Behavioral Genetics

  • Overview

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Course Begins: At Purchase

Duration: 3 Modules

Instructor: Jessica Hekman DVM, PhD

Course type: Self-Study

When a new story about genetics hits the press, can you help your client understand the significance? Having a basic understanding of genetics is important to trainers and behavior consultants. Many changes are happening based on our expanding knowledge of an ability to manipulate genetics, and many of these changes affect our understanding of animals and our management of them.


This course will discuss the genetics of complex traits, how to find and measure them, what we know about them so far and also discuss epigenetics and their mechanisms.


Join Dr. Jessica Hekman as she teaches us to find appropriate resources of information and understand their worth, guiding us to a variety of different voices in the behavioral genetic field so that we can learn from different perspectives. In each module, Dr. Hekman gives a resource list of review readings to form a basis for the studies, a list of required readings, and also a list of optional readings to further your understanding of the topic.

Full Student:


Cost: $75




Instructor: Jessica Hekman DVM, PhD

Jessica Hekman DVM, PhD, is a behavioral geneticist. After eleven years working as a computer programmer, she decided to go back to school to research the causes of behavior problems in dogs. She received her veterinary degree from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, where she also received a master’s degree for her work on stress behaviors in hospitalized dogs. After graduation, she completed a yearlong Internship specializing in shelter medicine at the University of Florida Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program.
Jessica has a PhD program in genetics from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her lab studied a group of foxes (often known as the “Siberian silver foxes”) which have been bred over many generations to be friendly to humans.


Jessica is one of the founders of the Functional Dog Collaborative, a non-profit which seeks to change the conversation around dog breeding in the dog loving community. She also teaches behavioral biology at the Virginia Tech online master’s program for Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare and offers webinars online and consults with breeders about genetic testing and breeding choices. Jessica lives in Raymond, NH with her husband and three dogs.