how to train in……Canine Bowen Therapy

Dog gazing

I'm often asked for advice on what training and qualifications are required to become a Canine Bowen Therapist (in the UK). This page has been compiled to answer some of the most common questions.

If you've any questions please email and I'll try to help, or please contact the organisations mentioned. Find details on Canine Bowen Therapy in our Knowledge Hub page here.

Are qualifications needed?

Strictly speaking no. However, there are professional training courses in Canine Bowen Therapy that can be taken which lead to recognised qualifications.

Remember - It's an offence for any person, other than the owner of the animal, to treat an animal unless the permission of the vet in charge of the case or to whom the animal would be referred is sought and obtained. A Veterinary Surgeon is extremely unlikely to refer any customers to you unless you're qualified and insured.

What qualifications can you get & how do you get them?

The EGCBT practitioner course in Canine Bowen Technique is currently the only UK-developed course in Bowen for dogs approved for continuous professional development training by the Bowen Therapy Professional Association (BTPA) and the Bowen Association UK (BAUK) - the two leading associations of professional Bowen therapists in the UK.

Currently, there are two training options available for Canine Bowen Technique (CBT):

  • Self Interest - Consisting of only Module 1 of the full Diploma course, this option provides instruction in the basic level of Canine Bowen Technique and maybe used by dog owners who wish to use some CBT solely for use on their own dog. Alternatively, if you'd like to find out more before committing yourself to the full Diploma course can also take Module 1.

  • Full Diploma course - The full Diploma course consists of four modules, and is designed for people with experience of handling dogs. Module 1 is as for the self-interest option, and then to complete the full course you must also take modules 2-4. These latter modules provide students with the second level of Canine Bowen Technique procedures, and also include basic Canine Anatomy & Physiology teaching, how to work with vets and within the Law, how to conduct client consultations, and more on the observation, assessment and treating of unfamiliar dogs.

Between modules, students are required to undertake case studies so as to practice and develop their technique, and have the opportunity to discuss any problems with the course tutors. Students are also required to complete four written assignments.

Entry Requirements

  • Successful completion of Bowen Technique training (for humans);
  • Able to demonstrate satisfactory experience and confidence of dealing with dogs;
  • Although not essential, ideally students should bring their own dog to work with during the hands-on parts of the course, (as helps if there is a bond of trust between dog and student);
  • Provision of adequate liability insurance.

NB: Veterinary Surgeons and qualified Veterinary Nurses (on the RCVS list) don't have to complete the full human Bowen course in order to receive the CBTA Diploma, but are required to have completed the Introductory level of the Bowen Technique on humans prior to starting the Canine Bowen Technique course.

What benefit is there in training as a human Bowen Therapist - I want to work with dogs?

  • Practitioners must have an excellent understanding of the Bowen Technique;
  • To equal the high professional standards mandated by other complementary therapies, (e.g. chiropractors, physiotherapists, etc);
  • To gain professional respectability, recognition and credibility within the veterinary, canine and complementary worlds;
  • To gain professional insurance cover to work with animals on veterinary consent;
  • Once qualified in human Bowen Therapy, practitioners are entitled to enrol with the Bowen Therapists European Register.

Are you looking to train as a Canine Bowen Therapist outside of the UK?

In different parts of the world there are different laws in place regarding helping animals with different therapies. But you can come to the UK and train or use an educational provider somewhere else. E.g. The Canine Bowen Institute based in Canada has many international students, with some online courses.


Your Essential Complementary Animal Therapy Training Guides: