COVID-19 information and resources
Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo
back to search

Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Course Code: VTEC 2110
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Veterinary Technology
Credits: 2.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: Fall
course overview

This course includes both the practical and theoretical study of relevant normal and problem behaviours of companion animals. Client communication and education are emphasized. Discussions of ethical and welfare issues in both small and large animals and in the safe nursing practice of aggressive and injured animals are also included in this course. Enrolment is limited to students in the Veterinary Technology Program.

Course Content

The major topics in this course include the following:

  1. Normal behaviour for companion animals.
  2. Minimizing stress for patients during hospital visits and stays (calming signals, non-confrontational behaviours).
  3. Body language in communication in both small and large animal species.
  4. Review puppy and kitten basic training methods.
  5. Causes, signs and treatment of common behaviour problems in companion animals.
  6. An overview of behaviour modifying medications and aids.
  7. Animal welfare including animal neglect and abuse, issues in domestic animal husbandry and cosmetic surgery of companion animals.
  8. Workplace ethics, scope of practice, euthanasia and methods of resolving ethical problems.

Methods of Instruction

This course includes three hours of classroom instruction and laboratory activity per week.

Means of Assessment

The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. A final minimum cumulative grade of “C” or 60% is required (in both lecture and lab components) in order to pass this course. Evaluation will be based on quizzes and assignments, practical evaluations including a final practical examination, at least one midterm and a final written examination.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  1. Read the body language of companion animals as it pertains to safe handling, case management and client education.
  2. Discuss influences on the development of behavioural traits in companion animals.
  3. Describe and implement training techniques to prevent common problem behaviours in companion animals.
  4. Apply scientifically based principles to the prevention and treatment of behaviour problems in companion animals.
  5. Implement techniques to treat or manage common behaviour problems in companion animals.
  6. Discuss animal ethics and welfare.

course prerequisites

Successful completion of Year 1 of the Veterinary/Animal Health Technology Program



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.