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APSC 5164: Ethology and Applied Ethology of Domesticated Animals

Concentration:  Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare
Credits: 3 graduate credits


History and context of ethology and applied ethology. Basic concepts and central subjects for understanding the biological bases of animal behavior (e.g., behavioral evolution, social behavior). Process of domestication as it pertains to the behavior of present-day domestic animals (e.g., livestock and companion animals). Development of problem behavior in domestic animals. Applications of learning principles and applied ethology to assess and improve the welfare of animals. 

Learning Objectives

Having successfully completed this course, the student will be able to:

  • Understand ethological concepts on domestication, motivation, and social behavior;
  • Interpret inter- and intra-specific communication of domestic animals (e.g., cattle, cats, dogs);
  • Apply concepts of ethology and learning principles to human-animal interactions;
  • Analyze human-animal interactions with respect to environmental factors;
  • Develop strategies to manage domestic animal behavior (e.g., antecedent strategies) and create training plans to change problem behavior;
  • Identify welfare issues in various breeds (e.g., brachycephaly in cats and dogs), respective implications on animal behavior and implement these skills in the communication with owners and other animal professionals.

Prerequisites and Corequisites

Graduate Standing


Erica Feuerbacher