As many of you know and I've stated on this blog I'm in the process of completing the Animal Behavior Institute's Feline Training & Behavior certification program. I've received a lot of questions asking what I'm specifically learning and what the learning process is like there. I decided I'd answer this question in a blog post for those who are interested just out of curiosity or might consider doing a program through them.
accredited and all professors have either doctorates or master degrees in behavior, conservation, or veterinary medicine. The Feline Training & Behavior certification program requires your completion of 3 courses (9 credits) as well as 40 hours of field work. All course work is done online. The required courses are Feline Training, Feline Behavior & Enrichment, and Feline Health & Nutrition. The entire program costs $3,555, but you can pay by the course, which is $1,185.
The Animal Behavior Institute has a quarter semester system. Each course is 10 weeks, but not every course is offered in every quarter. Currently, I'm taking Feline Training as it was the only course in my program offered in the summer quarter. Feline Behavior & Enrichment and Feline Health & Nutrition are both offered in the fall so I will take those then. That would mean I could receive my certification by December. My 40 hours of field work I'm doing obviously at the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.
My current course Feline Training started about a month ago. This course is taught by Dr. Chalcraft who has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and has done behavioral and enrichment work with cats, chimpanzees, and gorillas. The text required for this course is The Cat Whisperer by Mieshelle Nagelschneider and Clicker Training for Cats by Karen Pryor. This is our class schedule on what we'll be studying each week and the assigned readings.
I spend about 3-6 hours a week working on this course. There are weekly deadlines to submit discussion responses and complete quizzes, but otherwise, it's very flexible. You need to be self-driven and comfortable with independent study. So far, I'm really enjoying this learning process. I appreciate being able to see other student's perspectives and receive feedback from the professor. In just 4 weeks I've been able to expand my knowledge and apply it when working with cats at the shelter. I still have 6 more weeks of this course and 2 more courses in the fall so I know I'll be gaining so much more.
I hope this helped answer some questions and give people an idea of what a program like this is like. From what I gather, the other courses are in the same format just different material. When I start those classes in the fall I'll do posts on what the material is like in those courses.
That's all for meow 😻,