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VIN Canine Lab 4: Desensitization and Counterconditioning: Teaching Dogs to Willingly Accept Medical Procedures (BHVR910) Self-Study

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

Presenter: Sophia Yin, DVM, CAAB, M.S. Animal Science (1966-2014)
Course Open: July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022
Total CE Credit: 3
RACE Category: 3 hours Non-Medical

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Course Information:
Many dogs dislike or are fearful of various types of handling for procedures such as toenail trims, injections and venipuncture. While it may seem faster to use force-restraint, this type of handling frequently makes the patient worse and takes more time. Techniques for training dogs to enjoy procedures are straightforward, but there are important nuances. In this lab you'll learn the detailed steps that will lead to quick and efficient success. Your patients will now be happy, and your clients will be, too.

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 169 minutes. Participants must complete the participation requirements by June 30, 2022 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
  • learn how to train a dog to enjoy toenail trims, injections, muzzles or head collars, and almost any procedure that the dog previously disliked.
  • discover how subtle differences in timing, treat placement, choice of motivator, food delivery technique, and the ability to define appropriate criteria can make vast differences in the effectiveness and efficiency of your training.
  • learn how to increase the likelihood that a dog is motivated for the food that you are using. Discover how you can desensitize and countercondition using motivators other than food.
  • recognize when you're performing the techniques correctly, how to avoid common mistakes, and when to make modifications.

Level and Prerequisites: This basic VIN CE self-study course is open for enrollment to veterinarians and veterinary support staff actively interested in desensitization and counter-conditioning dogs to medical procedures. This course is open to VIN and VSPN members only.
Accreditation: This non-interactive course is approved for 3 hours of continuing education credit by RACE for veterinarians and veterinary technicians/technologists. (RACE 20-842051)

Course Agenda:

Module 1: Desensitization and Counterconditioning: Teaching Dogs to Willingly Accept Medical Procedures
Total Time: 159 minutes
Video: 159 minutes
Polls: 13

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 $69
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 and non-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