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Level 3 Diploma in Canine Massage

Ofqual Code .
Qualification Level 3
Guided Learning Hours 620
Enrolment will be valid for You have 24 months to complete your course.
Credits 84
Practical Placement (Mandatory) Learners will need to complete 6 days of practical training. Learners will also have to provide their own case studies. Learners must complete the first unit of their course to access the first set of placement days. Learners must complete all theory elements within the course before they can complete the remaining placement days.
Study Mode Online & Practical
Start Date Anytime
Entry Criteria Learners need to be aged 16 or above and hold qualifications in Maths and English at Level 2 to enrol on this course.
Assessment Method You will be assessed via a combination of video and photo submissions, your supervisor will also need to provide witness testimonies.
Award Type Diploma - Learners can expect their certification within 6 months of completing the course, following the (EQA) External Quality Assurance of assessment. All course fees, inclusive of all payment plans including our Premium Credit Limited option, must be settled before certification can be ordered.
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Post Completion Learners can become member of the Animal Health Professions' Register (AHPR) following completion of this course.
  International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT)
Students who have completed their qualification in Canine Massage can apply for a membership at the International Association of Animal Therapists (IAAT)

International Association of Animal Therapists Membership Benefits

Membership of IAAT is open to all animal therapists, veterinary surgeons and nurses and students. Applicants should be the holder of, or a student on, a qualification in the relevant animal therapies.

Course Description:

This comprehensive Level 3 Diploma in Canine Massage qualification covers everything you need to know to work in the canine massage industry or to set up your own canine massage therapy business. This qualification has been designed to provide learners with a route into professional canine massage, working as part of a multidisciplinary team to provide therapeutic massage for a range of canine conditions.

Over the course of 13 in depth units you will study canine anatomy and behaviour, massage techniques and the conditions massage can help with, along with business management and customer care.

The qualification includes a vital practical element consisting of 6 days split into manageable blocks, where you can put your learning into practice as you conduct assessments for canine patients and perform appropriate massage techniques. Please note, dates to complete this training are available at multiple times throughout the year.

On successful completion of the Level 3 Diploma in Canine Massage, learners may progress directly into employment within the canine massage industry or set up their own canine massage business. Some learners may choose to progress on to further study in this or related areas.


Accreditation by the Animal Health Professions' Register (AHPR) means that the Canine Massage Diploma Level 3, has undergone scrutiny and has met the criteria for educational standards as set by the Massage and Soft Tissue subgroup of the Register. Graduates are ensured that they qualify with an award that fully equips them to provide animal health services that protect animal welfare, the interests of the animal owners and the veterinary surgeons who will refer cases to them. 

'AHPR are determined to maintain high standards in all forms of animal therapy education and are very pleased to welcome Animal Courses Direct to the Register on completion of the course.'


Unit 1

Unit 1: Fundamentals of Canine Massage

Learners will explore basic massage techniques and when to use them. Learners will study the intended outcomes for massage treatments and learn about the term ‘fascia’ in relation to massage treatment.

Unit 2

Unit 2: Comprehensive Canine Anatomy

Learners will study the function of the muscular system, the skeletal system, the central and peripheral nervous system and the circulatory system in canines along with the types and locations of connective tissue fibres.

Unit 3

Unit 3: Canine Handling Techniques

Learners will understand how training methods influence canine handling skills and will understand canine handling techniques.

Unit 4

Unit 4: Canine Behaviour Dynamics

Learners will understand canine communication and how pain and stress can affect canine behaviour.

Unit 5

Unit 5: Fundamentals of Canine Assessment

Learners will explore the importance of assessment prior to massage treatment. This unit looks at normal and abnormal posture and gait patterns in a range of canine breeds. Learners will also study muscle testing and how to assess muscle mass.

Unit 6

Unit 6: Tissue Healing and Pain Management in Canine Massage

This unit covers the tissue healing process and the timing of massage treatment in relation to tissue healing. Learners will also study pain management in relation to massage treatment.

Unit 7

Unit 7: Common Canine Medical Conditions and How to Manage Them

This unit looks at the orthopaedic, neurological and common medical conditions referred for massage treatment and how to manage these conditions.

Unit 8

Unit 8: Fundamentals of Aquatic Massage

Learners will study the properties of water as they relate to aquatic massage and the equipment used in aquatic massage. Learners will look at how to apply aquatic massage techniques to patients and post session treatment for aquatic massage.

Unit 9

Unit 9: Advanced Canine Massage Techniques

Learners will understand a range of advanced massage techniques suitable for use with canine patients and will understand how massage techniques can be used for canine athletes.

Unit 10

Unit 10: Professional Practices in Canine Massage

This unit looks at the role of the Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) in relation to massage treatment. Learners will look at the importance of professional development and professional behaviour in the workplace. The unit also looks at legislation and health and safety requirements in relation to massage treatment.

Unit 11

Unit 11: Customer Service Excellence in Canine Massage

This unit looks at the principles of customer service. Learners will understand how to add value to customer relationships and exceed customer expectations. The unit also covers how to handle a customer complaint.

Unit 12

Unit 12: Business Essentials for Canine Massage Practitioners

This unit covers how to create and run a company. Learners will explore the concept of branding, how to manage business accounts and the importance of marketing.

Unit 13

Unit 13: Practical Skills in Canine Massage Therapy

This unit covers learning on assessing patients prior to massage treatment and handling canines in a massage setting. Learners will study how to administer massage treatments and canine sports massage. Learners will also learn how to complete massage treatment documentation.

You will have access to the course for 2 years.

Career Options

Jobs within the animal care sector are predicted to continue to grow over the next decade and beyond. Canine massage is increasing in popularity as owners seek to provide the best, holistic care for their pets.

Along with seeking employment at an established animal therapy centre, there are opportunities for employment within some veterinary clinics, grooming salons, large pet shops, animal charities or other canine businesses such as kennels. There will be opportunities for promotion to more senior or leadership positions according to your skillset and level of experience.

Many learners who qualify in canine massage will choose to become self-employed, either travelling to owners' homes or working from their own premises. Once you have established a successful business, you may consider employing other canine massage therapists to support your business. Once qualified, learners may choose to expand their skills with further training in other therapies such as canine physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

It's an exciting time to qualify in Canine Massage as demand for this service grows.

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