Advanced Canine Massage Certification – 300 Hours (10 months)




The Advanced Canine Massage Certification program is an intensive and completely hands-on curriculum that prepares students to work confidently, skillfully, and professionally as canine massage therapists in a variety of work environments, including rehabilitation centers, veterinary clinics, animal shelters, training facilities, or private practice.

In the 10 month program, our students become highly trained canine massage therapists by learning through practical and applied experiences how to work with many different types of dogs, including the most challenging dogs, in a variety of real-life settings. Students gain the knowledge, skill, and confidence required to work effectively in this specialized and quickly growing field.This program will be structured differently than in the past and with more hand-on opportunities. Students in the program will have open access to CSCM’s new student clinic with real life clients, the ability to volunteer and work with shelter dogs, as well as the opportunity to gain experience working at real events.

Why is a completely hands-on approach to learning so important? Becoming a skilled practitioner takes time and a vast amount of hands-on practice. Many of the fundamental elements of canine massage – such as proper massage technique and understanding canine behavior, to name just two – can only be taught and learned in real-life situations. Palpation and massage techniques are learned best when each student’s technique can be assessed for correctness on an on-going basis. Consistent feedback and guidance from instructors allow students to grow in skill and confidence. In terms of behavior, the only way to learn how to work effectively with dogs that are fearful, anxious, poorly socialized, touch reactive, cognitively dysfunctional, or in pain is to experience them first-hand in a safe and controlled learning environment.

This program will meet 2-4 Saturdays each month for 10 months.

Extensive curriculum includes the following topics:

  • Canine massage overview
  • History of massage
  • Canine ethology
  • Canine physical and social development
  • Canine behavior and low stress handling
  • Understanding and working with stress, anxiety, and fear in dogs
  • Palpation and assessment
  • Fundamental massage techniques
  • Canine anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology
  • Gait observation
  • Working with shelter dogs
  • Pre-event, post-event, and maintenance massage for canine athletes
  • Passive Range of Motion (PROM) and stretching techniques
  • Therapeutic exercise and conditioning
  • Working with special populations
  • Palliative care
  • Advanced massage techniques, including trigger point therapy, myofascial release, post-surgical edema management, and orthopedic massage techniques
  • Pathology
  • Common canine neurological, pathological, and musculoskeletal conditions
  • Complementary modalities
  • Canine First-Aid and CPR
  • Documentation and record keeping practices
  • Business practices
  • Working with and educating pet parents
  • NBCAAM national certification preparation

Additionally, our hands-on curriculum provides students with 3-dimensional learning experiences. Students have the opportunity to:

  • Access a wide array of study materials and anatomy tools to reinforce in-class learning.
  • Learn anatomical structures by applying concepts to live dogs and skeletal models.
  • Meet and interact with guest lecturers who are among the top people in the field.
  •  Work with real clients in real-life situations – the ultimate learning experience.

This program consists of 300 hours of in-class lecture and hands-on learning experiences. Students are required to document observation and lab hours, arrange independent clients for case studies, and complete internship hours providing canine massage therapy services.

We keep our classes very small (4-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio) to ensure that every student’s learning needs can be met throughout the duration of the program. Additionally, students receive continued support following the end of the program to facilitate completion of program requirements.  Graduates and past students are also welcome to access study tools and attend the anatomy lab at no additional charge.

Location: TBD
Times: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Cost: $7,500
Deposit: $2,000 – Required to reserve class. Non-refundable. 

**Additional book fees not included. Entire tuition must be paid in full 2 weeks prior to the start of class. A deposit is required to reserve spot in class and is applied to the full class tuition cost. *Times may vary as additional observation hours, anatomy lab, and other educational opportunities may be arranged. Students are required to complete all program coursework within six months of class start date to receive certification. An established due date will be provided on your class syllabus. All materials submitted after due date will be classified as incomplete. A student who receive an incomplete will be required to retake a CSCM program for certification status.

**Required books for this program include:

  • Dog Anatomy: A Coloring Atlas. Robert Kainer and Thomas O. McCracken, 2003.
  • Stress in Dogs. Martina Scholz and Clarissa von Reinhardt, 2007.

  • On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals. Turid Rugaas, 2006.

  • Guide to the Dissection of the Dog. Howard E. Evans and Alexander de Lahunta, 2010. 

Students will also gain access to our student resources portion of our website.

We make every attempt to offer the programs as announced. However, CSCM reserves the right to adjust the programs location, dates and times to accommodate unanticipated occurrences. We are not responsible for any expenses incurred by registrants due to program adjustments or cancellations.