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.


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 Coordinator and the student's Course Director.

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 interpret behavioural indicators of positive and negative welfare state;
  • be able to apply knowledge of animal behaviour to evaluate the effect of management and housing on a wide range of animals; and;
  • be able to integrate knowledge of the origin of the major domestic species, with social, foraging and mating behaviour to interpret complex behaviour patterns.


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

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of ASC525 in Session 2 2019. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Research proposal and introduction to your study
Behaviour of domestic species scientific report
Domestic animal behaviour online exam

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2020. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.