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Animal Behaviour & Welfare

Course Code: AHTT 2110
Faculty: Science & Technology
Credits: 2.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course includes both the practical and theoretical study of relevant normal and problem behaviors of companion animals and client education. Discussions of ethical and welfare issues in both small, large and laboratory animals, and further practice in the safe nursing of aggressive and injured animals are also included in this course. Enrollment is limited to students in the Animal Health Technology Program.

Course Content

  1. Normal behavior for cats, dogs and some pocket pets.
  2. Emphasis on minimizing stress for patients during hospital visits and stays (calming signals, non-confrontational behaviors).
  3. Identifying and understanding body language in communication in both small and large animal species.
  4. Safe restraint with minimal stress.
  5. Common behavior problems in dogs -- barking, separation anxiety, fearfulness, compulsive behaviors, elimination problems.
  6. Common behavior problems in cats -- inappropriate elimination, aggression status- related aggression to people, compulsive behaviors.
  7. Common behavior problems in domestic animal species –eg. cribbing in horses, aggression, stereotypic behaviors.
  8. Behavior modifying medications -- an overview.
  9. Behavior management aids - types, their safe usage, and when to use.
  10. Animal welfare -- animal abuse; issues in domestic animal husbandry ( e.g. pen size, intensive farming practices, pain management); companion animal issues (neglect, tail docking, dewclaw removal, declawing in cats, “collectors” of pets, housing issues/veterinary billings)

Methods of Instruction

This course includes three hours of classroom instruction per week.

Means of Assessment

Midterms                                    20-30%

Seminar Presentations/Assign       20-40%

Attendance and Participation          10%

Final Exam                                  20-40%


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

1.  read the body language of various species as it pertains to safe handling, case management and client education.

2. discuss normal developmental and typical feline behaviors, and further develop the skills introduced in Veterinary Care 1 in assessing canine behavior.  Management techniques for common behavioral problems in dog, cat, horse and other domestic species will become more familiar.

3.  understand certain normal behaviors in horses, cows, sheep, goats and pigs.

4.  understand and apply basic learning principles and behavior modification techniques. 

5.  discuss animal welfare issues in a thoughtful way.

course prerequisites

AHTT 1103 Veterinary Care 1

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.