Academy of Dog Behavior

Foundation Class - Instincts, Emotions and Body Language

Before we can work with a dog, we have to understand who that dog actually is!  In this class, we cover the history of the dog, their instincts and drives, and how they communicate with one another and us.


Below are the handouts for the class.  You can download them and print them out if you wish.  The handouts are a base from which to explore :)  They are not written in stone, but they come in handy to keep us on track. 

Here is the recommended reading list.  Obviously, you won't be able to read them all!  However, I think they are all worthwhile, and hope you can get to some.

Recommended Reading List

ADB Book List with notes.docx
Microsoft Word Document 15.2 KB

Homework due at conclusion of class

Write a paper on a breed you do not know much about.  This can be a common or uncommon breed, one you're interested in finding out more about, or one that is foreign to you.   The breed report can be of any length - it can be a Powerpoint or a document.  Your name should be on every page.  The paper is due at the end of class, whenever you finish it. 

Please include the breed's appearance, history and current use (if any).  Please also include a behavior profile, with potential behavior problems (since this is a class about behavior!).   Email it to me at   You may also use my shared "Drop Box folder, if needed.  shared folder. 


Part I
Instincts, Emotions and Body Language I.
Adobe Acrobat Document 866.7 KB
Part 2
Instincts, Emotions and Body Language II
Adobe Acrobat Document 271.7 KB
Part 3
Instincts, Emotions and Body Language Pa
Adobe Acrobat Document 212.8 KB
Week 1 part 1.mp3
MP3 Audio File 69.1 MB
Week 1 part 2.mp3
MP3 Audio File 58.8 MB
Foundation week 2 Part 1.mp3
MP3 Audio File 83.5 MB
Foundation week 2 part 2.mp3
MP3 Audio File 64.3 MB

Here’s your homework - Observation and Interpretation:    Visit a dog park or other area where dogs congregate.  It’s especially valuable if the dogs don’t know each other.   Pick a dog and watch him or her interact for just a couple of minutes (longer if there’s not much going on).   Then, in the first paragraph, describe what you see in physical terms:   (ie)“…approached in a frontal manner, with ears and eyes forward…” “..approached other dog from the side…”) that sort of thing.  In the second paragraph, interpret what you observed.   You can actually talk about what you think their emotions and intentions were.  If you can video an interaction, all to the better.  If you think the video is useful or interesting, please feel free to send it to me, or use my shared dropbox folder, if you are familiar with the process).   Please email me your observations:


Week 3 part 1.mp3
MP3 Audio File 78.6 MB
Week 3 part 2.mp3
MP3 Audio File 51.2 MB

WEEK 4 PART 1.mp3
MP3 Audio File 63.9 MB
PART 2.mp3
MP3 Audio File 60.4 MB
Week 4 part 1 rev.mp3
MP3 Audio File 91.2 MB
Week 4 part 2 - Consult.mp3
MP3 Audio File 41.2 MB
Week 6 part 1.mp3
MP3 Audio File 66.6 MB
Week 6 part 2 consult.mp3
MP3 Audio File 39.6 MB
Week 6 Part 3 wrap up.mp3
MP3 Audio File 29.7 MB