Non-Degree / Dates: 16-27 July 2018

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

The summer course will bring 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.

See also our Facebook event here.

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.


Line Sandstedt teaches animal-assisted interventions at The Norwegian University of Life Sciences, and is the managing director of The Norwegian Centre of Anthrozoology. This centre works in the field of human-animal relationships and is an interdisciplinary association, comprised of individuals with expertise in ethology, rehabilitation, public health, and special needs education. Line Sandstedt has 20 years of experience within several areas of human-animal interactions, including consulting and practice in animal-assisted interventions, education, research and behaviour modification, and dog training classes.

Janne Orro is president of the Estonian Small Animal Veterinary Association and a Member of the Board at the Estonian Kennel Union. Janne is a practicing veterinary doctor and educator. Janne has had Jack Russell terriers for 13 years and bred several litters under the FCI-recognized kennel Oruallika.

Ilo-Hanna Keres is a practicing advocate who has experience in providing consultations in animal law. Ilo-Hanna is an associate at the Glikman Alvin Law Firm. Ilo is an animal lover and has been interested in animal protection since childhood. As a member of the Young Environmentalists’ Action, as a child she sent monthly personal petitions to various heads of states and organisations. Today, she often uses her legal skills pro bono in local animal protection court cases.


Lectures take place from Monday to Friday.
10am to 2pm lectures on Tallinn University campus, 4pm to 6pm practice sessions in different locations.
Exam (online, multiple-choice questions) is open from July 27 to August 7, 2018.

Please see also the more detailed programme. Please note that there might be changes in the programme!


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 25 participants. In order to apply, please first fill in the online application form.

CV and motivation letter in English should be sent for consideration to Subject: TLU Summer School 2018 course application. The candidates will be selected based on submitted CV and motivation letter.

Credit points

Upon full participation, individual homework and passing an online exam, students will be awarded 10 ECTS points.
A certificate is awarded to participants with the positive exam score over 60% of total score.

Course fee

640 EUR.

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


General Contact (Registration, accommodation, cultural programme, etc):

Information about the course content: Kairi Koort –