Top 10 Dog Training Conferences for 2017

Top 10 Dog Training Conferences for 2017

See the latest post: Top 10 Animal Behavior Conferences of 2018


We’ve compiled the Best Dog Conferences for you to attend in 2017 because we’ve done that every (20162015). Explore science topics, learn better training skills, concentrate on motivation or the human-animal bond. It’s all here. Let’s go!

Conferences are listed in chronological order due to the author’s inability to decide which should be first.

the best dog training conferences coming up in 2017

1. ClickerExpo

ClickerExpo will be held in 3 locations throughout 2017. This year ClickerExpos have slightly different labs and workshops depending on the location.

Portland, OR
When: Friday, January 27-29, 2017
Where: Portland, OR
Why: Educational Themes are back for 2017. Themes are labs and presentations focusing on a certain concentration. Themes include: Trainer Skill Development, Teaching People, Aggression and General Behavior Management, and Veterinary Environments. Feel free to follow a single theme or skip around and explore a variety of topics. There’s something for everyone! CCPDT, IAABC, and KPA Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
More Information: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo/portland/registration

Stamford, CT
When: Friday, March 31-April 2, 2017
Where: Stamford, CT
Why: A complete Equine Theme which includes Husbandry, Saddling, Trailer Loading, and much more continues for 2017. This is in addition to the Themes listed for Portland above.  CCPDT, IAABC, and KPA Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
More Information: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo/stamford/registration

ClickerExpo Europe
When: Friday, November 3-5, 2017
Where: Denmark
Why: The ClickerExpo 2017 schedule for Denmark has not been released yet. It will be released by 15 February 2017.
More Information: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo

2. WOOF!

When: Friday, February 10-12, 2017
Where: University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.
Why:  It’s back! It’s’ back! The very successful WOOF! European Behaviour & Training Conference has been on hiatus since 2013, but it’s back for 2017. 3 full days of brilliant seminars with Bob Bailey, Susan Friedman, Kay Laurence, Jean Donaldson, and Clive Wynne.
More Information: http://www.domesticatedmanners.com/woof2017

3. Canine Science Symposium

When: Saturday, March 11-12, 2017
Where: San Francisco SPCA in San Francisco, CA
Why: Bringing together professors of Psychology, Anthrozoology, Behavioral Neuroscience, and Behavior Analysis, this symposium covers the science of welfare for shelter dogs, training, and canine aggression. Enjoy two days with some of the leading canine science minds with Julie Hecht, Monica Udell, Sheila D’Arpino, and Erica Feuerbacher. CCPDT and IAABC Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
More Information: https://www.sfspca.org/get-involved/events/CSS2017

4. IAABC Animal Behavior Conference

When: Saturday, April 8-9, 2017
Where: Culver City, CA
Why: The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants has creatively merged their multiple species Conferences into one event. Choose to follow the Dog, Cat, Parrot, or Horse tracks, or pick and choose which presentations you’d like to join. The conference features speakers discussing the latest science, treatments, and protocols for managing and modifying behavior in all species.
(Read about our experience at the 2015 IAABC Conference.)
More Information: https://iaabc.org/conference/2017

5. DogEvent 2017

When: Thursday, April 14-17, 2017
Where: Rambouillet, France
Why: 4 days of dog training, behavior workshops, and demos on the outskirts of Paris! Each day has a theme: Clicker Training, Motivation, Aggression, Canine Sorts, and more. Speakers include Emily Larlham, Chirag Patel, Nando Brown, Denise Fenzi, and Lori Stevens. Presentations will be given in English.
More Information (in French): https://www.weezevent.com/dogevent-2017
More Information (in English): https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/dogevent-2017-tickets-27382612130?aff=es2

6. Animal Management Behavior Alliance (ABMA) Annual Conference

When: Sunday, April 23-28, 2017
Where: Cincinnati, OH
Why: The Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA) specializes in animal care and training through enrichment. This year’s theme is “Back to Basics: Crossing The Bridge Between Training and Conservation.” Conference locations include multiple zoos. This year’s keynote speaker will be Megan Parker, PhD, Co-founder & Director of Research, Working Dogs for Conservation discussing ways to use dogs’ extraordinary sense of smell to protect wildlife and wild places.
More Information: https://theabma.org/abma-annual-conference/

7. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Training Camp

When: Thursday, June 22-25, 2017
Where: Linn County Expo Center, Albany, Oregon
Why: It’s back! The Ultimate Dog Sports Training Camp covers Obedience, Rally, Agility, Nosework, Freestyle, and Rally FrEe!  Join the energizing dog sports goddesses Denise Fenzi, Deb Jones, Hannah Branigan, Julie Flanery, Loretta Mueller, Nancy Gagliardi Little, Shade Whitesel, Amy Cook, Julie Symons, and Stacy Barnett for 4 days of fun. Work on heeling, scenting, retrieves, utilizing play to build motivation, and so much more. Priority registrations will be given to students that have previous enrollments in FDSA online courses.
More Information: http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/camp

8. International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) Conference

When: Thursday June 22-25, 2017
Where: Davis, CA
Why: The International Society for Anthrozoology (ISAZ) annual conference covers new and intriguing ideas in Human-Animal Interactions. The speakers and program for 2017 is pending. Stay tuned to the link below to keep up as this conference program develops.
More Information: http://www.isaz.net/isaz/conferences/

9. International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) Conference

When: Friday, August 7-10, 2017
Where: Aarhus, Denmark
Why: The International Society for Applied Ethology (ISAE) annual conference covers the presentation and discussion of advances in applied animal behaviour science and education and. The speakers and program for 2017 is pending, but topics include, Animal learning and cognition, Social behaviour of animals, Animal stress responses, and Human-animal interactions. Stay tuned to the link below to keep up as this conference program develops.
More Information: http://conferences.au.dk/isae2017/

10. APDT Annual Conference and Trade Show

When: Wednesday, October 18-21, 2017
Where: Richmond, Virginia
Why: You’re a professional dog trainer, this is your Association. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers Annual Conference is full of prestigious speakers and engaging seminars. The speakers and schedule for 2017 is still pending. This entry will be updated as information becomes available.
(Read about our experience as a volunteer APDT Border Collie.)
More Information: https://apdt.com/conference/


 

The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast – Ep. 6 Interview with the  International Dog Parkour Association

The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast – Ep. 6 Interview with the International Dog Parkour Association

interview with the international dog parkour associationIn this podcast we talk to Abigail Curtis DVM, one of the founders of the International Dog Parkour Association. We go over how it all began, what you should know before you get started with dog parkour, and how you can leverage this sport with your clients as a professional dog trainer.

Subscribe to The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast on SoundCloud or iTunes. Follow The Modern Dog Trainer Blog on Twitter at @ModernTrainer, on Facebook at The Modern Dog Trainer Blog Page, and on Instagram at @TheModernDogTrainerBlog. We love hearing from our listeners! Please leave us a review on iTunes to help support our podcast!

The International Dog Parkour Association is a 501c3 non-profit organization founded in 2014 by Karin and Abigail.

To learn more about what dog parkour is and how to get started check out their “What is Dog Parkour” page.

The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast – Ep. 5 Building Online Dog Training Courses with Helix Fairweather

The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast – Ep. 5 Building Online Dog Training Courses with Helix Fairweather

In this podcast we invited Helix Fairweather, KPA instructor and creator of CyberDog, to talk about building online dog training courses.

Subscribe to The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast on SoundCloud or iTunes. Follow The Modern Dog Trainer Blog on Twitter at @ModernTrainer, on Facebook at The Modern Dog Trainer Blog Page, and on Instagram at @TheModernDogTrainerBlog. We love hearing from our listeners! Please leave us a review on iTunes to help support our podcast!

Building Online Dog Training Courses with Helix Fairweather

- Building Online Dog Training Courses with Helix FairweatherHelix Fairweather teaches dog training classes remotely with the help of email and webinar software. Listen to this podcast to learn more about how she teaches classes online successfully.

As mentioned in the podcast, be sure to check out her online Start Smart course for owners and dog trainers.

Reach out to her at HelixFairweather at gmail. com if you’d like speak with her directly.

 

 

5 Training Games for Puppy Classes

5 Training Games for Puppy Classes

Everyone loves good puppy classes. Cute, fluffy, little bundles of fur with their stinky breath and corn chip smelling feet. Most students come to class already having begun the basic behaviors. While those are important and key to any dog training class here are a few training games to incorporate into class to strengthen those basic behaviors while having fun.

 

Image via Bessey's Positive Paws recall games

Image via Bessey’s Positive Paws

5 Fun Games to Play During Puppy Classes

Crazy to Calm

When the bait bag and clicker come out those puppies line right up in front of their owners and pay close attention to what is being asked. They stay calm and attentive and excel at learning behaviors. What’s happening though, is that the pups aren’t learning how to still do those behaviors when they are amped up. Crazy to calm does just that. Play with the puppy for a set amount of time, jazzing them up to a level where they are rowdy but not completely out of control. After the time is up, stop playing and wait for the pup to calm down and ideally offer a sit. It is okay when your puppy is new to this game to cue them to sit the first few times but ultimately we want them to be able to offer it on their own. If we cue too much our dogs begin to rely on us to tell them what to do in any given situation, whereas when we allow them to offer the behavior it becomes more reliable.

Once your puppy is calm and sitting you will continue to reward your pup for staying put. Then you will release him with “Free.”  Always remember to release your puppy when done. Crazy to calm will help teach impulse control, stay, and how to quickly calm themselves in excitable situations.

Puppy Ping Pong

Majority of owners will prioritize the behaviors they want their puppy to learn with coming when called being first, if not second to walking on leash. Puppy ping pong is a great game to play to build a knee jerk reaction to hearing their name and running towards their owner. The game can include 2 or more people. Each person will have a handful of delicious meaty high value treats. One at a time someone will call the puppy, be very exciting and happy to encourage the puppy to run fast towards them. Once the puppy reaches the person calling they will touch the dog’s collar and then reward with the meaty treat. Encourage clients to give 1 to 3 treats, one at a time to avoid having a puppy dine and dash (knowing they will only receive one treat, grab it and run off to the next person). Stress the importance of being able to touch the dog’s collar because it can save the dogs life. A recall is no good if you can’t actually get a hold of the dog if you are alongside a busy road.

Have another person call the puppy and reward the same way. The puppy will run back and forth between the people playing learning that coming when called results in fun and that he gets delicious stinky treats.

Catch Me If You Can

Another game to strengthen the recall and to help with leash walking. When a puppy has something he shouldn’t or doesn’t come when we call, we move towards him to get him. With a puppy this often prompts a fun game of chase. How extremely annoying for the owner. Catch Me If You Can turns the table on the puppy and teaches him it is more fun to catch up to us than to be pursued. In a safe space or with your puppy on leash move away from him encouraging him to follow you. When he moves in your direction you stop, let him catch you, mark it and reward with high value treats. While the puppy is eating the treat move away again in another direction, encourage him to move after you. Mark and treat. The point of stopping before the puppy actually catches up is to prevent having a puppy bite at pant legs or jump at the person running.

Pass the Puppy

Who doesn’t love to cuddle a puppy. Have the trainer take one puppy away from their owner. Have the person who is without a puppy move and take the puppy to their right and so on until everyone has someone else’s puppy. Pass the puppy is great for socializing the puppy and have them get used to other people handling them in a positive environment. People handling can ask for a simple behavior, give treats and just play.

Hide and Seek

If you have equipment in the training room or places where the owner can go out of sight, hide and seek is a good game to play to help with recalls. This game teaches dogs that they need to listen to their handlers as much as look for them. It encourages owners to stay upbeat and pushes their dogs to find them because recalls aren’t always as easy as saying “Come” and then quietly standing by for the dog to find them.

I like to remind clients that everything we teach our puppy is a trick but to us we take some more serious than others. Playing these games will help take those serious behaviors and keep them fun for us and our pups and make them strong, reliable behaviors.

Do you have other games you play in puppy classes?

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The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast – Ep. 4 The IAABC Shelter Program with Molly Sumridge

The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast – Ep. 4 The IAABC Shelter Program with Molly Sumridge

In this podcast we invited Molly Sumridge, board member of the IAABC, to talk about their new shelter animal behavior program for shelter volunteers, staff, and trainers.

Subscribe to The Modern Dog Trainer Podcast on SoundCloud or iTunes. Follow The Modern Dog Trainer Blog on Twitter at @ModernTrainer, on Facebook at The Modern Dog Trainer Blog Page, and on Instagram at @TheModernDogTrainerBlog. We love hearing from our listeners! Please leave us a review on iTunes to help support our podcast!

Episode 4 – The IAABC Shelter Animal Behavior Program

The IAABC shelter animal behavior programMolly Sumridge runs Kindred Companions in Frenchtown, NJ. We discussed all of the information available to members. Animal shelter volunteers can receive a discount. The IAABC library contains a tremendous amount of reading and handout materials in addition to access to world-renown animal behavior experts. We also discuss how Molly juggles the challenges and benefits of having a business that involves dog training, pet sitting, and a physical pet store.

About the Hosts

Links mentioned in the show:

Dog Training Business Tips

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When The Only Symptom Is A Behavior Change

When The Only Symptom Is A Behavior Change

One of the first questions we ask behavior clients is if they’ve done a veterinary checkup. What meets this criteria is generally a physical examination, a CBC blood panel, and maybe a urine check if we’re dealing with “abnormal” urination. Is that enough? This is a story of my journey with my own dog’s sudden increase in aggression.

Aggression “Out of Nowhere”

Paisley and Shira sharing space on the sofa.

Paisley and Shira sharing space on the sofa.

This photo was taken a week before the aggression started. I put this here to show just how drastic the change in behavior was. Paisley is on the bottom. She’s a 7 year old white Border Collie mix. Shira is on the top. She’s a 12 1/2 year old Australian Shepherd. They’d lived together for 6 years, and while there have been scuffles over found food and competition while chasing cats, they lived mostly like this.

A week after this photo was taken Paisley violently attacked Shira while I was rearranging some furniture. I had put my training bag on the floor, and although there shouldn’t have been food in it, it was possible there was still a food smell. I put this first attack under the “found food,” resource guarding that I was familiar with. I chastised myself to be more careful and moved on with rearranging.

The second attack happened four days later with the addition of a new rug. Again, I thought this new rug had precipitated a new form of resource guarding and put the rug away until I had time to deal with the new addition.

Then the third attack happened. All the dogs were sleeping. Paisley woke up, began air scenting, began growling, looked for Shira, who was still asleep, then flew across the room and attacked her. Paisley has done a few more of these, waking from sleep, air scenting, growling, then searching for Shira. This video shows how it starts. Paisley respects the gates, but if they weren’t there she would have gone directly toward Shira who is sleeping behind the camera.

The Vet Check

After the third attack I purchased a few gates and took Paisley to the vet for a check up. She had an ear infection, so they cleaned her up, put a bunch of long lasting goop in the ear, and sent us home. The following day Paisley had numerous aggressive incidents. The gates were up, but she hit one of them pretty hard. I attributed this to the ear pain and began looking at adverse reactions to the ear medication. Nothing quite fit, so I decided to wait it out and see if her behavior got better as the ear got better.

Three days later there another violent outburst toward the gate. I decided we needed more information, so I made another vet appointment to do some blood tests. These tests came out almost perfect. She had an increase in pancreatic enzymes, but without any other symptoms the vets determined she did not have pancreatitis. She had dilute urine, which was unexplained. Coincidentally, there was another huge aggression event the day after the second vet visit. Stress was playing a role in the aggression.

Since she was attacking Shira, I decided to have Shira tested as well. She had the exact same results as Paisley, an increase in pancreatic enzymes and dilute urine. Again, with no other symptoms there was officially nothing wrong with her.

Getting Outside Help

I felt the need to get to work on a solution to stop the aggressive behavior. I called the amazing Sarah Owings to come help me work with some desensitization and counter conditioning with the gates as well as Paisley sharing space with Shira. The problem was there were times when Paisley was almost back to “normal.” Without a definitive trigger, we’d just be working toward a general co-existence between the dogs and they had had that before. Sarah recommended better gates so I could relax a bit more and a pre-consult with a Veterinary Behaviorist to see if that was a route I should take, meaning adding behavior medication to the mix.

In preparation for the behaviorist consult I asked for copies of the lab reports. While the veterinarian had told me the pancreatic enzymes were elevated, on the lab report they were incredibly elevated. I had Paisley tested again, but this time the results were normal. In 24 days the pancreatic enzymes had changed dramatically and I have no idea why.

Paisley did have a few minor symptoms. There were a few days when she initially refused her breakfast, although she eventually ate it. Within a two week period she had vomited twice. However, in all other respects she was perfectly healthy. She was eating, drinking, playing, and eliminating normally. The only change was her increased aggression episodes.

Taking A Break

I decided I really needed more information and didn’t quite know how to get it. My gut kept telling me this was a medical issue, but everyone kept telling me it was a behavioral problem. Telling my story got quite a few recommendations, everything from prong collars and alpha rolls to DS/CC to Prozac. One of the vets told me to rehome Paisley. The Veterinary Behaviorist didn’t see any aggression in the videos at all. It was a very frustrating time.

I began cataloging the conditions under which the aggressive episodes happened, not the aggressive behavior itself. I also began noticing other behavioral changes Paisley was displaying that were more subtle. For instance, the reason the video above was recorded was because Paisley had never taken a nap in that location before. Since that behavior was new, I decided to put up the camera in case there was an additional new behavior. Other new behaviors included an increase in growling as an attention seeking behavior, increased sound sensitivity, and resting in a number of unusual locations.

We had periods of time when everything seemed back to the time of pre-aggression, then something would happen. Some magic combination that I couldn’t quite pinpoint would create an aggressive episode. It seemed to have something to do with prey drive. The most consistent trigger was a cat passing the front porch when the door was open. I’m guessing frustration that she couldn’t get to the cat would cause Paisley to redirect toward Shira, but redirection is a new behavior for Paisley. There was something new in the mix, after all, we had 6 years of happy co-existence with the crazy cat lady living next door. There may be a pain component to the aggression. We do not know what happens biologically when a dog goes into prey drive. Does the stomach clench? Is there an increase in salivation or digestive acid in anticipation of food? There seemed to be something in there more than just redirected aggression, at least I thought so.

A New Vet. A New Dawn.

A month after the second blood check I decided to find a new vet who could help with more than just “she appears healthy.” I found Dr. Lisa Hsuan D.V.M through Sarah Owings and discovered what it’s like to work with a veterinarian who likes to play detective. We rechecked Paisley’s blood and checked her bile. Her blood was again “pristine,” however, her bile values were very high. We did an abdominal ultrasound, which showed abnormalities in the gall bladder, pancreas, stomach, and small intestines. Paisley was positive for pancreatitis, gastroenteritis, and liver malfunction.  Is this what a sick dog looks like?  This is 10 days before the last round of blood work and the ultrasound. The radiologist suggested we might test for Addison’s Disease in the next round of testing after we do the first round of medication and dietary changes.  I’ll keep you updated on her progress.

We Should Never Punish Aggression.

I would hate to think where I would be if I had chosen to silence Paisley’s aggression through punishment. A lot of canine communication is so often considered “undesirable behavior,” and so it’s punished. I get it. When the dog’s behavior is causing fear in the human we want to quell it. In my case, my 13 year old dog was being attacked. It’s completely normal to try and quell that. However, we cannot condone silencing a dog who is trying to communicate. We see the outward behavior and we want to help clients, so we get working on a solution without really knowing what we’re dealing with. We can only change the behavior we see.

My own journey has made me reevaluate what really constitutes medical testing to rule out illnesses. At what point do we keep going with tests versus assuming the dog is healthy and work on behavior modification alone? With so little study behind medical causes of behavior change, sometimes we just have to go with our gut and hope we find something. We need to have this discussion. We need to share cases in which behavior change in the only symptom. We need to start listening to our dogs instead of trying to “fix,” them while we wait for more information.

The Tests.

For those of you interested in the medical tests, they are included in the links below.

Paisley Blood / Urine – Early Dec.

Paisley Pancreatitis – Late Dec.

Paisley Blood / Bile / Urine / Thyroid – Feb

Paisley Ultrasound – Feb

Paisley Pancreatitis – Feb

Shira’s Blood / Urine – Dec

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