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Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals) 100 Hours Certificate Course


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Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals) 100 Hours Certificate Course

Price: £295.00Course Code: BAG203
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( megan , 13/01/2018 ) Q:

is this strictly a masters or is it an honours degree?

( 15/01/2018 ) A:

Hello Megan,

Thank you for your question.

This course is neither a Masters or a Degree. It is a certificate course of a level 4 attainment.It can be taken to gain an in-depth understanding of Animal Psychology.

( Ro, 23/04/2015 ) Q:

Is this course just related to animal behaviour in pets only? or wildlife as well?

( 27/04/2015 ) A:

Hello Ro,


This course relates to the overall psychology of animals so will cover some pet behaviour as well, though not in great detail.


( Tegan, 28/08/2014 ) Q:

What would some career option be after completing this course?

( 28/08/2014 ) A:

Hello Tegan, This course helps students learn why animals behave they way they do and aids in potential jobs within training, handling and maybe even conservation areas. Career wise, you would likely require further training and work experience before you could utilise this course to its full potential.

( Tracy Pentelow, 06/08/2013 ) Q: Hello, I am a qualified veteriary nurse and i would like to go in to domestic animal behaviour work. Im looking at you behaviour course, do you think this is sutible for what i want to do, with my job and past training i have a basic level of animal behaviour and want to take the next step really. Any help you can give me is appriciated. Thankyou, Tracy Pentelow
( 07/08/2013 ) A: Dear Tracy How are you? I think what might be best is for you to maybe drop us your contact details so we can pass them on to our animal behaviour tutor. She would be better able to advise you with regards to the course being suitable for someone who already has so much experience within animal care. Please email us at info@adlhomestudy.co.uk
( Ankita Jain, 13/07/2013 ) Q: To do the animal bhevaiour course do you require any specific qualifications?
( 17/07/2013 ) A: Hello. There are no pre-requisites for our Certificate in Animal Behaviour. It is an interesting course that will help you understand animal psychology and that they have similars fears and joys as we do. We have an excellent tutor on this course who is highly qualified and will offer advise throughout your assignments. If you have any further questions please do get back to us

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Animal Behaviour (Psychology of Animals) 100 Hours Certificate Course

Animal Behaviour  (Psychology of Animals) course online. What makes animals tick? Learn through this Home Study Animal Behaviour course. Understanding your Animals' (pets) Behaviour is the key to a happy relationship.

Do they think and learn like humans? How do they adapt to their environment? Which animals have the best social life? Learn all this and more when you study the psychology behind animal behaviour. Excellent knowledge, useful for working with animals in many situations (farms, zoos, veterinary practices, pet shops or even in the wild!) This online course covers implications for handling and training animals.

We assume all animal behaviour is an adaptation for survival, but this isn't always the case. Animals can behave self-destructively, out of habit, or out of boredom, or for other reasons: just as humans can.

This course focuses on mainly understanding how animals think (all types), but it also has more of a practical application, looking at things such as training, handling and dealing with abnormal behaviours.


Learning Goals:  Animal Behaviour BAG203
  • Determine the set elements that influence animal behaviours

  • Depict how genes affect different animal reactions

  • Explain how animals respond to different stimuli

  • Show what environmental elements cause what types of behaviours in different animals

  • State how social influences in animals affect the ways they behave with regards to aggresiveness, play, sexual behaviour and others

  • Depict how animals adapt and learn

  • Discuss the various effects handlling techniques have on the psychology of an animal

  • Determine what constitutes as unusual or abnormal behaviour in animals (e.g psychotic, neurotic) and the different methods used to make animals independent from humans


Lesson Structure:  Animal Behaviour BAG203

There are 8 lessons:

  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
    • Biological clocks
    • 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 has a choice of which types of animals to focus on, though a variety will still be covered.
  8. Behavioural Problems.
    • Abnormal behaviour (eg. Psychotic, neurotic);
    • Domestication of animals
    • Reducing human contact
    • Reducing human dependence


  • Observe an animal in the zoo, in the wild, or a domestic animal.  Try to observe what you consider to be an example of operant conditioning. Make notes.
  • Talk with an animal breeder (amateur or professional). This may be a pet owner whose cat or dog has given birth; or it may be a farmer, dog breeder, horse breeder, bird breeder or some other animal breeder.
  • Write a paragraph describing the behaviour of an animal (real or contrived) which utilizes the different words you learnt under terminology in this lesson
  • Classify the following animals according to whether they are endo-therms or ecto-therms; a dog, a penguin, a single celled protozoa, a lizard.  How is heat lost from endo-therms to the environment, and how can this heat loss be reduced?
  • Observe an animal while it is on its own. Make notes of how it behaves. Observe the same animal or species of animal in a group situation or in the presence of one other animal of the same species.  Make notes on its behaviour and pay attention to any noticeable differences compared to its solitary behaviour.
  • Visit a zoo, wildlife park or farm where animals are being confined in some way, and observe the behaviour of one particular type of animal over the course of an hour. This can be any animal you choose to study. Make notes on its behaviour, and any problems that you would anticipate with handling.

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


Your learning experience with ADL will not only depend on the quality of the course, but also the quality of the person teaching it. This course is taught by Vicky Protopapadaki and your course fee includes unlimited tutorial support throughout. Here are Vicky's credentials:


Vicky Protopapadaki course tutorVicky  Protopapadaki
MSc (Distinction) Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare (University of Edinburgh), BSc Business Administration (University of the Aegean), Cert. Companion Animal Behaviour (University of Edinburgh ), Cert. Animal Use and Care (University of Prince Edward Island).

Vicky’s passion for animals led her to obtain her MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare, despite her having a background in business and management. Apart from her personal experience with animals, she volunteers at various animal shelters around Greece and has done research on feline behaviour at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada and on primate behaviour at Edinburgh Zoo. She is currently researching PhD opportunities in the field of animal ethics and studying entrepreneurship for the purpose of creating her own charity for animal protection in Greece.



Gain all important hands-on experience with wildlife animals, to add to your CV whilst you are studying this Certificate Course with ADL, or after completing it. We are very happy to be associated with GVE, which offers an unforgettable volunteer experience in South Africa with their Game Capture and Vet Experience programs.

The program fee charged for the experience also acts as the main support for GVE's non-profit clinic.

Interested in reading more information about both the Game Capture and Vet Experience programs? Then just click on the GVE logo below

a group of people helping a sick girafe laying on the groundGVE logo link to more information on vet experience programmes available in South Africagroup of people helping a lion which is asleep on the ground in front of them


Excerpt from the Course


Animals communicate not only with auditory signals, as humans do, but also by visual and olfactory signals. Communication in animals depends on their ability to perceive messages. The sensory abilities of many animals, with the exception of cats and dogs, have not been studied systematically. Usually when we describe the perception of animals it is most often compared with that of humans.


Animal behaviour is controlled by a nervous system, which is comprised of special nerve cells called neurons. The nervous system operates according to the same general principles in all types of animals. The nervous system is stimulated from the environment, through sensory receptors. A stimulus is any form of energy that can be detected by the body. A signal is the physical coding of information (e.g., a message) capable of transmission through environment. Sensory processing includes all central acts of information processing, which link the initial stages of sensory reception with the creation of subjective sensory perception. Animals normally only respond to stimuli which they select; they filter out certain stimuli that surround them, and react to others they choose to accept.

The reaction to a stimulus frequently depends upon the context: the various components that make up the environment and the overall situation in which the animal finds itself. It is well recognized that the same stimuli can cause different responses in the same animal. Learning and experience together affect the animal’s ability to assess the setting in which stimuli are received and vary responses through cognitive processes.

here are many situations though where the context or setting is relatively unimportant. These types of stimuli are called “symbols”, “releasers” or “behavioural signs”. Such stimuli will “release” or trigger more or less predictable, pre-programmed behaviours.

Example: Young herring gulls peck at a red spot on their parents’ bill when they seek food.  Experiments have shown the same birds will peck at a red spot on a cardboard model when the cardboard is roughly shaped like a bill. Auditory symbols are common in many types of mammals and birds and act as specific “releasers” for a range of social behaviours including courtship and mating. The setting or context is obviously very different, but the behaviour remains unchanged.


Imprinting is a dramatic example of the way “releasers” work. Many types of birds develop a strong bond to a mother; demonstrated by a “following” response. Note how the ducklings follow the mother duck. This type of imprinting of birds happens during a critical period after hatching, in response to specific releaser stimuli from the mother. The releaser stimuli may include both the visual appearance and the movements undertaken by the mother. Experiments have shown that “imprinting” can still happen when the biological mother is not involved, if appropriate releaser stimuli are reproduced during the critical time frame. Imprinting is also highly resistant to extinction or reversal and has a profound and lasting effect on later social behaviour with respect to the stimulus objects.

Negative imprinting is a phenomenon by which young animals and birds learn to avoid mating with those that they have been raised with.  Other methods of ‘inbreeding avoidance’ include dispersion, where the young leave the nest or home and out breeding.  

Releaser stimuli can also originate inside the animal (e.g. in mammals, a low sugar concentration in the blood will stimulate a “hunger” response in the brain).



Animal Health Ebook

A complete guide to caring for animals, designed for anyone involved in their day to day care, including farmers, pet owners and students.

Animal Health

By the Staff of ACS Distance Learning

link to eBook on animal healthAnimal Health eBook course online. Animal welfare and wellbeing has become increasingly important in recent times and is a major social issue in developed countries.

"For the past 10,000 years, people all over the world have domesticated animals for various purposes. Some animals such as dogs and cats were domesticated as pets to provide company to humans. Livestock animals such as cattle and sheep were kept to provide products such as meat, wool or milk, or kept as working animals. No matter what the reason, animals and humans have been connected over an extended period of time.

Optimum health is essential to the wellbeing and longevity of all animals. It is the responsibility animal owners to ensure the welfare of the animals within their care. As part of the general care of animals, we need to be able to identify diseases. The first step in recognising diseases in animals is to understand when an animal is unwell. This generally requires three things: information on the history of the animal, a physical examination and specialized testing to identify the cause of the illness."




Understanding Animal Health Issues

Preventing Disease and Injury

Inspecting for Health

Differential Diagnosis

Some Common Illnesses in Animals

An excerpt from the book:

"Animals can encounter various health problems including the following.

Viral Diseases - A virus is a parasite that must infect a living cell to reproduce. A virus is defined as any of various simple sub-microscopic parasites
of plants, animals, and bacteria that often cause disease and that consist essentially of a core of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protein coat.
They are unable to replicate without a host cell and are typically not considered living organisms.

Bacterial Diseases - Bacteria commonly enter a host’s body by invading a break (i.e. wound) in the skin, a membrane or wall. Often this "break" must occur in a specific part of an organ, for a particular type of bacteria e.g. Diphtheria can only enter through the tonsils, while pneumonia can only invade through the walls of the respiratory tract. Once inside a host, bacteria have to resist the defense mechanisms of the host. If the bacteria manage to overcome this system, they will then set about spreading infection by growing rapidly in the immediate tissues, blood or lymphatic fluid.

Bacteria cause injury in tissue by producing toxins or poisons. Some toxins are secreted into tissue while the bacteria lives (eg. tetanus), while others are only released when the bacteria dies or breaks up. Many bacterial diseases show an incubation period. This means that some time may elapse before the symptoms of the disease develops. Not all hosts show the same susceptibility to diseases.

Fungal Diseases - Fungal diseases are called mycoses. Veterinary medical mycology deals with fungal disease in both invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Fungal disease agents are widespread and can be isolated from a wide range of animals, from the soil and the environment. When fungi are suspected to cause animal disease, it is important to have criteria to distinguish infection, colonisation and contamination in order to reach a diagnosis. Some fungi are restricted to specific animals and others are found on a range of different animals. When making a diagnosis it is important to distinguish whether a fungus is actually the causal organism, or whether in is only a secondary factor.

Genetic Disorders - A genetic disorder is an illness caused by abnormalities in animal’s genome. Genetic disorders caused either by a different form of a gene called a “variation”, or an alteration of a gene called a mutation. Mutations may occur randomly or as a result of environmental exposure. Other genetic disorders are inherited.

Metabolic and Nutritional Disease – These are conditions that are caused by a disturbance of normal metabolic functions. These disturbances can be caused by genetic drift, inadequate or incorrect nutrition and impaired nutrition utilisation. Metabolic diseases are any that disrupt normal metabolism (the process of converting food to energy within the cells). Nutritional diseases are nutritionally-based. Good nutrition supports a healthy immune system to ward off infectious diseases. Proper nutritional balances help keep the animal healthy. Nutritional imbalances may make the animal more prone to disease."

Course Info
How Do Our Tuition Fees Compare?
Course StartBegin your course at anytime.
Course Prerequisite None - Our course levels are an indication of the depth of learning you should receive. They do not describe the level of difficulty.
Course Qualification (Study Option A)Endorsed Qualification from TQUK - Training Qualifications UK, an Ofqual Approved Awarding Organisation - Completed written assignments, plus final exam (N.B. Some courses have Final Project alternative).
Course Qualification (Study Option B)Certificate of Attainment from ADL - Completed written assignments only - no final exam.
Comparative Credits InformationUK Course Credits: 10 - U.S. Credit Hours: 3 - when compared to regulated courses.
Course Duration and Deadlines100 hours approx. Course hours given are a guide only. Work at your own pace with no assignment deadlines or completion date. You are in control!
Study SupportPersonal tutor/mentor support from industry relevant professionals throughout your whole course. Mentors are contactable by e-mail, telephone and through the online classroom. They provide assistance with your course material, plus discuss, explain and give advice when needed.
Suitability for Self Employment and Small BusinessesOur courses are ideal for sole traders and small business owners and their staff. Customer confidence in what you can do will determine how successful you are in getting clients. Completing one or more of our courses for the service you have to offer, will give you the tools to grow your business.
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Designing Your Own QualificationBundle up your choice of related courses to form your own qualification. Choose from a Diploma (6 courses), Advanced Diploma (8 courses) and Higher Advanced Diploma (12 courses.
How Can I Enrol?Online via eCommerce, by completing our Online Application Form, or by calling us on +44 (0) 1227 789 649. Lines open 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays and between Christmas and New Year.
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Previous Customer Experiences with our CoursesWoman leaping to the next level in her career development

"Fantastic Teacher. Well organised modules. Assignments force me to learn and research more so I can prepare well for exams. I really enjoyed studying via ADL.  I can now continue study at Ulster University which accept my certificate from ADL".    Level 4,  Advanced Certificate in Applied Science,  VSC001,  Stanislawa,  Poland.

Its with great pleasure I am announcing you my new job as 'Park Manager' for a 5 star hotel in Reunion Island.  Its definitely my courses with ADL (Botany, Agronomy and Trees for Rehabilitation) which were decisive for my nomination. Accordingly, my sincere thanks goes to all the ADL team.

"The course was a valuable learning experience as it provided me with the knowledge and understanding for me as a Careers Advisor. The feedback was very good from my tutor, and allowed me to  build upon my assignments that were marked. The comments were very informative  and very useful. Well written course material."  Andrew W, Careers  Counselling, UK

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