Top 10 Animal Training Conferences for 2016

The Ultimate Animal Training Conference Wish List for 2016

Click HERE to see the Top Dog Training Conferences for 2017.

Education, networking, adventure, and fun! Here are the best training and education conferences for you to attend in 2016. It was particularly difficult to whittle down the list this year. If your conference didn’t make the cut please post registration information in the comments! Conferences are listed in chronological order due to the author’s inability to decide which should be first.


ClickerExpo will be held in 3 locations throughout 2016. This year ClickerExpos have slightly different labs and workshops depending on the location.
Reno, Nevada
When: Friday, January 22-24, 2016
Where: Reno, Nevada
Why: New for 2016 are Educational Themes. Themes include: Trainer Skill Development, Teaching People, Aggression and General Behavior Management. Feel free to follow a single theme or skip around. There’s something for everyone! CCPDT, IAABC, and KPA Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
More Information:
Cincinnati, Ohio
When: Friday, March 18-20, 2016
Where: Cincinnati, Ohio
Why: New for 2016 is a complete Equine Theme which includes Husbandry, Saddling, Trailer Loading, and much more! This is in addition to the Themes listed for Reno above.  CCPDT, IAABC, and KPA Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
More Information:
ClickerExpo Europe
When: Friday, October 28-30, 2016
Where: Billund, Denmark
Why: The ClickerExpo 2016 schedule for Denmark has not been released yet. It will be released by 15 February 2016. The highlight so far? The conference is going to be held in the LegoLand Hotel!
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ORCA 8th Annual Art and Science of Animal Training

When: Saturday, February 20-21, 2016
Where: Dallas, Texas
Why: ORCA is now a two day event! This conference has become a staple for all animal trainers. Bringing together trainers and behavior analysts, the conference covers a broad spectrum of knowledge of animal behavior and how to get it. This year has two themes. Saturday will cover shaping behavior in both animal and human learners, and Sunday will cover concepts and tools for improving animal welfare and human-animal interactions. This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Iver Iversen, will discuss: “Selection and creation processes involved in shaping of novel behavior: Method and Theory.”
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Penn Vet Working Dog Conference

When: Friday, April 8-11, 2016
Where: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Why: You may have seen this conference’s DVD’s on TawzerDog. Did you know you could attend the Penn Vet Working Dog Conference?  This year’s theme is “Whole Dog 360: A multidisciplinary approach.” Individual topics will be addressed with a series of four (4) – ½ day sessions: Advancements in working dog health and medicine; Training the working dog using current scientifically-based methods; Implications of handler training on the successful working dog team; Driving progress in the working dog field through research & innovation. This year’s keynote speaker will be Ken Ramirez.
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IAABC Animal Behavior Conference

When: Saturday, April 9-10, 2016
Where: Anaheim, California
Why: The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants has creatively merged their Feline and Canine Conferences into one event. Choose to follow the Feline or Canine track, or pick and choose which presentations you’d like to join. The dual-track conference features speakers discussing the latest science, treatments, and protocols for managing and modifying behavior in dogs and cats.
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Animal Management Behavior Alliance (ABMA) Annual Conference

When: Monday, April 17-22, 2016
Where: Tampa, Florida
Why: The Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA) specializes in animal care and training through enrichment. This year’s theme is “Breaking Down Barriers: New Possibilities in Animal Welfare.” Conference locations include multiple zoos and a post conference trip to Natural Encounters. This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Susie Ellis of the International Rhino Foundation. Details will be posted as they are finalized.
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DogEvent 2016

When: Thursday, May 5-8, 2016
Where: Nice, France
Why: You’ve always wanted to see Nice and now you have an excuse! 4 days of dog training, behavior workshops, and demos. Each day has a theme: Shelter Dogs, Behavior Analysis, Training, Canine Nutrition, and Advanced Behavior Techniques. Speakers include Dr. Clive Wynne, Ken McCort, Jean Lessard, Nancy Tucker, and Dr. Jean Dodds. This conference has a limit of 100 attendees.
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Fenzi Dog Sports Academy Training Camp

When: Friday, June 19-22, 2016
Where: Purina Farms – Gray Summit, MO
Why: It’s bigger. It’s better. It’s at Purina Farms! The Ultimate Dog Sports Training Camp covers Obedience, Rally, Agility, Nosework, Freestyle, and Rally FrEe!  Join the dynamic dog sports goddesses Denise Fenzi, Deb Jones, Hannah Branigan, Julie Flanery, Loretta Mueller, Nancy Gagliardi Little, Shade Whitesel, Sue Ailsby, 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.
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Canine Science Forum

When: Tuesday, June 28-July 1, 2016
Where: Padova, Italy
Why: The CSF is a biannual event. This year’s topics include: Evolution of canines; Ecology and conservation of canines; Dogs and humans; Applied aspects of canine biology; Behavioural biology of canines; Cognition; Canine genetics and endo/phenotyping. The Forum also includes a Round Table on service dogs that will introduce some of the main issues related to service dogs and defining the needs and critical points of this area.
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APDT Annual Conference and Trade Show

When: Wednesday, October 12-15, 2016
Where: Las Vegas, Nevada
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 2016 is still pending. This entry will be updated as information becomes available.
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Pet Professional Guild Educational Summit

When: Tuesday, November 8-11, 2016
Where: Tampa, FL
Why: The speakers and schedule for 2016 is still pending. This entry will be updated as information becomes available.
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Looking Forward to 2017 – WOOF! is Back!

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. Why look that far ahead? This baby is going to fill up fast! Speakers include Sean Pogson, Susan M. Schneider, Susan Friedman, Steve Martin and Chirag Patel. The full topics and speaker schedule is still pending. This entry will be updated as information becomes available.
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Training Camps and Workshops

In addition to the conferences, these training camps should be on every trainer’s Must Do list.

Terry Ryan Coaching People to Train Their Dogs
When: February 11-15th, 2015
Where: Waialua, Oahu
Why: Coaching People to Train Their Dogs is for anyone with an above average interest in dog training, animal training, and/or student instruction. This course is also for anyone who has read the book by the same name and wants to put it into practice.
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Bailey-Farhoody CHICKEN CAMPS
When: Summer 2016
Where: Columbia, MD
Why: Dogs are incredibly forgiving. If you want to test your training skills, train a chicken! Dr. Bob Bailey and Ms. Parvene Farhoody, MA, teach these Workshops using chickens as a behavior model in order to teach operant conditioning (OC) and applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles. The 2016 schedule is still pending.
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When: 2016
Where: Pending
Why: Training a chicken is a stretch and a boost to your mechanical skills. The average chicken is faster than the average dog, giving you a chance to improve your coordination and timing. The 2016 schedule is pending.
More Information:!chicken-workshops/cfvg

When: Monday, March 28 – April 1, 2016 and Monday, August 22-26, 2016
Where: Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, IL
Why: This is a full graduate course adapted to a one-week format for zoo training professionals. Although originally designed for zoo trainers, many dog trainers take the course each year. This course fills up early.
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See the top four reasons that continuing education is so important here!

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