Top 10 Dog Training Conferences for 2015

Top 10 Dog Training Conferences for 2015

Dog Training Workshop

Image by Kat Camplin

The Ultimate Dog Training Conference Wish List

Are you required to obtain continuing education credits to maintain a certification? Do you simply enjoy learning new things about dogs? Do you have a wicked sense of adventure? Here are the Best Dog Training Conferences for you to attend in 2015. Conferences are listed in chronological order due to the author’s inability to decide which should be first.

ORCA 7th Annual Art and Science of Animal Training

When: Saturday, March 14, 2015
Where: University of North Texas in Denton, TX
Why: This one day conference has become a staple for 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’s keynote speaker, Dr. Stanley Weiss, will present “Differential Reinforcement and the Stimulus Control of Behavior.” Other speakers include: Ken Ramirez, Alexandra Kurland, Steve White, Phung Luu, Bob Bailey, Steve Aibel and Al Kordowski.
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Canine Science Symposium

When: Sunday, March 15th, 2015
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, canine aggression, and “Non-Science and Nonsense in Dog Behavior.” CCPDT and IAABC Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
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ClickerExpo will be held in 3 locations throughout 2015. Portland, OR is sold out, but Dearborn, MI still has spots available, and ClickerExpo Europe information is still pending.
Dearborn (Detroit), Michigan
When: Friday, March 20-22, 2015
Where: Dearborn (Detroit), Michigan
Why: 3 days of mind bursting information from some of the world’s best positive reinforcement experts. Experience hands-on workshops, round table discussions, and enlightening lectures. Add in Karen Pryor and animal training god Ken Ramirez, and you’ve got a perfect mixture of trainer worship and highly educational learning. CCPDT, IAABC, and KPA Continuing Education Units are available for professionals attending this event.
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ClickerExpo Europe
When: Friday, October 23-25, 2015
Where: Warwickshire, UK
Why: Although the schedule and workshops haven’t been announced yet, just duplicate the Why from above and add an English accent and stunning Warwick Castle.
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ABMA Annual Conference

When: Monday, April 13-18, 2015
Where: Copenhagen, Denmark
Why: Do you really need a reason to go to Denmark? Okay. The Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA) specializes in animal care and training through enrichment. Joining a dolphin trainer with an elephant conservationist, the keynote speakers Ken Ramirez and Rudi van AArde should bring some interesting conversation to the conference. Presentations from some wonderful bird and animal trainers and Dr. Susan Friedman insure you’ve got some pretty strong reasons to hop a plane for a much-needed vacation educational experience.
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DogEvent 2015

When: Thursday, May 14-17, 2015
Where: Paris, France
Why: You’ve always wanted to see Paris and now you have an excuse! 4 days of dog training, behavior workshops, and demos. Speakers include Dr Susan Friedman, Ken Ramirez and Kathy Sdao, and practical demos will be given by Kelly Gorman Dunbar, Chirag Patel and Jo-Rosie Haffenden. Chirag Patel’s “Shaping the Perfect Patient,” should be a must see!
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Ferretpalooza from Fenzi Dog Sports Academy

When: Friday, May 29-June 1, 2015
Where: K9Jym in Colmar, Pennsylvania
Why: No, this isn’t a Ferret Fest. This is the first annual conference hosted by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. Instructors include the dynamic dog sports goddesses Deb Jones, Denise Fenzi, Hannah Branigan, Nancy Little, Margaret Simek and Shade Whitesel. Work on heeling, scenting, retrieves, utilizing play to build motivation, and so much more. This is guaranteed to be the first of many Fenzi events and is a “must attend” for anyone interested in dog sport competition. 5 years from now you’re going to want to be able to say, “I went to the very first conference!”
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Information will be updated when it becomes available.
When: Friday, June 19-21, 2015
Where: Phoenix, AZ (Phoenix Convention Center) and FREE online worldwide!
Why: The conference that has turned dog trainers into couch potatoes for one weekend a year due to their live event streaming, SPARCS (Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science,) brings together the most diverse group of canine scientists all in one place. Whether you get to attend via your sofa or get to go in person, you are sure to get your fill of canine cognition, behavior, scent work, science studies, and so much more. Can’t do all 3 days? Each day has a theme:
Day 1: Learning and Memory
Day 2: Dogs Around the World
Day 3: Stress
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Five go to Sea

When: Friday, August 7-14, 2015
Where: Seattle, WA
Why: You dream of being stranded on a deserted island with some of the best animal trainers in the world. Switch the island for a ship and you’ve got a dream come true. Take a 7 day Alaskan cruise with Ken Ramirez, Kay Laurence, Alex Kurland and Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and experience daily educational presentations followed by dinner with your hosts. You have them at your table, what are you going to ask them?
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APDT Annual Conference and Trade Show

When: Wednesday, October 14-17, 2015
Where: Dallas, TX
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 2015 is still pending. This entry will be updated as information becomes available.
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Force-Free Educational Summit For Pet Professionals

When: Wednesday, November 11-13, 2015
Where: Tampa, FL
Why: With Dr. Karen Overall as the keynote speaker, the rest of the speakers list for first annual summit hosted by the Pet Professionals Guild reads like a Who’s Who of the dog training industry. Presentations from Chirag Patel to Pat Miller to Ken McCort to Theresa McKeon insures this conference will have a little bit of something for everyone.
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Training Camps

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

When: June to August, 2015
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.
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When: Monday, April 20-24, 2015 and Monday, August 17-21, 2015
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, please send an e-mail to if you’d like to be put on the waiting list.
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Did we miss one? Comment and let us know!

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