• 2022 Graduates

    Sabrina Raaff

    I enrolled because I wanted to better the lives of dogs and people and was looking for a qualification I could do part-time that was also intellectually stimulating. Thanks to the advice of Louise Thompson, I enrolled in the COAPE Animal Behaviour Diploma. I most enjoyed the lectures and engaging with the lecturers and the other students. I really enjoyed meeting people and their dogs during the community practice hours. I am using the knowledge and experience gained during the course to explain the reasons for their dogs’ behaviours to owners and to help them respond to these in a way that hopefully makes everyone happy.

    Olivia Pike

    I first enrolled for the diploma to expand my knowledge of behaviour, and one of the first things I learned was that a pen is never just a pen! One of the things I enjoyed most was learning how to look at all parts of behaviour as parts of a machine, and each part moves another. I’m hoping to utilise my qualification to continue helping dogs and owners understand one another, and to support and rehabilitate dogs with specific behavioural needs.

    Canny Hart

    What an incredible learning journey I have been on. It hasn’t been easy and requires dedication and commitment to complete this demanding course. The tutors are fountains of knowledge and have an understanding of the emotional lives of animals that is truly inspiring. The support offered to students is unwavering and I am extremely proud to have qualified with COAPE as such a well established, respected and top educational provider in the industry.

    Leah Attwood

    It’s been a long 2 years of studying alongside my full time Veterinary Nursing role and I faced many challenges along the way, including how to complete practical caseloads amidst a Covid pandemic, which pushed me close to quitting on more than one occasion. So, I am very proud to qualify, with distinction, as a Behavioral Practitioner, knowing it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears along the way! I now look forward to working as both a Behaviourist and Nurse, alongside each other, to improve the overall health and well-being of our most beloved companion animals, who give us so much love and joy in return.

    Jenna Matthews

    I completed my C01 course back in 2012 and over the years, found myself wanting to learn more about the behaviour of animals. It took me quite some time to finally gather the confidence to do so and so I enrolled in the Diploma course in February 2020. I have always had a passion for animals, especially dogs, and my dream has always been to work with animals.
    During this course, I found it so incredibly interesting how complex animal behaviour is, the science behind it and learning the ways in which to try find solutions to problem behaviours, or what we think are problem behaviours! The course content was interesting and informative, the lectures were easy to follow and the lecturers themselves were incredibly knowledgeable. I also found the live tutor sessions an incredible help.
    I plan to continue with applying what I have learnt and to work as a full-time animal behaviourist. This course has given me a new understanding of animals and it has made me see them in a new and completely different light. They are all sentient beings who deserve our help in this world we’ve placed them in and I’d like to try assist them as best I can.

    Kim Orolowitz

    You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ or so the saying goes. But, maybe, just maybe, you can!
    As a mature woman, I was reticent to begin studying again after a hiatus of decades. However, finding myself relatively free of family responsibilities and still hankering to work with animals (a dream that had niggled since my primary school days), I decided to take the plunge and enrol in the COAPE Diploma in Animal Behaviour. Despite my initial insecurities and reservations, it seems that this old dog has indeed learned a new trick or two. On Wednesday, 22 July 2022, I received my Diploma. Significantly, our group started in February of 2020, several weeks before the hard lockdown and graduated the day before Covid regulations were repealed.
    At present, I am volunteering as a behaviourist with two organizations working to better the plight of animals in the very impoverished townships. My vision is to train rescue workers in the rudiments of animal behaviour, specifically in the kennel environment and assist them with successful integration of animals into foster or adoptive families.
    I’m so grateful I took the plunge into the world of animal behaviour! Without the support of the incredibly knowledgeable tutors and wonderful COAPE team, this would not have been possible. My heartfelt gratitude to each and every one of you.
    For the person whose dream, like mine, is to work with animals, this is a fabulous course and gives deep insight into the mysterious inner and behavioural world of small and not-so-small companion animals.
    Thank you, COAPE. You’ve gone above and beyond!

    Taryn Brehm

    The old adage ‘life happens while you’re making other plans’ certainly held true for me throughout my time with COAPE. When I started the cat course in 2018, it was with a view to perhaps move to the UK once I’d finished everything and start up a training school there…
    Then Covid happened, and everything changed, along with my plans. Now there is nothing set in stone, but I’m looking at opening up a training school here, and I look forward to a future filled to the brim with animals.
    The COAPE course itself was truly amazing, which taught me not only about animals but what I was capable of. Delving into the scientific realm made me very anxious at first, but it soon became my favourite aspect of the course, along with everything I learned about the brain. Thank you to the lecturers for imparting your endless knowledge and for truly being people to look up to.

    2021 Graduates

    Jancke Opperman

    Thank you for your dedication towards each student that does a course through COAPE!! I really appreciate all the effort you have put in to help me!! Somebody mentioned the other day that we study to get a qualification and when we’re done you feel lost. There are no more assignments due or another module to look forward to, now comes the real world! Thank you for giving me the tools to be able to go out into the world, so that we can make it a better place for our companion animals.

    2020 Graduates

    Taryn Joshua

    Doing the COAPE Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour and Training has been absolutely amazing and eye opening. The course is excellent, and the tutors, markers, moderators, lecturers and administrators involved are professional, helpful and understanding. I have learnt so much about the rich emotional lives of companion animals and understanding them and their behaviour, as well as helping pet owners understand their pets and build better relationships with them.

    What sets the COAPE behaviourist qualification apart from many others, is the holistic nature of it. All aspects of the companion animal are taken into account when investigating his/her behaviour and how to address it, based on an overall understanding of why it is happening. This is what I enjoyed and valued the most from doing this diploma and why I would highly recommend it to anyone that would be interested in becoming a companion animal behaviourist.

    I am very happy with the achievement and so grateful to everyone that has guided and mentored me through it over the last two years!

    2017 Graduates

    Mia Marais

    The COAPE Diploma in Animal Behaviour is comprehensive and I found the psychological and emotional aspects interesting and in line with what I always believed, that animals are emotional beings. The tutors are fantastic, approachable and deliver the material with great detail. I will always continue my journey through COAPE and am proud to be a part of the diploma graduates and the COAPE family. It was one the most challenging and rewarding experiences and I loved every minute.

    2016 Graduates

    Mari Heyl

    The COAPE Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour is unique! I have learned so much more than I expected to. Not only have I learned exactly why animals behave the way they do and how to train them, but I now have a very good understanding of the mechanism in the brain that underpins behaviour and learning.

    This has not only been useful to me as an animal behaviour consultant, but as a human to understand myself and other people better too. The course is very comprehensive and addresses learning theories, brain chemistry and brain physiology. My tutor, Karin Pienaar, and now my colleague, was my rock, always willing and available when I faced any pitfalls – Thank you Karin.

    Denise Wait

    I have had a long-time love affair with cats – one which instead of dwindling and morphing over the years into something more conducive to what most people would consider a ‘normal’ guardian-pet relationship, has instead ballooned into an even deeper love and appreciation for felines. Not just for our own, but for all cats: domestics, strays, ferals, other peoples’ cats, the cat that simply peeps around the corner from the inside of someone’s property – it doesn’t matter what size, shape or temperament, they are all so special to me and always elicit an instantaneous and automatic “AW” from deep within. This escalating affection for all things feline led me to embark on some courses in cat behaviour and after investigating various options, I finally signed up with COAPE – the best decision I could have made! I excitedly tackled C03 (Think Cat Stage 1) and then somewhat nervously, C04 (Think Cat Stage 2).

    I remember telling my vet that I thought I was taking on more than I could chew with the latter, but I loved it all, the course material, the resource centre notes, the research, lots of reading, lots of learning. It was all so captivating and came complete with enthusiastic and caring tutors, available to assist and advise on request. And then came the pièce de résistance – the COAPE Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour. WOW! After the first module, I saw dogs in a whole new way (thanks to COAPE and Ray Coppinger) and so it went on through the modules, with continual new and interesting facts and a fascinating way of viewing and experiencing animals that I’d never before encountered and certainly not on an academic level.

    The lecture weekends hosted by the tutors and support staff were loads of fun filled with mounds of enthralling facts and information and the camaraderie between all, tutors and students alike, was a wonderful experience. I have emerged from these four years having learnt a lot but knowing that I still have a whole lot more to learn and that’s exciting, because the learning never stops. There are consistently new inroads being made scientifically and this course exposes you to all of that and encourages you to personally investigate and research further. Of course, this is all facilitated by the fact that cats are (in my view) the most mysteriously enigmatic creatures alive, remarkably interesting and challenging and therefore further study in this arena is pure delight.

    And so I urge you – if you want to have your world view of animals turned upside down and inside out – in a good way, of course – if you want to be challenged and pushed, then this is the course for you. I promise you, if you tackle it head-on, you will not be disappointed!

    Marina Pereira da Conceicao

    Despite many years of dog ownership and being involved with training, I always felt there was more – that I needed to ‘look inside the dog’s head’. But how? It took three long years to rustle up the courage to start with C01: DogWise Stage 1. A whole new world opened up! Suddenly I could scientifically explain so many things I had known instinctively worked, but never knew WHY. After that I was hooked, took my heart in my hands, ‘kissed the bank manager’, and leapt into the diploma.

    This was honestly one of the most challenging things I have done in my life. I would have balked more than once in front of a perceived hurdle had it not been for the tremendous support from the COAPE team that not only got me to jump every single time, but to clear the hurdle clean and high. I am now the proud holder of a COAPE Diploma with Distinction and ready to help with confidence where the human-companion animal bond has been damaged or broken. Even better, to prevent damage in the first place…

    Helia Vorster

    The COAPE Diploma course has exceeded all my expectations! I love the fact that everything is scientifically based and backed up by facts. It’s not just based on someone’s opinion or experience. It was much more challenging than I expected, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The course gave me insight into people, not just animals.

    The tutors are very approachable and have been very helpful throughout all our assignments. I would highly recommend this Diploma to anyone interested in animal behaviour and training.

    2015 Graduates

    Morag Cardoso

    Having completed other local British based courses as well as an American international course, I found that the information and the recommended reading material in the COAPE Diploma was the most current and represented the latest research and thinking in the dog world.

    I found the academic rigour required of me was challenging and the standards expected are high. I graduated with the confidence that I had chosen the correct course and felt comfort knowing the select group of other graduates before and after me had to also reach the same professional standards.

    Vincent Seaba

    Animal behaviourist – WOW. It’s a big name and has a nice ring to it. Anyone can call himself that. I use to do the same after reading some books and doing few courses here and there.
    Thanks to COAPE and their lovely staff, from the first day I sat in the lecture room they made me realise that there is more to being an animal behaviourist. Their approach is totally different from what I thought it meant to be an animal behaviourist.

    I always wanted to work with dogs; that was always my passion. With the knowledge that I got from COAPE they turned my passion into a reality and now I am ready to be an animal behaviourist and I also know that the COAPE staff are my friends forever in the field of animal behaviour.

    Gordon Banks

    When first enrolling to do the COAPE Advanced Diploma course back in 2013, I was admittedly a little apprehensive. Being of shall we say “mature years” the thought of going back to school was a bit daunting. This apprehension was further reinforced when on arriving at the first lecture weekend I found myself to be the only male in the class, and that included tutors!

    Well by the end of the weekend all my anxieties and trepidations had been laid to rest. Everyone from lecturers to class mates where quite awesome, a trait that carried through for the entire two plus years of the course.
    The make-up and content of the Advanced Diploma course is both educational and enlightening and the presentation by the tutors is of a very high standard. Seldom have I ever experienced the dedication displayed by the entire COAPE team. Nothing was ever too much for them, from standing all day lecturing to the rapid follow-ups and replies to questions and queries – they were always there to assist.

    Everyone at COAPE helped to instil in us a dedication and desire to excel in what we had undertaken to do and I’m certainly going to miss the lecture weekends that were informative and fun.
    I would like to take the opportunity to thank all at COAPE and also my fellow students for making this diploma course an enjoyable and memorable experience for this “old man”.

    Dr Tjitske Schouwstra

    Due to the fact that problem behaviour in pets encompasses a large group of clients coming through the doors of a veterinary practice, I felt it important to increase my knowledge in this direction.

    Having finished the course I am even more convinced that all veterinarians working with small companion animals should have the knowledge of where a pet’s behaviour originates from, before trying to find the solution.

    There are a lot of animal behaviour courses available if you look on the internet and deciding which one to choose can be a major dilemma. In choosing a COAPE course you will find a professional and scientifically researched course that will give you up to date and practical information.

    I am glad I did the course and hope that I will be a better vet for it.

    2011 Graduates

    Tersia Kock

    It was very good to be enrolled in a course with up to date evidence based information.  Feedback from knowledgeable tutor was always given professionally. I am proud to write this specific qualification behind my name.

    Lynda McConnell

    Sometimes in life we live to regret choices that we made and experiences that we had; but sometimes in life we get it right and the risk becomes worth it! Doing the COAPE Diploma was a risk that turned into one of the best choices and experiences that I ever made.

    I gained so much knowledge, understanding and insight into the animal kingdom that I was blown away… you will use what you have gained from the Diploma in all aspects of your professional and possibly even your private life. The way that you view the world and all forms of life that you interact with will change astonishingly and you will have a much greater value for the earth and all that reside on it.

    Not only did I learn how to work with animals I also learnt how to improve my people skills and reach a better understanding of how people behave, learn and communicate – this is essential because although animal behaviour is about helping and understanding animals; an important point to remember is that there is often, if not always, a person on the other end of the leash so to speak. Animal lovers are very seldom people lovers and having this included in the course has changed my life because I am more confident and comfortable in dealing with all kinds of people now… even the really difficult ones.

    The information notes that we received during the course as well as the text books are relevant and up to date. I still refer to them now if I need extra information or to reconfirm a fact I’m unsure of. I even refer to them if I get a case or situation that has me rather perplexed or stumped. COAPE also offers support online not only during the time that you’re doing the Diploma but also once you have completed it. You are given the opportunity to learn, grow and make good connections and even friends with your fellow students which is nice because you can always help each other out with ideas, situations or even referrals.

    I personally found the COAPE Diploma to be professional, well presented, well organised, full to the brim of useful and fascinating information, practical exercises and I for one am most certainly planning on continuing with COAPE on advancing my qualifications to the highest level. I really appreciated the never-ending enthusiasm my lecturer had as well as all the COAPE staff that were involved from beginning to end.

    COAPE offers you the stability, information, support and the passion that you need to be successful in your desire to not only pass but to pass well. Was it hard work? Of course yes! What in life that is worth pursuing isn’t? Was it worth it? Oh yes indeed, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t put the knowledge that I learnt to use.

    Kieron Piper

    It wasn’t until early 2009 that I was wholly and 100% sure that I was destined for a career in nature conservation, having just endured four gruelling years doing my Diploma and BTech with one year left, foreseeing a future glittered with khaki uniforms, battles with poachers and plenty of lost baby animals in need of my care. How misguided I was! (Well except for the last part perhaps).

    It all started with a more-than-normal interest in the abilities and development of my first puppy, which ultimately led me through a series of more-than-coincidental events to the front doorstep of COAPE (Thanks Janina!). I completed the Confi-puppy instructor’s course, and went on to enrol in the Diploma. Despite being broke and completely committed to the final year of my studies in nature conservation, I dove in head first! (A sucker for punishment indeed).

    Coming from a scientific background as a result of my previous studies, I found myself at a slight advantage over some of the other students in my class, purely in terms of the biology and the associated terminology; however it certainly did not mean that I wasn’t challenged!

    I think what sets the COAPE Diploma apart from other similar courses of study is that the content is current. Science is an ever-evolving subject and we are disproving old ideas constantly. You wouldn’t trust a doctor who still prescribes cocaine for teething babies, yet in the Animal Practitioner industry we see outdated and disproved theories in practice constantly. I know and trust that when I did the Diploma, I was getting the most current and up to date facts available on topics like emotionality, neurophysiology, pharmacology and learning theory, and would not be in the least bit surprised if this year’s course content were to differ slightly from what I learned a year ago.

    I am now equipped with the tools and know-how to approach my career with the utmost professionalism, and I have access to support and resources that ensure I can offer the best advice possible to clients when dealing with behaviour-related problems in dogs and cats. The methodology offered in this course is scientifically sound, and the practices taught are holistic and gentle.

    You will be forced to expand your mind, think outside the box, and shift your paradigms.

    You will be challenged, you will cry and sometimes you may even want to die (jokes, it’s not that bad), but you will emerge a cutting-edge animal behaviour practitioner on the forefront of current science, and you will change the way people see and treat their animals. That, for me is magic!

    Lizann Brown

    I’ve always been interested in the world of animal behaviour and have searched for a long time to find a qualification in this area. After doing another local course I was very happy when I finally came across the COAPE Diploma in the practical aspects of companion animal behaviour and training presented by Karin Pienaar (Landsberg) from COAPE. I immediately enrolled for the first Diploma course and its been the best thing I have ever done.

    The diploma is internationally recognised and looks at the science behind animal behaviour and gives you a solid foundation to build a career in this area plus being mentored by one of SA’s top behaviourists is a real experience not to be missed. Its presented in such a way that you can still work and study part time but don’t underestimate the work load.

    Finally, I have the courage and knowledge to follow my dreams and help people and little companion animals alike. I’m proud to be a COAPE affiliate and to be part of the COAPE family which give you a solid support structure whenever you need help and I would highly recommend this course to anyone who have a great passion and would like to work with companion animals.

  • 2023 Graduates

    Karoline Harmening

    Since I was a child I was always deeply passionate about all animals, especially dogs, but would have never thought that one day I’d be brave enough to turn my passion into a profession. Until my souldog came along and changed everything.
    Completing the CO1 felt so rewarding.
    The complexity of animal behavior and each animal’s individuality is incredibly fascinating to learn about. DogWise taught me so much about how dogs, but also humans, learn and that both processes are deeply connected to each other.
    The assignments were challenging and required a lot of research but the provided learning material, the tutorials and especially the tutors have been very helpful, always approachable and motivating it really made leaning fun.
    I am so happy that in September 2023 I was able to take the chance to continue my studies towards the Diploma in animal behaviour, because there’s no way of stopping now.

    Michaela Geldhof

    I have always wanted to study animal behavior but unfortunately, I was not supported by my parents once leaving high school. After completing 2 degrees and working 3 years in corporate, I finally decided to do what I always wanted. It didn’t take long until I discovered COAPE and after reading countless reviews and talking with the staff I knew this course was for me. I became obsessed with the course work and my eyes opened to everything I thought I knew about dogs. The online videos were helpful in understanding my assignments and the lecturers were proactive and resourceful when answering my questions. I loved every second, so much so that I enrolled in 2 more courses the day I finished this course! I recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn more about dogs and start a career in animal behaviour.

    Katya Alves

    as I found the course quite challenging at times, and questioned myself alot 🙂 The course was extremely informative, and I have learnt so much throughout the course, from all the research and reading.
    I am more than looking forward to helping owners that face challenges with their dogs, especially reactive ones. As I have one myself, and have used the training I have learnt on my dogs.
    So many owners give up on their dogs because of the challenges, and because it is difficult, it does break my heart to see those cases, there are no quick fixes, other than time, love, patience and dedication.
    I will however be volunteering my time first to working with dogs at a shelter.

    2022 Graduates

    Giulia Barr

    I thoroughly enjoyed the DogWise course and found it incredibly interesting and enlightening. I really enjoyed researching the various topics for the assignments, which has sent me through various rabbit holes, wanting to know more each time. This really is a very valuable course for anyone working with dogs or wanting to pursue a career involving dogs. I highly recommend this course to anyone who would like a further their understanding of dogs’ development and behaviours. Thank you very much to all at COAPE for always being so friendly, helpful and informative. I look forward to continuing my quest for knowledge through COAPE’s diploma.

    Jyoti Singh

    I thoroughly enjoyed my COAPE experience. The level of knowledge and expertise provided is of a high standard and I appreciate how up-to-date and relevant the course material is. This course is not a simple one – it requires a lot of time, commitment, and reading with comprehension (I recommend reading as much as you can outside the course materials too) – but the COAPE systems and people support you every step of the way. I’m delighted to further my studies with the institution this year!

    Cheryl Klynhans

    I have loved animals, and in particular, dogs, my whole life. When Covid hit in 2020, and I was able to stay at home and follow the home-school program with my 2 children (aged 3 and 6) and have my dear little dogs with me all day, I really enjoyed and savoured the unrushed time of us all together. As schools reopened and life started adjusting to Covid, with complete shock and sadness, we had to say goodbye to our one little dog (9 years old) because of renal failure. I was heart-broken. The years seemed to have passed too quickly. It seemed that people had used this Lockdown time to discover their real passion, and when I asked myself what that was, the answer was dogs. And so seizing the day, I enrolled for Dogwise C01! I had found a way to include dogs in my everyday life. I am a psychologist, working with children, mostly play therapy, and I plan to prepare my next dog to become a co-therapist in the sessions with them. At times during the course, I felt the pressure of busy days and trying to read and do assignments (and reduce my word count!!), but mostly it was very easy to fit around work and 2 children, and running a home. When my daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy in October 2021, the tutors were so supportive and understanding, giving me extensions, and I was still able to easily manage the assignments. What you always find at COAPE, is phenomenal support from the tutors with any and every question you have. They are here to help us succeed. I loved everything I learned in Dogwise C01, and applied things to my own dog (she loves playing “Find it”). I hope to do the Diploma in future years, but for now, my family needs me, and I look forward to raising and training my canine co-therapist!

    2021 Graduates

    Christa Scorer

    I thoroughly enjoyed the COAPE C01 Dogwise course! It has changed my perspective of and approach to dog training and behaviour, and has had a tremendously positive impact on my bond and working relationship with my dog. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in improving their knowledge of dog behaviour.

    Shenea Graham

    I have finally completed my C01 course with COAPE! It was a challenging year with a lot of struggle. It was a year that came with plenty of challenges and changes, I had to learn to adapt with each situation and manage through emotional and physical strain. And thus I would like to thank COAPE for all their support. The tutors and other staff were always very helpful and kind, above all they were always understanding. The C01 course has taught me how incredibly amazing ‘man’s best friend’ truly are. I have a completely new understanding as to how they process situations and how they learn in so many different ways. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and treasure the knowledge I have gained. I am sure anyone who enrolls in this course will find it is as challenging and beneficial as I did.

    Alyssa Bosch

    This course is very well put together and is full of invaluabe information. While its main focus is on dogs, I have found that the fundamental skills it teaches are transferable to other species. In my case I was able to put into practice what I have learnt and solved a severe behavioural problem of one of the horses I work with. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to work with dogs or other animals and needs a starting off point. The assignments are challenging but COAPE provides a strong support system and plenty of feedback to help clear up any misunderstandings or provide further information.

    Michelle Smith

    I really enjoyed doing my C01 course! I found the course very practical and thoroughly enjoyed the content. I not only feel equipped to start my own dog training classes but also feel like I can understand my own dogs so much better. Overall, I definitely recommend this course.

    Natasha Bradshaw

    COAPE C01 Dogwise, What an incredibly informative course. I have thoroughly enjoyed it and have learnt so much invaluable information. The tutors and COAPE team are phenomenal, always ready to assist and encourage you. I would highly recommend doing this course to anyone wanting to work with Dogs or simply just understand their family dogs better. If you have considered doing this course but have not yet enrolled, I encourage you to dive in and register for the course, you will never regret it!

    2020 Graduates

    Carolize Haupt

    I recently completed my C01 course through COAPE and I would probably say that it was the best decision of my life! I never imagined that I would enjoy learning so much. The course notes are easy to understand, and the work is so interesting. I never used to enjoy reading, but as soon as I got my books, my nose was buried in them for weeks. I work with dogs every day and I volunteered as an assistant at a puppy school on weekends and it was incredible to see how the theory translates into practice. I cannot imagine a happier life, than working with animals! A MASSIVE thank you to Judy and Wendy for their patience and kindness towards me, I know I wasn’t the easiest student at times, but I so appreciate you ladies! I am really looking forward to getting started on C02.

    Andrea Askham

    Before I started my course with COAPE I had been studying psychology and the only branch that truly peaked my interest was the study of Behaviorism. Imagine my surprise and enthusiasm when this is what we study in depth, when I started my CO1 course! I was captivated from the moment I started reading my books until the last practical I wrote, everything I knew about dog training was nothing in comparison to what I have learned in this one year with COAPE. To further add, my assignment feedback was given with gentle guidance even when I made glaringly obvious and silly mistakes. The feedback on my assignments gave me a lot to think about as well, and when I started my practical assignments the feedback was exceptional and helpful. My tutors were excellent at answering my questions and banishing any doubt or query I had and were timely and friendly with their responses. The cherry on top of all of this is I am glad I chose to do the practical component which really cemented the theory and gave me the confidence I need to execute what I had learned throughout this course. I highly recommend the CO1 DogWise Stage 1 with practicals for anyone who is serious about learning about dogs and being able to communicate with them effectively!

    Miyanka Govender

    I have completed the C01 Dogwise course and it was very interesting and knowledgeable from the behavior side of training which is great !
    I plan to continue my education by enrolling to qualify for the COAPE diploma, as I would like to gain all the knowledge and experience I can from COAPE to further educate the human world on animals.Thank you to all the staff from COAPE.

    Cheraldine Walker

    I really enjoyed the C01 course and studying through COAPE. I’ve learned so much during this course that were really interesting, very helpful and highly educational. Since starting with my studies it has given me more confidence to work with dogs and their owners and has also encouraged me to broaden my horizon and to keep studying. One of my favorite parts of this course was learning more about a fun and easy training tool; clicker training, and how to use it during training along with using positive reinforcement. The tutors and admin personal are so helpful and friendly. I highly recommend anyone to study through COAPE.

    2019 Graduates

    Michelle Fourie

    I have just completed the COAPE CO1 and really enjoyed doing this course. The course and reading materials were very informative but at the same time easily understood. The positive feedback from the moderators was really appreciated. A special Thank You to Judy Post and Wendy Wilson for their helpful and friendly assistance with my multitude of questions. An amazing and highly recommended course. Looking forward to the next level!

    2018 Graduates

    Thea-Lee Stoltz

    I’ve gained a new perspective on how dogs see the world! I have a completely new way of looking at a dog displaying a problem behaviour! As I now know there is so much more to it, and at the same time I’ve learned to sometimes just simplify things and work with them. And not just dogs but their owners as well, I’m enjoying it more now when I work with people and their dogs, to be able to see how they both learn from what I know! It’s amazing… I can’t wait to see what C02 holds! Thank you for everything!

    Kim Prochazka

    I recently completed the COAPE C01 DogWise course, which was a wonderful journey into the world of dog origins, evolution, behaviour and training. The course offered fantastic insights into the science underpinning dog behaviour and how we can use this knowledge in a practical way to the advantage of both dogs and people. Accreditation of the COAPE courses with the South African Veterinary Council and with COAPE provides assurance that these courses are of a high quality, and that the qualification received is well-recognized.

    Jared Sharp

    The C01 COAPE Course is a very well put together course and has given me a lot of insight and a good understanding of man’s best friend the dog. If you love dogs and would like to have a good base understanding on the subject this is a logical step to move forward in the right direction with.

    This course is recommended for dog lovers and professionals alike.

    Renata de Villiers

    I have dreamt of working with animals for as long as I can remember. COAPE has helped me to take my first official, theoretical as well as practical step to reaching my greatest goal and living my dream and passion. I have now completed the CO1 course and am currently enrolled for COAPE’s Diploma. All that I have learnt so far is so valuable and I would not be where I am and know what I now know without COAPE’s great CO1 course. I cannot explain how absolutely thrilled and exited I am to have completed the CO1 DogWise course and to now be a part of the Diploma. I am so grateful to be on this journey with COAPE and I am even more thankful for their continuous help and support.

    The only reason I am able to do these studies is because COAPE offers their courses and diplomas with an online option. Due to my place of residence as well as my work; online studies are currently my only option. COAPE has provided me with the opportunity to work towards my dream and life-long passion of not only working with animals but bettering their lives, helping people to better understand their companions and discovering both new ways to help our companions adapt to our lifestyles, and help people to connect and work with their companions.

    I will be forever grateful to COAPE for this incredible opportunity. Thank you COAPE!

    Jo’Anni Deacon

    I would really recommend the COAPE CO1 DogWise course to anyone working with dogs or planning to start a career with dogs. Thank you also for the awesome administrative side I could experience, queries where dealt with fast and efficient and the support was great.

    Ilse Fourie

    The COAPE CO1 DogWise Stage 1 course has opened my eyes and mind to the very rich emotional lives of our dogs. Through this course, I have strengthened my relationship with my own dogs and it has given me a comprehensive understanding of how they learn and think.

    Thanks to COAPE, I am now able to apply behavioural science to my training, ensuring my dogs and I find learning a joy!

    Sonelle van Wyk

    The CO1 DogWise Stage 1 course has been very fun to do. I loved working with actual case studies and helping the owners and dogs, making a difference for the better in their lives together.

    This is exactly why I enrolled in this course – to help people that are where I once was with my own dog. I have also learned a lot of things I can now incorporate in my training classes. I will definitely be continuing with the Diploma course soon. Thanks guys!

    2017 Graduates

    Leonie Duncan

    I thoroughly enjoyed DogWise 1, and wish I had discovered this course years ago! It provides an excellent foundation for a modern understanding of dog development and training. The reading list was a relevant and interesting selection of books, many of which I know I will revisit in future. I appreciated the timely and helpful responses from my tutor, as well as the insightful comments from the marker. In addition, the COAPE team was very accommodating when my personal circumstances changed and I was no longer able to complete the practical component I had originally signed up for. An enjoyable experience all round!

    Taryn Joshua

    I have learnt so much from the CO1 DogWise course – not only about dogs and their behaviour, but also about myself and where my passion lies. Doing the course has opened so many doors for me and allowed me to meet and be mentored by amazing trainers and behaviourists!

    A HUGE thank you to my tutor, the course administrators, and markers. I will definitely be pursuing a career as a behaviourist thanks to COAPE and my awesome mentors.

    Corlia Kotze

    I would recommend anyone who loves animals or wants to start a career in animal behaviour to enrol for this course. I learned a lot and really enjoyed this course.

    Marlene Sach

    Having taken in four dogs that had been rescued from a very bad situation, I found myself confronted with a variety of phobias and behavioural issues that I couldn’t even name, let alone address. The COAPE C01 course provided the tools I needed to begin to understand and handle the challenges.

    I found the course immensely informative, and my tutor unfailingly supportive, encouraging, and generous with helpful suggestions, whether I was stuck on an assignment or at an impasse with one of my dogs. The whole course was wonderfully practical, but especially the last three ‘practical’ modules. I gained so much, both knowledge and confidence, and I am proud to claim that three of my dogs would now pass as ‘normal’! And I have also been able to help a number of shelter dogs to become more ‘adoptable’.

    I would wish for anyone working with dogs, especially in a shelter, to have the opportunity to do this course.

    2016 Graduates

    Lenell Hattingh

    C01 was a great course to do to get a basic foundation in Canine Behaviour and Training. If you have a passion for Animal Behaviour and are totally besotted with dogs this is a great course to start a future career as a qualified Animal Behaviourist

    Mia Jane Marais

    I thoroughly enjoyed the C01 DogWise course. The course is very informative. The course guides you through various stages and allows you to explore the life of a dog through their eyes and their understanding of the world. The information is easy enough to understand for the layman, but intricate enough from a scientific point of view. Friendly staff and great tutors help you every step of the way. Looking forward to starting my next course soon.

    Megan van der Helm

    Absolutely loved the course! All dog owners should do themselves a favour and enrol to understand their dog better and bring them closer.

    Tabby Mittins

    COAPE’s DogWise Stage 1 is a masterfully assembled course that opens up the fascinating world of dog behaviour and training by providing insight into the mind and nature of dogs. The course material has been both challenging and enlightening, and with the careful guidance, thorough and positive feedback and motivation from my tutor, Judy, I now feel confident in my ability to offer sound and varied training and problem-solving advice at the veterinary practice I currently work at.

    I would recommend this course to anyone interested in developing a solid understanding of how dogs think and learn for the purposes of helping others, or for just a more fulfilling and rewarding relationship with their own dogs. Thank you to the COAPE team for putting together this well-constructed course and for your immediate support throughout.

    Megan Badminton

    C01 DogWise Stage 1 is a great place to start if you are planning to open your own training centre or even if you’d just like broaden your knowledge on canine behaviour. Every unit is interesting, thought-provoking and enjoyable. The administration staff and tutors at COAPE are extremely knowledgeable and are always happy to help.

    I am happy to say that I now have a better understanding of my dog’s behaviour and our bond is even stronger than before. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and can’t wait to start the Diploma in Animal Behaviour!

    Carmi Vermaak

    CO1 DogWise Stage 1 is the perfect course for anyone who has a canine companion or who wants to kick-start a career working with dogs. Thorough, clear and incredibly interesting; this course awakened a hunger in me to learn more about my fellow species and how they understand the world. The best part about this course is teaching us about the DOMINANCE MYTHS and explaining all the different ways you can positively improve the dog-owner relationship. It really does open up a new world! Thank you COAPE.

    Reneé Venter

    The CO1 DogWise Stage 1 course has given me such a refreshing view on how dogs learn, and what motivates them! I am loving being able to understand what dogs are “saying” with their body language and interactions with us. I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who is a true dog lover at heart.

    Elaine van der Westhuizen

    I always knew I wanted to work with dogs. Doing the C01 DogWise course through COAPE taught me so much and just confirmed that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. The tutors were fantastic, the feedback I received on my assignments was very useful, and I have been able to apply what I’ve learned with great success. I am definitely considering continuing with my studies through COAPE.

    2015 Graduates

    Nicolene Jacobs

    Enrolling for the C01 course has been one of the smartest decisions I ever made. It has opened up a whole new world of knowledge about Canines. I enjoyed every moment and it left me with a hunger to know even more. C01 is of high standards with world class tutors. I highly recommend the C01 DogWise course! Four paws up.

    Dr Alison Minnie

    Thank you so much for the help and support given to me during the course. The course proved to be very interesting and has helped me educate clients, especially new dog owners. It is a great stepping stone if you are thinking about becoming an animal behaviourist or even just want to get into dog training.

    Celeste Manfron

    I have just completed my CO1 DogWise certificate with COAPE. It was an amazing experience and I learnt so much. The course material was easy to understand.

    Karin and the rest of the team were a great help and always willing to guide me if I was unsure of something – All in all, it was amazing and would recommend it to anyone who is deciding to go in this direction.

    Thank you everyone for a great experience, will be seeing you in the Diploma.

    Tarryn MacLean

    An eye opener into the minds and behaviours of our canine companions.

    I found the course really challenged my perceptions of problem behaviours, why they developed and how to adequately deal with each individual case in a positive manner. Best of all was the support provided by my tutors. When I felt a little out of my depth they were always available to offer advice and guidance.

    Tanya (Faustina) Gardner

    I have learned so much from this course and am sad it is over. It has helped me a great deal when doing adoptions at the shelter and of course working with all the dogs there. Thank you for always being so prompt in your replies to my questions and for all your help in general.

    Michelle Baker

    Studying with COAPE was the best move I ever made. I’ve been dreaming of becoming a trainer for so long and COAPE has helped make my dream come true. The tutors go out of their way to help and at no point did I feel helpless while doing my assignments.

    Susan is an awesome tutor and the advice she gave – there are no words to say thank you. I have a better outlook and understanding of training now and can’t wait to share with others. The practicals are a must; I had the time of my life doing the practicals.

    I have to thank the COAPE team for all their support.

    Shelley le Roux

    My experience with COAPE has been a delightful one! From being super-impressed with the promptness of the COAPE ladies to the course content and ease of readability of the notes. E-mails were responded to promptly and the quality of advice was excellent. The time allocated to units was fair and the book references were pertinent to the course.

    I have learnt a lot about why my animals behave in a particular way and understand why this behaviour occurs. I have changed the way I perceive training and the advice some trainers give. Even though harsh methods “work” I now understand why this work and will endeavour to make my training methods as gentle and as fun to owners and dogs as possible!

    Content is the look in my little dog’s eye
    As she lays resting on the couch when I walk by
    A few minutes ago we ran and played
    She sat and fetched and even stayed!
    She’s had her fun and from the look in her eye
    I know she’s happy and so am I!

    Laura Hulme

    I started studying with COAPE for curiosity’s sake, as I have had dogs as pets from a very young age and I’ve always been fascinated by them. By the end of the C01 course, I had decided to pursue canine behaviour and training as a career.

    I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the course material, so I plan to study further with COAPE.

    Nina da Silva

    I’d just like to thank you for all of your incredible assistance throughout the year. It’s rare to find people who are so on top of their game and who care deeply about their product. It’s been wonderfully refreshing! I hope that COAPE only continues to grow in strength!

    2012 Graduates

    Susan van der Byl

    I highly recommend the COAPE C01 DogWise course to anyone who owns a dog or who works with dogs professionally, whether you are a groomer, a veterinary receptionist, or even if you are just a dog loving person. This course gave me so much insight into how dogs learn and what motivates them to act out certain behaviours, I am now able to apply my knowledge to my relationship with my own dogs and have definitely seen an improvement in our day to day interactions.

    The lecturers from COAPE are all very experienced and all work in behaviour and training related fields which means they are able to offer you first hand advice, experience and insight into the world of training and behaviour. The course is based on the latest research so you are assured of being kept up to date with new training methods and the latest studies from professionals in this field.

    Throughout the course you are given feedback from your assignments so that you are able to track your progress and see where you may need a little more assistance. I found the support structure outstanding and never once felt that I couldn’t contact my lecturer for help and advice.

    I found this course to be well presented, very informative and can definitely say that COAPE lives up to their reputation as leaders in the animal behaviour field.

    Karin Groenewald

    My lifelong love of dogs and interaction with them prompted me to study them further, and my research led me to COAPE. I read much about the courses they offered and the friendly staff answered all my questions about what to expect from the DogWise C01 course. I enrolled, ordered my books, and when my first book arrived in the post, I was hooked. I couldn’t stop reading – it was as if all the things I observed in dogs now had a meaning, a background, a reason, a solution, a cause, and an explanation.

    Everything from the breeds, why they look like they do, why some breeds have certain traits and behaviours, how dogs evolved from wolves, the effects of diet, exercise, stress, socialisation, isolation, etc. What I enjoyed about the course is that you could make it as basic or as advanced as you want to.

    The books on the reading list and the internet offer much deeper research and theory which is not necessarily asked in the coursework, but if you understand it, then you understand the basic principles so much better. I feel much more equipped to give my dog the best I can and I feel much more secure about what to offer him, what to look out for, what to do and not to do, and most importantly how dogs learn.

    This is something every dog owner should understand, as we can easily punish something that doesn’t deserve punishing, and also that there are much better ways to communicate with your dog what you expect and require from him. If you understand how dogs learn, you can train them to do anything from sitting for a treat to opening the fridge and bringing you a can of Coke! Thank you to my tutor, Karin Pienaar (Landsberg), for your help, guidance and support throughout the course – my mind has made a complete shift in the world of dog behaviour!

    Clinton Dixon

    I have had the pleasure of completing the COAPE C01 DogWise course through COAPE. As someone who has had a keen interest in dogs for most of my life, it was fantastic to get to know a lot more about them.

    What is great is that this course is enjoyable whether or not you know much about canine training and behaviour. It introduces the vastness of the subject very simply and builds throughout the course, in the end giving more complex insights into the ins and outs of canine behaviour.

    I felt, near the end of the course that I understood my two dogs a great deal better, and the knowledge I gained from the special study has given my husky, Sika, the freedom she has never previously known and along with that comes peace of mind for me. She went from running away 3-5 times a week, to running away twice since I finished the course, which has been a period of 5 months.

    I would highly recommend the C01 DogWise course to anyone interested in canine behaviour, and even if you do not wish to pursue canine studies further, it will greatly improve your understanding and your relationship with your dogs at home, and any others you encounter for the rest of your life.

    Lorna Hughes

    When I started the course I had stars in my eyes, I was so excited – I had made the commitment! At 53 years old I had not studied for years and so it took me quite a while to develop a routine in order to get my assignments out on time. I am a full-time wine farmer, marketer and volunteer at my local animal shelter so it was quite a logistical challenge what with travelling and family commitments.

    However, I found the book list was incredibly interesting and informative and I couldn’t wait to start the next one. I found the course and research required quite a challenge and when I look back now to where I started, I am very pleased I finished.

    I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed the course. I found the content to be of great assistance in understanding how dogs learn and in my day to day training and rehabilitation of shelter dogs. The best tools to own – a clicker and a piece of polony.

    Gabrielle Waterston

    As an animal lover, especially a dog lover, I had been looking for a course that would allow me to broaden my horizons about dogs. When I eventually found the C01 course, it opened a whole new world for me and shifted my way of thinking.

    The reason for this is because I had a chance to educate myself to better understand dog behaviour as well as better my abilities as a pet owner. In addition to this, I was exposed to a variety of like-minded people which further solidified that the C01 course was not only a credible course but also an achievable educational goal when one is passionate about dogs.

    Moreover, this course created more opportunities for me within the animal kingdom as I am now a qualified COAPE puppy and dog instructor. I believe that the C01 is a great educational foundation for understanding dog behaviour, not only for people wanting to make a career out of it, but even more so for those who just want to better their own dog’s quality of life.

    Lindi-Lee New

    Going into anything new that will play a role in your future can be nerve racking, but the experience from COAPE was great. The COAPE C01 course was insightful and challenging but there was always a helpful tutor there to guide you if you got stuck.

    Having interactive practical days throughout the course was not only fun but gave a better understanding of what we were learning. I would definitely say this course is worth it and great for anyone.

    2009 Graduates

    Lindi van der Merwe

    What started out as a course taken purely out of an interest in animals opened up a whole new world for me. The C01 course not only inspired me into a new line of work, but also helped me to understand my own dogs better. I learned things about them that I never knew about – it was fascinating!

    To think that I missed out on all of this information for years! I will never regret doing this course – in fact, I think this is a brilliant course for any serious dog owner.

    You will understand the where, what and why of your pet as never before, and it will help you to have a better relationship with them and to train them more effectively. I hope to come back for further studies in the not-too-distant future.

  • 2023 Graduates

    Darren Gardner

    I cannot stress this enough, but the assistance given and kindness shown during my studies has been phenomenal. I cannot express my gratitude enough.

    Ashwarie Mahabir

    I would like to say it was an honour to take this course especially without needing background experience. It was so important to me that I followed my passion in studying the mind of animals, and I was given this opportunity. It has been fascinating. I took this opportunity acknowledging the level at which they teach you and help you learn is so well done and with such great quality it made the whole experience worthwhile.

    2020 Graduates

    Lynn Stone

    The course was much more challenging than I imagined, and I feel I have gained more than expected from the beginning. Thank you!

    2019 Graduates

    Marlene Sach

    After completing CO1 and finding out how dogs learn, it seemed a fairly logical step to take on CO2 and delve into the mental processes that are involved in the development of learning.

    To say that the course was challenging would be an understatement, but at the same time it was absorbing and so fascinating. It covered research into how different animals perceive the world and how they learn, not only dogs but a whole range of creatures, from tiny unicellular organisms right up to elephants and whales.

    It was so engaging I was inspired to conduct some experiments of my own, including a rather dangerous one involving hornets. (It was successful, I never got stung, and yes, they do become habituated to human proximity, in case anyone is interested!) And I am still excited enough to be planning more research projects.

    I would recommend this course to anyone who is interested in or curious about the mental life of dogs, along with the many other creatures we share this planet with. It was intellectually challenging, but so worth the effort. The tutors were unfailingly supportive when I was struggling, and flexible in consideration of my particular circumstances.

    And nobody should be put off when I say it was ‘challenging’. I am no longer young, and have no academic background. If I can do it anybody can!

    2017 Graduates

    Carmi Vermaak

    CO2 continuously evoked interest on so many topics of the canine mind and perception. It was a truly enjoyable course with gripping reading material. I have learnt so much. Thank you to the COAPE team for all their assistance throughout!

  • 2023 Graduates

    Katie Mansfield

    I thoroughly enjoyed Think Nutrition. The course covers every aspect of pet feeding, from the manufacturing process and animal feeding behaviours, to healthy diets and clinical nutrition for disease management. The information is delivered without bias towards one particular feeding regime, and the student is encouraged to research and draw their own conclusions. I particularly liked being given set deadlines as it prevented me procrastinating my studying. The student handbook is extremely well written and provides information for all aspects of the course, and any questions I had for my tutor were answered swiftly. My work was marked and returned very quickly and the tutor’s feedback was always helpful and encouraging.
    I am a Veterinary Nurse and studying this course has contributed and enriched my clinical practice. I thoroughly recommend it for anyone working in the veterinary sector.

  • 2020 Graduates

    Lauren Angela Seidel

    Studying through COAPE has been an incredible experience and immensely enjoyed doing the following 2 courses. AB03: You and Your Dog & AB04: You and Your Rescue Dog.

    I learnt a great deal. A big thank you to Judy Post for all the positive feedback, superior knowledge and patience. To Wendy Wilson and Tarryn Roux for their helpfulness and assistance most appreciated!

    I would highly recommend COAPE

    2015 Graduates

    Erin Engelbreg
    I enjoyed the course, your feedback and getting to know and observe even more closely my Jessie and Utah. This has truly helped me to gain a better understanding of their needs, and what they sometimes are trying to say/asking for.

  • 2023 Graduates

    Helen Reynolds

    This is a fantastic course and I highly recommend it. I have gone on to complete a PhD on African wild dogs, which I am now 3/4 of the way through and this was a great introduction prior to starting.