Putting Science into Practice

As a higher education provider, ARU Writtle offers Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) recognised animal behaviour courses suitable for beginners and professionals alike seeking to obtain the industry standard knowledge and skills required for ABTC accreditation.

Are you looking to become a trainer or behaviourist?

We offer the following higher education courses that are recognised by the ABTC as meeting the knowledge and understanding requirements for various roles. Please see below and follow the links for more information.

BSc Animal Science (Pet Behaviour and Welfare) and Animal Management (Pet Behaviour and Welfare) – ABTC recognised courses for the roles of animal trainer, animal training instructor, animal behaviour technician and clinical animal behaviour.

Our Pet Behaviour and Welfare modules are available as online courses for you to top up your education. You can complete individual modules or purchase all four as a package. The ABTC recognises these modules are meeting some of the knowledge and understanding required for the roles of animal trainer, animal training instructor, animal behaviour technician and clinical animal behaviour. On successful completion of the end of module assessments, you will receive a certificate of completion from ARU Writtle which can be used as part of the ABTC APEL process.

The four modules available are:

Professional Practice and Legislation

This module introduces students to the skills and requirements specifically relating to the para-professional field of pet behaviour counselling and prepares them for work within this industry. This will cover legislation and insurance requirements, professional practice such as working with veterinary professionals, introduction to regulating bodies, business skills and the use of technology for behaviour counselling and concomitant services for the behaviour professional. It will discuss challenges for the professional counsellor and strategies for maintaining the health and safety of all concerned as well as the mental health of the practitioner.

Applied Behaviour and Training

This module is intended to build on the learning theories introduced in Behaviour for application to the field of animal training and behaviour therapy. This module will be a mix of theoretical and practical sessions allowing underpinning knowledge to be applied to practical animal handling and training across a range of species. Students will develop their handling skills and understanding in line with industry standards and regulating bodies. They will gain practical experience in training animals and have the opportunity to assist in dog training classes in preparation for a career in animal training or careers that may involve an understanding of training processes.

Clinical Animal Behaviour

This module builds on the application of learning theory to behaviour and training to enable students to develop knowledge and understanding of how to work with clients to avoid and/or manage problematic behaviour and develop treatment plans for behaviour change. Students will examine the causes of problem behaviour, differential diagnoses, and treatment options. They will also explore adjuncts to behavioural therapy such as psychopharmacology, pheromona therapy, nutraceuticals and complementary therapies.

Developing Clinical Practice

This module builds on the knowledge acquired in Clinical Animal Behaviour and allows students to apply this understanding and develop the skills needed to be a behaviour counsellor. They will observe and analyse clinical cases and begin to take an increasing role in the consultation process, the development and implementation of treatment programmes, follow up sessions and contact with clients. They will reflect on their performance using evidence to justify their methods or identify improvements which can be implemented in future cases.

We have a unique package of modules that will give you a solid grounding in the key areas needed to become an animal trainer or behaviourist. You will first complete Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics before undertaking our package of four modules: Professional Practice and Legislation, Applied Behaviour and Training, Clinical Animal Behaviour and Developing Clinical Practice.

The Animal Behaviour, Welfare and Ethics module discusses the concepts of animal behaviour, animal welfare and the ethics of animal use relevant to vertebrate animals that are kept as pets. Models of behaviour mechanisms and learning theory are reviewed, with an evaluation of the concept of animal welfare and its practical assessment. It concludes with a discussion of the ethics of the human-animal relationship, particularly concerning animals kept as pets.