COURSES

The Hearts of Gold program educates students and volunteer handlers in training methods as well as the principles behind the use of those methods.  In this way, the students and volunteers will develop and understanding of how to train, not just a "recipe-style" format of training.

Listed below are our current courses open to the community and offered through West Virginia University.

Canine Basics Online Community Workshop

This course presents an overview of canine development, health, sensory and communicative abilities, and behavioral techniques necessary to work with and train dogs. The student will learn the types of assistance animals, fundamentals of behavior analysis, canine ethology and development, and basic health and husbandry of dogs.

Individuals completing this course successfully will be able to better understand and provide for their canine family members. They will also be prepared to handle and/or train a dog with professional guidance and will be able to register for the Hearts of Gold workshop to further develop their dog training skills with hands-on practice.

The successful completion of this course and the accompanying workshop is required for clients that may receive a service or therapy/visitation dog from Hearts of Gold, or for anyone who wishes to volunteer to work with the Hearts of Gold dogs.

Available Summer 2018

AVS 276: Service Dog Training, 3 credits

In this online introductory course, students gain knowledge about behavior analysis, canine behavior problems, assessment and treatment for common canine behavior problems, types of service dogs and laws, canine health and development, and canine cognition.

AVS 277: Service Dog Training Lab, 3 credits

Students apply the knowledge learned in AVS 276 to train and care for program-owned dogs in lab and on public outings.

Prerequisite: A&VS 276

AVS 476: Animal-Assisted Interventions, 3 credits

In this advanced course, students will learn about animal-assisted interventions and assist in developing and implementing a community service project using the Hearts of Gold service dogs as a therapeutic modality.

Prerequisite: A&VS 276

Students may foster a dog in advanced courses, but are NOT required.

AVS 486: Animal Learning, 3 credits

In this advanced course, students will gain an in-depth understanding of the basic principles as they relate to dog training and behavior management.

Prerequisite: A&VS 276

Students may foster a dog in advanced courses, but are NOT required.

AVS 490: Teaching Practicum, 1-3 credits

Teaching assistants will be responsible for delivering instruction in AVS 277 during laboratory training sessions. They may also assist the instructor with grading, lectures, community events, developing and implementing behavior problem interventions, fundraising, and general programmatic needs of the organization.

Prerequisite: A&VS 276

Students may foster a dog in advanced courses, but are NOT required.

Hearts of Gold also offers opportunities through Psychology 491 capstone experiences and MDS classes.