Non-Degree / Dates: 15-26 July 2019

In July 2018, Tallinn Summer School launched a new interdisciplinary course aimed at students interested in canine behaviour and human-animal interactions.

The summer course brings together highly-qualified international academics, specialists, and practitioners who study canine behaviour and well-being in order to create a unique environment where students with different backgrounds can get a scientific overview of this multifaceted, interdisciplinary field.

Numerous scientific studies about the origin, cognition, and behaviour of dogs give us the opportunity to understand dogs better and provide information that allows us to re-examine human-dog relationships and the methods used to train dogs. The need for educated specialist that work with animals as well as well-informed dog owners should be a priority, as it ensures safer and more efficient human-animal interactions.

The Tallinn University School of Natural Sciences and Health has partnered with the Estonian Association of Assistance and Therapy Dogs, which itself is a full member of the International Association of Human-Animal Interactions Organizations, and is the umbrella organisation for dog-assisted interventions in Estonia. The collaboration brings complementary know-how as well as the practitioner’s view to the academic environment. The Estonian Association of Assistance and Therapy Dogs assesses, trains, and examines therapy dog teams, develops standards, and coordinates the work of teams in the social, health, and rehabilitation spheres. There is currently rapid growth in demand for assistance as well as therapy dogs, but a lack of knowledge concerning the mental, emotional, and physical welfare of dogs used in dog-assisted interventions is a recurrent concern.

The summer course programme is designed to equip students with knowledge to understand what and how dogs communicate to each other, and how to interpret their behaviour whilst interacting with humans. What are the internal mechanisms for learning? How can the interspecies communication benefit both? How can we measure and enhance the well-being of animals? These and other questions will be discussed by local and foreign interdisciplinary speakers.

Why this course?

  • You will gain expertise in the field of canine psychology and behavior.

  • You will receive training and instruction from an international panel of world-renown experts.

  • You will learn to better understand the psychological underpinnings of the human-dog relationship.

Teacher(s)

TBC

Timetable

Lectures take place from Monday to Friday.
10.00 – 14.00 Morning session
16.00 – 18.00 Afternoon session (if not agreed otherwise)

Lectures:
EVOLUTION AND DOMESTICATION.
BIOLOGICAL FAMILY CANIDAE.
DOG BREEDS.
DOG ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, AND HEALTH.
DOG COGNITION, AND PERSONALITY TRAITS.
BEHAVIOURAL DEVELOPMENT OF A DOG.
COMMUNICATION, PLAY, AND COLLABORATION.
HOW DOGS LEARN?
DOG TRAINING AND BEHAVIOUR.
HUMAN-ANIMAL INTERACTIONS.
WORKING DOGS.
DOG ASSISTED INTERVENTIONS.
ETHICS, WELFARE, AND LAW.

Behaviour and training lectures are accompanied by practice sessions.

As an example, please see also the more detailed programme from summer 2018.

Participants

This course is for students, pet dog owners, people interested in human-animal interactions. Previous knowledge of the subject is not obligatory. The language of the course and study materials are in English. A good command of English is therefore required (higher intermediate English language B 2.1- B 2.2).

The course is limited to 20 participants.

In order to take part, please fill in the online application form. In addition, CV and motivation letter in English should be sent for consideration to tss@tlu.ee. The candidates will be selected based on submitted CV and motivation letter.

NB! Participants are required to bring a laptop.

Credit points

10 ECTS.
Exam (online, multiple-choice questions) is taken after the course has ended (27/07 – 07/08) on online platform MOODLE.
Certificate is awarded to participants with positive exam score (>60%) and who have attended >50% of sessions and have completed independent work assignments.

Course fee

640 EUR.

Study materials and coffee/snacks are included. Lunches and accommodation are not included.

Contact

General Contact (Registration, accommodation, cultural programme, etc): tss@tlu.ee

Information about the course content: Kairi Koort – kairi.koort@tlu.ee