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Learn about dog behavior with online courses and programs

Dog owners often wonder why their pets do what they do. What’s the difference between attention-seeking behavior and a bad habit learned through certain circumstances? Learn about dog behavior with online courses on edX.

What is dog behavior?

Puppies and adult dogs learn how to behave from socialization with other dogs as well as humans. As a pet owner, you may be wondering why your dog behaves in certain ways. Why do they bury food and treats? Why do they wag their tails? What do different dog barks mean?

Some of the challenges dog owners face can be tended to through positive reinforcement and other behavioral training. Learning different commands can help effectively curb unhealthy habits or behavioral issues in dogs. Other dogs may simply need more attention or vigorous activity.

Understanding common dog behaviors can strengthen your bond with your own pet or be your first step toward a future dog behaviorist, veterinarian, or trainer. With edX, you can study a variety of topics related to dog and animal behavior.

Dog Behavior | Introduction Image Description

Dog behavior course curriculum

If you want to better understand dogs and their behavior, start with the basics. You might find courses that discuss canine communication, body language, and behavioral traits. You can build on that knowledge with more hands-on learning, such as applying behavior modification techniques.

Studying dog behavior may also involve reading through case studies and other academic research that backs up the theories and techniques covered in introductory courses. Depending on your goals, you may also consider taking classes on animal ethics.

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics including dog behavior and much more. ‌Sign up for an accelerated boot camp or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education programs specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs related to dog behavior

People of all ages can benefit from a stronger understanding of dog behavior. Whether you want to make some extra money helping others with their pets or pursue a career working with dogs and other animals, you can apply your knowledge to roles such as:

  • Dog trainer: Designs effective dog training programs that teach various commands, manners, and behaviors.Footnote 1

  • Veterinarian: Diagnoses and treats dogs effectively, and provides advice on behavioral issues related to health.Footnote 2

  • Dog groomer: Handles dogs during grooming sessions, where understanding dog body language helps prevent accidents and reduce stress.Footnote 3

  • Pet sitter: Monitors dog behavior to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the animals in their care.Footnote 4

  • K-9 unit officer: Works closely with police dogs and trains and deploys canine partners.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills through hands-on experience. However, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in animal medicine, depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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