Home > IAABC Courses > Fundamentals of Animal Behavior and Learning

Fundamentals of Animal Behavior and Learning

"That there could be a science of behavior, of what we do, of who we are?
How could you resist that?"

– Donald M. Baer

Date Register

Course begins: July 8, 2019

Class is sold out!

Full Course cost: $255 for non-members, $199 for IAABC and KPA
(Assignments and participation required – receive certificate of completion and CEUs)

Audit cost: $100 for non-members and $50 for members
(No CEUs and certificate and no requirements)

IAABC MembersVisit your member account for the discount codes to use

CEUs: 8 for IAABC, KPA, and CCPDT

Instructor: Dr. Erica Feuerbacher

This course will help you:

  • Think Scientifically About Animal Training and Behavior Consulting for all Species
  • Understand and Break Training into Component Principles
  • Understand Environmental Events that Maintain Behavior
  • Increase Your Ability to be Humane and Effective
  • How do labels such as "aggressive" or "submissive" cloud our thinking and our work? What are we describing when we say an animal is "confident," "creative," "a problem solver," and how should we approach those learners?
  • See the common principles at play in different animals & species.
  • Become a more effective and humane trainer by cutting through the jargon and directly assessing behavior.

The is a four-week course; the first three weeks will explore the scope of the course. There will be no new content in the fourth week, which will be reserved for completing final projects, discussion and synthesizing the course content.


  • Carry out the reading assignments listed in the syllabus before class (this does not include the very first class)
  • Complete assignments as designated
  • Check your email and visit our learning site, courses.iaabcedu.com regularly (at least once a day) to check in on the discussion group.
  • Your email will be answered within 24 hours of you sending it, except on weekends which will be answered by the next business day.
  • If you have a technical issue with an online assignment, please email courses@iaabc.org and cc me on the email.

Class schedule: The class will run for four weeks total. The course online materials will become available on 7/8/2019.

Course Activities, Objectives, & Assessment

Online Lectures: Each week there will be several short videos (10-20 min each; typically 60-90 minutes total per week) that will discuss the topics of the week.

Online Readings with Reading Guides: Each week you will have a scientific reading with a guide to help you navigate the reading. The paper will exemplify the principles being discussed that week.

Online Assignments: During Weeks 1-3, you will have 1-2 short online assignments each week. Some of these will entail you giving an example and then giving feedback on examples provided by a few of your fellow students.

Online posts: During Weeks 2-4 you will post two questions, comments or reflections relevant to the material from the previous week to the discussion forum. You will also respond to at least two of your fellow students' posts from that week (= total of four posts per week). Your questions and responses will be graded based on their thoughtfulness and completeness.

Final Project: During Week 4, you will complete a final project/paper in which you will synthesize the topics covered to cohesively analyze and scientifically critique publicly available training videos and handouts.

The class operates on a one-week cycle. The typical week with deadlines is provided below.

Day Assignment
Sunday Start of week/ Post two questions/comments to discussion forum based on prior week's material by 11:55 pm 
Wednesday Post responses to two questions/comments on discussion board by 11:55 pm
Saturday Complete assignments for current week

Technical Support: If you have any issues with signing up on the learning system website, please contact courses@iaabc.org and please provide a detailed description of the error that you are experiencing, as well as what browser you are using, the version (if known) and if you are using a PC or Mac computer.

About the Presenter

Erica Feuerbacher, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CPDT-KAErica Feuerbacher, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CPDT-KA is an Assistant Professor of Anthrozoology at Carroll College in Helena, MT, where she leads the canine program in which students train foster dogs during the academic year. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. She earned her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Florida under the advisorship of Dr. Clive Wynne in the UF Canine Cognition and Behavior Lab (now part of the Canine Science Collaboratory) and her Masters in Behavior Analysis in the Organization for Reinforcement Contingencies under the advisorship of Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz.

She has published a variety of scientific articles of her research on learning theory and the dog-human relationship. She has taught Principles of Behavior Analysis, Behaviorism in Contemporary Society, Learning and Cognition, Basic and Advanced Canine Training, Research Methods, and General Psychology at the college level. She has earned several awards for her behavior analytic research and her dedication to the theoretical foundations of behavior analysis. Her research interests center on dog-human social interactions, canine welfare, and enhancing humane, effective training techniques.

More Courses