Note: Due to current world events, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association/Animal Rehab Division live in-person courses are currently suspended. Both the Canine and Equine Independent Study courses are still available and this would be a good time to get them completed prior to the hopeful resumption of in-person courses in 2021!

Upcoming Courses - see below for details

  • Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation - April 3-5, 2020 in Calgary, AB and October 16-18, 2020 in Kemptville, ON
  • Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy - May 31, 2020 in Kemptville, ON
  • Advanced Canine Rehabilitation - September 25-28, 2020 in Calgary, AB
  • Advanced Canine Spine - January 17-19, 2020 in Calgary, AB
  • Introduction to the Canine Patient (Independent Study) - always available

Introduction to the Canine Patient – Independent Study Course

This course is open to physiotherapists with an interest in animals. This course is required prior to engaging in the Canine Rehab series of courses. Course content includes an introduction to dogs, anatomy, orthopaedic and neurologic conditions of the dog, gait patterns in the dog, occupation health considerations, common canine medications and nutraceuticals, as well as legal, political and practice issues. Available anytime. Course Flyer

Introduction to Canine Rehabilitation

This three-day course provides the participant with a fundamental understanding of functional anatomy and palpation; canine behaviour as it relates in a therapeutic setting; and the ability to perform a rudimentary musculoskeletal and neurological assessment of a dog. Participants will be guided to use their existing problem-solving knowledge and understanding of basic physiotherapy principles and treatment techniques when confronted with canine-specific conditions and pathologies. Course Flyer

Introduction to Craniosacral Therapy

This one-day course is designed to provide participants with a background into craniosacral therapy. A brief history of osteopathy (in particular, craniosacral therapy), concepts, and theories will be explored. Participants will be challenged to explore a new paradigm of palpation, assessment, and treatment by feeling for, and working with, the craniosacral rhythm. A therapy protocol for a sample craniosacral session will be learned. Course Flyer

Advanced Canine Rehabilitation

This four-day practical course builds upon the information presented in the Introductory Canine Rehabilitation Course and includes joint-by-joint and spinal physical assessment, neurological evaluations and treatment, therapeutic exercise, sporting dog injuries and surgical descriptions. Course Flyer

Advanced Canine SPINE

Through lecture and lab, this two and half-day course will lead participants through a detailed evaluation of the canine spine from a mechanical perspective. Focus will include manual therapy concepts and evidence-based rationale for treatment selection. An integrated model for dealing with spinal mechanics will be covered, including force closure, form closure, and motor control and timing for the neck, back, pelvis and ribs. Course Flyer

Diploma in Canine Rehabilitation

The Diploma in Canine Rehabilitation is a specialized, focused program of study available to physical therapists only. Diploma Requirements


  • Course work - Introduction to the Canine Patient, Introduction to Canine Rehab, Advanced Canine Rehabilitation for Physical Therapists
  • Examination - Upon completion of the course work above, candidates will be eligible to take the examination pertaining to those courses.
  • Case study - All candidates must submit a case study (an example will be provided) that follows a case from referral to discharge.
  • Veterinary clinic observation - All candidates will be required to complete 40 hours (five days) of veterinary clinical experience
  • Animal husbandry and handling skills

Contact us for more information.


Policies Related to ARD Courses

Policy on Eligibility for registering for ARD courses
(updated as of December 10, 2018)

Physiotherapists who are licensed in Canada or retired are eligible to complete the ARD Canine and Equine diploma series of courses. (Internationally trained physiotherapists interested in taking the courses can apply for special permission to take the courses).


  • Students in their final year of a recognized Physiotherapy Program may complete the ARD Independent Home Study course (Introduction to the Canine Patient or Introduction to the Equine Patient) only. The students have to graduate and register as a physiotherapist in Canada before participating in the Introduction to and Advanced Canine or Equine Rehabilitation courses.
  • Veterinarians or veterinary technicians may be eligible (on a case-by-case basis) to complete ARD courses, provided that they have certification in Canine or Equine Rehabilitation from a recognized institution.

Physiotherapists who are in the process of completing the ‘Introduction to the Canine Patient’ or 'Introduction to the Equine Patient' courses are eligible to register for the ‘Introduction to Canine/Equine Rehabilitation’ course(s), respectively, provided the self-test from the Home Study course is submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the start of the 'Introduction to Canine/Equine Rehabilitation' course (to allow enough time to be marked and processed).

Policy on ARD Course Discounts

There are no circumstances under which ARD course fees will be discounted (to students, new graduates or other), beyond the course discount already offered to ARD members vs non-ARD members. The CPA and Division Membership fee is waived for Entry-Level Physiotherapy Students. New Graduates pay 50% of the CPA Membership and 100% of the Division Membership fee.