The current VIN date & time: Eastern

VIN BHVR903-2021: What Giraffes, Dogs, and Chickens Have in Common - Training Techniques That Work for All Creatures Self-Study

This course is a self-paced, non-interactive course.

Presenter: Sophia Yin, DVM, CAAB, M.S. Animal Science (1966-2014)
Course Open: April 1-December 31, 2021
Total CE Credit: 2
RACE Category: 2 hours Medical

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Course Information:
Ninety percent of all animal training, regardless of the species or complexity of the task, relies on a strong understanding of the science of learning. Learn what these foundation principles are and how to apply them to everyday training. By the end of this lecture, you'll have the information you need to modify behavior in your dog or cat, as well as your horse, housemates, or even hippos!

To earn a certificate of completion the participant must complete all learning modules and score 80% or better on the end-of-course test. Completion of the course will take a minimum of 108 minutes. Participants must complete the participation requirements by December 31, 2021 to be eligible for a certificate.

To learn more about the requirements for earning a non-interactive CE certificate, please refer to Non-Interactive CE Certificate Requirements.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the course, the participant should be able to
  • understand the principles that guide learning in all animals so that you can apply techniques across species and situations.
  • learn the categories of operant conditioning and the foolproof way to categorize techniques correctly so that you can recognize when terminology is being used inappropriately.
  • discover how the approach of rewarding the behaviors you want (positive reinforcement) and removing rewards for unwanted behaviors (negative reinforcement) can be used to solve most non-medical behavior problems.
  • understand that training is a technical skill. See how subtle differences in timing, rate of reinforcement, choice of motivator, and the ability to define appropriate criteria can make vast differences in your training efficiency.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE self-study course is open for enrollment to veterinarians and support staff actively interested in learning more about low stress handling training techniques. This course is open to VIN and VSPN members only.
Accreditation: This non-interactive course is approved for 2 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-741999)

Course Agenda:

Module 1: What Giraffes, Dogs, and Chickens Have in Common - Training Techniques That Work for All Creatures
Total Time: 98 minutes
Video: 98 minutes
Polls: 10
This module will cover:
  • Types of Learning:
    • Classical Conditioning
    • Operant Conditioning
  • Solving Behavior Problems
  • Why Avoid Aversives?
  • Training Complex Behaviors
  • Knowledge on Paper versus Actual Ability to Modify Behavior
  • Success Requires Knowledge of Motivation and Communication
  • Leadership

Module 2: End of Course Test
Total Time: 10 minutes
Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course.

Module 3: Course Evaluation

To learn more about the requirements for earning a non-interactive self-study CE certificate, please refer to Non-Interactive CE Certificate Requirements.


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Tuition: VIN/VSPN Member $46
Prices are listed in US dollars.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext. 797 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to starting the course. If you wish to withdraw after you have started this self-study course, please contact the VSPN office 800-846-0028, ext. 797 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VIN's upcoming CE courses, check the VIN Course Catalog.

Katherine James, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (SAIM)
VIN Education Director

VIN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 797
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357