Upcoming Courses 

  • Introduction to Canine Rehab (Independent Study)- Always available
  • Introduction to Canine Rehab – June 7-9, 2024 Calgary, AB
  • Advanced Canine Rehab – September 20-23, 2024 Calgary, AB

Other Courses

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.

June 2024

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. September 2024 – Course Flyer

Small Animal Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture & Dry Needling Certification
PART 1 This course is designed to transition physiotherapists who are educated and rostered to needle in human practice into being able to select acupoints or myofascial trigger points to needle in small animal patients. The course is taught with a western neuroanatomical approach to acupuncture and dry needling. The online portion of this certification course consists of 15 lessons, examination questions that follow each lesson, and a final exam. Case studies are discussed as well. Course Flyer.

Small Animal Neuro-Anatomical Acupuncture & Dry Needling Certification
PART 2 This One-Day course is designed to transition physiotherapists who are educated and rostered to needle in human practice into being able to perform acupuncture or dry needling on the small animal patient. The course is taught with a western neuroanatomical approach to acupuncture and dry needling. The course will instruct participants in needling technique, point localizations, and practical dry needling skills on canine (or other small animal) patients. Safety and refinement of needling skills will be a focus. The entire course will be practical, as lecture materials will have been covered in the Online Part 1 course (prerequisite). Time will be allotted for questions and discussion. 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). More on eligibility here. 


  • 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.

Become a member


Become a member