Safe Dog Handling & Interactions

As much as we love dogs, we must recognise that they can inflict serious injury, especially where our goals and theirs are in conflict. Developing an awareness for how we interact with and handle dogs, particularly unfamiliar dogs, is vital for our safety, and also the welfare of dogs for whom we care.
Dogs who display behaviour we may feel is unsafe, or behaviour that presents risks to human safety, are most often experiencing strong responses relating to stress or fear, for example. And those behaviours are usually in response to ours.

Our Safe Dog Handling & Interactions course and workshops emphasise developing a good understanding of canine stress related behaviours, which are commonly misinterpreted, so as to reduce their stress, improve welfare and maintain safety. 

We have offered this in-person workshop to County Councils, dog wardens, pound staff and park wardens, as well as lots of dog-pros, around the country for many years, and continue to do so. And now, we have an online course too to make it more accessible and convenient! 

In-person Workshop for your
Organisation or Group


Our in-person workshop is an intense day-long event, covering a full breath of topics, tools & techniques. It's a mix of lecture, group discussion, participant input, and practical work. 
We like to work at your location so that we can discuss applications specific to your set-up and procedures. This improves the efficacy of this workshop. 

Get in touch if you are interested in incorporating this vital workshop to your health and safety procedures and SOP development. Talk to us!

Safe Dog Handling & Interactions Online Course


Goals of this course: 

  • develop knowledge, skill & awareness to devise policies and procedures relating to safe handling and interactions with dogs
  • understand the relationship between canine stress behaviours and human safety
  • recognise environmental contributors to changes in canine behaviour
  • build on awareness of the dangers associated with handling and interacting with dogs
  • emphasise awareness of our own behaviour in maintaining safety & comfort
  • use tools and strategies to prevent causing canine aggressive responding and in diffusing aggression
  • maintain safety and avoid serious injury 
  • build safe behaviours and procedures in interactions with dogs
  • maintain canine comfort to avoid escalations in stress responses through environmental modifications, awareness of your own behaviour and the application of appropriate tools & techniques
  • become empowered with skills and understanding that contributes not just to personnel safety, but also health
  • prioritise maintaining canine welfare and human safety

You get:

  • 24/7 access to the course online area, from anywhere, for six months
  • multiple media learning resources for viewing and downloading
  • all content presented as mini-lectures (written presentations for reading) covering a wide array of related topics presented in small-ish bites so that you can take time to process and analyse
  • video demos so that you can view and practice practical skills regularly
  • comment facility at the online course area for participation, enquiries, interactions
  • access to a private Facebook group for real-time feedback and guidance
  • regular live online meetings
  • ongoing online interaction with fellow-students and your tutor as we take this journey of discovery together
  • tons of tutor feedback, guidance and support

Course Details: 


Each class is two hours long but will run longer with questions and discussion. All times are ROI (Republic of Ireland) times. 

Our next run of this course starting in April is now full. We will have a new run starting in the Autumn. If you would like to notified of the next available course, please send us your email address here


All classes are online so you can participate from anywhere!


This really is vital information for ALL dog pros including trainers, behaviour pros, groomers, walkers, sitters, boarders, day-carers, kennel carers, rescue folks, petshop peeps...everyone who works with or hangs out with dogs! Pet owners and dog-hobbyists will also benefit, developing a thorough understanding of canine comfort and of our behaviour in maintaining their welfare. 
It's accessible for all, it's sustainable and most of all, you can participate from the comfort of your own home, with your pets by your side. 

How long? 

Each online class is two hours long and will run longer with discussion and questions. 
Assessment work will be discussed and started after each live class, and then reviewed during our next meeting. This gives you about a month to work on starting relevant assessment and then troubleshoot when we meet. After our online meetings have ended, you will have a further month approximately to complete your assessment portfolio and submit. 
While deadlines are important to provide guidance, we appreciate that individuals may find that daunting. Please don't worry about these timelines as we will work with each learner flexibly to support you in gaining the most from course work (and for some, that might not mean the completion of formal assessment work!). 

How much?

The full course costs €180.00 which must be paid in full before the first meeting. Payment plans are available and you are encouraged to discuss your needs with us. 

What will I learn about? 

  • relevant legislation & professional responsibilities
  • policy & procedure development
  • environmental assessments
  • professional & challenging environments
  • home environments
  • public settings

  • recognising & understanding canine stress & its effects on behaviour, welfare & safety
  • preventing escalations & diffusing stressful interactions
  • understanding the conditions under which stress-related behaviours occur
  • environmental supports to maintain & improve the welfare of dogs in your care
  • handler behaviour & skills
  • interacting with dogs safely & sensitively
  • maintaining human and canine welfare
  • considerations for human mental health
  • practical handling skills & tool use
Assessment work is compiled as a portfolio of works that are directly applicable to interactions with dogs. You will include works in your portfolio relevant to your areas of interest. 

What do I need for this course?  

  • Email address/account, a suitable device and internet access; course materials are presented in MS Word, PDF and links for downloading. You should not have difficulty on most devices and OS.
  • Stationary for note-taking (if that’s the way you work).
  • You need to be able to use the internet, blogs, Facebook groups and if you wish to participate to the fullest, be able to record and upload short demonstration clips, complete assessment work in Word documents, PDFs and other basic computer skills.
  • To complete some assessment work, and get the most out of most of our courses, you will need access to at least one dog.
  • Means to video yourself and upload your clips for guidance and feedback and to submit assessment work. You will be required to upload video assessment work, according to assessment guidelines, to a video sharing site, such as YouTube.
  • Access to social media such as Facebook (for groups) and MS Teams (we will send you a link, you don’t even need an account, just an email address), and a device that allows you to participate in online video meetings.
  • Dog handling tools such as regular trigger hook lead (nylon or leather, for example), slip lead (nylon, rope, for example), long line (5m length, or longer) and access to dog care equipment such as crates, muzzles. If you don't have access to these tools, don't worry you can still participate. I do recommend you have the various leads though. 

See more about the requirements and terms when studying with AniEd here