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The Truth About Cats and Dogs

University of Edinburgh via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • Subject Science
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Start Date
  • Duration 5 weeks long

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What is your cat revealing to you when she purrs? What is your dog expressing when he yawns or wags his tail? Understanding your cat and dog’s behaviour and the way they communicate with you, will enable you to better understand their needs and strengthen your relationship with them.

This MOOC is divided into five topics, the appliance of science; behaviour and body language, senses and perception; challenges for the human-animal relationship, including pet problem behaviour; and how to improve the quality of life for cats and dogs in our care.

At the start of the course we ask you to consider what you feel is important to your cat/dog and what your cat/dog means to you? We explore the world of cats and dogs and how our relationships with them vary around the world and have changed over time. We ask if we can really know what our animals are thinking or trying to communicate through their facial expressions and behaviours.

From our beloved pets to street dogs, shelter dogs/cats and welfare challenges, we explore the world from their perspective and examine how their genetic make-up may influence their behavioural responses and choices. We dispel common behavioural myths by looking through a scientific lens, asking questions about the function and development of their behaviour.. We explore how their senses help them to interact with their world and how they communicate with each other and us!

Finally, we ask whether we impose unrealistic expectations on our cats and dogs and how this affects their ability to live alongside us. We ask, what can we do to be more responsible pet owners and to ensure the welfare of all cats and dogs in society? This MOOC explores different scientifically validated methods that can help you to better understand your pet, to enrich their lives and help you to be a more educated and confident pet owner.

We hope you enjoy the course!

Taught by

Dr Heather Bacon, Miss Hayley Walters, RVN, Dr Amy Miele, Professor Nat Waran and Louise Connelly

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Reviews for Coursera's The Truth About Cats and Dogs
4.5 Based on 2 reviews

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  • 1
Rebecca J
4.0 7 months ago
by Rebecca completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I went into this course feeling like I was already quite experienced with living with cats and looking after them, and something of a novice regarding dogs and their needs. I expected to learn a lot about dogs, and hoped to learn some new things about cats.

The course lived up to those expectations. I've picked up a few new nuggets of information about cats, which I've immediately been able to apply to life with my cat. My already-spoilt kitty is hopefully even happier in his little kitty life.

I also learned a fair bit about dogs, which will be a decent basis to sta…
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Paige-erin K
5.0 3 months ago
Paige-erin completed this course, spending 12 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This is a great course for anyone interested in the behavior and welfare of cats and dogs. I would also highly recommend you take the Animal Behavior and Welfare course, also from the University of Edinburgh, as these two courses supplement each other very nicely.
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