ASC525 Domestic Animal Behaviour (8)

Domestic animals live in a profoundly different habitat to their wild ancestors and in many cases their appearance and behaviour have changed substantially. In some cases the behaviour of domestic animals can be understood only in light of the evolutionary history of the species, yet in other cases, the actions of domestic species are not part of the natural species-specific behaviour at all. Distinguishing between these possibilities is important in identifying situations in which a domestic animal may be under stress or its welfare compromised.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ASC525. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Enrolment Restrictions

This subject is for students in an approved Masters or Postgraduate Level Courses. It may also be undertaken by students in the Bachelor of Animal Science and Bachelor of Equine Science courses as electives, following approval by the subject and course coordinators.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to explain in detail the importance of domestication, physiology, motivation, learning, social behaviour and human-animal relations to domestic animal behaviour;
  • be able to describe the importance of abnormal behaviour and stress to animal welfare;
  • be able to recognise behavioural indicators of positive and negative welfare state;
  • be able to conduct, interpret and present animal behaviour research and;
  • be able to describe the origin, social behaviour, foraging and feeding, mating, care and management of some of the major domestic species.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Topic 1: Introduction to domestic animal behaviour
  • Topic 2: Origin of domestic animals
  • Topic 3: Measuring behaviour
  • Topic 4: Social behaviour
  • Topic 5: Foraging and feeding
  • Topic 6: Mating behaviour and care of offspring
  • Topic 7: Management and welfare
  • Topic 8: Behaviour Genetics, Evolution and domestication
  • Topic 9: Behaviour and Physiology
  • Topic 10: Motivation
  • Topic 11: Learning and Cognition
  • Topic 12: Social and Reproductive behaviour
  • Topic 13: Abnormal behaviour, stress and welfare
  • Topic 14: Human-Animal relations


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.