About us


Many people love and keep companion animals and are interested in gaining a better understanding of their animal companions. Many people also harbour a dream of following a career that entails working with and caring for companion animals. It is however only a handful who have the opportunity to enrol for formal, full time, studies in Zoology or Veterinary Science at a tertiary institution. Our courses were developed for persons who are not in the position to enrol for full time studies at a tertiary institution to assist them in gaining more knowledge of animal behaviour (Dog, Cat, Horse and Bird), knowledge on how to groom animals professionally and about animal assisted interventions.

The Ethology Academy is owned and managed by Dr Frederique Hurly (a Veterinary Behaviourist) and Dr Hannes Slabbert (a Veterinary Ethologist). Being leaders in their respective fields, they are able to teach students current information in the ever growing and developing field of animal behaviour.
Frederique and Hannes review the study material each year to ensure that current information is shared with the students. They present all the webinars and seminars themselves, and students interact with the lecturers. In some courses Ethology Academy makes used of experts in various fields on an ad hoc basis to assist with the presentation of some of the seminars.
At present the Ethology Academy presents 10 year courses and one short course. With so much knowledge and practical experience to share more courses are likely to be added to the existing list. Ethology Academy is looking into presenting one-day courses as well as webinars as a means to share information.

All the courses that Ethology Academy presents are recognised by the South African Board for Companion Animal Professionals (SABCAP) and the Animal Behaviour Consultants of South Africa (ABC). The Basic dog course is accredited with the South African Veterinary Council.

Ethology Academy accepts up to 250 students every year. The students come from all walks of life, local and international, with different goals in mind: Some do a course (or two) as a step towards their goal to establish themselves in the fast growing companion animal industry as animal behaviourists, kennel or grooming parlour managers/owners, work in a pet-deli or the SPCA.  A significant number work as professional dog handlers or for institutions like SARS, the Metro Councils, or private security companies in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan where they do de-mining. Others just want to understand their own companion animals better. The one thing all our students have in common is a sincere love for companion animals and a desire to understand them better.
There are a number of very good reasons to study through Ethology Academy.

•    The founder, Prof Johannes Odendaal, was an internationally acknowledged academic and leader in the field of Companion Animal behaviour studies.
•    Dr Frederique Hurly is the highest qualified Veterinary Behaviourist in South Africa.
•    Dr Hannes Slabbert is the only Veterinary Ethologist in South Africa.
•    Ethology Academy has established itself over the past 19 years as a reputable learning institution that laid the foundations for animal behaviour practice in South Africa and the majority of the people who work in this field have done one or more of the courses on offer.
•    The contents of the courses are scientifically sound, academically of a high standard, and the curricula are unique as a holistic approach to the study of animal behaviour.
•    The presenters are well qualified, experienced and able to assist students in both English and Afrikaans.
•    The administration of the courses runs smoothly and students are treated in a respectful and professional manner.
and - Ethology Academy is truly South African!  


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