The ASPCA Dog Course Start immediately. Work at your own pace.

ASPCA Dog Course
Fundamentals of Dog Care
- Coming Soon -
$49 was $99


6 Weeks
For just $49, you can learn to improve your dogs health, and how to make yours and your pet’s time together more enjoyable, by knowing the proper way to care. And you can access a real professor!
Coming Soon!

“This course really CHANGED things for me. I realize that I had been doing many things incorrectly and not taking care of my dog the way that I should have. I feel like this course gave me a new set of eyes, a new set of skills and a really sense of responsibility! I am always sharing things that I learned from this class. I have already told everyone I know about it! In other words this course basically blew my mind! lol.” – Elizabeth


Test Your Knowledge

  • Did you know that Pugs and Bulldogs are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively?
  • Did you know that smaller dogs and brachycephalic breeds-dogs with flat or short, broad snouts, like pugs and bulldogs – may need their teeth brushed more frequently? Or that Yorkies are more likely have tracheal collapse? Do you know how to recognize tracheal collapse?
  • Did you know that  feeding a dog a meat-only diet can potentially cause calcium deficiency?

Watch Our Short Video!


  • KMiller
    Dr. Katherine (Kat) Miller, Director, Anti-Cruelty Behavior Research, ASPCA

    Dr. Kat Miller is Director of Anti-Cruelty Behavior Research at the ASPCA, and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. As part of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team, Dr. Miller is integrally involved with the ASPCA’s Behavioral Rehabilitation Center. She works with the Team to conduct behavior evaluations for special populations including animals rescued from puppy mills, dog-fighting rings, hoarding situations, and natural disasters, and helps to rehabilitate behaviorally challenged animals. She also guides the Team’s research regarding the assessment, care, and rehabilitation of these animals. Dr. Miller received her Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis. Her research has been published in notable journals and has been presented at international conferences, and she is also quoted frequently in the media.

  • Lmurray
    Dr. Louise Murray, Internist

    Dr. Murray joined the ASPCA in 2004 after working as a staff internist at the Manhattan Veterinary Group/ Fifth Avenue Veterinary Specialists. In addition to being published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) for her research on feline hyperthyroidism, Dr. Murray has led presentations and lectures on many topics, including Cushing’s disease, endocrinology, acute renal failure, diabetes mellitus, hypercalcemia and veterinary critical care. She has been honored with several awards, and is the author of Vet Confidential, an insider’s guide to protecting your pet’s health. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX and Animal Planet, and provided veterinary expertise to magazines and newspapers, including The New York Times, USA Today, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and People Magazine. Dr. Murray is a graduate of Duke University and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

  • Lyoung
    Laura Young

    Laura Young  holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychobiology, from University of California, at Davis with a concentration in animal behaviour and a minor in Animal Genetics. Most recently, Young has assisted in research projects on feral and domestic cat behavior at the ASPCA so that the ASPCA can determine if a cat is domesticated or feral. Young’s research has focused on personality research of equine and feline species both in a captive and natural setting to assess the variation of individual behavioral temperaments within these species. Some of Young’s research investigates the post-natal, developmental mechanisms that contribute to enduring, features of personality and the observable behaviors of personality traits that endure throughout adulthood. Young has also analyzed environmental factors that increase and decrease anti-predatory behaviors of social avian species.Young also has a background in animal husbandry, animal genetics, biochemistry and digestive physiology necessary for nutrient absorption to improve animal nutrition and overall both mental and physical animal welfare.Previously, Young worked with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums leading key innovations in behavioral and environmental enrichment. Young’s research also includes investigations of the post-natal, developmental mechanisms that contribute to enduring, features of personality and the observable behaviors of personality traits that endure throughout adulthood. Turning her attention to animal nutrition, animal genetics, and animal husbandry in 2011, she studied the biochemistry and digestive physiology necessary for nutrient absorption to improve animal welfare.

  • Drz
    Stephen L. Zawistowski, Ph. D., CAAB, Executive Vice President, National Programs; Science Advisor

    Dr. Zawistowski was a founding board member and past president of the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, serves on the Harmony Institute Community Advisory Board, and the Scientific Advisory Panel of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the board of the Found Animal Foundation/ Michelson Prize and member of the board of the Alliance for the Contraception of Cats and Dogs. Dr. Zawistowski is also an adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, adjunct assistant professor with the Hunter College program in Animal Behavior and Conservation and an adjunct faculty member in the Canisius College graduate program in Anthrozoology. Dr. Zawistowski is a well known speaker on education, animal behavior, and animal welfare issues. He is a frequent guest on television and radio, and is often quoted in newspaper and magazine articles. While at the ASPCA he has authored, edited and consulted on over 20 books on animals and pet care. “Animal Shelter Medicine for Veterinarians and Staff,” edited by Dr. Lila Miller and Dr. Zawistowski was published by Blackwell Publishing in spring 2004. His two most recent books, a history of the ASPCA written with Marion Lane and titled “Heritage of Care” was published in December 2007 and “Companion Animals in Society” in January 2008. In early 2000 he appeared as the host of ASPCA Pet Check segments on PBS. Published in a number of scientific journals, he is also the founding co-editor of the “Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.” In 1989 Psychologists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PSYeta) named him Psychologist of the year for outstanding contributions to animal welfare science. St. John’s University presented him with the Patrick Daly Memorial Award for a career in education marked by compassion and commitment in Spring 2002. In 2008 he received a Public Service Award from the Department of Justice for his work on the Michael Vick dogfighting case. In 2009 he was a Green Chimneys Gala Honoree, and in 2010 received the ACCD Leadership award. Dr. Zawistowski is also listed in “Who’s Who in America” and “Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.”

  • frania_shelley
    Frania Shelley-Grielen, MA, MUP

    Frania graduated from the Masters Program at Hunter College in Animal Behavior and Conservation. She also holds a Masters in Urban Planning from New York University. Frania has worked in multiple and various applied settings with cats, birds, dogs, horses, monkeys, tigers, jaguars, coatimundis, lions and bears. She is a registered therapy animal handler and a certified exotic animal trainer. Frania works as a humane educator and lecturer on animal behavior and currently teaches the Certified Pet Care Technician program at a vocational rehabilitation center for individuals with disabilities. Her work as a behaviorist incorporates positive approaches to facilitate welfare and communication in behavior modification and training. She also consults for select animal rescue groups, such as Animal Haven in Soho and START in New Jersey. Frania has conducted research on parrot behavior at the Queens Zoo, assisted in research projects on feral and domestic cat behavior at the ASPCA and on the evolution and domestication of the horse and the dog in North America at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She is an expert authority on animal behavior, this is complimented by a skilled facility in Urban Planning. What this means for the urban, suburban and wild animal is along with experienced insight into behavior comes an in-depth understanding of the physical environments we inhabit, especially the ones we build: cities, parks, zoos or sanctuaries. This command of where we live accompanied with how and why we do the things we do offers a highly specialized approach to behavior, environment and the human animal bond.


The ASPCA Dog Care Course:
Fundamentals of Dog Care

We are excited to introduce one of the world’s first fully online, expert-led, expert-developed, interactive course on dog care. Developed in collaboration with experts from the ASPCA, This course is focused on the knowledge and competencies necessary in order to navigate the responsibilities of caring for a dog and creating a proper environment for a dog.

When does the course meet?

The course is six weeks long and completely online. The course is asynchronous, meaning that you can access your courses when it’s convenient for you each week. There are NO PREARRANGED MEETING times. You can spend as much or as little time as you want completing activities, sharing and learning! We will schedule the live session after the class begins (and it will be recorded).

How does the course work?

These courses include discussions, assignments and assessments, media, flashcards, readings and research, exercises, lectures, as well as one live session with a national expert – all managed by a professor trained in animal behavior along with a group of renown experts! While there is one live component, the course can be done according to your schedule each week. The course lasts for 6 weeks. Although there are activities and assessments, they are all completely OPTIONAL.

What You’ll Learn / Course Curriculum

  • Dog Mental Health
  • Innovative Games
  • Fnancial Planning and Dog Trust?
  • Potential Pets Poisons lurking in your house
  • Learn How to Handle Poison Emergencies
  • Create the Optimal environment about a dog
  • Know about EVAC packs and disaster preparedness
  • Learn how to house train your adult dog
  • Learn about your dog’s anatomy
  • Learn what your dog’s anatomy could tell you
  • Learn how to manage the costs of having a Dog
  • Understand how to travel with your dog
  • The ASPCA, Animal Care, and Animal Welfare
  • How to Report Welfare Issues and Recognize Abuse
  • Learn How to Manage in a Natural Disaster
  • Poison Control: Home, Cleaning Supplies & Hazards
  • Weather and Hydration Page
  • Hiking Weather, and Ticks Page
  • Canine Communication
  • Learn Canine Observation skills
  • Your Dog’s Behavioral Assessment Page
  • Your Dog’s Personality
  • Multi-Dog Households
  • Dogs and Children
  • House Training
  • Dog Diets, Nutrition and Exercise: Nutrition School
  • How to Choose an Appropriate Dog
  • Table Food and Treats Offline
  • Exercise Discussion
  • Dog Anatomy Page
  • Grooming: Brushing
  • Grooming: Bathing
  • Grooming: Nails
  • Grooming: Ears Page
  • A-Z: Aging to Weaning Discussion
  • Selecting a Provider
  • Preparing for Veterinarian Checkup
  • Vaccinations Page
  • Seeing a Specialist Page
  • Managing Your Costs: Pet Insurance
  • Setting Up A Pet Trust Quiz
  • How to do a Home Health Check
  • Aging
  • What you need to know Regarding Canine Allergies
  • What you need to know Regarding Canine Arthritis
  • What you need to know Regarding Canine Halitosis
  • Blindness in Dogs
  • Bloat / GDV
  • Learn Symptions of Canine Influenza Virus
  • Dog Constipation
  • Dog Ear Infections
  • How to Deal with Ear Mites
  • Estrusor Heat
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Bowel Issues
  • What Changes to Make in relation to Hypercalcemia
  • Discussion and Assessment
  • Newborn Puppy Care
  • Parvovirus
  • Shedding
  • Rabies
  • The History of Animal Welfare
  • The Signs of Tracheal Collapse
  • The Breeds more Prone to Urinary Incontinence
  • Vaccination Frequence Requirements for Dogs
  • much, much more!


This course is delivered through collaboration between the ASPCA and Houlton Institute. ASPCA and Houlton do not provide  medical or legal advice or services. The information provided in this course is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of veterinary professionals. Importantly, this course is not intended as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any organization, product or professional. You are urged to use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with the provision of care for your animals.

About Houlton

Houlton is a brand new idea in education. Houlton partners with renowned institutions (non-profits and research organizations) to create online certificate programs and courses. Our courses are completely online, flexible, credible and convey real skills. Our courses are organized in ways that accommodate for busy schedules! We offer around-the-clock, in-classroom support and 1-800 number for any customer service needs!

Copyright © 2014 - Houlton Institute. All rights reserved