Advanced Certificate in Animal Behaviour Online Course

Full Fee $2,178.00 incl GST - Best Value!
Payment Plan $2,500.00 incl GST
Duration 400 hrs (24 months)
Exam Compulsory
Tutor Support Yes by email, 2 years to complete
Qualification Advanced Certificate

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.

Detailed Course Outline

This course is made up a number of lessons or units. Each having self assessment questions, set tasks (practical homework), and an assignment which you can upload online.  Click below to read about each of the lessons and what you will learn.

There are 4 modules in this course:

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.

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)

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

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.

When you have completed the lessons of your Certificate course, you will be given the option of taking the optional exam. It's okay if you don't want the exam, we still issue your Careerline Certificate. For Advanced Certificates however, the exam is compulsory (per module) and are included in the course fee.


Course Tutors

Dr Karen Catchpole  B.VSc. (Hons)

Karen brings to Careerline great experience and expertise in animal Science. Karen is a practicing veterinarian, now in her own small animal hospital, after working in varied roles over 17 years since graduation from Sydney University with first class honours.  Karen continues to maintain active involvement in education in both professional development and in tutoring both vocational and university students.  Karen's field of expertise is in internal animal medicine & surgery of cats & dogs.

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

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.

How It Works

1. Learn Online

Get access to your course content anywhere, anytime and study at your own pace.

2. Get Help & Support

Connect with other like-minded students and get help from the teacher whenever you have a question.

3. Receive Certificate

Graduate from your course knowing that you have what it takes to reach your next step.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pay in installments?

Yes! We offer great payment plans, however full payment up front is the cheapest. You can choose the best payment plan for you from the course page, or call us on 07 55368782 to talk to one of our course consultants for a custom plan.

Can I study from anywhere in the world?

We have many international students. Careerline's range of courses are suitable for any one, anywhere in the world.

Do I get a discount if I enroll in a second course?

Yes. You may claim a 5% fee discount when you enroll in a second course, and a further 10% off a three-course package.


Do I have to sit an Exam?

No. If you are enrolled in a Certificate course (100hrs), the exam is optional. You will be issued with a certificate which proves that you are competent in all units, if you choose not to sit the exam.

Do you have set start dates?

There are no set start dates, you may start at any time. Our courses are all self-paced. As our home page says, ‘Courses for Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime’. ‘Anytime’ includes the start time of your choice. However, we do encourage our students to submit assignments on a regular basis. Wherever possible, we suggest developing a study routine.