The SHOOTS Programme

Learn to develop shared communication through the language of positive training

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SHOOTS is aimed at further deepening the relationship between human and dog and developing shared communication through the language of positive training.

 Through SHOOTS learners will discover a wide range of technical dog training skills and will be provided with the practical opportunities needed to develop competence and confidence in training these behaviours in a range of dogs.



Like its predecessor, ROOTS, SHOOTS is a fully participative and competence-assessed learning programme. It has been designed for people who wish to learn how to develop the behavioural repertoire of companion dogs using ethical, force-free and science-based dog training methodology.

SHOOTS learners will be immersed in the science of behaviourism, and will be coached and supported to apply this through practical training scenarios with multiple dogs. This is a intensive 5-day programme which takes place at Action Petz’s purpose built training facility in Cardiff.

The SHOOTS course is competence-assessed, with all learners undergoing a final assessment to demonstrate their practical training skills and underpinning knowledge of animal learning.  The course material has been mapped to the relevant vocational standards set by independent professional body, the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC).



Learning on the SHOOTS programme is achieved through extensive practice, feedback and personal reflection on the knowledge and skills needed to effectively train dogs. The large practical component of this course is complemented by a theoretical module, which will enable learners to design, set up and maintain training plans for a range of ‘manners’ behaviours.

Learners will explore and be required to assimilate knowledge on the science of animal learning, including how to utilise this to successfully train companion dogs to be well balanced and healthy family members.  A full set of learning materials will be provided, in addition to ongoing support and feedback through the closed Facebook group for students and graduates.



The SHOOTS programme is not an entry level course. As such, prospective learners are required to demonstrate that they have a basic grounding in the science of behaviourism which is fundamental to the training techniques that we teach on this course.  

Successful completion of the APETS Roots programme will passport you onto SHOOTS. Otherwise, entry is via a compulsory online entrance exam, to ensure that all learners start with broadly the same fundamental knowledge of animal learning. Please contact us for more details.



apets for web (34 of 51)SHOOTS is a tri-modular learning programme, which spans both theory, practice  and evaluation on animal learning, dog training and teaching ‘manners’ behaviours.

Module 1: The-all-important theory (and how this helps you to practice!)


GENERAL OBJECTIVE: The aim of this module is to equip learners with detailed knowledge and skills of how to select, set up and implement training plans for a range of ‘manners’ behaviours.


  • Review classical and operant conditioning and how to select strategies for training companion dogs based on these modes of animal learning.
  • Determine how to gather case histories, conduct risk assessments, and ensure dog training is safe and ethical.
  • Examine and populate training plans for a range of desired terminal ‘manners’ behaviours. 
  • Explore establishing parametres, setting criteria and the impact that rate of reinforcement has on success in dog training. 

Module 2: Practice, practice, practice! 

DURATION: 15 hours.

GENERAL OBJECTIVE: The aim of this module is provide learners with practical case studies, to enable them to implement training plans with a variety of dogs.


  • Practice installing a range of ‘manners’ behaviours with multiple dogs.
  • Demonstrate technical training skills, including raising and lowering criteria according to the dog’s current competence at particular behaviours.
  • Engage in egomorphic observation and awareness of calming signals and body language signals in relation to individual dogs.

Module 3: Evaluation and assessment

DURATION: 5 hours.

GENERAL OBJECTIVE: The aim of this module is to develop learners’ skills for continuous professional improvement as dog training professionals.


  • Undertake a practical assessment to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of installing training plans for a range of ‘manner’s behaviours.
  • Engage in multi-directional evaluation and feedback, to include self-evaluation, peer evaluation and qualitative tutor feedback.

**All course contents are subject to change**

5- Day Course - 25 Hours of Training at an Introductory Price of £495 (Normally £990)