Advanced Certificate in Animal Behaviour Online Course

$100.00$2,178.00 Inc GST
$80.00$1,742.40 Inc GST $100.00 x 25 Fortnights


Online Animal Behaviour Course

This advanced animal behaviour course covers a fascinating range of topics. You’ll  learn a wide range of skills and knowledge with various types of animals including animal psychology, how to observe animals and record their behaviour, how their biology impacts on their behaviour, how to use what you learn to apply to training and behaviour correction.  This course is suitable for pet carers, animal welfare workers, dog trainers, dog daycare workers, anyone with a love of animals and anyone who is intending to do further study in animal behaviour.  This course is made up of four modules outlined below. The first module Animal Behaviour introduces you to the field of study known as Ethology.  This is the psychology of animals. The Dog and Cat Behaviour courses have a stronger focus on training than then Equine behaviour course which is more focused on horse psychology.  Horse training is a very specialised field and takes years of hands on practice and mentoring. There are many different approaches to horse training some verge on dangerous and very insensitive to the horses needs.  If you wish to undertake an online horse training program we are happy to recommend a few that we believe provide the safest methods and the best outcomes for the horse.


There are 4 modules in this course:

1. Animal Behaviour

    • Introduction
      • Influences and motivation; what is behaviour; causes of behaviour (eg. genetics, learning, external and internal influences); reactive, active and cognitive behaviour; conditioning.
    • Genetics and Behaviour
      • Understanding biology; natural selection; genetic variation; development of behaviour; behavioural genetics.
    • Animal Perception and Behaviour
      • How animals perceive things; what stimulates them and how do those stimuli function; instinct; neural control; sensory processes: sight, sound, hearing etc.
    • Behaviour and the Environment
      • Coordination; orientation; homeostasis; acclimatisation; circadian rhythms; biological clocks; reproductive cycles; etc.
    • Social Behaviour
      • Animal societies; aggression; social constraints; social order; play; sexual behaviour; communication.
    • Instinct and Learning
      • Conditioning and learning; extinction and habituation; instrumental learning; reinforcement; operant behaviour; biological and cognitive aspects of learning.
    • Handling Animals
      • Psychological affects of different handling techniques; training animals (horses, cats, dogs, etc). The student can choose which animals to focus on, though a variety are covered.
    • Behavioural Problems
      • Abnormal behaviour (e.g. psychotic; neurotic); domestication of animals; reducing human contact/dependence.

2. Cat Psychology & Training Course

    • Nature and Scope of Cat Psychology
      • Introduction, Terminology, Cat Industries, Differentiating health and behavioural issues, Feline Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Stress
    • Cat Senses and Communication
      • Understanding Cat communications, Sounds made by the Cat, Body Language, Smell, Hearing
    • Understanding Natural Behaviour in Cats
      • Aggression, Scratch Fever, Cat Behavioural Development, Biological Rythms and Sleep, Sexual Behaviour, Maternal Behaviour, Eating and Drinking
    • Behavioural Disorders/Abnormalities
      • Nature or Nurture, Sensitive Periods, Neurological Development, Sleep, Play, Cat Temperament Tests, How Breeds Differ
    • Basic Training
      • Aggression, Redirected Aggression, Maternal Aggression, Ideopathic Aggression, Dealing with Aggression, Housebreaking, Inappropriate Elimination, Excessive Vocalisation, Geriatric Dysfunction, Controlling killing of Wildlife, Eating Disorders, Abnormal Suckling, Separation Anxiety
    • Obedience Training
      • Forming Habits, Train them Early, Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, Socialisation, House Training, Grooming, Bathing, Scratching, Catching Vermin, Tricks, Discipline
    • Cat Behaviour Management
      • Cat Doors, Microchipping and Registering, Coming when Called, Energy Release Activities, Neutering, Drug Treatment, Nice Smells, Getting Used to a Cage, Managing Climbing
    • Operating a Cat Business (PBL Project)

3. Dog Psychology & Training Course

    • Nature and Scope of Canine Psychology
      • A brief history of the canine evolution, Self-domestication, Canine industries
    • Canine Senses
      • Understanding canine communication,Sight,Body Language, Smell, Sound, Elimination Postures
    • Understanding Natural Canine Behaviour
      • Social Structure, Social Behaviour, Aggression, Clinical Problems, Biological Rhythms, Sleep ,Sexual Behaviour, Maternal Behaviour, Parturition, Suckling and Weaning, Eating and Drinking
    • Canine Behavioural Development
      • Nature or Nurture, Sensitive Periods, Neurological Development, Canine Temperament Testing, How Breeds Differ
    • Canine Behavioural Disorders
      • Attention Seeking Behaviour, Excessive barking, Chewing, Running away, Chasing moving object., Separation anxiety, Aggression, Phobias, Excessive compulsive disorders, Cognitive Dysfunction, Calming a dog
    • Basic Dog Training
      • Forming habits, Conditioning ,Classical Conditioning, Operant Conditioning, Socialisation, House training, The use of visual signals,The use of voice commands, The use of training aids
    • Dog Obedience Training
      • Practical Training Techniques including Recall, Sit, Stand, Drop, Leave, Down, Stay, Heel, Seek, Retrieve, Bark on Signal
    • Controlling a Dogs Movement
      • Territorial nature of dogs, Fencing, Dog doors, Kennels, Exercise requirements, Socialisation requirments, Walking on a lead/leash, Electronic barriers, Microchips, Pet Registration and Licensing, Controlling Killing Wildlife
    • Training Working Dogs
      • Training for scent discrimination or substance detection, Training for retrieving, Guarding, Hearing dogs, Hearding,Tracking,Controlling attacks on animals and people

4. Equine Behaviour Course

    • Introduction: Influences and motivation
      • Why study equine behaviour?, What motivates behaviour?, Reactive behaviour
      • Active behaviour, Cognitive behaviour, Species behavioural differences, Learned behaviour, Classical conditioning, Stimulus conditioning, Trace conditioning, Delayed conditioning, Operant conditioning, Terminology
    • Genetics and Behaviour
      • Understanding the basics, Heritability, Epigenesis, Innate behaviour, Selective pressures, Social behaviour, Rank, Conflict
    • Equine Perception and Behaviour
      • Imprinting, Negative imprinting, Sensory reception, Mechanoreceptors, Thermoreceptors, Chemoreceptors, Photoreceptors, Stimulus filtering
    • Communication and Social Behaviour
      • Social Constraints, Herd Membership, Auditory signals, Chemical signals, Communication, Co-ordination, Cohesion
    • Sexual and Reproductive Behaviour
      • Sexual encounter, Isolating mechanisms, Birthing behaviour,Foal imprinting,Maternal behaviour,Abnormal behaviour
    • Learning and Training
      • Conditioning and learning, Shaping, Extinction,Habituation, Instrumental Learning, Thorndike’s Law of Effect (1913), Operant and Respondent Behaviour, Pseudo-conditioning, Intero-ceptive Conditioning, Temporal Conditioning, Biological Aspects of Learning, Associative Learning, Obedience, Reinforcement, Punishment, Systematic desensitisation, Counter conditioning
    • Behavioural Problems
      • Types of Abnormal Behaviour in Horses, Diagnosing Behavioural Problems, Indicators of Pain, Indicators of Mild Fear, Indicators of Extreme Fear, Stress, Stereotypes,  Stable Vices, Prevention.

Your Tutor

Dr. Karin Dreyer-Haasbroek B.V.S. M.Sc. (Parasitology)
Karin Haasbroek

Karin’s love and passion for animals stem from growing up on a farm in South Africa. After gaining her Veterinary Science degree she worked in mixed general practice while completing a master’s degree in Veterinary Parasitology. Living and working in South Africa exposed Karin to a vast range of experiences in the clinical veterinary field: treating patients ranging from marmoset monkeys to lions to the everyday cat, dog or horse. Two years as a Laboratory Vet resulted in helping farmers tackling livestock health problems in a variety of farm production systems. Since her move to Western Australia with her family, Karin has been working in a small animal practice.

During her 20 years as a vet, she has been involved in several research projects and the tutoring of students in various fields of animal science. She enjoys mentoring students and sharing her knowledge and she loves helping students flourish and realise their full potential.