How to get to grips with pet hates

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 10 January, 2004, 12:00am

Whether cute and cuddly or furry and ferocious, pets get neurotic in a domestic environment and may even need psychoanalysis, according to a Scottish university.

Edinburgh University's Royal School of Veterinary Studies has come up with a distance learning course to enable owners to offer their troubled charges counselling.

Students don't need to have any previous qualifications and the certificate in 'companion animal behaviour' is gained by writing essays.

The course, which comes on a CD-rom for GBP80 (HK$1,127), deals with pets of all shapes and sizes - from cats and dogs to exotic reptiles - and covers everything from basic training to problem behaviour.

Organiser Shirley Seaman said: 'Many people own pets yet few understand much about why they behave the way they do.

'This course will help explain the fundamentals of animal behaviour and how companion animals are affected by the environment they are kept in which can lead to behavioural problems.'