In 1997, the late Prof Johannes Odendaal, who was then attached to the Faculty of Veterinary studies at Onderstepoort, was approached by a number of people with an active interest in animal behaviour to develop a course 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 dog and cat behaviour.

Prof Odendaal, driven by the belief that knowledge has the power to change people’s minds and attitudes, responded by compiling a correspondence course in dog and cat behaviour - the aim being to assist people of all walks of life to fulfil their dreams of having a better understanding of companion animals and thus improving the relationship between owner and animal. This course Basic Animal Behaviour Course: Dogs and Cats was first presented in 1998 as a ‘Short course’ under the auspices of the University of Pretoria. In January 2000 Prof Odendaal left Onderstepoort to accept a position as Research Professor at the then Pretoria Technikon. He, with his wife, Hanna, as Course Manager and co-presenter, established Ethology Consultancy CC (now Ethology Academy) and for the next two years Basic Animal Behaviour Course: Dogs and Cats was presented under the auspices of this institution.

With Ethology Academy well established and

Hanna was the owner and manager of Ethology Academy CC which she co-founded with her late husband, Professor, Johannes Odendaal.  

Having trained as a teacher at the University of Pretoria, she taught history and languages until she married the love of her life, Professor Johannes Odendaal in 1973. Her life and work became entwined with his. They settled in Bloemfontein where Johannes fulfilled his dream—to establish his own veterinary practice that specialised in Companion Animals. Hanna worked as a veterinary assistant in his practice, gaining practical experience in the handling and management of companion animals under his expert eyes. To complement the veterinary practice, the Odendaals also established a pet boarding facility, named ‘Sorgvry’, which Hanna managed. 

1946 - 2007

The late Prof. Johannes Odendaal has been described as a “born animal person”. He studied for a Bachelor’s degree in science, majoring in Zoology and Chemistry, and then qualified as a veterinarian. After 14 years of managing a highly successful practice, he joined the Faculty of Veterinary Science.

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