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					           STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
              COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY
                 CANTON, NEW YORK




                 COURSE OUTLINE

       VSCT 102 - COMPANION ANIMAL BEHAVIOR




           PREPARED BY: MOLLY MOTT, PhD




SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, HEALTH, AND PROFESSIONAL STUDIES
         VETERINARY SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY
                        2006




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                    VSCT 102 - COMPANION ANIMAL BEHAVIOR

A.   TITLE: Companion Animal Behavior

B.   COURSE NUMBER: VSCT 102
     SHORT TITLE: Companion Animal Behavior

C.   CREDIT HOURS: 2

D.   WRITING INTENSIVE COURSE: NA

E.   COURSE LENGTH: 15 weeks

F.   SEMESTER(S) OFFERED: Spring

G.   HOURS OF LECTURE, LABORATORY, RECITATION, TUTORIAL, ACTIVITY:
     2 hours lecture per week

H.   CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION:
     This course is designed to help veterinary technicians gain insight and understanding into
     normal canine and feline behavior. The first unit of the course explores canine behavior,
     discussing such topics as canine behavioral systems, canine domestication, principles and
     techniques of behavior modification, canine communication and canine senses. The second
     unit investigates feline behavior, and includes such topics as feline domestication, feline
     social structure and feline communication. Emphasis is on analyzing problem behavior,
     preventative counseling, taking a behavioral history and client education of common canine
     and feline behavioral problems.

I.   PRE-REQUISITES/CO-COURSES: None

J.   GOALS (student learning outcomes):
     By the end of this course, the student will:

     Canine:
     a. Explain the evolutionary process by which Canis familiaris was domesticated from Canis
        lupus
     b. Define a behavioral system
     c. Identify and explain the nine behavioral systems
     d. Explain the implications of maintaining a wild or exotic animal in a domesticated
        environment
     e. Identify five canine senses
     f. Explain how each sense can lead to problems in a domesticated environment
     g. List three methods of canine communication
     h. Explain how each method is used to communicate social and sexual information
     i. Define key terms: deference, dominance
     j. Define anthropomorphism
     k. List three anthropomorphic attitudes that strengthen the human- animal bond
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     l.   List two anthropomorphic attitudes that weaken the human- animal bond
     m.   Identify specific principles of learning and training
     n.   List and explain three ineffectual uses of punishment
     o.   List and explain various information contained in a behavior history
     p.   Identify and discuss socialization periods in canine development
     q.   Complete a behavior history intake form
     r.   Identify various behavioral problems in dogs
     s.   Analyze problem behavior and complete case studies

     Feline:
     a. Explain the effects of domestication and selective breeding on the structure and
         behavior of the cat
     b. Compare the causes of behavioral problems in dogs with the causes of behavioral
         problems in cats
     c. List and explain factors affecting the social behavior of cats
     d. Define key terms: social distances, relative dominance, absolute dominance
     e. List five feline senses
     f. Describe differences in ability between canine and feline senses
     g. List and explain three methods of feline communication
     h. Explain how each method communicates social and sexual information
     i. Compare the function of feline communication with the function of canine
         communication
     j. Identify aspects of the predatory sequence
     k. Relate competency in predation to the presence of the queen
     l. Distinguish between urine marking and elimination outside the litter-box
     m. List and explain factors influencing making behavior
     n. Identify and explain treatment options, including behavioral modification techniques and
         drug therapy
     o. Analyze problem behavior and complete case studies

K.   TEXTS:
     The Culture Clash, Donaldson


L.   REFERENCES: Journal articles and library resources

M.   EQUIPMENT: None

N.   GRADING METHOD: A-F

O.   MEASUREMENT CRITERIA/METHODS:

     Attendance Policy

     Attendance at all regularly scheduled class functions is deemed essential for successful
     academic achievement in this course. Students absent for reasons beyond their control, such
     as illness, participation in approved field trips, athletics, required religious observances, or
     family emergencies, should make plans with their instructor to complete all assignments.
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     School policy allows for three unexcused absences. A fourth absence will result in the
     lowering of the final grade by a full letter. Any subsequent absence will result in dismissal
     from the course.

     Quiz Average            25%
     Hourly                  25%
     Cumulative Final        50%

4.   P.      DETAILED TOPICAL OUTLINE:

     Unit I: Canine Behavior

     1.      Natural Behavior of Dogs, Wolves, and Related Canids
                    Domestication of the dog
                    Inherited behavior of dogs
                    Behavioral systems
                    Wolf-hybrid pet ownership - implications for the veterinary profession

     2.      Canine Senses
                    Influences of canine senses on canine behavior

     3.      Canine Communication
                    Olfactory communication
                    Auditory communication
                    Visual communication

     4.      Emotions and Behavior
                   Function of emotions as survival tools
                   Anthropomorphic attitudes

     5.      Principles of Learning
                     Cause and effect
                     Training guidelines
                     Ineffective uses of punishment
                     Behavior modification techniques

     6.      Analyzing Problem Behavior
                    Taking a behavior history
                    Characteristics of problem owners

     7.      Specific Behavior Problems and Corrections
                     Aggression
                     Elimination problems
                     Introverted behavior: Separation anxiety, fears, phobias, compulsive
                     disorders
                     Destructive, unruly behavior


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     8.     Case Studies and Discussion

     Unit 2: Feline Behavior

     1.     Social Structure and Behavior of Cats
                    Domestication and selective breeding
                    Social organization

     2.     Feline Senses
                    Discussion on the influences of feline senses on feline behavior

     3.     Feline Communication
                    Olfactory communication
                    Auditory communication
                    Visual communication

     4.     Predatory Behavior
                   Aspects of predatory sequence
                   Development of hunting behavior

     5.     Specific Behavior Problems and Corrections
                    Elimination problems
                    Aggression
                    Pica and compulsive behaviors

     6.      Case Studies and Discussion


Q.   LABORATORY OUTLINE: Not applicable




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