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 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
Dip CBST Graduate
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
Dip CBST Graduate
"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, DipDTBC
Behavior Enrichment Socialization and Training
"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
DogSmith Franchise Services Inc
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 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 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
"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 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 enrolled for the nutrition and fitness courses so as to take better care of my dogs, especially in the area of nutrition as one of my dogs had IBS. Not too long ago, I’ve started showing one of my toy poodles and have been learning from seasoned handlers. CASI’s fitness modules have provided a very good academic background for me to understand movements, and most importantly – my dog. Thank you, CASI!"
- Mulyaty Liang
"While I was looking around for different programs here in Switzerland and southern Germany, I was impressed by the lack of professional quality theoretical offers locally. And if the scientific theory is not presented in a thorough manner, upon what does one base the practical application with clients and their dogs? The CERT.CBST offered me a very thorough foundation for my own plans of doing individual training and behavioral consultations after my retirement. With the help of a couple of excellent local mentors (who unfortunately do NOT offer certification) who themselves are very up on the science involved in both, I feel that CASI has fulfilled my expectations and more. It was an extreme challenge to me and there is still much that'll have to sink further in and gestate, but I do think this was a great experience for me, and am thankful to James, who did have to show his depth of support ad patience with me. Thanks James"
- Leonard "Buzz" Cecil, CTDI* Cert.CBST
"I was looking for a program or certification in the German speaking countries to gain more knowledge about dog training and/or behavior change programming for a long time and could not find one that met my requirements of providing strictly science-based education (empirically tested, animal friendly, positive reinforcement-based methods and principles). I found this in the programs and it beat my expectations. Especially the support for students and graduates (e.g., in class) is far better than what I was used to from the University of Vienna, the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the J. Gutenberg Universität in Mainz; questions are always welcome and answered promtly!
There are so many situations in training my own dog or group classes or individual training I can use the knowledge gained in the program. The most valuable of all is that CASI further strengthened my conscience in the fact that positive reinforcement based methods produce reliable companion dogs and increased my knowledge in training technologies using them.
Thank you James,"
- Bina Lunzer, Cert.CBST
"I graduated with a Diploma in Animal Behavior Technology. Working toward a pertinent diploma in my field while continuing my full time work schedule was invaluable. I continued to work and apply my new knowledge which improved my professionalism while I continued to learn.The coursework and feedback were always professional, in line with the current science and research, clear and enlightening. On going access to professionals in the field along with a classroom made up of students from all over the world made CASI a unique learning experience. Being allowed to take the full time allotted for the coursework or work faster gives you freedom as a student to work at your own pace. I loved CASI and highly recommend it for any serious student in and animal related profession."
- Sheila Heil Ferguson AHT DipABT CPDT-KA
CASI Graduate Dip. Animal Behavior Technology
Canine Obedience Instruction and Behavior Consulting
"I can't tell you how pleased I've been with the education. When I first began to teach pet dog obedience classes at a local training center, I was struck by the number of people who wanted advice over and beyond how to teach "sit" and "down" - they had dogs who were destructive, or fearful, or anxious - and this was never part of the curriculum. It became important to me to know why a behavior was occurring and how to change it, not just to teach using cookie-cutter methods. I've been able to take the knowledge I've gained here at CASI, put it to practical use, and really make a difference in some people's lives with their dogs. That's a tremendously good feeling. Thank you! "
- Valerie Casperite, Dip. CBST Cert. PDTSTA Better Trained Dog, L.L.C.
APDT Member #64611
AKC CGC Evaluator #10680
New Jersey, USA
"I truly enjoyed the coursework with CASI! It has been a great experience, I had been a graduate of ABC but CASI’s Diploma CBST was a much more in depth program which touched on every aspect from ethics to professionalism to behavior change programming. It was perfect for me since I work as a canine behavior consultant! I was extremely impressed with the care and time that James and Molly took to put into grading each of my assignments."
- Stacy L. Parks, Dip. CBST, ABCDT
"I have been working with dogs in various capacities since 2000 and started my own dog training and pet sitting business in 2007. Even with this experience, I felt the need for more in-depth education regarding canine behavior as well as information regarding effective strategies to enhance my business. When I decided to further my education, I looked for a respected program which was rigorous and which offered more than "just the basics." I researched the credentials of authors whose works regarding animal behavior I admired and found a large number of them were either CASI graduates or affiliated with CASI in some way. Upon further investigation, I found the Canine Behavior Science and Technology program offered through CASI provided the scientifically sound, advanced curriculum I was seeking. It also met my other criteria: studies could proceed at my own pace, it was accessible no matter where I was located, and the cost was not prohibitive. Once I discovered the policies of the Institute were in line with my philosophy of effective behavior modification through positive reinforcement and minimally intrusive methods, my decision was made. I am proud to have graduated with my Diploma in Canine Behavior Science and Technology and highly recommend this program and CASI to anyone who is serious about gaining comprehensive knowledge regarding canine behavior."
- Jan Casey, MS, Dip.CBST
"I have just completed the Diploma in Canine behaviour, science and technology and have loved every moment of it. I have learnt a huge amount through working on this course and because of what I have learnt, I have become more and more compassionate with regards to how we interact with our animals. I enjoyed the entire studying experience and I was able to work within the deadline and keep motivated, plus James was awesome with his responses to questions asked in the classroom so this was a bonus. I hope to do another course through CASI in the near future. I am so pleased to have found CASI and I am also very proud to be a CASI graduate. Everything about this course is great and I would highly recommend it to anyone contemplating signing up."
- Vikki Pickering, Dip.CBST
"Completing Animal Behavior Technology program gave me such a great educational backbone that will assist me in my further career. I did an extensive research to find a program that will suit my needs, especially since in my country nothing similar exists. CASI provided exactly what I was looking for. I especially enjoyed the atmosphere in the virtual classroom where professionalism and friendliness was felt at every moment. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wants to bring his or her knowledge to a higher level."
- Jelena Kallay, Croatia
Dip. Animal Behavior Technology (Dip. ABT)
Certified Clicker Trainer (KPA-CTP)
Founder of Vagabond - Positive Animal Communication