Canine Massage Foundations


  • October 7-13, 2017 | open enrollment

The Canine Massage Foundations program is ideal for animal lovers, pet parents, canine professionals, and those who would like to add another service to their existing dog-focused business. The foundation program is completely hands-on and provides participants with the basics of canine massage and beyond. Through this program, students receive a solid and intensive introduction to canine massage, with an emphasis on relaxation, wellness, and sports massage.

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 person's technique can be assessed for correctness on an on-going basis. Consistent feedback and guidance from instructors allow participants 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.

The following topics are included in Canine Massage Foundations:

  • 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
  • Basic canine anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology
  • Working with shelter dogs
  • Pre-event, post-event, and maintenance massage for canine athletes
  • Introduction to trigger point therapy
  • Introduction to Passive Range of Motion (PROM) and stretching techniques
  • Common canine musculoskeletal conditions
  • Complementary modalities
  • Basic business practices

Additionally, participants have the opportunity to:

  • Access a wide array of study materials and anatomy tools to reinforce 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.

Location: anti-cruelty society | 510 N. Lasalle St, Chicago, IL
Times: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Cost: $1,800
Deposit: $600 – Non-refundable. 

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

For more information, please review the Enrollment Process

**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.


cscm is a continuing education provider for the national board of certification of animal acupressure and massage (nbcaam).