Humans live in close contact with animals. The foundations for a lifelong happy human animal relationship are created when proper care is provided. When the biological, behavioural and emotional needs of the pet are not met the welfare of the animal is at risk. It may develop health or behavioural problems which may result in a breakdown of the relationship and well-being of both the animal and its owners.
The goal of Odisee’s Companion Animal Training, Behaviour Counselling and Welfare program is to provide professionals in the animal care sector with an accredited course based on the latest scientific knowledge. We focus on companion animals being dogs, cats, small mammals and horses.
We choose for a multidisciplinary approach, drawing on scientific knowledge and techniques from ethology, biology, psychology veterinary science, anthrozoology, animal cognition, law and ethics and welfare science.
You are interested in companion animal behaviour, welfare and training for the prevention of or dealing with problem behaviours and want to obtain an academically recognized qualification.
You want to participate in the whole course to obtain a thorough theoretical understanding of the field based on the latest scientific knowledge and to develop the necessary practical training and communicative skills or follow a specific module only to top up your knowledge.
You are (or will be) working in the animal care sector, with responsibility for planning and managing the prevention of welfare and behaviour problems and humane approaches to the treatment of behaviour problems . This involves understanding, evaluating and address inappropriate or problematic behaviours within individual animals, through the development of suitable environments and effective training programs based on best practice and scientific evidence. You might be working with the animals and their owners yourself for rehabilitation training or prevention purposes or assisting a Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the implementation of the behaviour modification plan and advising other persons or organisations.
Our courses combine online learning with practical workshops. Online lectures given by international experts in the field are used to introduce theoretical concepts, provide information that is not easily accessible through other sources or discuss and highlight specific topics. Academics that are at the forefront of the field facilitate and guide the learning of individual students towards achieving the learning outcomes of the courses. During the practical workshops in small groups you develop under the supervision of tutors your practical skills in animal training and communication.
This course includes 8 days of intensive training in groups with a maximum of 4 to 6 students in animal handling, training and the development of appropriate communication skills at the animal shelter ‘Dierenbeschermingscentrum Limburg’ situated in Born The Netherlands. Four days are scheduled during the first year and four during the second year of the course.
This course takes 2 years. Modules (total: 40 ECTS credits):
M1 Ethology of companion animals - 8 ECTS credits
M2 Learning theory and animal training - 6 ECTS credits
M3 The welfare of companion animals - 4 ECTS credits
M4 Animal law and ethics - 4 ECTS credits
M5 Anatomy and physiology and the interaction between health and behaviour - 10 ECTS credits
M6 Clinical procedures - 8 ECTS credits
In year 1 we will treat modules 1-2-3-4 (22 ECTS points); in year 2 we continue with modules 5-6 (18 ECTS points). The course is given in English. A good knowledge of the English language is essential.
Optional: Introduction to the scientific study of CABW - 3 ECTS credits. We strongly advise you to participate in this module if you do not have or have limited experience of writing in a scientific style. In this module is included how to search for scientific literature, the interpretation of scientific papers and how to write assignments correctly using scientific based knowledge.
At the end of the course you:
Have an in-depth understanding of the normal behaviour, behavioural needs and welfare of companion animals
Have the expertise to provide prophylactic behavioural advice to owners/handlers/keepers
Have the expertise to assess the behaviour and welfare of companion animals
Have the theoretical knowledge to diagnose behaviour problems and to compose behaviour modification programmes
Have the practical handling and training skills to implement behaviour modification programmes in practice
Have professional skills in client counseling and effective communication
Fees are paid on a year-by-year basis at the start of each year. The course of Animal Behaviour Technician costs:.
Year 1: €2.750 (22 ECTS credits)
Year 2: €2.250 (18 ECTS credits)
Small companies in Flanders can pay this course through kmo-portefeuille (number DV.O215752).
You have (at least) a bachelor degree (level 6) with a good command of the English language. You are a EU citizen (+ Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway).
OPTIONAL: INTRODUCTION TO THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF CABW
If you do not have or have limited experience of writing in a scientific style, we advise you to participate in this optional module. Read more on this link.
Workshops in Covid19-times
What if the workshops in this course cannot take place?
The worldwide outbreak of Covid19 has an enormous impact on our lives and also on this course. In case we cannot organize the workshops in a safe way at the planned date (due to any reason), we will search for a new date. If this is also not possible, we will offer an alternative program consisting out of online group sessions and tutorials and additional practical assignments to assure that students will be able to achieve the learning aims as formulated for these modules.
Interested in some modules?
You can follow one or more modules of this course without subscribing to the whole course. Please mention this explicitely in your registration form. Fee is €125/ECTS credit.
This course is accredited by the SPPD (Platform professionele diergedragsdeskundigen) for cats and dogs. The NVGH (Nederlandse Vereniging voor Gedragstherapeuten) will audit the course by the end of 2020.
Registrations for the Postgraduate courses Clinical Animal Behaviourist and Animal Behaviour Technician are possible until 15th September 2020. Late subscriptions are accepted only after agreement of the course coordinator.
We do not plan another online info session for 2020-2021. The next info session will be announced here and will probably take place in April 2021.
Should you have any questions, please contact us by email.
Odisee offered a Postgraduate Course in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare (46 ECTS credits) as from 2015-2016. In 2018 we made some changes to the program. Students can now choose between the following roles: Clinical Animal Behaviourist or Animal Behaviour Technician. You can find more information on the former course in the ECTS-files and brochure.