BOA112 - Behaviour of Animals

Outline info
Last revision date Sep 30, 2019 12:02:15 AM
Last review date Dec 2, 2019 12:15:00 AM

Subject Title
Behaviour of Animals

Subject Description
An understanding of animal behavior is necessary to work efficiently with animals and their owners. The safety of the handler and the animal requires the interpretation of animal communication during restraint needed in veterinary practice. Effective training and the correct selection of a suitable pet are based on a thorough understanding of species-specific behaviours. Animal Behaviour is an ever expanding focus of veterinary medicine and it is imperative that a qualified hospital staff have a complete understanding of this discipline.

This course will introduce the principles of animal behavior with an emphasis on companion animals.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

Upon successful completion of BOA112, you should be able to:

  • Identify the basic principles behind how animals learn and what scientists created the models that are commonly used today
  •  Understand and identify the most common normal and abnormal behaviours of canines, felines and equines and how we might approach correction of undesired behaviours while maintaining safety
  • Understand the basics of animal training including the identification of commonly used tools
  •  Understand the importance of and be able to apply environmental enrichment for a variety of species
  •  Be able to counsel a client or colleague on the basics of selecting the proper pet for the home

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

Topic Outline

Week 1                                         Introduction to Behaviour of Domestic Animals

Week 2                                                                             Domestication

Week 3                                                             How Animals Learn Part 1

Week 4                                                             How Animals Learn Part 2

Week 5                                                              Canine Behaviour Part 1

Week 6                                                              Canine Behaviour Part 2

Week 7                                                               Feline Behaviour Part 1

Week 8                                                                        Reading Week

Week 9                                                               Feline Behaviour Part 2

Week 10                                                                       Pet Selection

Week 11                                                                       Good Friday
Week 12                                                                     Animal Training      
Week 13                                                                     Behaviour of horses      
Week 14                                                                      Exam Review                   

Mode of Instruction
Lectures, exercises, assignments, self-study, Blackboard® and class discussion

Prescribed Texts
1. Overall Karen L., Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats, Mosby.
Reference Material
Beaver, B. Feline Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians.
Fox, M.W. Abnormal Behaviour in Animals, 1968
Fraser, A.F., Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare, 1990
Grier, James Biology of Animal Behaviour. 1984
Hafez, E.S.E., Behaviour of Domestic Animals. 1975
Hart, B.L., Feline Behaviour. 1978
Hart, B.L. & L.A. Canine and Feline Behavioural Therapy. 1985
Houpt, K.A., and T.R. Wolski Domestic Behaviour for Veterinarians and Animal Scientists, Iowa State University Press, 1982
Tortora, D. The Right Dog For You.

Related Journals
Veterinary medicine/Small Animal Clinician
Canine Practice
Feline Practice
Modern Veterinary Practice
BOA112 Winter 2016
Applied Animal Ethology
Animal Behaviour
Journal, of Small Animal Practice

2. Professor posted articles, resources on Blackboard

Student Progression and Promotion Policy

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices. (

Modes of Evaluation
Assignment 1
a) Journal Article
(Choose 1 from list)
b) Behaviour Modification
c) Client Education
d) Indoor Cat Initiative
e) Environmental Enrichment
Quizzes In Class 15% March 18, April 8, April 15
Test 1 20% February 19, 2016
Test 2 20% March 11, 2016
Final Exam 30% TBD

Please refer to the Seneca College Veterinary Technology Policy and Procedures Manual for specifics on completion and submission of the tests and assignments.
BOA112 is a professional subject and requires a minimum grade of C for successful promotion. The student must attempt each mode of evaluation. The student must pass the final exam with no less than 60%.
Late Submissions - Should assignments not be submitted when due, 10% will be deducted automatically for lateness and will be accepted up to one week past the due date. Assignments will not be accepted beyond one week over-due and a mark of zero will be recorded

Approved by: Jennifer Graham