Animal Handling and Stress Reduction: Working with Animals in the Shelter
Category: Shelter Adoption Success
Start Date: 10/19/2013
End Date: 12/13/2013
Register Before: 10/16/2013
Reduced stress results in happier animals and happier people, higher adoption rates, a lower incidence of infectious illnesses, and safer work environments for staff and volunteers. Learn to read and understand animal body postures so you can recognize stressed animals and reduce injuries (to both animals and staff).
In this 8-week instructor-led course, we will discuss how to decrease stress in dog and cats in the shelter environment through kennel enrichment to keep animals mentally and physically sound. Learn how to design an in-shelter training program that teaches basic manners to shelter dogs in order to make those dogs more appealing to adopters and more likely to stay in their new homes.
There are no scheduled lecture times; Participate in weekly discussions and submit assignments at your convenience. Expect to spend at least 2-4 hours per week reading materials, completing assignments, and discussing issues.
This course is part of the Shelter Adoption Success Specialist Program.
There are no prerequisites for this course.
Upon completion of this course students will be able to:
Identify feline and canine body postures and understand what a dog or cat is telling you with his or her body postures
Evaluate canine and feline behavior
Understand how human behavior affects dogs and cats in a shelter environment; compare and contrast appropriate and inappropriate human behavior around shelter dogs and cats.
Compare and contrast appropriate and inappropriate handling techniques for dogs and cats in the shelter environment.
Define operant conditioning.
Understand the benefits of training to shape an animals behavior.
Identify ways to reduce stress to dogs and cats in the shelter environment.
All required reading materials are provided in the course.
Students are expected to take part in asynchronous discussion forums in which they interact with classmates and the instructor each week. The following units are planned for this course:
Lesson/Week 1 - Understanding Cat Behavior: Students are expected to use the Cat Behavior Observation Sheet to complete the Reading Cat Postures exercise. On the Cat Behavior Observation Discussion Board, students should share an experience from their observation time.
Lesson/Week 2 - Restraint and Handling of Cats in the Shelter: Students are expected to contribute to discussion forum about experiences from their shelter, and complete Exam 1.
Lesson/Week 3 - Understanding Dog Behavior: Students are expected to complete the Observing Dog Behavior and Observing Dog Interactions assignments and participate in the Dog Behavior Observation and Dog-Dog Interaction Behavior Observation discussion boards.
Lesson/Week 4 - Handling Dogs in the Shelter Environment: Students are expected to contribute to discussion forum about experiences from their shelter, and complete Exam II.
Lesson/Week 5 - Overview of Learning Theory: Students will contribute to the Positive Reinforcement discussion forum regarding staff encouragement of inappropriate and appropriate dog behavior. Students will also discuss the potential benefits of clicker training for cats. Students will also complete Exam III.
Lesson/Week 6 - Stress Reduction and Kennel Enrichment for Dogs: Students will participate in the Kennel Enrichment and Staff Buy In discussion boards. Students will then choose one lesson concept from the course to develop a plan for implementing that program at their shelter. Students will also complete Exam IV.
Lesson/Week 7 - Stress Reduction and Kennel Enrichment for Cats: Students will use the Cat Socialization discussion board and complete Exam V.
Lesson/Week 8 - Wrap Up: Students are expected to complete a Post-Course Assessment and Course Evaluation as well as the Using What Youve Learned discussion forum.
Our online learning platform, HSUonline, meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. ANGEL, HSUs learning platform, is accessible to users with disabilities.