Anthrozoology Academic Overview

Anthrozoology class - woman and dog

Explore how animals intersect with human culture

As a student in the anthrozoology program, you’ll explore human-animal interactions through a variety of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, theology, and geography. You’ll develop the knowledge and skills to improve the lives of both animals and people through animal-assisted therapy, veterinary medicine, humane education, and other service occupations. 

The program blends a core liberal arts education, specialized coursework, and classroom theory with extensive hands-on training, where you’ll work with horses, dogs, cats, and even wildlife.

Canine Classes

Adorable black lab lying on a floor mat that says Carroll College

Canine classes investigate the vast and complicated human-canine relationship, and provide a unique environment for learning and applying canine training techniques for a broad range of purposes.  You will be offered:

  • an unprecedented opportunity for advanced education in learning theory, ethology, canine science, and the intersections of human-canine relationships
  • participation in faculty and student-based research projects exploring canine learning, behavior, cognition, attachment, rehabilitation, health, domestication, and conflict
  • valuable preparation for a career in veterinary medicine, animal training, animal interpretation, clinical psychology, social work, education, or research in animal behavior, learning and cognition.

Equine Classes

Our equine classes explore the horse-human relationship and the scientific evidence of its contribution to psychological, physical, and spiritual well-being. You’ll learn the historic to modern implications of the horse-human relationship and will be exposed to the field of equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT).

Most upper-division courses include an in-class component where you learn the theories behind the subject, and a lab component where you apply what you learn with horses and other animals.

Anthrozoology Minors

The Canine minor educates students about the numerous elements of the human-canine relationship, but it also gives back to the dogs in our community. The department works with regional shelters to foster dogs for eventual adoption in a forever home in our community. This partnership between students and dogs will teach you fundamental lessons both inside and outside the classroom.

You will learn and practice positive reinforcement based (LIMA) canine training techniques specific to obedience, behavioral problem solving, animal-assisted activities and therapies, service dog tasks, search and rescue, scent detection, physical rehabilitation, and more. Some students choose to learn additional techniques and refine their skills though independent projects in their senior year.

Note: We teach students how to train dogs in various tasks and skills, and their canine companions learn a variety of these skills. However, we DO NOT train service dogs for the public. If you are looking for a service dog, please contact a service dog organization in your area.

Equine minors gain a strong foundation in safe and ethical horsemanship practices and are taught activities and methods used in equine assisted activities and therapies (EEAT).

As with anthrozoology majors, you’ll learn the theories behind the subject, and a lab component where you apply what you learn with horses and other animals.

The Animals and Society courses and upcoming minor track provide students with a broad look at human-animal relationships and interactions, both real and virtual. Students will take courses from the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences on a variety of issues related to the human-animal relationship, including:

  • The role of animals in history
  • Animals in media and popular culture
  • The impact of culture on our relationships with and attitudes towards animals
  • The importance of animals in the lives of children
  • Race, gender and animality
  • The ethical value of animals
  • Religious perspectives on animals
  • Animals, policy and the law
  • Animals and the health care system
  • Working animals and working with animals
  • Animals and crime

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