COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Learn to care for and train your furry friend by studying canine behaviour and training. Explore what influences canine behaviour and husbandry, develop your knowledge of the roles and requirements of canine-related industries in New Zealand, and apply your knowledge through practical training in our dog agility facility.

With growing public and legislative interest concerning the management of animals (dogs in particular), the industry is on the lookout for work-ready graduates. Study the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Management (Canine Behaviour and Training) and you’ll develop the technical and transferable skills needed to work in canine-related industries.

Begin to understand and recognise what influences canine behaviour, develop your skills to be able to manage day-to-day canine health and husbandry in a training environment, and apply your knowledge to train a variety of dogs in a range of disciplines.

Learn about health and safety planning, the ethics, philosophies, and regulatory procedures that surround the roles and responsibilities of canine industries, as well as develop an understanding of the Animal Welfare Act as it applies to all animals in New Zealand (specifically to dogs).

You’ll also gain a broad understanding of the anatomy and husbandry of a range of animals which enables you to provide them with general care.


  • A hands-on approach focusing on practical experience in many aspects of canine obedience and training
  • Extensive practical training in our on-campus dog agility and fenced “off-leash” areas, as well as field work in selected off-campus environments
  • Self-selected placement(s) in the canine industry
  • Highly experienced lecturers who continue to work closely with industry and are experts in the fields of animal behaviour, health and welfare, and practical dog training
  • On-campus individual kennel areas for safe housing of dogs

Dog Requirements

To be eligible to apply for this programme, you must have arranged regular access to a suitable dog (as approved by Unitec's specialist dog trainers). To ensure a safe and effective learning environment for you and for your dog: Dogs must be no younger than 18 months and ideally no older than 7 years at the start of this programme; Dogs must have current registration details; Dogs must be in good health in order to cope with, and excel in, the physical aspects of the programme such as agility and tracking work; Dogs must have good play and food drive, and be sociable with other dogs and people; There are no breed or size restrictions; In case of injury, we recommend that your dog is insured. We also recommend that your dog is desexed.

Dog Eligibility

Before being accepted into the programme, your dog must be assessed by Unitec’s dog training tutors. We'll identify the strength of your dog’s motivation and interest in food and in toys - it is essential that your dog has a good level of food and toy motivation to succeed in this programme. If we feel that your dog does not have these motivations then we may offer you tips to increase these motivations or recommend another dog.

Where to next

If you're interested in continuing your studies, this programme will give you the academic admission requirements for higher-level animal programmes at Unitec, including the Bachelor of Applied Science (Animal Management and Welfare).

Please note: International students who graduate will NOT be eligible for a post-study work visa upon completion of this programme.

CAREER OPTIONS: Dog support services; Kennels/doggy daycare; Animal welfare organisations (canine); Pet Dog Trainer.



CAMPUS Mt Albert

Which department am I in?

School of Environmental and Animal Sciences

Study options

Full Time (1 year)

Tuition fees
NZ$22,330.00 (US$ 15,187) per year
Start date

28 February 2022


Unitec Institute of Technology

Mt Albert Campus,

139 Carrington Road,


Mt Albert,

1025, New Zealand

Entry requirements

For international students

  • Entry requirements vary from country to country.
  • Students are required to complete international academic qualification equivalent to New Zealand NCEA
  • For more details, please check the institution website.

Have consistent access for the duration of the programme to a dog that has been evaluated and deemed suitable by Unitec's specialist dog trainers.

If you don’t meet the academic criteria above, we'll also accept the New Zealand Certificate in Animal Care (Level 3) or an equivalent qualification.

If English is not your first language you will also need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency such as IELTS 5.5 (no band<5.0) or equivalent
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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