Getting Behaviour – The Foundations of Animal Training

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Get happier animals that thrive with people – learn the foundations of animal training!

If you’re a pet owner, working professionally with animals or even teaching about animal training, this is for you!

  • Are you afraid that the new puppy is going to develop annoying behaviour – excessive barking, pulling on the leash, or jumping on people?
  • Does your new horse avoid you?
  • Does your cat hide under the bed when you bring out the crate to go to the vet?
  • Does your dog listen to you at home, but ignore you and run off to chase squirrels once you’re in the park?
  • Do you find it difficult to communicate about animal behaviour, learning and training to the people around you?
  • Or perhaps you’re interested in teaching your animal a cool trick, to impress your friends?

Successful animal training will help improve your relationship to your animal, reduce fear and stress, and empower the animal to take an active part of his own care.

Plus, it’s really fun! 😍

But, in order to train effectively, you need to understand why animals do what they do, communicate what you desire and motivate them to go along with your suggestions.

I can help you achieve that.

We’re all on a learning journey.
I’m an Associate Professor of Ethology, passionately helping animals thrive with people.

I used to be late for school as a kid.

My mother was mystified, because she sent me off with plenty of time to spare – and yet, 8-year old Karolina would invariably arrive at the classroom door after the bell rang.

So, mom decided to tag along to see why a 12-minute walk took almost half an hour. And she realized that I stopped to engage with all the critters in the small patch of forest that I passed on my way to school.

“Look mom, a dead mouse baby!” I exclaimed, pointing to a small shriveled silhouette half-hidden among the leaves.

My mom loved telling this story, relating her frustrations with all the bugs and birds I showed her that morning. She told me to stop looking around and start walking (more like striding, actually), so that I could get to school on time and get down to the serious business of learning. 

But the thing is, I was learning. About habitats, behaviour, contexts.

Well, that’s a sweet story, Karolina, but how is it relevant here?

Thanks for asking.

Well. I was on a learning journey. And my mom was unaware of it.

And here’s why it’s relevant:

Our animals are also on learning journeys. And we, their guardians, just like my mom, are often unaware of it – we’re ignorant of the fact that they’re learning in the first place, or what they’re learning – or that we can influence what they learn.

The cat visiting the vet is on a learning journey.

The dog, meeting another dog while out on a walk, is on a learning journey.

The horse, being ridden by a new rider, is on a learning journey.

Is the animal trotting down his learning journey on his own – or have you stepped in next to him?

Typically, it’s not until the animal becomes fearful, aggressive or destructive that we start wondering where they might have picked up that undesirable behaviour.

And once that’s happened, veterinary consultations, hiring a trainer or behaviour consultant to help address that problem behaviour could easily cost thousands of dollars.

On the other hand, being aware of, and indeed in charge of, the animal’s learning journey can help you avoid those expenses, the worry and the guilt.

The passionate interest in animals has stayed with me, and I’m still on that learning journey. I’ve pored over different scientific disciplines with regards to animal behaviour, learning and welfare. Attended countless conferences about enrichment and training. Written more than a dozen scientific papers on those topics.

I’ve spent more than 25 years teaching about why and how animals do what they do, and what we as animal caregivers can do to get happy animals that thrive with people. How we can help guide animals through their learning journey. How we can take charge of what the animal learns.

I created the self-paced online course Getting Behaviour in order to teach soft, gentle and fun ways to get enthusiastic and willing learners. My students learn what modern animal trainers are doing to help animals adjust to living with humans!

How will the getting behaviour course change your life – and that of your animal?
  • You’ll learn why animals do what they do, so that you understand them better.
  • You’ll learn how to go about teaching animals useful behaviours that help them thrive living with people.
  • You’ll learn about the most humane ways of achieving behaviour change, resulting in eager and confident learners.
  • You’ll be able to prevent the development of problem behaviour.
  • You’ll be able to help make visits to the vet be something you and your animal look forward to.
  • You’ll improve the relationships that you have with the animals in your care.
  • You’ll get the confidence to address your animal’s behaviour yourself – and help your neighbours, too!
  • If you’re teaching about training, you’ll get happier clients who refer you to others.
images: Linda Bodin / Christine Dosdall

Who is this course for?

Getting Behaviour is for three types of pet owners and animal professionals.

  • This course is for you if you never intentionally trained an animal. It’s a beginner’s course –and it will open the door to a new universe!
  • This course is for you if you’re training animals but don’t really know why sometimes things work out and sometimes not. In this course, you’ll start understanding how learning impacts behaviour, and how to most successfully communicate with and motivate the animals in your care.
  • This course is also for you if you teach others about animal training. You’ll pick up ideas about how to teach and encourage your clients more effectively.
images: Gill Langridge / Britt Balle
What are people saying about the course?

”This course was a breakthrough for me, after breeding and training horses for more than 25 years. Now I listen to my horses a lot more and most of all, I can understand what they are saying and why they behave the way they do in almost any situation.” (Kia von Platen)

“I cannot thank you enough for sharing this knowledge with us. My world has opened up because of you. I have run through the course a second time, and I feel totally transformed as a dog trainer. It was your influence that has consolidated my passion for force-free, fear-free, pain-free and anger-free training methods. I have started using many of the techniques with a handful of clients with amazing results. So, THANK YOU doesn’t seem sufficient, but THANK YOU!” (Orlando dos Santos)

“The Getting Behaviour course is a deceptively easy course. It starts slow and then hits you with insights that will change how you look at training and animal learning forever. Every module and almost every chapter contains a small gem, together with awesome video evidence of what is possible in animal training and a clear, concise presentation of the subject.” (Sabine Martini -Hansske)

“First, I have to say that without exception, I have enjoyed this course more than any other that I have taken….

… and I am an education Junkie, so there have been many. “(Colleen McCarvill)

“I’ve been stuck in my training, despite taking several dog training classes. This course is full of theory, and it’s been fabulous – so fun and inspiring! And finally, I’m confidently and successfully using the clicker in my training!” (Lotta Bengtsson)

“I wish I’d known this in the beginning of training my horse – it took me a long time figuring out that there’s more at play than just good or bad timing and the right choice of reinforcers. Everybody should know these foundations.” (Christine Dosdall)

“I’ve never before joined an online course which offers such a broad perspective and in-depth explanations at the same time. I feel much more confident in training now, and I feel that I can make much more informed decisions before, during and after training an animal.” (Iris Starnberger)

“I can’t express enough gratitude for everything I have learned.  Training has become so much fun for both my horse and I.  She meets me at the gate and willingly comes when called to go “play”. Our relationship has grown deeper and my ability to understand the how and why of her behavior is so much clearer. Thank you!!!!” (Karen Frame)

How is this online course delivered?
  • Once you sign up, you’ll get immediate access to the first module. The other 9 modules will become accessible with weekly intervals – so full course access to all the material happens after 9 weeks.
  • This course makes the most out of the online format by using micro-learning: the content videos are short and actionable (2-15 minutes long).
  • The course modules are prerecorded and you can watch the videos anytime.
  • There are 10 modules (109 videos) in the course, and the videos have a running time of about 13 hours in total; there’s also numerous links and written resources that tend to lead students down different rabbit holes. Many students return again and again to the videos, links and discussions, revisiting the material, so estimating “how long the course is” is difficult.
  • All videos are subtitled in English – this makes it easier for the many non-native English speakers among the students.
  • There are some voluntary practical exercises and thought-provoking questions, and voluntary self-assessment questions are available to check your retention.
  • Many students will take an active part in this course and help shape it! This peer-to-peer learning in the comments’ section is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of this course!
  • There are written summaries and audio files that you can download and keep.
  • You have access to the course for a full year after purchase.
  • You’ll be invited to a secret Facebook Group, where you can connect, share and discuss with other animal lovers – with continued lifetime access!
  • If you have use of Continued Educational Units, the IAABC gives 13 CEUS for this course. Let me know is you need any other organization’s CEUs!
  • After you finish, you get a certificate of completion and a banner that you can display on your website.
Course details.

Find the main topics below. Additionally, there’s a Teachers’ Corner for each of the ten modules, where people teaching about training exchange ideas and experiences about teaching exercises that they’ve found effective – and where students can share their experiences being on the receiving end of creative and inspiring lessons!

12 bonus webinars!

The first Wednesday of every month, there’s a Bonus Live Q&A Session, where you can submit your questions and have them answered by me personally.

Each live session is recorded and may be viewed until it is replaced by the next live broadcast a month later. The students who take full advantage of this bonus can get more or less monthly private coaching!

When you become a student, you’ll be getting weekly emails while the course is being delivered, as well as monthly reminders about the live webinars. I’ll also keep you posted on my other free webinars, masterclasses, silly experiments, online courses and blog posts!

Images: Björn Johansson,, Stephanie Edlund

A sneak peek at the course

Here is the very first video of the course (out of 109). Toggle the CC-button at the bottom right to get subtitles. 🙂

Frequently Asked Questions
  • “How do I get the most out of the course?”

By engaging in discussions, sharing your own training videos and helping each other problem solve – you’ll learn heaps!

  • “Is it worth it?”

If you work your way through this course and start making use of the content, life with animals will never be the same. You’ll find that it is priceless.

  • “Is there a scholarship program?”

Yes there is, I open it once a year and give away the course for free – the next opportunity to apply will be in November of 2024. If you want to be notified of the next opportunity for a scholarship, sign up to my email list here or on the blog.

  • “Will it work for me?”

The course is called Getting Behaviour – and that title has double meaning. It’s about “getting” as in understanding why animals do what they do, and also as in communicating and motivating them to do what you desire. So, your understanding will grow, and so will your ability to communicate and motivate. If your animal chooses not to comply with your wishes, you’ll understand why.

  • “But I’m interested in dogs/horses/cats/parrots – wouldn’t I be better off taking a dog/horse/cat/parrot training course?”

This may sound counter intuitive, but you’ll actually become a better dog trainer (or horse/cat/parrot trainer) by learning more about how to address and solve the challenges involved in training other animal species. This requires flexibility, which is one of the most important qualities in a great trainer.

  • “What if I change my mind?”

If you sign up and later feel that this course is not for you, there’s a 30-day refund policy. You’ll get your money back – guaranteed! This means that you can actually get free access to half the course content, since 5 modules are released by day 30.

Teach your children the modern way to communicate with and train animals. Photo: Anne Dirksen.

The price of the transformational Getting Behaviour course is US$397:- plus taxes.

If you’ve read this far, you’re now at a decision point. The animal can continue trotting down his learning journey on his own, or you can step in beside him.

Build great relationships with the animals in your care.

Make them happy and confident.

Soar as a trainer – join us by clicking the button below!

31 Replies to “Getting Behaviour – The Foundations of Animal Training”

  1. I just want to take a moment to say a GIGANTIC thank you for this scholarship. I am absolutely over flowing with gratitude and EXCITEMENT! Very much looking forward to getting stuck in to the course! 🙂 <3

      1. Is there any schilarship available? I AM saveing money for the one about solving problems of Fear etc the one starts in September! But i AM enthusiastic about doing more of the ones start now and are previous ones, allthoght i think i hace the theory from ATF courses and Shawna Karrash courses ! I work with horses! And a little with cats . Or is there a disccount for more than one course?

        1. Hi Patty, the scholarship round for this course is in November! There’s no bundle prices for the courses unfortunately.

  2. As a pensioner i cannot afford these courses, also i am old and forget a lot
    MY problem is my old (13) mix. She is the most congenial dog in the world. Bright and attentive but lately she refuses to leave the house with me for a quick piddle before bed.
    She used to go happily but all of a sudden she has decided not to.
    She has a cast iron bladder but it worries me. Whose dog chooses to go 12+ hours without urinating. I know she has no problems with it as when we walk all is normal. It’s her stubbornness that worries me. She’s too big to carry and tugging her across the floor doesn’t seem the right way to handle the problem.
    Has any one a suggestion?

    1. Rose-Marie, I’d take her to the vet! At that age, it could be some type of medical condition. Best of luck!

  3. Looks great and would be useful as I start a dog training business. But my business is too new to be able to afford. Hopefully another time

  4. Thank you so much, I’ve been drifting for at least a year since I had to give up grooming this will help so much

  5. Thank you Karolina. That is a relief to know. I will be able to get through the course. I will tune in on Wednesdays when I can. Usually on Wednesdays on am helping my 8 year old granddaughter and one of her classmates with their distance learning. It worked out well this last week when I had them do their gym assignments and told them I would be listening to one of my classes. Hopefully I can do the same next month.

  6. May I ask how often this course is offered? I am asking for both personal and professional reasons.

    1. Leda, this course is always available – you can enroll at any time. It’s my other courses that are opened only once a year. 🙂

  7. Hi Karolina,

    Is there a last date for application to this course?
    I would like to enroll, but was wondering if this course is open for enrollment all year?

    All the best,

    1. Pernilla, this course is open all year round; it’s the only one of my big courses that is..! 🙂

  8. I would absolutely love to take this course. I am a project leader for the dog project in 4H and I have 17 kids starting!!!! I would love to share this type of knowledge with these kids.

  9. Hi Karolina!
    I have been following a few of your free courses and I love what you teach, i am so grateful for these courses and what you are charing.
    I have been working as a human coach for a couple of years and now my wish is to be able to work more and more with humans together with horses in coaching and learning and also to help horseowners understand their horses so they can offer the horse a happier horselife. I believe that empathy for, and understanding of the animals can help us humans understand ourselves and our behaviors and from that we can create a life in love and peace with ourselfs, other humans, animals and nature.
    For the moment I don’t have money to participate, but perhaps in the future 🙂
    Thank you Karolina for all god you do!

  10. I decided to buy the class. I am already impressed. Love the way it is organized. You have a great clears speaking voice. The closed captions keep up perfectly. Just got started but love the content already.

  11. Spændende kursus jeg vil helt sikkert finde penge og tid til at fordybe mig i dette. Jeg vil gerne vide mere og vil holde øje med dine opslag.
    Jeg vil gerne tilmeldes nyhedsbrev.

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