HFX225 Dogs: Breeding, Nutrition and Ethology

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Øystein Ahlstrøm

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:Minimum 8 students.

Course frequency:Anually

Nominal workload:250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:

Autumn from 2021.

Not given spring of 2021.

About this course

This interdisciplinary course on dog breeding, nutrition and ethology is focused on scientific knowledge about dog biology and applications to the keeping of dogs for various purposes (e.g. companion animals, working dogs, show dogs, sports dogs, therapy dogs). The course covers factors affecting the use, behaviour, health and welfare of dogs, and the quality of their relationship with people. It includes breeding and selection, the housing environment, feeding, and training methods. Some comparisons are made with the domestic cat, another carnivore species living closely with humans. The course provides important basic knowledge for dog and cat owners, breeders and people working in the pet industry.

Learning outcome

Students will have the in-depth knowledge to (1) describe dog behavioural development, social behaviour, communication and predatory behaviour, as well as changes in behaviour due to domestication; (2) explain the nutritional needs of dogs according to age and physical activity, and describe the nutritional content of feedstuffs and feed products for dogs; and (3) discuss how genes affect dog traits, and the impact of breeding within small dog populations. Students will also develop competence to (4) evaluate problems, identify solutions and communicate recommendations about responsible dog breeding decisions, proper feeding and prevention of behaviour problems so that dogs can have good health and welfare, and a good relationship with people.
  • The course includes lectures, exercises, demonstrations, excursions and colloquia. Guest lecturers will contribute with lectures on specific topics.

    Together with the teachers, students will select topics for obligatory assignments that deepen and integrate knowledge about dogs. These assignments involve finding and critically evaluating solutions to problems related to the keeping of dogs, and will be completed singly or in groups of 2-3 students. Reports will be presented in colloquia and submitted as written reports.

  • Teachers are available by email to answer questions about the course material. Appointments are made by email when needed. Students will have an advisor for each obligatory assignment. Course materials will be found in Canvas.
  • None.
  • 70% written exam (3 hours, graded A-F), 30% semester paper (graded A-F).
  • The course sensor approves exam questions and grades the written exams.
  • Students are expected to present their semester report in a colloquium and to participate in colloquia and course excursions.
  • The course is taught partly in Norwegian and partly in English.
  • Lectures 4 hours per week. Excursions require extra time.
  • Letter grades