Overview Objective Materials grading Exam ELI Policies and Procedures Contacting the Instructor Beginning the Course
VET 116: Animal Breeds and Behavior (3 Credits)


In this course, you will learn to identify the common breeds of domestic animals and study their domestication and characteristics, their normal behavior (including reproductive behavior), common behavior problems and uses of various species and breeds.

You will learn through written assignments, a student paper project, quizzes and exams.

What you learn in this course will benefit you by knowing the training and behavior problems of animals as related to veterinary clinical practice.




If you do well in this course, you will be able to:

  • To identify the common breeds of domestic animals and study their domestication and characteristics, their normal behavior (including reproductive behavior), common behavior problems and uses of various species and breeds
  • To discuss training and behavior problems of animals as related to veterinary clinical practice.
  • To discuss common small animal and equine behavior problems and treatments.
  • To discuss animal related topics including: animal welfare versus animal rights and responsible pet ownership






For information on how to order your textbooks, go to http://eli.nvcc.edu/books/.

  • An Illustrated Guide to Veterinary Medical Terminology, 3rd edition, Romich, Janet A., Delmar Cengage Learning, 2009
    Chapters on various species of domestic animals will be used in the class.

Recommended Reading:

  • Smithsonian Handbooks – Horses, 1st edition, Edwards, Elwyn Hartley, Dorling-Kindersley (DK)
    Smithsonian Handbooks – Dogs, 1st edition, Alderton, David, Dorling-Kindersley (DK)
    Smithsonian Handbooks – Cats, 1st edition, Alderton, David, Dorling-Kindersley (DK)

There are some CDs with vast amounts of information, photos and even video of various breeds of animals, for example Multimedia Cats, Multimedia Dogs, Multimedia Horses and Multimedia Exotics all by Inroads Interactive or use the web sites listed and others on the internet.  Most breed registries have websites which have helpful pictures, and the American Kennel Club has a useful book with many canine pictures in it.

It may also be helpful to go to a regional cat, dog, horse, or livestock show where multiple breeds are represented to practice your breed identification and learn more about special breeds and what they do.

Some local shows and listed on the internet:


Always keep your Veterinary Dictionary handy to research terms you do not recognize!

There is no behavior textbook required. Various web site references will be used throughout the semester.
Below are some helpful behavior links:
<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--> http://netvet.wustl.edu/vspecial.htm#behav <!--[endif]--> Behavior links from NetVethttp://www.ansc.purdue.edu/CAWB/Links/Behavior.html

Behavior references books used to develop the course, but not required.

Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, by Overall, Mosby
Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians and Animal Scientists, by Houpt, Iowa State University Press
Canine and Feline Behavioral Therapy by Hart and Hart, Lea and Febiger



Your course grade will be determined by written assignments, exams, and a student paper project, according to the following points:

Percentage of Grade
Exam 1 (Midterm)
35 %
Written Assignments (6)
20 %
Exam 2 (Final)
35 %

Grading Scale


  • Written assignments appear within each lesson.
  • The instructor reserves the right to add blackboard quizzes, Blackboard discussion forums, and miscellaneous projects/assignments to the mix to allow students to earn some extra points.





    There are 2 exams in this course. You are expected to take your examinations at one of the NVCC campus Testing Centers. Be sure to allow enough time to complete your exam before the Testing Center closes; Testing Centers have specific policies relating to the administration of ELI exams. You will need to take a photo ID, your NovaConnect empl ID number, and the appropriate Exam Pass when you go to the Testing Center.  

    For Testing Center locations, hours of operation and policies, click here.

    For information on taking exams outside of the metropolitan area, click here.



    ELI Policies and Procedures

    This is an Extended Learning Institute (ELI) course. ELI courses differ from campus courses in several important ways, including enrollment dates, communication with faculty, assignment completion requirements, and exams. You must follow ELI's policies and procedures if you take this course. Read (or review) ELI's Policies and Procedures before you begin the course. If you have questions, call ELI at (703) 323-3347 or (888) 435-6822.

    Contacting the Instructor


    I am here to help you succeed in this course. Occasionally questions or problems may arise. Here is how to contact me when they do:

    E-mail :
    Telephone :
    (703) 450-2619
    You may also call me to schedule a meeting in person, either at ELI or my campus office in Loudoun. 


    Beginning the Course


    1. Use your web browser to connect to http://www.nvcc.edu/bbstart. Follow the directions to determine your email, Blackboard and VIVA account user names and passwords.
    2. Access your email account and make sure you know how to use it; you will be required to use this account for all course-related email.
    3. Log on to Blackboard at http://learn.vccs.edu.
    4. Click on this course under "My Courses." Review the entire course to make sure you understand what will be required of you. Then start completing the assignments.

    Please note that account generation takes approximately one week from the time of your paid registration. If you cannot log on after one week, contact the IT Help Desk. If you can log on to Blackboard, but your course isn't listed, please contact ELI or your instructor.