Calming signals

Certified by Turid Rugaas



who is it for?

With Turid Rugaas as your personal mentor, this course offers a unique opportunity to study the calming signals of dogs and become a specialist in this area. 

Turid Rugaas has devoted her life to studying canine behaviour and communication, and is internationally renowned for her work on calming signals –  subtle body language cues that dogs use to communicate their feelings of stress, anxiety, or discomfort. She has written several books on the topic, including “On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals”. Rugaas has received numerous awards for her work, including the Norwegian King’s Medal of Honour.

This course is open to anyone who has completed level 1 with Nordic Dog Trainer.



Learning objectives

  • Very good knowledge about the meaning of the terms calming signals and distance increasing signals
  • Very good understanding of the use of calming signals as communication between dogs and between dogs and humans
  • Very good knowledge of how to use our body language to communicate in a friendly way to dogs and to reduce stress and misunderstandings between dogs and humans
  • Very good skills in using human body language to reduce stress and communicate in a clear and non-threatening way to dogs
  • Very good observation skills of calming signals
  • Good ability to describe and interpret calming signals and distance increasing signals in various situations
  • Being able to observe and understand calming signals and distance increasing signals and to avoid escalation of aggression in the dog
  • Being able to observe and understand calming signals to avoid escalation of stress in the dog

how does it work?

Duration: 8 months (24 weeks)

12 online lectures and Q&A’s + online exam 17th of October

All lectures and Q&A will be recorded, but it is mandatory to attend minimum 80 % live.

5 in-depth individual study and filming assignments.

Workload: min. 4 hours per week.

Please note that you will benefit greatly from having someone to help you do the practical filming of you working with dogs.


Language: English

Grades: Not Approved, Good, Excellent

In order to pass the course, the participant needs a minimum score of ‘Good’ on each of the five independent studies.



Dates for 2024:

Online meetings on Zoom:

Time: 19.00- 21.00 (7pm – 9pm CET)

8th and 22nd of February
7th and 21st of March
4th and 18th of April
2nd and 30th of May
13th of June
8th of August
5th of September
3rd and 17th of October

All online meetings and seminars will be recorded.



This course includes practical assessement and you are required to read the following books:

Rugaas, Turid (2005). On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals. Dogwise Publishing

Rugaas, Turid (2008). Barking – The Sound of a Language. Dogwise Publishing

Eaton, Barry (2010). Dominance in Dogs: Fact or Fiction? Dogwise Publishing

The books are not included in the course fee.