Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals)

Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals)

Course Code
Payment Options
Upfront & Payment Plans
Online & Correspondence
100 Hours

Animal Behaviour programs have been developed in response to industry demand and are specifically designed to equip graduates with work-ready skills. Each participant will be trained and assessed in theory and in practical tasks. Real-world exercises are used throughout the program.


Animal behaviour is a fascinating subject. It is of interest to animal psychologists, veterinary assistants, those working in zoos, wildlife parks or nature reserves, pet owners, animal trainers, farmers, naturalists, or anyone else who works with or has an interest in animals. It is also a subject of interest for those studying psychology generally since much of what we learn from animals can be ascribed to human behaviour and lead to a greater awareness of ourselves. 

This course allows you to explore different theories and models of animal behaviour and particular characteristics of different groups of animals. You will learn about dominance, hierarchies, mating, co-operation, animal intelligence, aggression, and so forth. Each student is also ultimately able to conduct their own research topic on an animal of interest to them.  

This is a course for:

  • Students of psychology (animal study has long been a foundation for understanding human behaviour)
  • People who work with animals (farms, wildlife, pets)
  • Animal owners and animal lovers
  • Laying a foundation to understand animal training

This course will develop your understanding and ability to modify the behaviour of domestic animals.

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Influences and motivation; what is behaviour; causes of behaviour (eg. genetics, learning, external and internal influences); reactive, active and cognitive behaviour; conditioning.
  2. Genetics and Behaviour
    • Understanding biology; natural selection; genetic variation; development of behaviour; behavioural genetics.
  3. 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.
  4. Behaviour and the Environment
    • Coordination; orientation; homeostasis; acclimatisation; circadian rhythms; biological clocks; reproductive cycles; etc.
  5. Social Behaviour
    • Animal societies; aggression; social constraints; social order; play; sexual behaviour; communication.
  6. Instinct and Learning
    • Conditioning and learning; extinction and habituation; instrumental learning; reinforcement; operant behaviour; biological and cognitive aspects of learning.
  7. 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.
  8. Behavioural Problems
    • Abnormal behaviour (eg. Psychotic; neurotic); domestication of animals; reducing human contact/dependence.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

For more information about this course, please request your free course information pack today!

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