Courses For Humans

Are you interesting in learning more about dog behaviour and training? Or thinking of changing career to work with dogs?

Lady with dog

Courses for humans

Are you interested in learning more about dog behaviour and training? Or thinking of changing careers to work with dogs? Want to make sure you are investing in a course that is run with professionals with proven experience, who are renowned dog behaviourists and trainers already? Check out the details of our courses below.

Over the past 5 years we have run Principles of Dog Training, Practical Dog handling and Dog Handling for Enforcement Officers accredited courses on behalf of Open College Network NI (OCN). A regulated Awarding Organisation based in Northern Ireland. OCN NI is regulated by CCEA Regulation in Northern Ireland to develop and award professional and technical (vocational) qualifications from Entry Level up to and including Level 5 across all sector areas.  OCN NI is also regulated by Ofqual to award similar qualification types in England.

Robin Bates and Sandra Gilliland have many years of experience and education behind us, we decided to use our knowledge to bring varied courses to Northern Ireland. 

As experienced trainers, we run these courses at regular intervals throughout the year and can also tailor courses to the needs of a particular group. Currently we are running:

  1. It's a dog’s life -Principles of training and behaviour from puppy to old age

  2. Canine training and Canine trainer Skills

  3. Dog Handling for Enforcement Officers

It's a dog’s life -Principles of training and behaviour from puppy to old age

We are very excited in 2023 to be bringing out a new course which will run for 15 weeks and will be a mixture of theory taught face to face, online learning and practical sessions.

If you work in the dog industry already as a pet minder, dog walker, sanctuary worker, kennel assistant, dog groomer, veterinary nurse or trainer it will help you better understand dog's behaviour and up-skill you in your day-to-day interaction with dogs. Maybe you are considering a career change and interested in working with dogs, or as a dog owner want to further your own education and interest in the dog world.

We are taking applications for the first cohort which will begin 16th January 2023 and normally we will run the course twice a year.

This course will run until 24th April (class dates subject to change due to bank holidays etc.) Monday evenings 7-9pm at Gone to the Dogs Premises (77 Main St, Ballyclare BT39 9AA) Please email us to find out more details

At the course you will learn about:
  • The development of the domestic dog

  • The development of dogs from puppy to older dog. 

  • Canine body language and calming signals

  • Dog behaviour problems and how to deal with them.

  • Practical dog handling and training skills

  • Information on how to work safely with unknown dogs.

At least two of the classes we will work with the rescue dogs at Mid Antrim Animal Sanctuary where you will get the chance to hone your training skills. This will also give you some experience working with rescue dogs.

Like all of our classes/courses, all teaching by Robin Bates Dog Training is based on positive reinforcement (reward-based only).

You will be learning modern and up to date scientifically proven methods from us 2 recognised dog trainers and behaviourists Robin Bates and Sandra Gilliland with 40 years’ experience between us.

This course will be useful for students going forward to pursue their goals of working in the dog industry in some capacity and can count as continual professional development.

You can choose to pay £399 deposit to secure your place and the remaining before 31st January or pay the whole lump sum upfront. Payment plans over 12 weeks are also possible. Please contact Robin to discuss further.

If you are interested also in becoming a franchisee with our company, you will be offered this course at a discounted price. Please contact us directly to find out more (

If you have any questions, please contact us via the Contact Form or go ahead and book your preferred date on the button below.

 2. Canine training and Canine trainer Skills

If you have always wanted to run your own business and be a successful dog trainer, this course is designed to give you all the information you need to run your own classes and your own business. This course is designed to train trainers to a high standard to represent the Robin Bates Dog Training franchise of which I Robin Bates am the Franchise Owner.

This course will be full or half days over a designated period. 

If you are interested also in the 'It's a dog’s life -Principles of training and behaviour from puppy to old age' course, you will be offered this course at a discounted price.

Check out the "Become A Trainer" opportunities by clicking the button below

 3. Dog Handling for Enforcement Officers

Since 2019, I have been offering accredited dog handling for enforcement officers through intensive day courses which was tailored particularly to their needs. If you are public institution or organisation who employs people who work day to day in some capacity with dogs and need some skills training in a specific area as part of their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) please contact me via contact form to see I can help.