Resolving Challenging Behaviour

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This course is currently closed

This course is unfortunately closed – it opens again for enrollment in September 2024.


“This is the best course you have ever made – it has been so interesting!”

/ Mia Rasmussen


The two kinds of unwanted behaviours

When animals display undesired or challenging behaviours, these may be of two kinds:

  • The animal doesn’t show a particular behaviour, even though you’d like her to.
  • The animal shows a particular behaviour, although you’d rather she didn’t. 

The trick to solving both types of situation is understanding the why. 

And in the Resolving Challenging Behaviour course, I’ll teach you.

I’m an associate professor of ethology with a somewhat obsessive interest in animal behaviour, learning and welfare.

Admittedly, I have rather limited practical experience in this area. But I’m not basing this course on years of personal experience gained through trial-and error.

I’m basing it on the  fact that I’ve spent more than 17 years as an ethologist working to prevent and resolve behavioural challenges, and I’ve attended more than 60 international animal behaviour-related courses, conferences and seminars, where I’ve learned from some of the best contemporary animal trainers, behaviour consultants, and veterinarians in the world.


“Crikey Karolina!

What an incredible course!

I have learned many new nuances, consolidated previously understood concepts, and added more depth to my understanding of animal training.”

/ Jacquie Billington


I approach behaviour from a multidisciplinary perspective, and apart from a solid background in applied ethology (how evolutionary principles affect behaviour), I have also studied how emotions impact behaviour (affective neuroscience), as well as the importance of context and previous learning in explaining behaviour (applied behaviour analysis).

I take the animal’s emotional experiences very seriously and teach ethical, kind and empowering ways to bring about behaviour change.

I’ve distilled all those different perspectives into one extensive online course on the topic of tackling undesired behaviour, all the while ensuring that the animal’s wellbeing and agency isn’t compromised.

Resolving Challenging Behaviour discusses the whys and gives you a structured approach to dealing with unwanted behaviour.


“This course sets the bar even higher!

This is a truly breathtaking course that breaks down every aspect of the science behind behavioral modification procedures.

/ Fran Messina


How will the resolving challenging behaviour course change your life- and that of your animal?
  • You’ll understand why the animal isn’t showing the behaviours that you wish she would show – and what to do about it.
  • You’ll learn why she shows undesired behaviours, and a systematic approach to address them.
  • You’ll be better able to prevent unwanted behaviour in the animals you come across in the future.

Note that the Resolving Challenging Behaviour course covers general principles and gives examples from the most common type of behavioural challenges seen in companion animals, but it does not include any detailed and personal consulting on specific predicaments that you may be facing.


“I have attended many different dog courses with several course organizers, and your courses are of a much higher quality than all the others”.

/ Pia Bildt Ström


Who is this course for?

This course is for you if:

  • you have a passionate (verging on nerdy) interest in animal behaviour, learning and training. 
  • you’re interested in preventing and dealing with behavioural challenges.

I should warn you. This course is not a quick fix. If you don’t know that much about animal learning and behaviour, and just want your specific challenge resolved rather than understanding the whys, this course is not for you.

Also, this course is not for beginner trainers. You don’t have to have that much practical experience, but you should have a working knowledge of basic theoretical concepts related to operant learning and classical conditioning.

Why? Because so much of the resolution to behavioural challenges is about teaching the animal some other behaviour than the one she’s currently showing. So, knowing (at least in theory) how to do that is a prerequisite to taking this course.

If you feel like maybe you’re not there yet, I suggest you start out with this foundational animal training course to develop those skills – or hire a behavioural consultant, who can guide you through your specific challenge, and provide ongoing feedback and advice tailored to your particular situation.


“This is a mind-blowing course!

It was exactly what I was looking for, and I’m glad to realize I’m not alone in “nerdyland”.

It’s difficult to find a course so well explained, a teacher so passionate, a content so carefully laid out and researched.”

/ Silvia Montecchio


How is this online course delivered?
  • The 10 modules are released every 7 or 14 days (the shorter modules with a week’s interval, the longer ones with two weeks’ spacing) during 3,5 months.
  • This course makes the most out of the online format by using micro-learning: the content videos are short (most in the range of 5 to 15 minutes).
  • The course modules are prerecorded and you can watch the videos at your convenience.
  • There are 10 modules (∼140 videos) in the course, and the videos have a running time of about 24 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. (Oh, and the bonuses add another 6 hours… keep reading for details!)
  • All videos are subtitled in English – this makes it easier for the many non-native English speakers among the students.
  • There are thought-provoking questions throughout the course, as well as voluntary self-assessments at the end of each module.
  • Many students 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 my courses!
  • There are written summaries and audio files that you can download and keep.
  • You have access to the course for an entire 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 CCPDT and the PPAB already provide CEUS for this course. Let me know if you need any other organization’s CEUs!
  • After you finish, you’ll get a certificate of completion and a banner that you can display on your website.

“This course was so incredibly rewarding and educational that I’ve gone through it twice…

I will definitely attend this course again in the future, it was fantastic”.

/ Nathalie Nilsson


Course details.

The course looks at behavioural challenges from a holistic perspective and discusses multidisciplinary approaches to resolving them. There are examples from multiple animal species, and in each module, there are one to three Deep Dives into specific types of challenges. Below follows a quick guide to the main topics covered in the different modules:

Module 1 – Not getting behaviour

We start the course by discussing the two main types of behavioural challenges, and specifically how to address the type 1- challenge (when the animal doesn’t show the behaviours that we are trying to teach).


“I have been watching / reading / using all my senses on the first part of the course since early Saturday and can’t stop! 

It’s WON_DER_FUL!

A MUST for all trainers!

/ Pierinna Tenchio


Module 2 – Understanding Causes

In this module, we discuss the many reasons why animals start showing behaviours that to us are in some way undesired – the type-2 challenge.


I FREAKING love how I am constantly being challenged on my current world view!!!”

/ Kristin Due Holmegaard


Module 3 – Moods and Emotions

In module 3, we discuss just how heavily mood states and emotions influence perception, decision making and behaviour, bringing together different theoretical models that I find extremely useful in practice.


“So, I am loving ALL of the chapters – but #8 was super chocked full of seriously important goodies with immediate relevance about stress, cortisol and healing. 🙂”

/ Virginia Ellis on the chapter on stress and coping


Module 4 – Finding the Function

In this module, we look how the science of Behaviour Analysis addresses challenging behaviour in animals, and the ethical perspective when it comes to selecting our approach.


“I’m beginning to see a much bigger picture and, thanks to this course, manageable ways of describing and analyzing that picture.”

/ Adria Albertyn


Module 5 – Changing Moods

We’ll look at ways of helping the animal feel differently about the world, so that he becomes less bothered by current triggers. By changing moods, we can change behaviour.


“Loved the module, probably my most favorite module of the whole course.

I can see in my own life how much the environment the animal lives in, and when its needs are met, affects the animal’s behavior and mood 🙂”

/ Riin Kooli-Kõnnussaar


Module 6 – Changing Emotions

In this module, we’ll look at ways of helping the animal feel differently about the actual triggers in his environment. By changing emotions, we can change behaviour.


Most complete and analytic on counterconditioning I have ever seen.

Very surprised on how many details we miss in daily practice.”

/ Alexandros Paraschis


Module 7 – Changing Functions

In this module, we look closely at the ABC-function of the behaviour in its current context, and what we might do to change that function. By changing functions, we can change behaviour.


“Interesting module!

You’ve given me lots to consider before working with clients!

/ Inger Ekdahl


Module 8 – Getting Creative

Inventive, empowering and fun approaches that modern animal trainers and behaviour consultants are exploring to resolve challenging behaviour.


“Wow, another incredibly good module!

I think combining different techniques and perspectives individually is one of the biggest challenges in behavioral therapy and you have given us a large selection for the toolbox.”

/ Eva Behnke


Module 9 – Prevention

In this module, we discuss ways of avoiding unwanted behaviour from ever developing in the first place – and how we can prepare for stress-free veterinary visits.


“I really loved this module – the animal world need this!!”

/ Mia Rasmussen


Module 10 – Punishment

We wrap up the course discussing why punishment is such a bad choice when it comes to resolving challenging behaviour.


At last – Someone who is not afraid to deal with the stigma of punishment…

a very much needed part of education.

Learning about punishment opens so many doors to how we can avoid using it – and to accept that its a real-life phenomenon.”

/ Jill Jones


Bonuses!

The bonus material for this course consist of 30-40 minute long Case Studies, where I discuss a specific topic with an expert in the field, including illustrative videos.  

  • Module 1: Peta Clarke discusses different ways to improve recalls.
  • Module 2: Kristin Kuntz talks about how pain may impact behaviour – and how to diagnose it.
  • Module 3: Julie Naismith explains how “separation anxiety” in dogs actually consists of several different behavioural clusters, and when different interventions are required.
  • Module 4: Ryan Cartlidge guides us through the Behaviour Analytical perspective when it comes to understanding challenging behaviour and identifying the function it currently serves.
  • Module 5: Karin Pienaar reveals how she used environmental enrichment to change the mood state – and thus resolve some pretty challenging behaviour – in a gorilla.
  • Module 6: Kristina Spaulding shines a light on the research on resilience.
  • Module 7: Yvette van Veen explains when and how to train DROs (Differential Reinforcement of Other behaviour) – and how people go wrong when attempting this procedure.
  • Module 8: Julie Lannen shows us how she tweaked the CAT procedure (Constructional Aggression Treatment) for horses.
  • Module 9: Monique Fayrecilde discusses Fear-Free approaches and Cooperative Care for cats.
  • Module 10: Eileen Koval illustrates how to train snake avoidance behaviour in dogs – without using punishment but positive reinforcement.

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


“Keep up what you are doing!!  No one else compares to what you offer…

Your education needs to be in every DVM university as the behavior core curriculum 😊”

/ Susan Tripp


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

My courses are best enjoyed by students who engage in discussions and are active participants – and this engagement doesn’t necessarily have to occur as the modules are released; many students fall behind..! 🙂 Even though the course will be released over a few months, you have a year to finish it – there’s no rush!

  • “Is it worth it?”

This course is designed to help both pet guardians and animal professionals  prevent and diminish challenging behaviour in the animals in their care. This could have profound implications for animals’ quality of life – as well as their humans’.

Also, there’s a 30-day refund period – no questions asked! So, there’s no risk involved.

  • “Is there a scholarship program?”

Yes, there was. Unfortunately that deadline has now passed.

  • “Will it work for me?”

I feel I need to set your expectations. This course is not intended as a quick fix, and I won’t be taking you by the hand and guiding you through all your individual problematic situations, or provide any detailed step-by-step recipes for how to solve your particular behavioural issue.

Rather than solving your animal’s behavioural challenges for you, I’ll teach you a systematic way to address, prevent, and hopefully resolve, those problems all on your own.

If you feel that you need close mentoring and guidance to address your particular behavioural challenge, I think you’ll get better help by hiring a professional behavioural consultant. Find one here – many of them will provide online consultations!

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

This may sound counter intuitive, but you’ll actually become better at addressing your dog’s behaviour (or your horse’s/cat’s/parrot’s behaviour) by learning more about how to address and resolve the challenging behaviour exhibited by multiple animal species. This requires flexibility, which is one of the most important qualities required to be good at resolving behavioural issues.

  • “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 almost half of the course content, since 4 out of 10 modules are released by day 30.  

  • “Right now is not a good time for me. Can I join later?”

The next opportunity of taking this course will be in September of 2024. 

The price of this extensive course is US$ 497:- plus taxes.


“Thank you so much for this amazing course! Very complete, very detailed! I loved it! I have 175 pages of notes!

The Resolving Challenging Behaviour course is an outstanding program that helped me connect the dots between behavior, emotions, ABA and enrichment. One of the deepest courses I’ve had the chance to take.”

/ Raphaël Pépin


14 Replies to “Resolving Challenging Behaviour”

    1. Hi Jenine, with the currency conversion as it sits right now it would be about 776 Australian dollars. 🙂

  1. Hi Karolina,
    Thank you for responding. I work as a volunteer trainer at the Canine Behavioural School in Adelaide and I can see how this knowledge would be so valuable to have. I am retired and do this work because I want all animals and their guardians to be able to share a wonderful, fulfilling life together. As this course is quite expensive for a retiree, do you ever provide scholarships that I could apply for?

  2. Hi Karolina.
    I work at a vet clinch, with behavior , mostly dogs. How do you know when a student has finish the course? Will there be an exam, or ? Also, if my employer pay this course, is it only for one, or more people?
    I have followed the free class, and love it all. Thanks

    1. Hi Dorthe, As a requirement for a certificate and banners I need a screenshot that the course is marked 100% complete, and also 10 comments in discussions.

      There are self-assessments for each module, but they’re not compulsory unless you require CEUs. More information here: https://illis.se/education/after-you-finish-your-course/

      As you may have seen, I prepare a lot of educational content, such as blog post, webinars, mini-training series, Masterclasses or e-books.

      Most of them free of charge.

      But I do sell extensive online courses, too, where I go into a lot more detail than I ever could in my free resources – and in fact, those paid courses are what give me the time and opportunity of preparing so much free content.

      The price for my courses are set for individuals, not groups. I keep my prices very low in comparison with many other extensive online animal training courses in order to make it possible for as many people as possible to attend. That being said, I fully understand that not everyone can afford them, and that is why I also offer full scholarships every year. Certificates are individual.

      Of course, I won’t be able to control or even know how much people share my work with non-students, but simply have to trust that they share general ideas and concepts rather than login details. So, while the Masterclass was free for all, the RCB course is not.

      Hope this helps! 🙂

  3. Hi Karolina,

    Thank you so much for the masterclass. I learned so much!

    I applied for a scholarship and am eager waiting to learn if I was accepted.
    If we are accepted, will we be notified by email? Also, do you know when we will find out? I suspect you have many applications to consider, so I am just look for a general timeframe so that I am not checking my emails every 15 mins lol

    A hopeful student for 2023 course,
    Roberta

    1. Hi Roberta, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the Masterclass! I sent you an email earlier today, did it get stuck in spam? Resending now, hopefully it will get through! Let me know?

  4. Hi Karolina, I can’t find the info on how many comments we need to make to get the certificates etc. Do we need to record these as screen shots as we go though the course to submit at the end? I didn’t do this on the animal emotions course so just making sure I don’t do the same mistake. Are the other things we need to do: Complete all chapters, complete all assessments? thankyou

  5. Hi Karolina, I’m on an eternal loop on your Animal Emotions course because it’s so brilliantly compulsive! This course, Resolving Challenging Behaviour, looks irresistible too. Certainly plan to enrol in September- what will the cost be please. 😊

    1. Haha! looking forward to seeing you in that one later, then! It will be 497 dollars (plus taxes) 🙂

    1. Hi Jimmy, there’s no waiting list, but as a student of my other courses you’ll be on my main list, which gets the invitation! 🙂

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