Karin Pienaar (Landsberg)
DipCABT/CAPBT Practitioner / CertCAB
Karin has been working in the field of animal behaviour and behaviour therapy in South Africa since 1997. She studied Animal Behaviour in the UK through the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE) and is a qualified Practitioner member of the CAPBT in the UK.
She worked as a behaviour practitioner for 9 years in Cape Town, but then moved to Johannesburg in 2007, where she established the highly successful ThinkingPets COAPE SA practice with her business partners, which now has numerous franchised dog training facilities and behaviour practices throughout South Africa.
Karin helps clients with feline and canine behaviour problems on a daily basis, and spends most of her time presenting the prestigious COAPE courses (Including the Advanced Diploma in Behaviour) as one of only two Practitioners licensed internationally to offer COAPE’s courses. In addition to frequently appearing on Talk Radio 702/567 Cape Talk, Karin is also part of the “Animal Talk” radio team. She writes for Animal Talk, Cat’s Life and several overseas magazines and is also contracted to Eukanuba as their Behaviour Specialist and to presents seminars across South Africa for Eukanuba trainers to provide on-going education and high standards in all their puppy schools.
Wendy has been involved in the training and showing of dogs for the past 20 years, however she has made animal behaviour since 2004.
She holds a qualification in Animal Behaviour and consults with clients for canine behaviour problems. Wendy is a qualified canine obedience and clicker training Instructor as well as having attained her TTouch Practitioner Level 1 status in 2009. She is a firm believer that a combination of sound behavioural knowledge, TTouch and Clicker training can overcome the majority of the problem behaviours that owners experience.
Wendy joined ThinkingPets in 2007 and runs a training school in Langebaan in the Western Cape as well as lecturing and the tutoring the COAPE courses, including the prestigious COAPE Diploma.
Professor Peter Neville
Peter Neville is a founding Partner of COAPE and became Clinical Professor at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Miyazaki University, Japan in 2008, and Adjunct Professor at the Dept of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University, USA in 2009. He established the behaviour referral clinic at the Dept of Vet Medicine, Bristol in 1990. Peter has been in practice for the treatment of behaviour problems in pets for over 20 years, he is a speaker in high demand at veterinary, behaviour and training meetings all over the world.
Author of the best-selling books: ‘Do Cats Need Shrinks?’ and ‘Do Dogs Need Shrinks?' Peter is the independent companion animal behaviour consultant to Purina.
He leads ‘behind the scenes’ special safaris observing the behaviour and studying the ecology of African Wild Dogs and big cats first hand with biologists and vets in the field and photographic tuition safaris with renowned professional wildlife photographer, Neil Aldridge.
Val Strong MSc
Val Strong has been a Partner of COAPE since 1997 and now heads a large behaviour practice in the north of England. She has worked with dogs and horses for most of her life and was responsible for developing the first puppy socialisation classes in South Yorkshire.
She is an international speaker and is well known for her work in the assistance dog training industry, being the world leader in the training of Emergency Response Dogs for people with epilepsy and other complex medical conditions. Val has many years’ experience in the training and rehabilitation of problem dogs and horses and is an expert in the effects of diet on canine behaviour, rehabilitation and training. Val has written a number of booklets on canine behaviour and training and is co-author of several research papers.
Val divides her time between running a Boarding Cattery, training her 2 horses, teaching, lecturing and running a mentoring scheme for students wishing to specialise in training dogs for people with disabilities and special needs.
Dr. Robert Falconer-Taylor
BVetMed DipCABT MRCVS
Robert Falconer-Taylor successfully passed his COAPE Diploma in 2002 and has since become Veterinary Consultant to COAPE and one of the three tutors on the COAPE Diploma course, as well as being the author and tutor of several other COAPE courses. He qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 1981 and first went into mixed veterinary practice and then into exclusively companion animal practice.
Robert has also spent time in industry as a management consultant and IT specialist and as a trainer to the veterinary and allied professions.
He joined COAPE as a partner in September, 2008 and moved to the Highlands of Scotland in 2009 where he currently devotes most of his time to education, lecturing in UK and abroad, writing, consultancy work for the pet industry and animal welfare.
Professor Ray Coppinger
Professor of Biology at the School of Cognitive Science at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, USA until 2006. Prof Ray Coppinger has studied dogs, bred dogs, raced dog sled teams in the Arctic and worked with dogs for decades all over the world. He is also a consultant to the famous Wolf Park, Indiana, USA.
Along with his wife, Lorna, he is co-author of the must-have book, ‘Dogs - a startling new understanding of canine origin, behaviour and evolution’.
Ray and Lorna have developed the modern theory of how dogs evolved by natural selection. The most consensus view is that people domesticated dogs but the Coppinger’s question that. By investigating dogs in places like the Mexico City dump they gather information to support their argument that dogs evolved as one of the all-time successful scavengers. Dogs’ wild behaviour is that of a village scavenger, but often dogs like those living off eco-systems such as the Mexico City Dump have their behaviours shaped by the environment they find themselves in. Humans adopting dogs from these background sources have continued to shape them further into diverse forms, making them on the one hand the most successful wolf ever known and on the other hand something interestingly bizarre.
Ray brings together all his amazing experiences and life’s work as a professional scientist to explore the emotions, intelligence and development of the behaviour of animals in his courses with COAPE.
Lorna Coppinger MSc
Lorna Coppinger majored in Slavic Studies at Boston University, and earned her M.A. in biology at the University of Massachusetts. While their two children were growing, Lorna published many popular articles, mostly about dogs, and when Ray began training and racing a team of sled dogs, she followed with pen and camera and wrote the first (and award-winning) comprehensive book on sled dog racing.
As a co-founder (with Ray) of the Livestock Guarding Dog Project in 1977, Lorna began fifteen years as research associate/outreach specialist at Hampshire College. She and Ray have studied working dogs throughout the U.S. and Europe. They imported dozens of guardians for a breeding program for the U.S., and credit these specialized breeds with providing the spark for their subsequent ethological research.
Lorna has written numerous technical articles for the scientific journals, but the most fun for both authors has been distilling two lifetimes spent in professional and personal association with dogs in their 2001 book, Dogs.
Dr Lynne Hepplestone
B.Mus (UCT) BVSc (UP)
Lynne’s love of animals, and passion for ocean conservation, started as a child growing up on an Eastern Cape coastal farm. Qualifying with a BVSc from Onderstepoort in 1998, Lynne is in private veterinary practice in Kyalami, Johannesburg. She is actively involved in Marine Conservation, specifically raising awareness of the critical plight of sharks. She is an accomplished pianist, a certified advanced venomous snake handler, PADI divemaster, and enjoys yoga, scuba-diving, good wine, friends and family. Lynne and Tim have twin daughters, Katy and Emma, and, as expected, the Hepplestone household is always filled with cats, dogs, twins, friends, dive-gear, and hospital patients needing TLC.
Matriculated 1983 DSG, Grahamstown
Graduated B.Mus (Hons in Piano) UCT 1988
Onderstepoort BVSc, UP 1993-1998
1998-2002 PDSA (Veterinary Hospital) Mofolo, Soweto
2002- Private Veterinary Practice, Kyalami JHB
Blue Hills Veterinary Hospital
Cat Clicker Training (ThinkingPets)
Advanced Diagnostic Imaging (Ultrasound,CT,Radiology - UP)
Ongoing CPD (Vet Congress, SAVA)
Shark Conservation Presentations and magazine articles
Dr Steve Kitley
B.Sc (UCT), BVsc (UP)
Dr Kitley was awarded a B.Sc in Zoology and Microbiology from the University of Cape Town and a BVsc at the University of Pretoria. He has worked in Pinetown, Cape Town and Worcester with both Companion and Production Animals. However, for the last 25 years he has focused solely on companion animals. Dr. Kitley has served as a branch Chairman and Federal Council representative of the South African Veterinary Association, as well as a Chairman of the Breede River Kennel Club and Vice-Chairman of the Liesbeek Kennel Club. He is currently the Chairman of the South African Veterinary Trust, a member of the Feline Research Trust, Exco member of the Kennel Union of South Africa, honorary Vice-President of the Cape Gundog Club and honorary Veterinarian of the Western Province Cat Club.
Originally hailing from the UK, Wendy Collinson gained her Bachelor of Education in 1990, and spent 15 years teaching Physical Education in the east end of London to high school students. She moved to South Africa in 2005, beginning work as a research assistant with large carnivores. Since then, she has specialised in the Endangered African wild dog, working on research projects initiated by the Endangered Wildlife Trust (www.ewt.org.za).
As a member of the company Lycaon Logistics, Wendy’s education background has stood her in good stead as a tour guide, since she believes in an interactive and hands-on approach, engaging and involving guests in specialist carnivore research tours. In addition to her research and tours, Wendy is also the main organiser of the aptly named “BIKE4BEASTS” mountain bike event.
Wendy is currently studying for her MSc at Rhodes University, in conjunction with the EWT and Tshwane University of Technology and is examining the incidence of Wildlife Road Traffic Accidents in northern Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Wendy tutors the COAPE C05 African Wild Dog Behaviour Course.
Alexandra has always had a passion for animals -from an early age all her best friends were always 4-legged. She joined ThinkingPets COAPE SA in 2009 as a Level 2 instructor after completing her Confi-Puppy course. She was prompted to start her studies in behaviour and training after identifying a lack of qualified trainers and schools in the Pretoria area where she was training her own dogs.
Through the years she has excelled with the group and is now a qualified L4 instructor who offers numerous classes in Pretoria and Midrand, ranging from puppy, adolescent, adult and agility training classes.
Alexandra is currently studying part time through UNISA - a Diploma in Animal Health - and is also busy completing her COAPE Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour.
In 2012 she added qualified groomer to her impressive list of services offered, after successfully completing her Advanced Grooming Course. She plans on opening her own grooming parlour soon.
“Within ThinkingPets I feel I am able to strengthen the bonds between pets and owners.”
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France