Level 4

Diploma in canine clinical hydrotherapy




Achieve your professional qualification in canine clinical hydrotherapy and develop your “Therapeutic Techniques Toolbox” to meet the specific needs of each dog in your professional care.

Welcome to a course experience that transcends the ordinary. Here, we offer you an innovative and exciting journey where we mould our course to fit you perfectly.

Led by veterinary physiotherapists with over 29 years of canine clinical experience and specialisation in hydrotherapy, this course also benefits from the expertise of an accredited clinical educator with 19 years of experience, making it perfect for hydrotherapists seeking to advance their skills.

By the end of this course you will:

  • Advance your clinical hydrotherapy skills, to offer safe and effective practice
  • Develop your “Therapeutic Techniques Toolbox” so you can devise the optimum treatment for each dog
  • Establish your professional status so you influence and lead the way forwards
  • Attain excellent water management skills so you are equipped for challenges
  • Achieve accredited CPD hours to meet your professional association requirements

Imagine…achieving a qualification in canine clinical hydrotherapy, leading the way and delivering best practice to each dog you see!

Does this Level 4 Diploma Course fit your goals? 

  • Do you want to achieve a professional qualification in canine clinical hydrotherapy?
  • Are you looking to advance your clinical skills to successfully treat complex cases?
  • Have you searched for a course with excellent support during and after your training?
  • Do you want practical “hands on training” delivered by specialists and educators?
  • Do you envisage shaping the future of clinical hydrotherapy to make a difference?  
Terrier in aquatic treadmill
chihuahua in shower

NEW Modular Course

The Ofqual regulated iPET Network L4 Diploma in Canine Clinical Hydrotherapy is a professional qualification providing you with a learning journey to optimise your canine clinical skills supported by underpinning knowledge. As a practical skills enriched course, it effectively facilitates the optimal management of complex challenges.

Barbara Houlding (K9HS Courses) has achieved Recognised Educational Provider status (REP) with the regulatory body – Register of Animal Musculoskeletal Practitioners (RAMP) and they accept specific course hours towards their RAMP registration.

Professional Associations – Institute of Registered Veterinary & Animal Physiotherapists – Institute of Canine Hydrotherapists (IRVAP – ICH) and the National Association of Registered Canine Hydrotherapists (NARCH) both approve this qualification and confirm that candidates awarded this L4 Diploma qualification will meet their registration qualification requirements for membership. 

To achieve this clinical qualification, you need to successfully complete all 9 units, which have been divided into 3 Modules. These have been meticulously crafted to integrate essential theoretical concepts with practical clinical skills, necessary for safe canine clinical hydrotherapy.

Our flexible modular format empowers you to devise your learning experience to fit your pace and professional goals, as you are in control of your journey. We are here to support and mentor you every step of the way.

This qualification has a generous 12 month time frame, which can be completed over a shorter period, or if you require additional time, a course extension can be requested.

Embark on your journey by completing our online application below to book an interview, so we can answer your queries and ensure a seamless experience from the start.

Whether you are new to the industry and eager to explore it further, or already have an established practice and seek further advancement, our course is specifically tailored to suit your needs. We believe in providing you with an outstanding experience to meet your individual goals and aspirations, empowering you to chart your own path forwards.

Module Details

Module 1 (Mandatory)

Units 1 – 6: Delivered in two parts through our interactive online Hubs, live virtual events and in person practical training. 

  • Unit 1 Clinical Risk Assessment, Health Monitoring & First Aid 
  • Unit 2 Canine Behaviour & Enrichment Techniques within the Clinical Setting
  • Unit 3 Canine Functional Anatomy & Biomechanics   
  • Unit 4 Breed Biology & Common Conditions 
  • Unit 5 Hydrotherapy Water Management & Sustainable Practice
  • Unit 6 Professionalism, Ethics & Legalities for Therapists

Online Studies: Units 1 – 6 released weekly to study via our online Hubs, weekly live virtual events, an inner community, email support and booked professional discussions.

Practical Training: Book and attend the two days practical (units 1 – 6) at K9HS Physiotherapy & Hydrotherapy, Bedingfield, Eye, Suffolk.

Module 2 (Mandatory)

Units 7 & 8: Following completion of module 1, module 2 will also be delivered in two parts via our online Hubs, live virtual events and in person practical training. 

  • Unit 7 Assessment Processes & Clinical Reasoning
  • Unit 8 Canine Advanced Hydrotherapy Pool Techniques

Online Studies: Units 7 – 8 released weekly to study via our online Hubs, weekly live events, K9HS inner community, email support and booked professional discussions.

Practical Training: Book and attend the four days practical at Active Balance (AB), Hinckley, Leicestershire. 

Module 3 (Mandatory)

Unit 9: Module 3 contains the last unit which should be completed following module 2. 

  • Unit 9 Canine Advanced Aquatic Treadmill Techniques

Online Studies: Unit 9 released to study via our online Hubs, weekly live events, K9HS inner community, professional discussions and email support

Practical Training: Book and attend the two day practical (unit 10) at K9HS Physiotherapy & Hydrotherapy, Bedingfield, Eye, Suffolk

Assessment Process

  • Assessment for module 1 is done through a portfolio of assignments that you submit for processing after successfully passing your module 1 practical training. You can then book and start module 2.
  • Assessment for modules 2 and 3 is done through a portfolio of assignments for final submission and processing at the end of the course, after having successfully achieved the related practical trainings. 

On successful completion of Units 1 – 9, you gain your professional qualification: L4 Diploma in Canine Clinical Hydrotherapy.

Your course Certificate and units Transcript are issued by the qualification awarding body – iPETS Network to K9HS Courses, which once received, are posted onto you.

dog first aid
Dog in clinic
net in hydro pool
dog in hydro pool
dog and therapist
bassett in hydro pool
dog in aquatic treadmill

What Others Are Saying

Therapist with two dobermans

“I completed my Level 4 Advanced Aquatic Treadmill Techniques Unit with K9HS Courses, under the guidance of Barbara and Sarah.

During my time on their course, they offered me continuous support through the theory-based side of things with zoom meetings, calls and emails to help me reach my specific goals.

During my time on the practical Masterclass, I was able to evolve my skills within the aquatic treadmill, focusing on land-based and aquatic based static and dynamic treatment techniques with many different cases. This enhanced my knowledge linked to these practical clinical skills to add to my treatment plans.

I learnt a huge amount during my time with them, not only building on my Terra and Aquatic Therapeutic Handling skills, but also working on specific sensory techniques and therapeutic touch-based work. This makes for a much more holistic and powerful treatment for each canine case I see.

I have already taken these advanced skills forwards in the treatment of cases within our clinics.”

Jess Pearce, Snowy’s Canine Therapy Centre, Smarden, Kent.

What’s Included?

The course fees of £3887 are paid in 6 installments.

Your course fees include:

  • Scheduled 1:1 professional discussion booked calls
  • Ongoing email support during the course registration year
  • Mentorship throughout the registration year plus the following year
  • 8+ intensive practical training days in small groups of candidates of 4 or less
  • Comprehensive marking processes and internal and external verification procedures
  • Certification and unit transcripts upon successful completion of this new clinical qualification

Not only do you get access to the course, you also get 12 months access to the K9 Therapy Hub – with loads of benefits including:

  • Attendance at our live virtual tutorials
  • Access to replays of all our different live events
  • Participation in live virtual hub centre hours (live Q&A’s)

You have access to our interactive and friendly chat space within our learning platform.

It’s a great space to ask questions, share ideas and conversations with other like minded therapists across the world, both during and after your course.

Your success is our goal!


Meet Barbara Houlding

As an accredited clinical educator, I help those working with dogs to progress their clinical skills. 

My vision is to support canine focused individuals and find solutions for their growth and success in canine healthcare. Whether new to this sector or an experienced therapist, we empower you to shape your canine journey and make informed decisions.

I believe in working with each dog and their consent, making a real difference to their mobility and lives.”


Who is this course best for?

This course has entry requirements and we have a pre-registration training package to support those new to clinical hydrotherapy. For professionals in practice, this course will significantly progress knowledge integrated to advanced clinical skills.

We support your exploration of the “why ” of each clinical decision and choice. Empower yourself to optimise clinical reasoning and achieve the best results for dogs and owners.

We offer bespoke training experiences to meet your specific goals and have a clinically enriched training experience delivered by canine physiotherapists specialising in clinical hydrotherapy.

Which credentials will I get for completing this course?

iPET Network are the qualification awarding body and will issue the Level 4 Diploma in Canine Clinical Hydrotherapy certificate and transcript to successful candidates.

This course has been fully approved and endorsed by the Institute of Registered Veterinary and Animal Physiotherapists (IRVAP) and its sub group; Institute of Canine Hydrotherapists (ICH).

Why can't I just buy the course?

This qualification requires an application and registration process to ensure all your questions are answered and you understand the course requirements.

This long term study commitment is for the serious candidate wanting to advance their professional status and achieve a recognised qualification in canine clinical hydrotherapy.

What assessments do I need to complete?

There are no formal examinations. You have to successfully complete the assignments set for each unit to build your practical and theory portfolios. Plus you need to pass the practical skills assessments. We work with you providing support and mentoring throughout the course and beyond.

Do I need to buy books + additional learning materials?

We provide you with all the resources you need to achieve your award. These are expansive and include our own unique instructional videos, video links, scripted lessons, templates, downloadable pdfs, illustrated diagrams, webinars, quizzes, ongoing support and mentoring throughout the course and full access to our vibrant K9 Community.

What if I need more time to complete my studies?

We know life throws curve balls every now and then, so if you find you need additional time to complete your course, you can request extenuating circumstances (EC).  You need to formally apply in writing to Barbara for an agreed extension period and we work with you to find a solution for your specific needs.

How do I know if this is the right course for me?

Our application and registration process includes a phone interview to discuss all aspects of  the course and ensure you are fully informed and all your questions are answered.

Provide the dogs in your professional care with the BEST clinical hydrotherapy treatment possible.