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

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: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo/registration-NV-2016
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: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo/registration-OH-2016
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!
More Information: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo/denmark/register

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.”
More Information: http://www.artandscienceofanimaltraining.org/conference/

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.
More Information: http://pennvetwdc.org/education/conference/

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.
More Information: https://iaabc.org/conference/2016

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.
More Information: https://theabma.org/abma-annual-conference/

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.
More Information: http://www.dogconseil.com/dogevent2016/en/

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.
More Information: http://www.fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/waiver-of-liability/8-fdsa/6934-fdsa-camp-2016

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.
More Information: http://www.csf2016.com/index.php

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.
More Information: https://apdt.com/conference/

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.
More Information: http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/2016-Summit

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.
More Information: http://www.domesticatedmanners.com/woof2017

 

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.
More Information: http://www.countrycaninehawaii.com/events_TerryRyanCoaching_201602.html

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.
More Information: http://www.behaviormatters.com/Workshops-operant-conditioning-animal-training.htm

Terry Ryan CHICKEN CAMPS
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: http://www.legacycanine.com/#!chicken-workshops/cfvg

PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS FOR ZOOLOGICAL TRAINERS
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.
More Information: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/Learning-Experiences/Continuing-Education/Professional-Animal-Training-Seminar/

See the top four reasons that continuing education is so important here!

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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.
More Information: http://orgs.unt.edu/orca/conference/

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.
More Information: https://www.sfspca.org/2015-canine-science-symposium

ClickerExpo

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.
More Information: http://www.clickertraining.com/clickerexpo/dearborn
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.
More Information: http://www.positiveanimalsolutions.com/ClickerExpo_s/2084.htm

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.
More Information: https://theabma.org/abma-annual-conference/

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!
More Information: http://www.dogconseil.com/dogevent2015/en/

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!”
More Information: http://fenzidogsportsacademy.com/index.php/courses/ipo-courses/8-fdsa/2436-ferretpalooza

SPARCS

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
More Information: http://caninescience.info/

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?
More Information: http://www.fivegotosea.com/

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.
More Information: https://apdt.com/conference/

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.
More Information: http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/Force-free-Summit

Training Camps

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

CHICKEN CAMP
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.
More Information: http://www.behaviormatters.com/Workshops-operant-conditioning-animal-training.htm

PROFESSIONAL SEMINARS FOR ZOOLOGICAL TRAINERS
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 kcathcart@sheddaquarium.org if you’d like to be put on the waiting list.
More Information: http://www.sheddaquarium.org/Learning-Experiences/Continuing-Education/Professional-Animal-Training-Seminar/

Did we miss one? Comment and let us know!

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Preparing For The APDT Conference in Hartford

Preparing For The APDT Conference in Hartford

APDT conference

Finding Roommates

The APDT Community has a specific discussion thread about finding roommates for the APDT Conference. Having a roommate makes the trip and stay more affordable and fun! Roommates allow you to network efficiently by meeting friends of friends as you experience the conference together. Log on to the APDT Community to connect with several attendees that are currently searching for roomies!

Planning Your Conference Schedule

The APDT Conference is jam packed with a variety of speakers all four days. Unfortunately, you will have to pick and choose which speakers you’ll want to go see since many speak at the same time. Take a look at the Agenda for an idea of who is speaking when. This year, some of the speakers you’ll get to choose from are:

  • Patricia McConnell
  • Ray Coppinger
  • Christopher Pachel
  • Ian Dunbar
  • Sue Sternberg
  • Robin Bennett
  • Gail Fisher
  • Rise VanFleet
  • And so many more!

There is so much learning to be had and the possibilities are endless! You may want to plan ahead or you can meet some friends and tag along with their plans. After all, networking is one of the greatest benefits of attending any kind of professional conference.

Planning Your Meals

There are several quality restaurants located near the Conference. Here are the best rated restaurants within walking distance from the conference center:

  1. Ted’s Montana Grill
  2. Front Street Bistro
  3. DISH Restaurant (New American Cuisine)
  4. The Capital Grille
  5. ON20 (New American Cuisine)

Sightseeing

Anytime you go to a new city, even if it is work related, it is important to check out some of the unique and entertaining features that you can discover. In Hartford, there are a few “must see” attractions you might want to slip away to while you’re in town.

Have you created a plan for your trip to the APDT conference this year? Which seminars or workshops do you consider “must see” events? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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