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What Am I Getting Myself into With a Home Boarding Course from Dog Business School?

Course News

So you’re looking at starting your own dog home boarding business in the UK and want to be sure you’re licensed. Good for you! If it’s been a while since you were in school, fear not! Embarking upon a Dog Business School course is a worthy endeavour, and will require some hard work, but we hope you’ll have a bit of fun along the way, and rest assured that our staff will be at your beck and call, helping you feel supported at every step. Here, we’ll do a deep-dive on one of our most popular courses—the Ofqual Level 3 award course in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare + Home Boarding.

Who is the Course For?

If you are an existing or aspiring home boarder or a dog walker branching out, this one’s for you. Dog Business School does offer the Ofqual Level 3 Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare course on its own, but the course we’re discussing here contains all the goodness therein, plus content on Home Boarding. The course will make sure you understand the regulations for providing Home Boarding services, and when you’ve completed the course and passed the assessments, you’ll receive your very own Level 3 Award in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare certificate from Ofqual’s national assessment organisation, Open Course Network West Midlands and the Dog Business School’s certificate for “Fundamentals in Home Boarding and Home Day Care for Dogs”.


Why Do I Need Licensing?

 If you’re starting your own dog home boarding business in England (the other home nations have similar regulations and licensing requirements), you’ll need to abide by the DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 requirement that states that if one wants to run a home boarding business, the licence holder or a designated manager, plus any staff that cares for the animals, must demonstrate competence in the following:

  • Identifying the normal behaviour of a species they’re caring for
  • Recognizing signs of, and taking appropriate measures to, mitigate or prevent pain, suffering, injury, disease, or abnormal behaviour

They must also be able to demonstrate sufficient training in the areas of:

  • Dog welfare
  • Dog handling
  • Dog behaviour
  • Cleanliness and hygiene
  • Feeding and food preparation
  • Disease control
  • Recognition and first aid treatment of sick animals

The law requires the licence holder to hold an Ofqual Level 2 certificate in an appropriate subject or the equivalent knowledge and experience.

And to meet one of the “Higher Standard,” licensing criteria, you require an Ofqual regulated Level 3 qualification in an appropriate subject. And the Dog Business School Ofqual Level 3 course in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare + Home Boarding will more than meet those standards, and you don’t need any prerequisites to begin.


So What’s Included?

Glad you asked! What you’ll get is:

Unit 1: Ofqual Level 3 Award: Canine Behaviour, which covers:

  • Common canine body language signs and signals
  • How to assess canines from their body language
  • Common canine behavioural issues
  • Methods used to modify canine behaviour
  • Potential causes of canine stress
  • Potential causes of aggression in canines
  • How stress can lead to aggressive behaviour in canines

Unit 2: Ofqual Level 3 Award: Care of Dogs in Home Boarding, Day Care & Kennels, which covers:

  • The causes of canine disease
  • Methods of disease prevention
  • The welfare of canines in home boarding and day care settings
  • Feeding of canines in home boarding and day care settings
  • Techniques for dealing with eating and dietary issues in canines in home boarding and day care settings
  • Different ways to enter and exit dog enclosures
  • Essential personal protective equipment for canine handling
  • Ways to provide environmental enrichment in home boarding and day care settings
  • Safe and unsafe play in canines
  • Safe management of canine interactions

Unit 3: Animal Welfare Regulations 2018 + Home Boarding Guidance, including 1-2-1 Tutorial, which includes things like:

  • License display
  • Staffing
  • Suitable environment and diet
  • Animal handling and interactions
  • Protection from pain, suffering, injury, and disease
  • Emergencies
  • Housing with, or apart from, other dogs
  • And best of all? You have the option of a live, 1-2-1 45-minute personal Zoom tutorial to help answer any specific questions you may have for your own home boarding licencing application.


Foundation vs. Practitioner

Dog Business School offers two options at two different price points for this dog boarding course:


  • This is the “base level” course, and includes everything we’ve just outlined, and will give you an Ofqual Level 3 Award qualification
  • Even this one will make you more than qualified to become a home boarding carer
  • The Foundation course costs £90, and can be paid at once, or in two payments over two months. Payment must be made in full before the course can be completed or the certificate can’t be issued


  • but, after creating the Foundation course, we thought, “it’s good, but surely people will want to know more than that”
  • For £399, you will have access to all the Foundation course content, plus:
  • A module on Mastering the Canine Legal Landscape, which will help you…
  • Understand the broader canine legal landscape and the licensing process
  • Develop your policies and processes
  • A module on COVID-19 and its impact on pet home boarding, which covers:
  • COVID-19 and its impact on pet care businesses
  • What you can expect to change in dog businesses as a result
  • What are the risks in your business?
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Disinfecting
  • Handover guide for dogs
  • Reassuring your customers


Great! So What’s Going to be Asked of Me?

First of all, the course is completely online, so as long as you have a decent internet connection and email access, you’ll be golden. Unlike many other courses, you won’t simply receive a pdf workbook and a reading list and be left to crack away on your own. With Dog Business School, you will have access to an online tutor, and get your materials via a variety of means, including podcasts, recorded seminars, flashcards, quizzes, and in-course exercises.

And as for your assessments, these will require you to do some research from your study resources (we help with that too), and write 200-400 word responses to “explain” or “describe” type questions. And at the end, we will ask you to complete a self-evaluation, to reflect on your learning experience and personal growth. You must pass all course modules to receive the coveted Ofqual certificate. But if you don’t pass one, fear not—you’ll receive a “refer,” or, as we like to call it, a “pass-in-waiting.” You’ll have two more complimentary attempts. And if you don’t pass either of those two, you’re welcome to try again, at £25 per additional resit.


How Long Do I Have to Complete the Course?

Great question. We recognize you may already be a busy home boarding or dog daycare business professional. So you’ll be allowed to somewhat go at your own pace, but we have to have a finite timeline to keep our students focused, so if you can complete and pass your course in two to three months, brilliant! You’ll be the recipient of a lovely Ofqual level 3 certificate.

If you’re interested in starting your own dog home boarding business in the UK, getting your Ofqual regulated qualification online is a great option. You can sign up for Ofqual Level 3 in Canine Care, Behaviour & Welfare + Home Boarding and be on your way towards licensing today. Peruse all of Dog Business School’s course offerings here, and check out for all the forms and templates you’ll need to get your business started.