Fundamentals of Ethology

  • Overview

  • Required

  • Schedule

  • Prerequisites

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Course Begins: January 6, 2022

Duration: 4 weeks

Instructor: Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB

Course type: Instructed Course


  • Auditors do not attend online meetings
  • Meetings for this session take place on Thursdays at 1:00 pm Eastern (first meeting January 13th)
  • Meetings are not recorded


True expertise requires going beyond instrumental and classical conditioning, and understanding everything possible about each individual animal and species we’re training.


Ethology is the study of animal behavior and its evolution, and is a key factor in having the deepest possible understanding of animals.

  • How do animals see and interact with their world?
  • What does this mean in terms of how they behave?
  • How will this change and enhance your understanding of behavior?
  • How can this understanding dramatically improve your ability to help animals?


This course, and the exploration of these questions will forever change how you think about the animals we live and work with.

Auditors must review all course material. This will be verified in the Learning Management System.


Full Students must review all course materials, visit the learning site/discussion forum regularly (at least three days per week), attend the four weekly class meetings, and complete quizzes and/or assignments. Students who miss more than one meeting will not receive credit for the course.


Full Students should expect to spend an average of 2 hours per week on course material and viewing, depending on individual speed of learning and the week’s materials.

This is a 4-week instructor-led course. Each week includes a recorded lecture and a scheduled live discussion (Full Students only).

Students will have access to the course material for 1 year from the date of their most recent IAABC Foundation purchase.

There are no prerequisites for this course.

Full Student:


Member Cost: $239 *

Non- Member Cost: $279



Member Cost: $159 *

Non- Member Cost: $179 **

* IAABC Members - click HERE to get your IAABC Member discount code from your account
** Non-Member Auditor Coupon Code: AUDITOR

Instructor: Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB

Dr. Kristina Spaulding has been in the dog training and behavior profession since 1999. She has a PhD in biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist through the Animal Behavior Society. Kristina is particularly interested in stress, neurobiology, cognition, emotion, and wellbeing and how to apply these concepts to the prevention and early intervention of behavior problems in dogs. In her private practice, she specializes in working with puppies and adolescents and dogs with reactivity, fear and hyperactivity and/or impulsivity issues. In addition to working with behavior clients, Kristina teaches a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior. She also regularly presents on canine behavior science at conferences and other events.


In 2019, Kristina received the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award. She serves on the APDT Education Committee, the IAABC Foundation Board, and the Fear Free Advisory group.


Before opening Smart Dog, Kristina earned her B.S. in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In college, she worked for the local humane society for several years. She also served as an assistant trainer at Dog’s Best Friend which was owned at that time by Dr. Patricia McConnell.