Here is what some of our students, graduates and guest speakers have to say about their experience with CASI. We are very proud that our students and graduates find their experience with us so rewarding.
"I am a recent graduate of the Canine Behavior Science and Technology program, and can honestly say it has had the most profound effect on me as a technologist/behaviorist in a career covering many years and areas of canine work, including training, behavior, handling, and breeding. Before taking the program, I often wondered how a discussion with other trainers/behaviorists could result in so many different approaches, and often confused interpretations of what should be areas that we all could address without influence of personal biases, approaches, or haphazard protocols—the medical model paradigm I discovered. I have used and studied James O’Heare’s masterful book “Aggressive Behavior in Dogs” for years, but realized I had the answer to that question in my hand! The natural science of behavior; the systematic and principled method of assessing and training the laws and principles of behavior. And so I ventured back into academia, by enrolling in this fantastic curriculum. This is a comprehensive and challenging course covering a spectrum not found elsewhere. I have admired James O’Heare and his work for many years, and having access (timely and personal, I might add) was worth the tuition all by itself!! Be prepared to work hard, be prepared to learn a tremendous amount, be prepared to understand behavior at a whole different level. This is not a “multiple choice,” “fill in the blanks” course; you will need to analyze lots of data, and respond to in essay form to important issues in a clear, concise, and relevant manner. Hard work with enormous dividends! I cannot recommend this entire experience strongly enough!!"
- Bill Weiler Dip.CBST, CPDT-KA
Paws N’ Effect LLC
"I recently completed the CBST program and couldn’t be happier with the skills and knowledge I have gained. This is far more than just a how-to program about training dogs. It is an in-depth study of behavior, why behavior occurs, and how to control it. The quality of the program became incredibly evident to me as I greatly excelled in my career with dogs, even as I was still working through the courses, receiving compliments from my coworkers and accolades from my managers. I highly recommend the CBST program to anyone wanting to become a true behavior professional and expert in dog behavior. The one on one support and coaching James provides are valuable beyond expression, and I simply can’t speak highly enough about how great the entire experience has been for me, and about how thankful I am to have gained the education, experience, and skills that I have received through the CBST program. I can honestly say that this has been the most excellent educational experience I have ever had."
- Mark A. Bopp, Dip.CBST
"I decided to enroll in CASI after considering a number of other animal behavior programs. I believed CASI offered the most comprehensive list of topics germane to my area of interest (and did so at a great monetary value). Now that I have completed my program I feel more than ever that I made the right choice and believe my experience far exceeded my initial expectations. The instruction I received provided me with a firm foundation in the fundamental principles of behavior. The course materials and assignments not only challenged me to develop a rigorous comprehension of behavior theory but the work also required a thorough understanding of their application in companion animal training. I liked the fact that I could specialize in canine behavior and draw from and add to my own experience working with dogs. There are many other benefits CASI offers that I enjoyed. For example the ability to self-pace meant I could structure my study time around my work and family obligations without conflict. I also derived a great deal of help and support from the CASI online classroom and I continue to appreciate the camaraderie and assistance that is available in this forum. The greatest profit my participation in CASI has given me, though, is my confidence that the skills I have acquired can be used to help others and promote the welfare of companion animals. CASI not only has high standards for academic conduct but insists on the highest standards of ethical conduct. CASI students and graduates are expected to behave professionally in the best sense of the word."
- Louise Hartman, Dip.CDST
Northstar Dog Training and Canine Behavior Consulting
"I have completed a Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Science Technology with CASI and have no hesitation in recommending the course to anyone seeking a well organized, comprehensive and scientifically based education in animal behavior and learning. The emphasis is on providing reliable information, based on the scientific principles of learning and behavior. It is also a a very humane-based course, and I was extremely impressed with the ethics unit I completed - something all professionals and individuals should find thought provoking and relevant. I searched for over 6 months to find a place to study before choosing CASI. During my initial searching, I was impressed with the transparency of the course content prior to enrolling and the approachability of James O'Heare with all my initial questions. Few of the other institutes I investigated were so forthcoming in this regard. This approachability and prompt, friendly response continued throughout the duration of the course. CASI came highly recommended to me by others, and these recommendations were in no way misplaced. Once starting the course, it exceeded my expectations. It is challenging and yet accessible to most people. The concepts taught will enable the student to approach training and behavioral modification goals in a systematic way. The classroom was a great forum for asking questions and learning, and all my questions were answered quickly - distance was not a problem. Learning from the questions that other students asked was also beneficial. I was fortunate enough to meet a fellow CASI student, doing the same course at the same time, who lived 5 minutes away from me! This made the experience even more positive for me, as we became actual study partners and caught up regularly to talk about all things CASI and think up questions we could ask the classroom and James. I simply cannot speak highly enough of the course, it's structure, the content and the professional, yet friendly and approachable way James O'Heare responds to his students. I am already considering which course I will enroll in next. A sincere thank you to James for having the foresight and passion to provide such an in-depth, ethical and scientifically based programme."
- Sonya Bevan B.Sc. (Physio), Dip.CBST
"Becoming a student at CASI was one of the best decisions I have made. The caliber of the instruction went far beyond my expectations, and the attention I received as a student was extraordinary to me. I remember when I first started the program, I had explained to a friend of mine that when I asked a question, it seemed my instructor was sitting beside me because I would often get answers within a half an hour. And the answers I received were detailed and so helpful. James O'Heare (my instructor) pays such attention to detail. It is important to him that his students understand the material presented, and he gives exceptional instruction to ensure that will happen. Still, what stood out most for me (and what I am most grateful for) was the depth of the education I received at CASI and also the training philosophy that permeates everything in the studies. The latest solid, scientifically based learning theory is presented, and that is paired with a non-aversive reward-based system for teaching animals with compassion and love. I could not have asked more from my instructor or the college. It is, indeed, an honor for me to be a graduate of The Companion Animal Sciences Institute and to have had an opportunity to have James as my instructor."
- Elisa, BA, Dip.DTBC
Behavior Enrichment Socialization and Training
"Thank you for the opportunity to feel good about myself in the way of learning. I haven’t been in school for over 30 years and I was really nervous to take this course. When the 9lb text book arrived, I thought “oh boy what have I got myself into” As is turns out I loved every bit of the Canine Nutrition course and I surprised myself with how well I did and how good I felt doing it. Susan is a great teacher with lots of patients. I look forward to challenging myself with the Advanced level very soon.”
- Donna Middleton
Certificate of Canine Nutrition Graduate
"I signed up for my course of study with CASI because I wanted a way to formalize my studies in dog training and behavior consulting, and to gain a solid grounding in behavioral science that was specifically focused on dogs. I was looking for a distance course that would be flexible enough to allow me to pursue my interests, and structured enough to stretch me in areas where I knew I needed to learn more. My studies with CASI did serve that purpose, and I am glad that I persevered through the often challenging and always interesting study modules. I particularly appreciated the knowledge and responsiveness of my instructors, and the support of other students that made the virtual Classroom a valuable resource. The Institute is a dynamic entity that continues to grow as the field of dog training and behavior matures and expands. I believe I am a better practitioner because of my studies with CASI, and recommend it to others who are seeking an affordable, convenient way to enhance their behavioral knowledge base."
- Caroline Spark, Ph.D. Dip.ACBS
"My educational experience at CASI has been a wonderful journey towards understanding and learning about canine behavior. The knowledge I’ve gained while an on-line student of the Diploma of Behavior Modification program can be compared to an on campus education at a top ranking University. I really enjoyed the Classroom format where all the students discuss assignment related topics and training and behavior modification challenges they encounter. Even after graduation, I get to stay in the Classroom and be a part of this wonderful community of professionals. I would recommend this school to anybody who wants to gain up-to-date knowledge and experience in an animal related industry while having a great time. I am definitely going to take another course with CASI since there is such a broad range of classes available."
- Anna Lindahl, Ed.M., Dip.Beh.Mod., CPDT
San Diego Humane Society
Behavior and Training Department
"My experience at CASI has been far above and beyond what I imagined. I spent one full year searching online for schools offering curriculums to advance my learning of dog behavior, and was very hesitant to trust what was offered out there. Then I came across CASI, and I'm so thankful I did. The courses offer a quality education and challenging work. The classroom environment is positive and helpful. There are wonderful academic discussions, and the information provided in the classroom is sound information that can be trusted. The instructors are very accessible, and go beyond helpful. I couldn't ask for anything more in an online education!"
- Cynthia Chelsea Koslow
“Before I started with CASI Institute, I already had a diploma of dog training and a partial course in animal behaviour. I wanted to add the remaining knowledge to my education so that I could become a dog behaviour consultant but I kept running into the same problem everywhere I looked. I had a feeling that I would not get the full value for my money. Finally, and fortunately, I found CASI. From the moment I started I had no doubt that this was what I was looking for. I have now finished the Diploma of Dog Training and Behavior Consulting program and I still feel that I got the full value for my money and that it was all worth the effort.
CASI provides you with the latest scientific knowledge within the behavioural field and you can always ask any question you like and get an answer very quickly. James O’Heare is a very knowledgeable person and you can always be sure that the information he provides is thoroughly examined and scientifically well founded.
The CASI classroom is a marvellous place for discussion, inspiration, support, and exchange of experience and I am pleased that I have the possibility to stay in this group as I know that I shall never finish learning.”
- Ann L. Jeppesen, Dip.DTBC
"James, thank you for all of your help and feedback on my assignments throughout the Diploma program. I enjoyed each course very much; in fact it was far more stimulating than my master’s degree assignments in 2001. Having been involved in the dog training business for ten years and having read almost every book available on learning theory and dog training I was impressed with the quality and challenge of each unit. The assignments and course notes provided were great. It is obvious that much thought and organization has gone into developing the program; it is well rounded, relevant and absolutely pertinent to anyone wishing to become a professional and competent companion animal trainer."
- Niki Tudge, Dip.ABT, CDT
Founder, DogSmith Franchise Services Inc.
Founder, Pet Professionals Guild
CPDT, E-Nadoi, CBC
Pet Care Services CPCT, CAPCT
AKC “CGC” Evaluator
Subscribe to our DogSmith Newsletter
Dog Training, Pet Sitting, Dog Walking & Pet Nutrition
"The Dog Aggression Workbook by James O'Heare was recommended to me by staff at an animal shelter to help with a dog I was fostering. That book started my admiration for James O'Heare. Several years later, I am so happy that I chose CASI to further my understanding of dog behavior and training. The Dog Training Science and Technology Diploma Program was challenging in a very satisfying way. The coursework treats you like an intelligent adult who is capable of problem solving and rewards you with layers of information that really make a difference. I started noticing my worldview included the theories and principles I was learning about as a direct result of the type of studious reading and writing that I was doing. The classroom forum was also a priceless resource - just being able to read what the other students were saying on a subject clarified most questions I had. I feel very prepared to put my knowledge to good use and am motivated to continue studying and learning. This was a great experience!"
- Linda R. Nico, Dip.PDTST
"The week I spent as a Guest Speaker in the CASI Classroom was wonderful. To be able to give input on marketing and advertising one's dog training business to students who were so clearly enthusiastic and focused about what they do was a pleasure. I'm sure the success rate of those who go through this program is phenomenal!"
- Nicole Wilde
Gentle Guidance Dog Training
Author of So You Want to be a Dog Trainer and One on One A Dog Trainer's Guide to private Training
-since hired as an Advisory Board member
"I thoroughly enjoyed my course of study at CASI. The curriculum is in-depth and science-based, and the faculty and students create a positive and supportive learning environment. CASI offers a high quality learning opportunity for serious students."
- Laurel Scarioni, CPDT
Pawsitive Results Critter Academy, LLC
"There is a great need for quality education for dog trainers, and CASI is there to provide it. Continuing education encourages trainers to become a community of learners and to share their knowledge."
- Deborah Jones, Ph.D.
Kent State University Stark Campus
Planet Canine / Akron OH
"I thoroughly enjoyed the completing Dip.CBST. The support I received when I needed help was fantastic, I was never made to feel stupid. The thing I loved most about the course, however, was the science based approach to dog training and behaviour.It made my learning experience much easier as I could understand the 'why' and 'how' everything worked the way in which it did."
- Kelly Brown, Dip.CBST
"I have so, so thoroughly enjoyed and benefitted from the coursework at CASI! I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough. The quality of the information, the support given by the other students and by James O'Heare himself, at-your-own-pace environment...these things and many others make the expenditure of both time and money ABSOLUTELY, unquestionably worthwhile. You should definitely enroll in one of the programs. It's one of the best things I've done for my career thus far!"
- Molly Stone-Elmore, Dip.A.B., CDBC, CC/SF-SPCA
Staff Behaviorist, SPCA of Wake County, Garner NC
Owner/Director: Communica-nine Motivational Dog Training Services, Raleigh NC
National Training Director: Helping Paws Pet Assisted Therapy, (North Carolina)
Coordinating Committee Member: Applied Companion Animal Behavior Network
Member: APDT, IADBC, ABS, HSUS, AHA
-since employed as Advisory Board member, instructor and now Vice President of The Companion Animal Sciences Institute
“I searched long and hard for a credible course in Canine Nutrition so that I may be of better service to my clients. Having read a lot of James O’Heare’s books, I knew he stood for science based knowledge and has a high regard for ethics. It was thus not a difficult choice to make to enroll in his Institute. Both James and Susan Dillion, the course instructor, were always helpful and responded very quickly to any questions. With there being so many conflicting views on nutrition out there it was good to learn what the real facts are. This course is packed with valuable and unbiased information. I am proud to say that I am a CASI Nutrition Graduate, and highly recommend CASI to anyone seeking a challenging, in depth and unbiased approach to nutrition. Thank you James for establishing the Companion Animal Sciences Institute so that others may benefit from you and your faculty’s knowledge !!”
- Claire Grobbelaar Cert.CN
Graduate, Certificate in Canine Nutrition
Canine Concepts® Behaviour & Training cc.
"CASI provides a great quality advanced academic education for anyone who owns dogs, who works with or plans to work with dogs. When I signed up I was amazed at the quality of the reading material and assignments. I learned more than I ever imagined I would. The students continuously demonstrate their support and compassion for each other while James O’Heare is extremely dedicated to each student’s success. The knowledge I gained helped me to build a very successful daycare facility. I am now honoured to be a member of the faculty at CASI, where I have the opportunity to share my knowledge and experiences and to help students with their academic growth and career development."
- Vernessa Wysocki, Dip.D.D.
Companion Animal Sciences Institute Diploma of Dog Daycare Graduate
K9 to 5
Doggie Daycare, Nightcare
Grooming & Training
Instructor, Cynology College
Dog Daycare Course
-since hired as an instructor
“I found everything and everyone very interesting and informative. … James is a very knowledgeable and patient person. Without his continued support and guidance I would have been lost. … I had a wonderful time. I was impressed with the level of professionalism that came from this school. Thanks you for such a rewarding experience.”
- Karen Kennedy Dip.C.B., Graduate
"I am officially finished with the DipCBST course! It has been a wonderful experience and a great course. As a scientist, I truly appreciate the scientific basis for the course and the teaching of fundamental principles instead of just teaching methods or fad techniques. Because of the focus on the fundamental principles I've been able to adapt the ideas from the canine course in training of my young horse. Though there are obvious species differences between canines and equines, the basics are still the same. Prince Harry is a 4 year old draft cross that had some serious issues with impulse control, to the point where a year ago he could not even be safely led from the ground. Just this month I had my very first ride on him, bareback and with nothing more than a halter/reins. He now leads and ties safely and loves his training sessions. Of course I've been working with my dogs as well throughout the course and my 1 year old pit bull puppy is coming along nicely and is growing into a beautiful, well-mannered girl."
- Amanda C. PhD, DipCBST
"I am already amazed at all the helpful information to be found here, as well as the friendly people who are willing to share it. Looks like we've come to the right place"
- Doris Herber
"I am proud to have graduated from CASI. Without a doubt, the education I received here was essential in my practice as a dog obedience trainer and behavior consultant. I am grateful to James O'Heare and everyone at the Institute who guided me in my studies. Dog behavior is an exciting and rewarding field, but one which requires continued education."
- Renee Premaza, Dip.C.B., C.C.B.T.
Dog Obedience Trainer
Radio Talk Show Host
"I was a full-time professional dog trainer before I joined CASI and had worried that, because I’d already had experience in the field, I wouldn’t find it sufficiently intellectually challenging – how wrong-headed that was! As a student, I am astounded by the breadth of material I’ve covered thus far in the Advanced Canine Behavioral Sciences diploma program and I cannot wait to tackle the classes that are yet to come. While assignments and classes are certainly academically rigorous, I have never found them overwhelming. This is due to your superior teaching, coaching and mentoring, the supportive and thoughtful network of students and faculty in the Classroom, and the discussions brought about by expert authors/professionals you’ve brought in as guest speakers. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn as much as I have. I am very proud to be a student of CASI!"
Colleen A. Falconer
Certified Trainer and Behavior Counselor (SF/SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers)
Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CCPDT)
"When I started at CASI, I was already teaching dog training classes and doing in-home canine behavioral counseling sessions, but I wanted to learn more. Since beginning my studies here I have found that the information that I learned before was a valuable stepping stone for the in-depth look at canine behavior that I am getting now. I would recommend CASI to anyone who wants a career in dog training--even those that are already in the field."
- Sarah Grimm
APDT Professional member
IADBC Associate member
NADOI Provisional member
“I enrolled in the dog nutrition course in hopes of making sense out of all the conflicting information out there regarding the multitude of feeding practices and philosophies, and to further my knowledge in general. This being my first experience in distance learning, I didn’t know quite what to expect. Thankfully, I can now say that the material, my instructor (Susan Dillon), and college as a whole have far exceeded my expectations. The course was very well conceived, James and Susan were always helpful and accessible to answer questions, and the virtual classroom format provided a great way to interact with the other students for advice, feedback, etc. I will definitely be taking the next nutrition course, and perhaps a few others in the future. I give CASI two thumbs and four paws way up.”
- Melanie Monteiro
Graduate, Canine Nutrition
"Nothing compares to obtaining solid scientifically provable information such as what is offered here in the nutrition courses. The step-by-step process of presenting basic then complex nutritional information and weaving it into the requirements of dogs at all stages of life and activity provides a solid foundation for canine nutrition. Looking back at the manner in which the subject material was presented provides a fluid understanding of dogs and what they need nutritionally to meet their energy and nutrient requirements. The expert guidance of the instructor, Susan Dillon and her unwavering commitment to offer support is unmatched anywhere else. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience and one I highly recommend to others."
- Teri Laylon
Graduate, Advanced Canine Nutritional Sciences
"Completing CASI's course in Canine Nutrition has given me invaluable tools to better care for my dogs, both present and future, which is exactly what I hoped for when I enrolled. The course has further fuelled my interest in the subject and lead me to do further research on my own. It has also taught me how to sift through the sea of information available to us today and separate fact from fiction. The helpful and dedicated faculty and the wealth of knowledge and assistance available at any time through the virtual classroom made learning both efficient and enjoyable. Thank you CASI!"
- Tiina Ollanketo
"Thanks so much, the course was an absolute blast. I've actually worked with another online school, and so have a little bit of experience with the format of such schools. CASI, however, has proven head and shoulders above the competition in every area. The written materials you provide are in depth, well-written, well-researched, and far more advanced than I expected, communication with both instructors and other students through the online Class is open and informative, and my interactions with Susan, my instructor, have been stellar. I can't wait to continue my studies with you folks!"
- Jennifer Blood
"I'm proud to be a graduate of CASI! The courses are challenging, thus making much better professionals out of us. Both students and graduates are encouraged to keep up to date with the latest scientific evidence in the study of behavior, which is crucial in a profession where anyone can call themselves specialists and professionals. The online classroom provides a very friendly and supportive environment. I highly recommend CASI!"
- Alexandra Santos, PDT
Dip. ACP, Dip. ADT
AABP Professional Member # 038
"Two years into my three year Diploma, I am already looking to see what CASI course will follow this one. The educational content of the Diploma in Dog Training and Behavior Consulting is challenging, the knowledge gained hugely beneficial and the support of faculty and fellow students the best I have experienced. The online classroom discussions are kept stress free, which totally compliments the intent of CASI’s Mission Statement to “…help students work toward the highest level of professional competence”.
I will continue to recommend CASI to anyone with a serious intention to learn more about dog training and behaviour consulting."
- Debra Millikan, PDT, Cert IV Dog Behavioural Training
Dip DTBC student
"I had been studying dog behaviour and training for several years informally before I undertook study with CASI. I have always been an avid reader, but as my interest and knowledge in dog behaviour and training grew I began t find myself giving advice to people about their dogs behaviour. I felt I needed a way to measure my understanding and ability as a trainer. Studying with CASI gave me just that. It gave me the chance to consolidate all the knowledge I had gained over the years and added to it. While the essays were tough at times, the teachers were never anything other than wonderfully supportive, and I appreciate then standard to which students are held. If every person who thinks they are knowledgeable enough to give advice about dog training and behaviour did just one course with CASI, the world for dogs would be a much better place."
- Peta Clarke
Animal Training Solutions
"I have worked in the Animal Industry for 20 years and was looking for acourse to improve my knowledge of canine movement. After lots of researchI chose the CASI CertCF course and I never had any regrets. The knowledgeI have gained will help me every day in my business, and showed me howvery little I actually knew about structure and movement of dogs! Theunits of study were relevant, challenging, fun and motivating. Susan wasalways quick to get back to me (from the other side of the world!) and Inever felt like I couldn't get help. I also feel like the course hasprovided me with so many great resources, my reading list is now massive -I look forward to continuing to learn. A huge thankyou for a wonderful course."
- Suzi Drake
theraPETics canine massage & mobility
DipVN, CertCMT, CertCF
"In April of 2014, I completed my Diploma of Canine Behaviour Science and Technology, Dip. CBST. For a long time, I wanted to find a course of study to compliment my own values, was founded on sound ethics and underpinned by rigorous, evidence based approach. The CASI course provided me with many things, but the most important to me was the discipline of ‘Behaviourology’ and its grounding in science with links to practical, real life applications. The combination of theory and practice is a framework that will underpin my work with dogs forever. Without this theory, I cannot see how I could be an effective and successful trainer/behaviourist. As an urban planner, my focus is to develop ways to integrate companion animals into the urban environment. For me, dog behaviour is a key element to this process and something that I have wanted to incorporate into my work for some time.
The course is challenging, however, what you get back in terms of knowledge is well worth it. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in gaining a solid appreciation of canine behaviour, that is, how dogs learn, how to assess their behaviour and how to modify their behaviour. I was very impressed with the high level of organisation and communication offered by James O’Heare. James would return assignments with useful comments within 2-3 weeks and always responded to queries promptly. I believe this course represents excellent value for money, is challenging with an exciting curriculum, offers sound theory combined with practical workshops incorporating strong ethical beliefs based on least intrusive effective behaviour interventions. I would like to extend a big thank you to CASI, to James and to all the support from other students via the online classroom. My journey with CASI will continue.
- Fiona De Rosa
Founder & Principal, Balancing Act Adelaide | people + pets + planning
Master, Environmental Studie