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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Truth About Cats and Dogs by The University of Edinburgh

2,185 ratings

About the Course

What is your cat revealing to you when she purrs? What is your dog expressing when he yawns or wags his tail? Understanding your cat and dog’s behaviour and the way they communicate with you, will enable you to better understand their needs and strengthen your relationship with them. This MOOC is divided into five topics, the appliance of science; behaviour and body language, senses and perception; challenges for the human-animal relationship, including pet problem behaviour; and how to improve the quality of life for cats and dogs in our care. At the start of the course we ask you to consider what you feel is important to your cat/dog and what your cat/dog means to you? We explore the world of cats and dogs and how our relationships with them vary around the world and have changed over time. We ask if we can really know what our animals are thinking or trying to communicate through their facial expressions and behaviours. From our beloved pets to street dogs, shelter dogs/cats and welfare challenges, we explore the world from their perspective and examine how their genetic make-up may influence their behavioural responses and choices. We dispel common behavioural myths by looking through a scientific lens, asking questions about the function and development of their behaviour.. We explore how their senses help them to interact with their world and how they communicate with each other and us! Finally, we ask whether we impose unrealistic expectations on our cats and dogs and how this affects their ability to live alongside us. We ask, what can we do to be more responsible pet owners and to ensure the welfare of all cats and dogs in society? This MOOC explores different scientifically validated methods that can help you to better understand your pet, to enrich their lives and help you to be a more educated and confident pet owner. We hope you enjoy the course!...

Top reviews


Apr 25, 2020

Very useful,many new insights about cats and allowing me to get rid of many wrong and overcome ideas about dogs! Interesting and gripping, almost effortless for me because of the fun I had! Thanks!


Mar 26, 2020

I learned so much about how to decrease stress for my pets and increase their happiness. I also learned how to better communicate with them. Thank you for helping improve my pets quality of life!

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1 - 25 of 611 Reviews for The Truth About Cats and Dogs

By E. J L

Sep 3, 2017

This course was well produced but very simple and repetitive. I was hoping for a much more in depth exploration of behaviour and maybe something that was new or exciting. I felt it was way too basic.

By Mihika G

Jul 29, 2019

Solid basis and introductory information for learning about cat and dog behavior. However, I felt it was a bit shallow and repetitive at times, and I found myself wanting more information within the course and not just provided in additional resources. I enjoyed the parts of lessons most when the instructors went into depth about a particular behavior with examples and videos, and especially when research studies were cited to explain behavior. To me this felt like a good first unit of a 101 course, and I found myself wanting 200-level course information.

By Corey C

Jul 18, 2019

I must say, I agree that there is more information on dogs than there is on cats in this course. However, I understand why. Dogs have been domesticated and studied for longer. So of course we have more information about them than cats. I myself am more of a cat person and I still think this course thoroughly covers information about cats as well. I think this course is essential for anyone who is caring for or wants to care for a cat or a dog in the future, and is a great course to start with if you're interested in working with animals as well. Overall, I have nothing but good things to say about this course.

By bronwyn

Jul 11, 2017

Pretty basic stuff. Not sure that its relevant to cover cats and dogs in one course as the nature of the course is for animal owners to learn about their pet. i for one have no interest in cats so skipped those sections and thus had to guess on the quizzes. Not sure i learned anything much, this is a very beginner pet owner level. The instructors were good though.

By Anne G

Oct 8, 2020

This course is a very good overview for people beginning their studies of dogs and cats. Pertinent videos and additional resource suggestions provide further opportunities to study more details.

By Jeannette J

May 2, 2020

I have had a variety of animal companions throughout my life, but this course has taught me that I could always benefit by staying up-to-date on the latest information related to animal welfare.

By Mohana M

Apr 25, 2020

It was a good course. The instructors were very engaging. They had an in depth knowledge of the subject taught and great delivery of the matter. The syllabus was planned and distributed well over the duration of the course. The video lectures, the assessments and the Q&A video at the end were the best part. It was quite a professional experience.

I just wish the content of the course was more detailed and the difficulty level was set higher. That would have made it more interesting and challenging. Also, many of the links mentioned for additional information in the course are no longer functioning. Kindly review them.

Nevertheless, it was a great experience and I enjoyed learning.

By Anin B

Mar 19, 2019

Very nice course for people who have or plan on having a cat or dog. I wish everyone had to take this course before owning pets.

By Dianne H

May 14, 2020

im not an expert but already knew alot from this course. I still learnt a few things though so not all bad and great for beginners.

By Bright B

Feb 17, 2018

Great information, really thorough explanations. And I was able to apply most (if not all) of my new learnings in real life situations. I work at a cat and dog boarding/training facility and it helps massively to understand cat & dog body language. Obviously the goal is to provide the animals lodging with a safe and intuitive environment, their needs come first.

By Adriana P

Oct 30, 2017

Este curso, en conjunto con el curso "Animal behaviour and Welfare" de la Universidad de Edimburgo han sido de los cursos más completos, didácticos, dinámicos y "bonitos" que he tomado en Cousera.

Se agradece profundamente a todos los involucrados en su realización. Y la generosidad al compartir su tiempo, experiencia y conocimientos.

By Antonia A B

Feb 16, 2019

I loved this course! It's my favourite MOOC I've done on here so far! Very engaging and enjoyable, lovely instructors and the other students have been really nice on the forums! The content was excellent, I would absolutely recommend this to anyone interested in the area or even just a pet owner or animal lover :) Amazing course!

By Shannon S

Jul 6, 2018

This course was a great refresher on what I have already been taught and also full of new information to help me in my profession as an animal behaviour consultant and trainer. I was really impressed with the content and the professors were excellent. I am very impressed and hope they offer more MOOC's like this one.

By Heather R

Mar 27, 2020

I learned so much about how to decrease stress for my pets and increase their happiness. I also learned how to better communicate with them. Thank you for helping improve my pets quality of life!

By Louisa D

Apr 5, 2020

I really enjoyed taking this course. The lectures were very informative and I learned a lot from this course. I definitely recommend this course for anyone who is interested in dogs and cats. :)

By Tammy P

Nov 14, 2018

I enjoyed this course. If I had any suggestions, it would be to have separate courses for Cats and Dogs as I think all of the topics covered can go into grave more detail. Especially behavioral traits. Ie) Why when you play fetch the dog hides with the ball or stick after retrieving it? Why does dogs like being crated? Why do some dogs have tails that are up in the air and some that never move and hang down? A class in First Aid and/or CPR would be great. Why do some dogs have allergies to chicken or turkey? Why do dogs eat less and/or tend to loose weight as they grown older. Is there any benefit to vitamins or Glucosamine Sulfate? Etc and etc. Anyhow, thank you for what you have provided.

By Kellie S

Jun 21, 2018

The audio levels vary greatly between videos. Some are so quiet that I have to put the subtitles on while others are way too loud. Some of the transcripts are written up nicely with correct time stamps and others are just a wall of text. Other than these technical issues the actual course content is interesting and covers all aspects from commonly known information to more professional levels.This is a great course and would recommend it to those who are interested in animal behaviour in our daily lives.

By Douglas M

Jan 10, 2018

I enjoyed this course very much. It was very informative and I learned a great deal about how both cats and dogs behave and I have applied much of what I learned successfully to the way I handle my pet cat. Excellent and informative instructors.

By Angela M k

Sep 15, 2020

Thee Course was incredibly well structured. It was comprehensive and so much information that I can keep and re learn from over time. It helped me re examine my views on every aspect of how we view our pets and animals in general. From the environment we introduce them into, to the thought, and care we put into making their life happy and meaningful through all stages of their life cycle. Most importantly it hi lighted the critical pre stage of why and how we approach owning a pet. Reminding me of the pre-nuptial agreements people make before marriages. But it make clear the hug life time commitment to the good of the animal for the period of its life time and the full impact of the seriousness of that. It opened up the whole world of pets, cats and dogs and has made me want to learn more. I have been in the position of CARER to some one 24/7 for a long number of years. In between I was adopted by a stray cat. I was nervous , coming into this course, of how I could manage coming back to learning but it was so interesting and enjoyable that it boosted my confidence and made me want to continue to expand my knowledge about animals, with feline studies in particular. Brilliant.

By Piratat W

Apr 22, 2020


I run into dilemma i work in contryside here and adopted injured cute cat last year, she was at age of 6 months few years ago. She's now doing well here at my workplace which consists of wide area, green fields , gardens, farm, hillsides, some residency houses and small flats. She get on well with old granny cat despite a battle during first few months and now almost everyone here know her . Now another black cat come to join us too. I have a plan for my master degree and get higher salary jobs, so I be in two minds, take her along or let her stay. if I take her to new environment that surely be much more small space in small flats nearby the university or new company I may deposit her at my mum's grocery but last time i heard about that place is mum's old cat be eaten cruelty by the stray dogs pack Or I better let her enjoy life here as usual and come to visit sometimes? until I have a big house... I must miss her surely.


Mar 9, 2021

This class is a great overview of the human and cat/dog relationship. There are so many questions I would have liked to ask that I was unable to ask due to the format. However, I highly recommend this class to anyone who owns or is thinking of adopting a cat or a dog. I learned so much about cats and was able to improve my cats' lives. As for dogs, I was already very familiar with dogs as far a training and living with dogs, yet I learned more than I have ever had heard in any of the training classes where they teach people to work with their pups. I was very impressed by all of the information given in the resources section of this class about dogs and cats. The only thing I truly wish I could have found out about dogs is how to better help dogs rescued as adults and seniors to better adapt to their new home. A big thank you to all of the educators involved in teaching this class.

By Trina G G

May 26, 2021

I absolutely enjoyed this course. I learned such invaluable information about cats and dogs, from such wonderfully knowledgeable, well versed Instructors in their individual and respective Practices and areas of Expertise. All or some of whom are equally wonderful pet owners as well. I felt like they were or could be my next door neighbors, as they were all so hands on, so relatable, and very easy on the ears, as I thoroughly enjoyed their calm nature, teaching, and of course, their beautiful accents-which made it even more enjoyable! lol :) I am actually saddened that the Course has ended, I actually wanted it to last longer lol Thank you again. :)

By Julie S

May 19, 2020

This course is excellent, I recommend it to anyone thinking of adopting a dog or a cat, those who already have one, and those who work with cats or dogs professionally. I have been a professional pet sitter/dog walker for 5 + years and found this course a great refresher on my knowledge and experience. I also really appreciated the 'Ask the Experts' bits of the course. There's always something new to learn about these fascinating creatures! All the instructors are excellent. I would love to see the same team create another MOOC on the topic of cats and/or dogs or other domestic pets. The more we know, the better their lives can be. Many thanks.

By Rannaree S

Jun 27, 2020

I enjoy exploring this course very much. The lessons in each week are so much interesting and the teachers do have the deep knowledge about what they teach. They always explain everything calmly and clearly. I have received a lot of new knowledge and techniques from this course, some data surprised me such as dogs don't have dominance hierarchy, cats can be trained to do many things, and old dogs and cats have cognitive dysfunction like Alzheimer's or Dementia in humans. The most important thing for me is that I got many useful trick to deal with dogs and cats in each different situation. Thank you very much!

By Lori A D

Jun 21, 2020

I think it is wonderful that people are learning to look out for the welfare of dogs and cats. I wish as much had been done for children years ago. I am glad that people are beginning to see animals as the special creatures they are, and not as human beings. We will never see them if we look at them this way because animals have special needs, and we need to see what they need through their eyes, and understand their world. We need to care that much, and by caring that much, we will love them, and derive much happiness and joy from them. Thank you for this course.