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New Distance Course In Companion Animal Behavior And Welfare

by Sherry Morse

Scotland's Edinburgh University has announced a new distance learning course for people who want to gain a better understanding of their furry or feathered family members.

The course, officially called the Distance Learning Package in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare, comes on a CD-Rom which will sell for 80 pounds sterling.

The CD-Rom provides information on the fundamentals of animal behavior, how environment affects behavior, advice on dealing with 'problem' behaviors, and information on animal welfare and training tips.

According to Dr. Shirley Seaman, who developed the course along with experts from the Animal Behaviour and Welfare Group at the University's Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, the CD will include sections on dogs, cats, horses, small animals like hamsters and guinea pigs, and exotics such as parrots and iguanas.

Dr. Seaman said, "Many people own pets, yet few owners understand much about why their pet behaves the way it does. This course will help explain the fundamentals of animal behavior, how the behavior of companion animals is affected by the environment in which they are kept and how this can lead to the development of behavioral problems."

The CD will also include a discussion of the role of companion animal behavior counselors.

People who are interested in taking the course do not need prior qualifications and will gain a completion certificate by writing essays that they will submit for grading.

The course is designed for students to work at their own pace and chart their progress using self-assessments in addition to the essay work.

More information is available from the Edinburgh University Web site at:

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