Mentoring for Animal-Care Professionals

MENTOR:  MYRNA MILANI, BS, DVM

 MENTORING MODULE BASICS

Objective: The objective of Mentoring for Animal-Care Professionals is to provide participants with the opportunity to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to properly analyze and address issues related to companion animal behavior, health, and the human-animal relationship.  Participants can use this information to enhance their personal knowledge and/or client and animal interactions. The benefit of this approach is that information may be tailored to meet individual needs, thereby ensuring the maximum learning experience. 

DESCRIPTION:  Mentoring for Animal-Care Professionals offers four mentoring modules to enable busy professionals to engage in concentrated exploration of concepts of greatest value to them professionally.  Although each module is designed to stand on its own, they complement each other and together provide a comprehensive approach for those with an interest in animal behavior, health, and/or the human-animal relationship. Estimated participant preparation and contact time: 3-5hours/week. Additional modules area available upon request.

METHODS:

Each 6-week module teaches through example, with the examples primarily taking the form of case histories supplied by the participant from his/her own experience and those supplied by the mentor.

Selected readings and PowerPoint presentations with email discussion of same.

Six one-hour phone discussions on material

A two-part final consisting of a written evaluation of a case history supplied by the mentor as it relates to the material, and a mock phone consultation in which the mentor acts as the client, both followed by analysis and discussion of the results.

FEE:  

$200 USD/week for 6 weeks or $1000 USD for the entire module if paid at the beginning. Payment is via PayPal’s credit card service. This fee includes all materials and services supplied by the mentor during the six-week course.

 

MODULE OUTLINES

Canine Behavioral Basics: The fundamentals of ethology as they relate to companion dogs

Feline Behavioral Basics: The fundamentals of ethology as they relate to companion cats

These two modules follow the same format.

I. Using case histories supplied primarily by the participants if the have them or by Dr. Milani if they do not, these two modules will explore the of 5 categories of normal animal behaviors as these relate to the intact, spayed or castrated companion dog’s or cat’s ability to succeed in a human household. Those groups consist of displays animals normally use to:

  1. Establish and protect the physical and mental space
  2. Obtain food and water
  3. Court, mate, and reproduce
  4. Raise young
  5. Play

II. Participants analyze case history supplied by the mentor or Dr. Milani and determine

  1. which of the categories of behaviors the animal displays.
  2. what specific displays the animal uses within each category.
  3. what a wild animal using that display would be communicating via those displays.
  4. what the cat or dog in the case history is communicating.
  5. what humans who interact with the dog or cat think the animal is communicating.
  6. the result of those displays.

III. Participants will engage in a mock phone consultation designed to test the participant’s knowledge of these behavioral concepts as they apply to practice.

IV. Written student self-evaluation of final case history and mock phone consultation

V. Discussion of results with mentor

 

 

CANINE AGGRESSION: An ethological approach to hostile dogs

I. Exploration of the most common forms of aggression as these relate to the intact, spayed or castrated companion dog’s ability to succeed in a human household.

  1. Territorial
  2. Rank-related
  3. Predatory and food-related
  4. Sexual
  5. Parental
  6. Parent-Offspring
  7. Play
  8. Passive

II. Analysis of a case history supplied by the mentor to determine

  1. type(s) of aggression the animal displays
  2. specific displays the animal uses
  3. what a wild animal using that display would communicate via those displays
  4. what the dog(s) in the case history communicates
  5. what humans who interact with the dog believe the animal is communicating
  6. the result of the aggression

III. Mock phone consultation designed to test participant’s knowledge of canine aggression

IV. Written participant self-evaluation of final case history and mock phone consultation

V.  Discussion of same with mentor

 

The Human Effect: the quality of the human-animal bond as it relates to the diagnosis and treatment of companion animal problems

I. Human perceptions of the quality of the human-companion animal bond

  1. “Good”
  2. “Bad” relationships
  3. Point of view

II. Effects of the bond on the

1. animal’s behavior

2. animal’s health

3. client’s behavior

4. client’s health

III. When  the demands of the relationship exceed the person’s or animal’s ability to cope

  1. animal’s
  2. client’s
  3. professional’s

IV. Student analysis of a case history to determine:

  1. Nature of relationship as perceived by the client
  2. Nature of relationship as perceived by the professional
  3. Effects of relationship on animal
  4. Effects of relationship on client and other people
  5. Possible ways to address any conflicts

V. Mock phone consultation designed to test participant’s proficiency relative to the practical effects of the relationship in human-companion animal interactions.

VI. Written participant self-evaluation of final case history and mock phone consultation

VII. Discussion of same with mentor