm positive energy and tireless motivation for teaching and sharing her profound, pioneering and unique philosophy and knowledge of dogs and owners.”
    • “I learned a great deal and ‘Bod’ was so relaxed and stress free due to your fantastic organisation. I do so appreciate how much hard work and thought goes into the preparation of...
    • “At that time, I still believed in Pack Leadership, dominance, control and obedience. Sheila opened my eyes and mind to the possibility that there was a different way to work with my three...
    • “I wanted to say a big thank you for the hard work and time put into the courses and for the patience and understanding of where I am at and what I have still to learn. It could be quite...
    • “We haven't been able to stop thinking about what we learnt and we're hungry for more. We bought half a dozen books to keep us going!”


     Although each area of study comprises self-contained topic areas there is a progression, building upon behaviour and training knowledge acquired. It is important that students complete the entire course in sequence and particularly the first two blocks which are mandatory.

    Students missing a particular area of study may have another opportunity to make up the gaps in their knowledge at a later date, but 85% attendance is required in order to receive a certificate of attendance. Wording on the final certificate may reflect which areas of study have been attended.
    Current students come from a variety of backgrounds: from pet owners to professionals working full time with dogs. As practical work is a fundamental part of the study, student numbers will be strictly limited in order to provide individual guidance. Where handling is required students without dogs may be able to handle the dogs of other students or those of the staff with adequate notice. Practical work will need to be applied between areas of study, including observation.

    From personal experience we realise that a well-trained dog is not necessarily a well-behaved dog. We aim to build skills, trust and relationships in both dog and handler in order to ensure a better quality of life, and therefore superficial exercises such as the "sit, down, stay" or other traditional type of training are not a part of this course.

    Each area of study will carry with it the expectation that students will be involved in research, observation and training in their own time. For those choosing to work towards OCN(WMR) accreditation, a portfolio of work should be kept and managed, including written work, summaries of class discussion along with some video or other photographic evidence, in which case access to a still and/or video camera is strongly recommended.
    Students are encouraged to bring dogs as case studies for discussion in order to apply their knowledge in real behaviour counselling sessions to further individual development.
    For further general information on expectations, pre-requisites and level criteria for this foundation course and other levels, please request document: Pre-requisites & level Criteria.

    It is likely that there will be about 15 paying students on the course although provision has been made for a maximum of 20 paying students according to demand.

    An exceptional level of support is available for students attending the IPACS. Individual help is available throughout the IPACS, not only for course work but also for students’ dogs.
    Students are encouraged to form support groups. Potential benefits include friendship, emotional support, experiential knowledge, identity, meaningful roles, and a sense of belonging.
    Further support does not come to a halt once the course has been completed. Students are encouraged to update their knowledge regularly and opportunities for continuing professional development are provided through our International Academy for Ethical Canine Study. These sessions may offer the opportunity for further networking both nationally and internationally. In some countries CPD’s (Continuing Professional Development) of two – four days are held to help update knowledge. As many students wish to continue improving their knowledge a higher level of study is available in the UK through the Academy.