Institute for applied Ethology and Animal Psychology

The Institute for applied Ethology and Animal Psychology, I.E.T. in the German language, is a private, scientific institute that was founded in 1991 by the internationally known behavioural researcher, Dennis C. Turner (see below). In the city of Horgen on the Lake of Zurich, about 20 Km south of Zurich, one finds the administrative headquarters of the institute, which is active all over the globe. Most activities of I.E.A.P. concern the behaviour of domestic animals, particularly cats and dogs, and human-companion animal relationships and their consequences for the health and wellbeing of both relationship partners. The institute was certified by SQS (eduQua-procedure) 2001-2015 as an official continuing education institution in Switzerland. Its courses in animal-assisted intervention are accredited by the International Society for Animal-Assisted Therapy (ISAAT). Depending on demand, courses (in German), seminars and guest lectures (in German or English) are offered in major cities of Switzerland and other countries.

Research observations on companion animals are conducted either in private households and neighborhoods, on farms in the countryside, in animal shelters and kennels, or in institutions with animal-assisted intervention programmes, e.g. homes for the elderly, hospitals, clinics and correctional institutions. (The institute itself maintains no animals on its premises.) Dr. Turner's institute I.E.A.P. is active and well-recognized in the following areas, which will be explained in detail further below:

Education (Courses, Seminars)

Courses in animal behaviour consultation / therapy for:

  • Animal welfare/shelter staff

  • Veterinarians/vet assistants

  • Pet behaviour counselors

These courses are offered by the professional association VIETA ( ) since 2015.

Courses and seminars in animal assisted interventions for:

  • Psychotherapists / psychiatrists / other medical doctors

  • Special educators / social workers

  • Institutional staff / care-givers

  • Volunteers with specially selected companion animals

These courses will be offered by the professional association GTTA ( ) under the guidance of the institute’s director beginning 2017.

 Public service

  • Public lectures

  • Exhibitions

  • Weekend seminars

  • Popular publications

  • Interviews / press releases


Expert opinions for:

  • Government agencies

  • Courts/Attorneys of Law

  • Insurance commissions

  • Private companies

  • Animal welfare associations


Recommendations for:

  • Companies

  • Media (TV, Radio, Print media)

  • Scientific journals

  • Publishing houses

  • Government agencies (including the European Commission)

  • Research funding agencies


Research projects supported by:

  • I.E.A.P./ I.E.T.

  • Private industry

  • Swiss National Science Foundation

  • Swiss/Zurich Animal Protection

  • Former Swiss Federal Veterinary Office

  • University of Zurich

  • IEMT


Animal welfare questions

Consultations and expertise worldwide on questions of animal welfare and companion animal housing for:

  • Animal protection associations

  • Exhibition organisers

  • Institutions (e.g. nursing homes, correctional institutions)

  • Private companies

Advisory Board of I.E.A.P.

  • Prof. emer. Patrick Bateson, FRS, Animal Behaviour, Dept. of Zoology, 
University of Cambridge, UK

  • Prof. emer. Felix Gutzwiller, Institute for Social and Preventive Medicine, 
University of Zurich, Switzerland

  • Prof. Johannes Odendaal †, Dept. of Veterinary Ethology, 
University of Pretoria, Republic of South Africa

  • Prof. Erhard Olbrich, Dept. of Psychology, 
University of Nuremberg-Erlangen, Germany

  • Prof. James A. Serpell, Dept. of Clinical Studies, 
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

  • Prof. Mitzuaki Ohta, PhD, DVM, Lab of Animal Facilitated Therapy, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan

  • Prof. Cindy C. Wilson, Dept. of Family Medicine, 
USUSH, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Information about the owner and director of I.E.A.P. (I.E.T.)

Dr. sc. Dennis C. Turner

Born: 1948 in Pennsylvania, USA

Dual citizen of Switzerland and the USA

Languages: English, German, Swiss German


  • 1974, Doctor of Science degree, from the Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health (Medical Institutions), Baltimore, Maryland, USA 

  • Private faculty member (Privatdozent, PD), Veterinary Faculty, University of Zurich (since 1 October 2000) with teaching responsibility for companion animal behaviour

  • Invited Visiting Professor for Animal-Assisted Therapy and Anthrozoology, Azabu University, Fuchinobe (Tokyo), Japan (2001-2014)

  • President, IEMT, Institute for interdisciplinary Research on the Human-Animal Relationship, Basel 

  • Board of IAHAIO, the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations, USA
 (president 1995-2010); Delegate of the Board for European Issues (since 2010)

  • Chief adviser, Animal behaviour consultancy, Cantonal Veterinary Hospital, Zurich (1989-1999)

  • Trustee and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel World Society for the Protection of Animals, WSPA (now WAP), London (2002-2012). 

  • Founding member and ex officio council member (as IAHAIO president), ISAZ, the International Society for Anthrozoology
 ( )

  • Associate editor, Anthrozoös, (to 2004)
 a multidisciplinary journal on the interactions of people, animals and nature (

  • Companion animal section editor, Animal Welfare, The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Wheathamopstead, Herts., England
 (to 2012)

  • Certified «applied animal behaviorist», US Animal Behavior Society (ABS to 2010)

  • Overseas member, Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, APBC, England
 (to 2015)

  • Honorary President VIETA, the professional pet behaviour counsellors' association headquartered in Switzerland
 ( )

  • Vice president GTTA, the Swiss professional Society for Animal-Assisted Therapy and Activities ( )

  • Non-veterinarian member of the veterinarian associations of Zurich and Switzerland, GZT and GST

  • Senior Research Associate (ad personam), Animal Behaviour, Zoology Institute, University of Zurich
 (1974 to 2011)

  • Honorary member, HARS, the Japanese Society for Research on Human-Animal Relations. Tokyo


  • «Turners Katzenbuch. Wie Katzen sind, was Katzen wollen», Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart

  • «The Domestic Cat: the biology of its behaviour, 3rd edition», already a classic in the study of behaviour in domestic animals. D.C. Turner and P. Bateson (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York. ISBN 978-3-440-12136-8 (German first edition, out of print; Dutch edition from Swets & Zeitlinger B.V., Lisse, NL; Japanese edition from JCLS, Tokyo).

  • «Die Mensch-Katze-Beziehung. Ethologische und psychologische Aspekte», a book for specialists and veterinarians interested in the human-cat-relationship. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena, VET special series (later in Enke Verlag). ISBN 3-334-60528-0.

  • «Katzen lieben und verstehen. Ein humorvoller Wegweiser für Katzenfreunde». A humorous, but factually correct, popular book on house cats, their behaviour, their relationship with people, and on behavioural problems, well-illustrated with cartoon drawings by Fulvio Federi. Franckh-Kosmos Verlag, Stuttgart ISBN 3-440-07160-X. (Also in Japanese, Pet Life Sha, Tokyo.) 

  • «Attachment to Pets. An integrative view of human-animal relationships with implications for therapeutic practice» Julius, H., Beetz, A., Kotrschal, K., Turner, Dennis and Uvnäs-Moberg, K. ISBN 978-0-88937-442-3 (Also available in German and Italian editions.)

  • «Companion Animals in Human Health». Cindy C. Wilson and Dennis C. Turner (eds.). Sage Publications, Inc., Thousand Oaks, CA and London. ISBN 0-7619-1061-1 hardcover, 0-7619-1062-X paperback.

  • Author and co-author of numerous scientific articles in specialty journals.




back to top


Designed by Sp@rk