Geek Week 2021 Session Descriptions and Learning Objectives

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Your Geek Week 2021 Session Descriptions

Contents Dr. Lynn Bahr: Can an Indoor Cat Live a Happy, Stimulating, and Active Life Indoors? ............................... 4 Dr. Conor Brady: "Complete" Pet Food?! Says Who? ................................................................................... 4 Dr. Christine Calder: Behavior in the Sheltering World ................................................................................ 5 Dr. Hannah Capon: The Pathophysiology of Arthritis and Pain and How We Can Better Detect It ............. 5 Dr. Rachel Casey: Dogs Are More ‘Pessimistic’ If Their Owners Use Two or More Aversive Training Methods ........................................................................................................................................................ 6 Dr. Rachel Casey: What’s Love Got to Do with It? A Review of Evidence from Psychology and Neuroscience on Attachment Theory and How It Relates to the Dog-Owner Bond .................................... 7 Ana Costa: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a Puppy) .................................................................... 7 Laura Donaldson: Session Title Slow Thinking Is Lifesaving for Dogs™: New Approaches to Canine Aggression ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 Tamsin Durston: A Behavioral Approach to Veterinary Handling For Dogs ................................................. 9 Petra Edwards: Pet-Friendly Practice – Investigating Dog Experience in the Veterinary Context ............... 9 Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez: The Ethics of Animal Training Procedures ........................................................ 10 Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez: Training as Enrichment – A Critical Review ...................................................... 10 Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez: What Are Data and Why Are They Important for Practice? ............................. 11 Dr. Simon Gadbois: Modern Theories of Motivation, How They Can Influence Current Thinking and Practices in Animal Learning ....................................................................................................................... 12 Dr. Lisa Gunter: Emergency Fostering of Dogs from Animal Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Shelter Practices, Foster Engagement, and Dog Outcomes ....................................................................... 12 Dr. Lisa Gunter: Investigating the Effects of Housing and Social Interaction on the Welfare of Dogs Living in Animal Shelters ....................................................................................................................................... 13 Dr. Lisa Gunter: Session Title 3 coming soon. ............................................................................................. 13 Dr. Naomi Harvey: Aging in the Dog and the Impact of Breed ................................................................... 14 Dr. Susan Hazel: Optimizing Welfare for Pets and People – How Can an Ecological Model Help? ............ 14 Dr. Dorothy Heffernan: Positively Charged – Science-Based Approaches Changing Horse Training since 2000 ............................................................................................................................................................ 15 Julia Henning: Quality of Life in Cats with Epilepsy and Burden of Care in Their Owners.......................... 16 Dr. Lynn Honeckman: The Foundation Steps of Behavior Modification – Learning to Float Before You Dive into the Deep End ............................................................................................................................... 16 Dr. Lynn Honeckman: When Seniors Struggle – Exploring Geriatric Medical Problems that Can Contribute to Behavior Issues ....................................................................................................................................... 17

Jimmy Mai: Raisers’ Program Experiences, Raiser Practices, and Puppy Behavior – Understanding Characteristics of Successful Puppy Raising................................................................................................ 17 Rebecca Mead: “Choosing My Dog”: Insights from a Large-Scale Study into Acquisition Behaviors......... 18 Dr. Lisa Radosta: Is It Behavioral or Medical? Both! ................................................................................... 19 Dr. Lisa Radosta: Myth Busting: The Truth behind the Techniques that You Use to Train Dogs................ 19 Dr. Kersti Seksel: Emotions and Resilience – How Do They Affect How Dogs Behave? ............................. 20 Dr. Kristina Spaulding: Making Sense of Science – Reading, Interpreting, and Applying Research Articles .................................................................................................................................................................... 20 Dr. Melissa Starling: Emotions, Learning and Welfare ............................................................................... 21 Dr. Holly Tett: Understanding How Human Attachment Theory Can Be Applied to Our Relationship with Our Dogs ..................................................................................................................................................... 21 Dr. Zazie Todd: How to Change Minds and Encourage More People to Use Reward-Based Training Methods ...................................................................................................................................................... 22 Dr. Mindy Waite: Functional Analyses and Reinforcement-Based Treatments for Mouthing in Dogs ..... 22 Dr. Mindy Waite: Simple Food Preference Assessments for Companion Dogs .......................................... 23 Dr. Karolina Westlund: Emotions and Challenging Behavior ...................................................................... 24 Dr. Karolina Westlund: Resolving Challenging Behavior – A Framework ................................................... 25

Dr. Lynn Bahr: Can an Indoor Cat Live a Happy, Stimulating, and Active Life Indoors? There are many myths our culture perpetuates about domestic cats, e.g.: they live longer indoors, sleep all day, are easy and low maintenance pets, and can’t be trained. Even the most wellmeaning kitty caregiver will be surprised to learn that these long-held beliefs aren’t necessarily based on facts, but instead reflect the many ways we have adapted our feline friends to our indoor, domesticated lifestyles. Learning Objectives: Together with scientific studies, expert opinions from vets and behaviorists, this session will discuss new ways that pet guardians can care for and connect with their indoor feline companions. It will also explore how to help cat owners understand a cat’s perspective of their indoor home and suggest ways to enhance cats’ lives to the fullest, while combating the countless health and behavioral problems that can result from indoor living. Finally, the session will raise and discuss the ultimate question: Should every cat live exclusively indoors?

Dr. Conor Brady: "Complete" Pet Food?! Says Who? Few outside looking in would disagree: the modern pet food industry is rife with major issues. An illusion of nutritional science cajoles us into feeding some truly awful, nutritionally defunct foodlike products to our pets, and they are being sickened by it. The biological facts are dogs and cats are meat eaters...but we're not always feeding them meat? That extraordinary leap demands extraordinary evidence. Last year at Geek Week, Dr. Brady demonstrated that the evidence is non-existent. In the face of terrible obesity, diabetes, and cancer epidemics, the veterinary community continues to recommend ultra-high carbohydrate, ultra-processed pet food made by candy companies with truly woeful nutritional records in the human realm. So if not the veterinary community, who is supposed to be protecting the consumer in all this? Who is checking the science? Where are the regulators? The answer we are given is AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If you look on the front of any "complete" dry food today you will see the reassuring words "formulated to meet the nutritional standards of AAFCO." In this session, Dr. Brady will focus on AAFCO – who are they and what are these nutritional standards? How did they arise and how well are companies adhering to them? He will discuss the many issues with the synthetic vitamin and mineral supplementation of pets, and finish by highlighting many of the truly vital nutritional components that are left completely out of the processed diet.

Because once that curtain has been pulled back and we see the magic show for what it truly is, we are inevitably left one very pertinent, burning question – if not these products, how do we safely achieve nutritional balance and adequacy in our pets long-term? Learning Objectives: • • •

Who are AAFCO, what are their nutritional recommendations, and how well are companies adhering to them? A deeper understanding and comparison of industry (synthetic) nutrients versus nutrients as they arise in nature. Achieving true balance in your fresh fed pet.

Dr. Christine Calder: Behavior in the Sheltering World This session will cover common behavior challenges in rescue animals. The discussion will include common behaviors, treatments, and medications, behavioral programs for rescues and shelters, and the importance of transparency. Learning Objectives: • • •

Learn common behavior problems in rescue animals. Learn common treatment of these behavior problems including the use of medications. Understand the importance of transparency for shelters and steps to create a comprehensive shelter behavior program.

Dr. Hannah Capon: The Pathophysiology of Arthritis and Pain and How We Can Better Detect It This session will take you on a journey from the initial localized pathological process through to the common late presentation of end-stage arthritis. Through improved understanding you will better understand your potential intervening role regarding this welfare concern. Learning Objectives: • • • •

To understand the pathophysiological process of osteoarthritis. To follow the development of central sensitization. To recognize the importance of a multimodal approach to disease management. To be able to convey this greater understanding to clients and followers.

Dr. Rachel Casey: Dogs Are More ‘Pessimistic’ If Their Owners Use Two or More Aversive Training Methods Domestic dogs are trained using a range of different methods, broadly categorized as positive reinforcement / negative punishment and positive punishment / negative reinforcement. Although the proportion of responsible trainers using welfare-compatible methods is increasing, there is still a significant number who advise owners to use aversive or coercive methods on their dogs. Forwarding knowledge around the welfare implications of using aversive methods is essential in educating owners and other stakeholders, such as vets, on the importance of using trainers or behaviorists who use reward-based methods. Although previous research has suggested associations between use of positive punishment-based techniques and undesired behaviors, there has been little research investigating the relative welfare consequences of these different approaches. A relatively novel approach to welfare assessment is the measurement of ‘cognitive bias.’ Cognitive biases are observed where affective state influences human or animal responses to environmental stimuli, through differences in how past events are remembered (‘memory bias’), ambiguous or future events are evaluated (‘judgment bias’), or attention is focused (‘attention bias’). The judgment bias test aims to evaluate whether animals have positive or negative expectations in ambiguous situations and hence to use these judgments as proxy indicators of, respectively, positive or negative affect or mood. Previous animal studies have confirmed that measures of judgment bias change with manipulations of the environment likely to influence mood states, such as the removal or addition of enrichment, and judgment bias methods have been successfully adapted for dogs. Given that mood is hypothesized to be influenced by experience of reward and aversion, this approach is appropriate to evaluate differences in affective state between dogs trained using rewarding or aversive stimuli. The study discussed in this session used a judgment bias task to compare the underlying mood state of dogs whose owners reported using two or more positive punishment- / negative reinforcement-based techniques, with those trained using only positive reinforcement / negative punishment in a matched pair study design. Dogs were trained to discriminate between rewarded and unrewarded locations equidistant from a start box, and mean latencies recorded. Their subsequent latency to intermediate ‘ambiguous’ locations was recorded as an indication of whether these were perceived as likely to contain food or not. Dogs trained using aversive methods were slower to all ambiguous locations. This difference was significant for latency to the middle and near positive locations, suggesting that dogs trained using coercive methods may have a more negative mood state, and hence that there are welfare implications of training dogs using such methods. Learning Objectives: • •

To understand the use of cognitive measures to interpret animal welfare. To understand how measurement of ‘judgment bias’ helps interpret the underlying mood state in dogs.

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To develop greater knowledge around the use of different training methods in dogs. To understand the welfare implications for dogs where owners choose to use aversive training methods.

Dr. Rachel Casey: What’s Love Got to Do with It? A Review of Evidence from Psychology and Neuroscience on Attachment Theory and How It Relates to the Dog-Owner Bond Attachment theory is used widely to explain interactions between dogs and carers or owners. Different ‘types’ of attachment (e.g. insecure) have been used to explain different types of behavioral responses to owners, and degrees of attachment have been suggested as an abnormality explaining undesired behaviors (e.g. hyperattachment as a factor in separation anxiety). However, there is little evidence as to the extent that attachment theory, as developed to explain observed parent-child interactions, is analogous for the human-dog interaction. In addition, the significant development of knowledge about the neuroscience of social bonding provides new insights into explaining types of inter-specific social bonds. In this session, the assumptions around attachment theory and how these are used to explain variations in dog-owner interaction are examined, and insights from neuroscience used to suggest a more nuanced approach to interpreting observed interactions between people and dogs. Learning Objectives: • • • •

To understand the origin of theories commonly used to describe attachment between people and dogs. To appreciate the neurobiology literature which informs understanding of social bonding. To understand how social interactions between dogs and people are complex and involve multiple interacting factors and prior learning. To recognize how observations of social interactions between dogs and people can meaningly inform clinical assessments.

Ana Costa: What to Expect When You’re Expecting (a Puppy) Despite the fact that almost half a million Australians undergo the shared experience of acquiring and raising a puppy every year, we don’t know a lot about what this experience looks like. This session is presented by Dr. Ana Costa, the principal investigator in the first study of its kind, where 20 new puppy owners are followed from the time prior to picking up their puppy through to when their puppy turns 6 months of age. Dr. Costa will look at what it looks like to raise a puppy, and the factors that help owners successfully (or not so successfully!) raise their puppy.

The information covered will help puppy class instructors, vets, trainers, and breeders understand the unique journey puppy owners take when introducing a new puppy into their home, plus help inform on the type of support owners need to be set up for success. Learning Objectives: • •

Understand the factors that change the experience of owners raising a puppy. Recognize the challenges owners face and what areas of support are required to create a successful puppy/owner experience.

Laura Donaldson: Session Title Slow Thinking Is Lifesaving for Dogs™: New Approaches to Canine Aggression This topic is the presenter’s passion and comes from her research, as well as her book and online course in progress, about cognitive-behavioral interventions for canine behavior problems and particularly, aggression. Dogs struggling with aggressive behavior habitually engage in fast-twitch thinking when confronted with a threatening or scary stimulus. Too often, the consequences of this are inaccurate interpretations of what a specific stimulus (another dog, kids on bicycles, traffic noises etc.) or situation signifies. These dogs are doing what I describe to clients as “really bad risk assessment” that elicits barking, growling and lunging – or even biting – as responses to the Scary Stimulus (SS). This type of decision making about what behavior to use in the presence of arousing stimuli can result in dogs being rehomed, surrendered to a shelter, or even euthanized. This session will examine how to transform this all-too-common scenario by incorporating insights from cutting edge research on canine cognition and applying them to one of the most urgent contemporary issues for dogs, i.e. aggressive behavior. It will focus on the cognitive underpinnings of canine aggressive behavior; how changing thinking patterns can help a dog find more appropriate ways of responding to triggers; and, finally, some practical strategies for helping your own (or your clients' dogs) become slow thinkers who are able to make much better decisions about their behavior. One of the keys to achieving this goal is helping dogs learn cognitive reappraisal, i.e., the ability to problem solve and, subsequently, reframe the meaning of a particular SS. Indeed, studies of healthy human individuals showed that cognitive reappraisal led to decreases in amygdala activation in response to negative stimuli. Given the now widely recognized parity between canine and human cognition, it is highly likely that cognitive reappraisal has the same effect on the neurobiology of dogs. Since the amygdala is the center of both the human and canine arousal response, this is heartening news for those struggling with aggressive behavior. This is only one positive effect of cognitive reappraisal. Slow thinking in all its forms promises a new and effective approach to treating canine aggression. It will, hopefully, mean that fewer dogs will lose their homes, or even their lives.

Learning Objectives: • • •

Gain a basic understanding of cognition and how it affects aggressive behavior in dogs. Learn the difference between fast and slow thinking as they pertain to canine aggressive behavior. Take away at least one practical strategy for teaching cognitive reappraisal to your own or your clients’ dogs.

Tamsin Durston: A Behavioral Approach to Veterinary Handling For Dogs This session will demonstrate how to use an understanding of dog behavior to help dogs feel safe and make their experience as positive as possible when introducing handling and physical examination. It will explain how to interpret and respond appropriately to a dog’s communication so as to build trust, thereby strengthening the dog-handler connection. It will also cover different types of abnormalities to examine for across the body. This should be useful for owners, trainers, behaviorists, and veterinary professionals. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Explain the value in applying behavioral understanding when introducing basic veterinary handling to a puppy/dog. Identify changes in body language and vocalizations which help dogs express how they are feeling when being handled. Understand how to adapt handling approaches for dogs who appear fearful or frustrated by this form of interaction. Explain what kinds of abnormalities to look for when examining a dog’s body.

Petra Edwards: Pet-Friendly Practice – Investigating Dog Experience in the Veterinary Context The welfare of our companion dogs is contingent on regular veterinary care, yet many dogs are fearful of their vets. This can pose a significant risk of injury to the veterinary staff or pet parents, may influence how often parents take their dog to the vet, and also increase the risk of negative experiences in the future. Perhaps more importantly, fear at the vet can also impact the accuracy of medical diagnoses as fear and stress can look very similar to pain or injury. Understanding the dog’s perception of the veterinary experience, what the current research suggests may be the biggest factors in developing fear or stress at the vet, and how to use that research to be creative in implementing strategies to reduce or prevent fear, are integral to the continual improvement of dog welfare in the veterinary context. This session aims to provide trainers, puppy school instructors, pet guardians, or those working within the veterinary industry with a greater understanding of how to help dogs feel better about going to the vet.

Learning Objectives: • • •

The dog’s veterinary experience based on the peer-reviewed scientific literature. Some of the insights in this field provided by Petra’s recent research. Some tips for application of strategies to reduce fear in the veterinary context based on what the research tells us.

Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez: The Ethics of Animal Training Procedures It has become commonplace to refer to the science of animal training as being synonymous with applied behavior analytic principles. Less clear, however, is how ethical considerations correlate with other applied behavior analytic endeavors. While it remains tempting to refer to rewardbased training methods as “more scientific” (presumably in comparison to other training methods), it is unclear whether such assertions are relying on scientific or ethical considerations. Thus, a distinction between both ethical and scientific guidelines becomes necessary. This session will examine the distinction between science and ethics, with a focus on how we make ethical decisions that guide our science-based animal training practices. Attention will be given to: 1. How we distinguish between science and ethics. 2. What criteria we use for making ethical considerations, such as freedoms, restrictiveness, intrusiveness, and hierarchies. 3. Why the tools we use to make ethical decisions should exist according to similar scientific criteria. Learning Objectives: •

Foster behavior change plans that are simultaneously pro-science and pro-ethics, and thus, pro-animal well-being and welfare.

Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez: Training as Enrichment – A Critical Review Husbandry training and environmental enrichment are both important advancements associated with current behavioral welfare practices. Additionally, the use of training procedures has been proposed as a form of enrichment, with the implication that training can produce beneficial behavioral welfare results. Less clear are the specific testable ways in which training can be demonstrated to be enriching, beyond simply providing opportunities to be enriched. This session will examine the concept of training as enrichment through three distinct ways training procedures could enrich: 1. Training facilitates enrichment usage. 2. Training modifies interactions, conspecific or otherwise.

3. Training expands behavioral repertoires. Learning Objectives: Within each category, Dr. Fernandez will discuss past research that provides empirical support for training functioning as enrichment, as well as related areas of research that provide additional evidence. •

Previous studies support the claim that training is enriching, with additional research necessary to better understand how prevalent and under what conditions training procedures function as enrichment. Future training research should examine these potential enrichment effects, including methodology that allows for comparisons to traditional enrichment, the use of welfare diversity/variability indices, and the effects of learning on trainers and trainees alike.

Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez: What Are Data and Why Are They Important for Practice? The use of behavioral principles within the animal training and consulting community have become commonplace. While core behavior analytic principles (i.e., a focus on reinforcement contingencies and functional understandings of behavior) are now frequently used for applied animal behavior purposes, the use of data to measure those applications remains virtually untapped. This creates a conundrum for hopeful science-based practitioners: An increased demand for applying behavioral principles, but with limited opportunity to bring about their empirical, analytical counterparts. This session will focus on bridging the gap between data and training/consulting by providing simple yet effective data-taking procedures for a variety of applied animal behavior needs. Learning Objectives: • • •

The use of preference assessments to systematically identify potential reinforcers and enrichment objects/procedures. Measurement systems that allow trainers to directly document their training/shaping progress. Creating behavioral inventories (e.g., ethograms) that facilitate general welfare improvements, including the empirical success of any intervention. Particular attention will be placed on how anyone can collect data, including practitioners for the purpose of creating a data-based practice.

Dr. Simon Gadbois: Modern Theories of Motivation, How They Can Influence Current Thinking and Practices in Animal Learning This session will focus on the modern theories of motivation: how they can influence current thinking and practices in animal learning, and how they can help explain the confusion around some modern ideas in animal training. Dr. Gadbois will discuss the dominant theories of motivation and learning (incentive, anticipation and expectancy-based theories from psychology and neuroscience), and more specifically incentive learning, acquired motivation, intrinsic motivation, myths about extinction, PREE (Partial Reinforcement Extinction Effect), Capaldi’s sequential theory, and PIT (Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer). Supporting evidence from neuroscience and behavioral biology will be discussed. Learning Objectives: • • •

Know about the modern theories of learning in psychology and neuroscience. Know about the importance of the concept of motivation in the psychology, ethology and neuroscience of learning. Know about the mechanisms behind incentive learning and acquired motivation, as well as known methods to maintain motivation and behavior despite low reinforcement opportunities (e.g., in alert work, field search work, etc.). Understand the myths around extinction and Skinner’s role in understanding how to avoid it.

Dr. Lisa Gunter: Emergency Fostering of Dogs from Animal Shelters During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Shelter Practices, Foster Engagement, and Dog Outcomes Between 4-5.5 million dogs enter animal shelters annually in the US. One type of intervention that has been shown to improve the proximate welfare of dogs awaiting adoption is humananimal interaction, particularly stays in foster homes. Prior research has demonstrated that fostering can reduce dogs’ cortisol and increase resting activity. Additionally, temporary, trial, and foster-based adoption programs have been shown to reduce the likelihood of adoption failure. In this session, Dr, Gunter will describe research conducted at 19 animal shelters across the US in which we investigated emergency fostering of shelter dogs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among many findings, we’ll discuss the impact of the foster caregivers’ pre-pandemic relationship with the shelter on the likelihood of caregiver adoption as well as how shelters’ resources impacted foster caregiver recruitment and dog outcomes. In total, these results provide us a greater understanding of how monetary and human resources of animal shelters were utilized to affect the ultimate welfare of dogs awaiting adoption during this time.

Learning Objectives: • •

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Identify research variables collected during this study to describe emergency fostering at animal shelters during the pandemic. Understand the utilization of foster caregiving (with the Foster Utilization Ratio) and how such a measurement may be a better representation of the role of foster caregiving in animal sheltering. Summarize how various shelter practices affected dog outcomes during the pandemic. Develop a plan about how you could utilize these research findings to positively affect your shelter or rescue’s foster program.

Dr. Lisa Gunter: Investigating the Effects of Housing and Social Interaction on the Welfare of Dogs Living in Animal Shelters In animal shelters around the world, dogs’ housing and husbandry procedures can vary considerably between facilities. Surprisingly, little attention has been paid in the scientific literature to how such differences can affect the welfare of shelter-living dogs nor is there consensus about what constitutes basic daily care that all dogs should receive while kenneled. In this session, Dr. Gunter will describe research conducted at Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley, Minnesota, at which she and her colleagues investigated how characteristics of shelter housing and interactions, both with other dogs and people, affected dogs’ proximate welfare as they awaited adoption. She will also explain how dogs apportioned their time during these interactions and the implications of those results. Lastly, she will discuss how these housing and social manipulations influenced dogs’ stress and immune function; and, specifically, what we can apply from these findings to improve the housing and husbandry shelter dogs receive. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Identify what types of interaction dogs engaged in when spending time with other dogs. Describe what activities dogs engaged in when interacting with people. Compare and contrast the physiological effects of the study’s housing and social interaction manipulations. Formulate an implementation strategy for dogs in your shelter about how you could provide both types of social interaction at your shelter to improve their welfare.

Dr. Lisa Gunter: Session Title 3 coming soon.

Dr. Naomi Harvey: Aging in the Dog and the Impact of Breed Behavioral development is a lifelong process where cognitive traits such as learning and memory may be expected to take quadratic or linear trajectories, while pathological age-related conditions such as canine-cognitive decline may be most likely to appear later in life. But what is ‘late life’ in a species that has been artificially broken up into genetically diverse breeds, each with different lifespan expectations? It is common practice to classify dogs of differing ages into chronological categories such as ‘juvenile,’ ‘senior,’ or ‘geriatric.’ However, there are no agreed-upon thresholds for this practice, and the lack of standardization may hinder comparison between research studies of normative and pathological aging, limiting our ability to study age-linked behavioral processes. For short-lived breeds, the thresholds for classifying a dog as aged are sometimes adjusted according to lifespan. However this practice is based on health needs, not cognitive needs. In this session, Dr. Harvey will discuss the research available on normative cognitive and neurological aging in domestic family dogs and present a new set of age-linked categories. These categories should capture age-related developmental trajectories for the majority of dog breeds, no matter their anticipated lifespan. The proposed groups could be used to support education programs informing owners of what behavioral changes to expect in their dog as they age. However due to breed-linked health declines, they cannot be used to reflect health-based needs associated with breed-specific morbidity. Dr. Harvey proposes that the use of the age categories highlights significant welfare issues for breeds with the shortest average lifespans (e.g., the Great Dane). While short-lived breeds may physically decline faster and need ‘geriatric’ healthcare sooner, there is no evidence of an increased rate of behavioral or cognitive aging in such breeds. Indeed, the shortest-lived breeds are most likely to die when classified by the proposed categories as mature adults. Learning Objectives: • •

Improved awareness of the evidence for behavioral development across the lifespan of pet dogs. What this means for how we consider their behavior and needs.

Dr. Susan Hazel: Optimizing Welfare for Pets and People – How Can an Ecological Model Help? All of us that work closely with pets and people strive for optimal human and animal welfare. Yet providing what is best for pets and people simultaneously can be challenging. People love to feed their pets, but pet obesity is a problem. Pets may want to bark and chew and dig, which conflicts with people. The complex interactions between animals, people and their environment can make it difficult to disentangle cause and effect.

Ecological models recognize multiple levels of influence on health and welfare, considering human and animal behaviors and how these fit within ecological systems. An ecological model used effectively for children is Bronfenbrenner’s Model, a model that can also teach us a lot about pets and people. At the microsystem level, the model includes the household the pets and people live within, and their daily community interactions. This may involve work, doggy and child day care; it may involve neighbors, family, and friends. The next level is the mesosystem, which includes the interactions between the different microsystems that the people and animals live in. This may be interactions between home and school – either children’s school or dog education classes. It may be between home and community, e.g., the people that interact in the daily walks of dogs and people. Finally, the macrosystem includes the social and cultural values of the community people live in, which change over time. For example, earlier it was common for dogs to live in backyards but now, in many places, they have moved into houses and onto beds. This session will discuss how an ecological model can help us achieve the best for pets and people, and align with a public health approach to prevent disease and enhance health and quality of life in populations. It moves away from an emphasis on risk factors alone (such as risk factors for dog attacks) and towards recognition of the early origins of problems within an ecological model. As stated by H.L. Mencken: ‘For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.’ Dr. Hazel will discuss how an ecological model can help prevent and treat complex problems of pets and people. Learning Objectives: • • •

Describe an ecological model of human and animal health. Discuss the interactions between the microsystem, mesosystem and macrosystem in problems of pets and people. Give examples of how targeting early origins of problems in pets can improve pet and human welfare.

Dr. Dorothy Heffernan: Positively Charged – Science-Based Approaches Changing Horse Training since 2000 Over the last few decades, research using positive reinforcement training with horses has surged – from very infrequent to significant numbers. This session will look at where and why this change has occurred, and examine whether there are signs that the use of positive reinforcement is becoming more commonplace. It will also examine the quality of the research and whether this has changed over the last few decades, as well as look at what effect this may have on mainstream training. Learning Objectives: •

Learn about the trend towards increased use of positive reinforcement in research on equine training and equine behavior modification.

Be able to evaluate the strength of the research and its influence on future trends in equine training.

Julia Henning: Quality of Life in Cats with Epilepsy and Burden of Care in Their Owners Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition reported in cats, characterized by recurrent seizures. Seizures are accompanied by adverse effects and can be distressing for a cat to experience or an owner to witness. Treatment involves administration of medication multiple times a day, impacting on owner time, finances and disrupting many facets of owner and animal lives. Little is known about epilepsy in cats or how it impacts cat quality of life and owner well-being. To begin to understand, a study was undertaken on owner experiences of caring for a cat with epilepsy and owner reported observations of quality of life in cats with epilepsy. Key findings showed significant associations between cat quality of life, owner burden, and factors such as seizure control and the closeness of cat-owner relationship. In this session, Julia, the lead researcher of this study, will walk you through feline epilepsy, burden of care in caregivers of chronically ill animals, and what factors are associated with improving quality of life for cats and their people. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand feline epilepsy, its symptoms, treatments and outcomes. Recognize burden of care in caregivers of chronically ill animals. Understand the factors associated with increased quality of life in cats with epilepsy. Recognize the factors associated with easing burden of care in owners of chronically ill animals.

Dr. Lynn Honeckman: The Foundation Steps of Behavior Modification – Learning to Float Before You Dive into the Deep End In this session, Dr. Honeckman will discuss the initial steps of a complete behavior modification program. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Recognize and identify signs of fear and anxiety in pets. Understand the safety and emotional needs of families living with behavior patients. Prioritize the goals of behavior modification. Utilize relaxation protocols and biofeedback breathing exercises. Create behavior modification plans with small, achievable goals for the patient and family.

Dr. Lynn Honeckman: When Seniors Struggle – Exploring Geriatric Medical Problems that Can Contribute to Behavior Issues In this session, Dr. Honeckman will explore a variety of medical abnormalities (such as osteoarthritis, metabolic, gastrointestinal, dental, or neurological) that may be related to new or worsening behavior signs. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Name at least five medical differentials for patients over 8 years of age who are presenting for a behavior problem. Gain an understanding of some common effects and adverse effects of behavior medications with special attention given to senior pets. Be able to help create management and safety plans for senior pets with behavior concerns. Develop behavior modification goals for senior pets with special circumstances Understand the physical and emotional needs of senior pets as they relate to behavior treatment.

Jimmy Mai: Raisers’ Program Experiences, Raiser Practices, and Puppy Behavior – Understanding Characteristics of Successful Puppy Raising This session will present recent research on human factors that influence successful puppy raising and discuss implications of Jimmy’s research into improving puppy raising practices in the assistance dog training industry. The session will start with a brief review of the assistance dog literature, which will be followed by three published studies and a general discussion. Theoretical and practical implications of this research will be presented before concluding the session. Background. Assistance dogs are trained and certified to assist human handlers with a disability so the handlers can lead a more independent life. The training process for these dogs typically starts with selecting suitable puppies and enrolling them into a puppy raising program, during which puppies learn essential life skills and public manners. After which, only puppies (about 50% of all puppies) with suitable behavior and temperament are selected for advanced training. Puppy raising is a year-long program that requires financial investment, efforts and commitment of program providers and puppy raisers – volunteers recruited by a program provider to provide puppies with basic care, socialization experiences and training. However, little is known about this practice and how to improve puppy behavior during this stage. Scope. Existing research in assistance dog has focused on either puppy behavior or the raisers’ experiences. It appears unethical to aim for higher puppy behavior without any due reward for

the raisers’ experiences, nor is it practical to focus on the raisers’ program satisfaction without any concern for puppy behavioral outcomes. Therefore, this research adopts a holistic approach and considers both raiser- and puppy-specific outcomes as indices of a successful program, namely: 1) Raisers’ positive program experiences. 2) Raisers’ engagement in recommended practices. 3) Desirable puppy behavior. Methodology. A mixed-methods research design was developed with three individual studies corresponding to the three program success indices outlined above. A qualitative study was aimed to explore factors affecting raisers’ program experiences, while the second study used an online survey method to examine best predictors of puppy behavior and of raiser practices. A longitudinal qualitative study looked at facilitators and barriers to raisers’ engagement in recommended puppy raising practices. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understanding the nature and influences of social support on raisers’ program experiences and practices. Identifying facilitators and barriers to the raisers’ engagement in recommended practices. Understanding the hierarchy of influencing factors on puppy behaviour and raiser practices. Understand functions of behavioural support intervention that may improve raisers’ program experiences and practices.

Rebecca Mead: “Choosing My Dog”: Insights from a Large-Scale Study into Acquisition Behaviors As in many countries, dogs are the most popular pet animal species in the UK today with numerous households having dogs as pets, or aspiring to have a dog as a pet. Decisions surrounding dog acquisition affect many people each year, but throughout the various stages of dog acquisition there is potential for practices that may compromise canine welfare. It is also the case that while people continue to acquire dogs, many dogs are relinquished every year. There are numerous reasons for this, including a limited understanding of dogs’ needs and a lack of appreciation of the time, effort and costs involved in dog ownership. In addition, it is likely that campaigns and education strategies about responsible dog acquisition are not sufficiently effective to make responsible practices the norm. Thus, there is an urgent need to understand how people make decisions about dog acquisition so that appropriate strategies can be developed that promote responsible acquisition behaviors to safeguard dog welfare.

The Choosing My Dog project aims to investigate the demand for dogs in the UK and, in particular, acquisition behaviors. This includes understanding how potential owners identify their preferred source from which to purchase a dog, and the motivations and influences affecting the choices they make. This project uses a mixed methods research design, namely an online survey and interviews. During this session, important aspects of the dog acquisition will be discussed. These include: the reasons why people wish to acquire dogs; the research prospective owners undertake prior to acquiring a dog; the sourcing of dogs; and unplanned dog acquisition. Learning Objectives: • • •

Potential dog owners’ pre-purchase motivations, i.e., why people consider getting a dog. Potential dog owners’ pre-purchase behaviours, i.e., what potential owners do after deciding to get a dog. Potential dog owners’ acquisition behaviours, i.e., how owners source their dogs.

Dr. Lisa Radosta: Is It Behavioral or Medical? Both! For decades people have asked, “Is it behavioral or medical?” Most of the time, the answer is…both! Behaviors are a result of inputs from the environment (internal and external), hereditary factors and learning. This session will explore in a practical way the internal factors which change behavior such as itchiness, orthopedic pain, abdominal pain, endocrine disease and gastrointestinal disease. Upto 62% of dogs referred to veterinary behaviorists have systemic disease. Learn how to recognize these signs and when to refer to a veterinarian for further work up. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand the prevalence of systemic disease and pain in dogs presented for behavior problems. Understand easy to use, practical ways to assess health. Know when to strongly encourage the pet parent to visit the veterinarian. Understand how overall health and wellness changes behavior.

Dr. Lisa Radosta: Myth Busting: The Truth behind the Techniques that You Use to Train Dogs We all train dogs everyday using the science of learning theory. We believe certain things like shock hurts dogs and clickers are excellent teaching tools. Do you know the science behind those

ideas? Do you have the information needed to explain to be able to evolve your explanations of training techniques to help clients understand why they should buy in? In this session, we are going to explore the scientific evidence for those statements that we hold so dear, learn new concepts and bust those training myths! Learning Objectives: • •

Understand the science behind the most common training techniques and tools. Feel comfortable making statements from different perspectives in order to persuade clients to utilize the most advanced and scientifically backed techniques.

Dr. Kersti Seksel: Emotions and Resilience – How Do They Affect How Dogs Behave? Although the words ‘emotions’ and ‘resilience’ are in common usage and, on the face of it, seem – self-explanatory, in reality they are much more complex. This is especially so when we apply them to dogs and try to explain, using these terms, why dogs do what they do, and then how they may behave at any given time. As more research is done in this fascinating area, in both people and animals, it will affect not only our understanding of these important words but also what we do when we work with animals. More and more we are learning about the importance of this area of science. It was not that long ago when discussing emotions and feelings, let alone sentience, that we would have been dismissed as being anthropomorphic. Any discussion about emotions and feeling in animals was not seen as evidence-based or scientific. Yet today, this is much more broadly accepted, even if by people discussing their own pets anecdotally. Learning Objectives: • •

Why understanding emotions and resilience is important. Why it affects not only what we do when we work with animals, but also the learning, development, and behavior of the animals themselves.

Dr. Kristina Spaulding: Making Sense of Science – Reading, Interpreting, and Applying Research Articles Research on applied animal behavior is exploding. Staying at the top of your field means staying up-to-date on the most current research. More than ever, trainers and behavior consultants will benefit from a skill set that allows them to read, understand and correctly interpret scientific papers.

Join Dr. Spaulding for a crash course in finding and reading research papers. We’ll cover how to find and access papers, how to understand the reported findings, and how to apply these to training and behavior. If you want to keep up with the research but find yourself feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, then don’t miss this session! Learning Objectives: • • • •

Find and access research articles in animal behavior. Identify the key findings of research articles. Identify the strengths and limitations of scientific studies and their findings. Effectively apply research results to animal training and behavior.

Dr. Melissa Starling: Emotions, Learning and Welfare Do an animal’s emotional responses guide their learning? How can this help us make good decisions to protect and improve the welfare of animals under our care? This session will be a deep dive into what science knows about emotions in animals and the various ideas emerging about animals’ emotional experiences when they are learning. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Identify how emotion is measured in animals. Appreciate limitations to detecting emotional responses. Understand how accumulated experiences of associations influence emotional responses and how this can change over time. Understand concepts of the emotional underpinnings of operant conditioning. Apply the material covered in the session to practical means to changing or supporting emotional states in animals in training.

Dr. Holly Tett: Understanding How Human Attachment Theory Can Be Applied to Our Relationship with Our Dogs Attachment theory is hugely helpful in human psychology to understand the patterns we often repeat in life (good and bad) and the emotions attached to these. Dogs exhibit very similar patterns and emotional responses to certain life experiences. An understanding of attachment theory can help us to help them feel more safe, secure and for us to feel confident to give them the freedom (e.g. off-leash freedom) they deserve. Learning Objectives:

What do we mean by attachment and what influence does it have on our personality and decision- making processes throughout life?

• •

How can we use what we know about attachment theory to build a solid connection with our dogs? How do we start to repair what has gone wrong in our relationship with our dogs?

Dr. Zazie Todd: How to Change Minds and Encourage More People to Use Reward-Based Training Methods Despite a general consensus that reward-based dog training methods are both effective and better for animal welfare, many dog guardians (and indeed some trainers) continue to use aversive methods to train dogs. Drawing on her background in social psychology, in this session Dr. Todd will look at the barriers to adopting the use of humane dog training methods, and strategies to encourage more people to use reward-based methods. It’s an important topic because scientific research shows that aversive methods risk increasing fear, stress, and aggression, and can affect the relationship with the dog’s guardian.

To bring about change, we can consider strategies on different levels, from statements from organizations (such as PPG) and the legal framework of training methods (e.g. banning the use of shock collars), right through to the many things we see on TV, on social media, or read in books. And of course, there are the things to say when the person in front of you needs help with their dog. So we’ll also look at how to help people understand the importance of choice of methods, and how to help build their skills and confidence in using positive reinforcement. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Understand what reward-based training methods are and why it’s important to use them. Appreciate the broader picture of what influences choice of training methods. Identify opportunities to make a difference to people’s approach to dog training. Appraise strategies to encourage the use of reward-based methods and to debunk myths about dog training. Describe ways to support clients to develop their dog training technique and confidence in their skills.

Dr. Mindy Waite: Functional Analyses and Reinforcement-Based Treatments for Mouthing in Dogs The most common cause of companion dog relinquishment and non-medical euthanasia is problem behavior. Many animal behavior professionals utilize descriptive assessments, functional assessments, or medical assessments to try and identify the functions of problem behavior in order to target those functions in behavior modification protocols. However, studies

have demonstrated differences in accuracy and efficiency between functional assessments and functional analyses. Mouthing is a relatively common problem behavior observed in pet dogs, and many owners seek to reduce the frequency of the behavior. However, the functions of dog mouthing are unknown; therefore, behavior interventions are based on descriptively-informed behavioral functions. As a result, current interventions may lack efficacy or even worsen the behavior. Although the functional analysis is the gold standard for identifying human behavioral functions and developing function-based interventions, its use in the animal behavior field is still relatively rare. This study assessed the validity of the functional analysis for mouthing in companion dogs and tested function-based interventions informed by the results. Participants included three dogs and their owners participating in a functional analysis and intervention assessment. Data indicate that function-based interventions informed by functional analysis results were efficacious for reducing problem mouthing. Discussion in this session will include how the functional analysis was set up, behavior was measured, data were analyzed, and results were integrated into interventions. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Identify the importance and definition of an operant behavioral function (what drives a particular operant behavior). Be able to describe the relative differences between functional assessments and functional analyses, in addition to understanding the differences in outcomes and efficiency. Understand the relative frequency and possible functions of dog mouthing behavior. Have a very general understanding of the setup of a functional analysis protocol and interpretation of functional analysis results in the context of dog mouthing behavior.

Dr. Mindy Waite: Simple Food Preference Assessments for Companion Dogs Preference assessments are behavior protocols which empirically determine relative rankings among a variety of potential reinforcers. As a result, preference assessments are often used with humans to identify highly preferred items, which can then be used in behavioral interventions. Preference assessments have been validated and used in a variety of exotic and domestic species to identify food and non-food preferences. Although many dog behavior professionals and owners of companion dogs use food as a reinforcer during training, few determine their selection of potential reinforcers from formal preference assessments, potentially because existing preference assessments for dogs may be too complex or problematic for the typical owner. The purpose of the study discussed was to test the validity, duration, and owner integrity of a simple, owner-implemented paired-stimulus preference assessment for companion dogs. Results suggest the paired-stimulus preference assessment protocol was able to establish relative

rankings across various foods for individual dogs. The food items which ranked lowest and highest were then validated using a progressive ratio schedule, where the higher-preferred item produced consistently higher response levels than the lower-preferred. Owners were able to successfully implement the protocol after a brief virtual demonstration, suggesting the protocol may be simple enough to be widely applied by dog owners and professionals. Further, owners indicated the protocol was highly acceptable. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand the importance of preference assessments for empirically identifying an individual’s stimulus preferences. Be able to perform a simple preference assessment with your dog or clients’ dogs Understand components of the preference assessment which may require troubleshooting. Identify how to calculate preference assessment results.

Dr. Karolina Westlund: Emotions and Challenging Behavior

This session will discuss how emotional and mood states may explain unwanted behavior, including: • • • • • • • •

Core Affect Space and the difference between emotions and moods. Panksepp’s 7 Core Emotions. SSDRs and the predatory imminence concept. Polyvagal theory and the importance of safety. The concept of triggers and what happens when we flip out. How classical conditioning impacts emotions and anticipation. Conflicting motivation, the approach-avoidance conflict and magnetization. The Mickey Mouse of separation-related problem behavior in dogs.

Learning Objectives:

Challenging behaviors may be annoying and problematic to us humans, and put animals and people at risk. This session will provide us with a better understanding of the underlying mood state or emotion behind such behaviors, and ideas about how to prevent them.

Dr. Karolina Westlund: Resolving Challenging Behavior – A Framework

In this session, Dr. Westlund will outline a framework for addressing unwanted behavior in animals, following the LIMA (Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive) principle. There are multiple ways to come to terms with challenging behavior, and this session will include a quick overview of the three main perspectives and how they might be used to find a resolution. Learning Objectives: • • • • • •

The EMRA model (Emotion, Mood, Reinforcement Assessment). Three tracks of behavior modification: enrichment, exposure, and operant. Change moods (addressing sleep, nutrition, hydration, SEEKING, PLAY and CARE). Change emotions (using for instance systematic desensitization and classical conditioning). Change behavior (discussing two mechanisms: differential reinforcement and behavioral momentum). Using the Fun Hierarchy to choose a suitable intervention.

Contents Beth Adelman: Socializing Kittens – from Basic Husbandry to Sensory Stimulation .................................... 3 Baker, Tiffany: Deaf Dogs Unleashed ............................................................................................................ 3 Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh – Create Noise! Controlled Noise Making for Confidence and Performance ................................................................................................................................................. 4 Irith Bloom: “I’m out of Control!” Helping the Over-Aroused Animal .......................................................... 5 Cristina and Aurélien Budzinski: What Can We Learn from Dogs’ Pulses? .................................................. 5 Suzanne Clothier: The REALLY REAL RELAXATION Protocol ......................................................................... 6 Alexis Davison: Your Attention, Please! ........................................................................................................ 7 Jean Donaldson: Place Object in Hand Plan for Retrieve DRI for Object Guarders ...................................... 7 Kamal Fernandez: Building Resilience through Shaping ............................................................................... 8 Jade Fountain: Say Ahh! Teaching Open Mouth Behaviors as Part of Animal Care and Husbandry ............ 8 Paula Garber: Do Less to Get More – Practical Tips for Positive Human-Cat Interactions........................... 9 Aimee Gardiner: Step On The Brakes – Perfecting the ‘Stop on Cue’ .......................................................... 9 Dr. Dorothy Heffernan: Walk on – Creating Movement without Pressure in Horse Training .................... 10 Rain Jordan: Fear and Luring – Curing the Inadvertent Aversive to Prevent and Treat Fear in Dogs ........ 10 Judy Luther: What Is ‘Attachment’ and How Does It Affect Our Relationship with Our Dogs? ................. 11 Michelle Martiya: Mindful Equine Guidance .............................................................................................. 12 Leslie McDevitt: Thirsty for Knowledge about Helping Your Reactive Dog? Try a LATTE........................... 12 Jasmine Molloy: Behavior Chains – for Life and for Canine Freestyle ........................................................ 13 Helen Phillips and Jules Morgan: Force-Free Fetch .................................................................................... 13 Simone Mueller: Hunting Together – Harnessing Predatory Chasing through Motivation-Based Training .................................................................................................................................................................... 14 Julie Naismith: Puppy Separation Anxiety – What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Preventing and Treating Separation Anxiety in Puppies .................................................................................................... 15 Evelia Rivera: Tomorrows Trainer – How Dog Trainers Can Speak Cat! ..................................................... 15 Veronica Sanchez: Service Dog Retrieve Skills – 5 Common Training Mistakes ......................................... 16 Alexandra Santos: How to Train an Easily Frustrated Dog.......................................................................... 17 Michael Shikashio: “Beneath the Bite” – Recognizing Underlying Emotions in Aggression Cases............. 17 Louise Stapleton-Frappell: 10 Steps to an Amazing Response to Name .................................................... 18 Victoria Stilwell: The Resilient Dog ............................................................................................................. 19 K. Holden Svirsky: Cooperative Care Case Study – Kea’s Extreme Fear of Veterinary Contexts and Routine Procedures .................................................................................................................................................. 19

K. Holden Svirsky: They Just Want to Play – Increasing Welfare, Reducing Shelter Length of Stay and Increasing Live Outcomes for Dogs with Barrier Frustration ...................................................................... 20 Melissa Taylor: First Impressions 101 – How Ritualized Introductions Can Turn a Scaredy Cat into a Social Butterfly ...................................................................................................................................................... 21 Nancy Tucker: Harmonious Walks – Redefining Loose-Leash Walking ...................................................... 22 Yvette Van Veen: The Mechanics of Creating Dog Training Magic, and Giving Dogs a More Positive Learning Experience .................................................................................................................................... 22 Ruby Welsford: But My Dog Doesn't Catch Discs ....................................................................................... 23

Beth Adelman: Socializing Kittens – from Basic Husbandry to Sensory Stimulation While there are a large number of papers, articles and even whole books written about socializing puppies, when it comes to kittens we often focus on making sure the kittens are socialized to human handling during the critical socialization period (2 weeks to 7-8 weeks), and on working with fearful kittens who have missed that window. We rarely discuss socializing kittens who have been handled and are not afraid of humans, and on how to continue socialization past the 8week window. But there are a host of socialization tasks we can do with kittens to help them get off on the right paw to being friendly, outgoing, spectacular pets. From basic husbandry to sensory stimulation, to learning why humans make great companions, to basic training such as come when called, don’t bite, and target training, there’s a lot we can do to help a kitten grow up to be a social, welladjusted, and well-mannered cat. Learning Objectives: • • • • • • •

The development of kittens’ senses, brains, physical skills, play styles, and social skills. How varied stimulation of a kitten’s sense of smell, hearing, taste, and touch, makes for a resilient and confident kitten. Making human handling fun and fabulous for kittens. Training to make basic husbandry easy, such as carrier training and nail trims. Training basic manners, such as no biting and scratching humans. Getting started training some simple skills. Kitten Kindergarten and beyond—why not training classes for kittens?

Baker, Tiffany: Deaf Dogs Unleashed Introducing The Control Unleashed (CU) Program, Deaf Dog Style: Deaf Dogs Unleashed! The CU program, developed by Leslie McDevitt, was designed to help dogs learn how to relax and focus in challenging environments, while simultaneously building confidence by giving the learner control through predictable patterns in an otherwise unpredictable environment. After implementing the CU exercises creatively and effectively with a few different deaf dog clients, it became clear that there was a need for these ideas to be shared. And so Control Unleashed for deaf dogs was born. Training with deaf dogs can sometimes be a challenge; the need for attention and engagement from our dogs is crucial when our dogs rely so heavily on visual cues. There’s also the added difficulty our deaf dogs experience with Sudden Environmental Contrast (SEC), as well as a more pronounced startle response when things appear unexpectedly. When things happen in their environment, unpredictably, and outside of their control, it can create increased anxiety and make it difficult for our pups to relax. What better

way to provide our deaf dogs with the support they need to navigate their world than The Control Unleashed program? Throughout this presentation you will get to experience The Control Unleashed program thoughtfully and creatively customized and purposefully geared towards our beloved deaf dogs. This will include introducing unique visual and tactile cues, combined with predictable patterns to build a beautiful recipe for engagement and confidence. We will be navigating the skills to implement the popular “Look At That'' conversational game for ‘reactive’ dogs, as well as many of the foundational patterns that build voluntary engagement and predictability such as UpDown, Ping-pong, Give Me A Break, Whiplash U-turn, and 1-2-3. We will also take a look at what real life application of this program looks like for our deaf dogs, and much more. Whether you are a deaf dog guardian, or a trainer looking to add tools to your toolbox to better assist your clientele, this one’s for you. The purpose of this presentation is to expand the reach of The Control Unleashed program to provide attendees the resources, education, and skills to bring these beneficial life changing patterns and exercises to the deaf dogs of the world. Get ready to open up a new conversation of empowerment with your deaf dog! Learning Objectives: ● An understanding of the basic mechanics of training with a deaf dog including visual markers, forms of praise, and end of session signals such as a hand flash, thumbs up, the “all done” ASL hand wave. ● The skills to teach and understanding of these foundational pattern games modified for deaf dogs: Up-down, Ping Pong Whip lash U-turn, Give Me A Break, and 1-2-3.

Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh – Create Noise! Controlled Noise Making for Confidence and Performance All dogs should get the opportunity to learn to enjoy noise making! Whether you’re on the hunt for a blazing teeter performance on the agility field or you’re looking to help a canine companion become happy and comfortable around things making a racket in an everyday setting, this session is for you! Join Eva and Emelie as they share their protocol for teaching dogs to enjoy making noise, their rationale behind the different elements in the procedure, and the ways in which this training integrates with other approaches to noise training. This creative application of behavior science starts out in a pairing procedure, takes the route over the dog creating the noise through the trainer (start button work) and ends with the dog creating noise on their own. Why settle for your dog just being okay with noise, when you can work towards having them strive for things to go kaboom? Come along, let’s make some noise!

Learning Objectives: • • •

Describe the three phases of Eva and Emelie’s noise making protocol. Describe at least two behavioral objectives relevant for each stage. Be able to create a setup where the dog creates noise through the trainer (start button), and describe the rationale behind this phase.

Irith Bloom: “I’m out of Control!” Helping the Over-Aroused Animal Many of the behavior issues we see in pets – including biting – can relate to over-arousal. So how do we help the over-aroused animal? Whether you are faced with reactive, aggressive, or fearful behavior, addressing over-arousal can be the key to improving behavior and keeping pets in their homes. In this presentation, Irith will give you tips for identifying over-arousal and share practical tools to help you deal with over-arousal issues in pet animals. Learning Objectives: • • •

Better understand arousal and its effects. Be able to determine when “problem” behaviors relate to over-arousal. Learn training games that can help pets learn to manage their arousal levels.

Cristina and Aurélien Budzinski: What Can We Learn from Dogs’ Pulses? In this session, Cristina and Aurélien will present some of the observations they have made while studying dogs’ pulse rates. By understanding how the dog’s physiology works and how their pulse rates vary, we can gain a glimpse of how dogs are feeling. This session will not only give you a different view of how dogs feel and why they do some of the things they do, but also discuss what we can learn from that and how to apply it in our daily lives. Learning Objectives: • • •

The dog’s physiology, how the pulse works and how it is relevant to the presenters’ observations. What can we learn from the variation of the pulse? The presenters will show several examples of natural increases and decreases of the pulse. What can we do to help our dogs in daily life situations? The presenters will provide some simple “tools” to help our dogs that we can easily apply in our daily lives.

Suzanne Clothier: The REALLY REAL RELAXATION Protocol Suzanne Clothier’s Really Real Relaxation Protocol (RRR) is based on her commitment as a trainer to creating authentic responses rather than faux or “looks like” (but actually is not) behaviors. This requires a careful assessment of what the authentic behavior actually is in terms of arousal, body language, response and volitional behavior. RRR promotes true relaxation. Other relaxation protocols are based in keeping the dog in a down position in a particular place in the hopes that this will result in relaxation. Remaining in place as directed does not always lead to authentic relaxation. Additionally, these protocols ignore the importance of social referencing, expecting the dog to remain in place regardless of what the handler does or does not do; this is more accurately the goal of a well-trained stay. RRR involves the handler and social referencing so that the relaxation becomes a shared response, not an action independent of the handler and relationship. Finally, being prompted to assume a specific position does not involve volitional behavior or selfmodulation, and remains extrinsically reinforced behavior, rather than the intrinsically driven choices and reinforcement of choosing the body posture and arousal that is truly aligned with authentic relaxation. Dogs learn self-modulation through discovery, facilitating behavioral changes and shifts in emotional and cognitive state, making it ideal for “reactive” dogs. RRR is easily taught in one session, generalizes readily (as with most intrinsically reinforced behaviors), is suitable for use with dogs of any age, in group classes as well as private sessions, and can be used in any setting where the dog is in the Think & Learn Zone (productive arousal). Handlers do not need specific or sophisticated skills or knowledge, and RRR is as suitable for children as for adults. Goals • • •

Teaching dog to find authentic relaxation through their own choices. Teaching handler to relax with the dog while maintaining connection. Maintenance of dog/handler connection that can easily be modulated up or down as desired.

Benefits Simple, effective, quickly established – no need for laborious protocols. • • • • •

Dog learns to self-modulate through volunteered, not prompted, behavior. Handler learns to relax themselves while providing social reference for the dog. Readily generalized. Suitable for any age dog. Appropriate for companion, service, shelter/foster, behavior case, competitive/sport, and working dogs.

Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Understand the value of volitional behavior, intrinsic reinforcement and social referencing. Understand the steps involved in teaching RRR. Be able to start any dog with RRR. Understand various applications and considerations for one-on-one and group sessions Be able to recognize common errors or challenges.

RRR is a must-have tool for any trainer. This presentation will cover the details of teaching RRR, and a variety of applications.

Alexis Davison: Your Attention, Please! Teaching dogs that it is reinforcing to make eye contact with their guardians is a valuable tool with unlimited training applications. It’s very reinforcing for clients and students, too. Alexis Davison uses attention as a foundation exercise in Un-Chase!®, her innovation protocol for dogs who chase (wheels, cats, farm and wild animals, or anything else). In the Un-Chase!® program, a dog’s chase triggers are transformed into cues for eye contact, providing clients a portable incompatible behavior to battle chasing in any place or context. This approach to teaching attention cues is easily adapted to help dogs in a wide range of situations, such as those that are reactive to the presence of people or dogs. In this presentation, the presenter will share three attention exercises and how to add environmental cues to adapt to your clients’ and students’ training goals. Learning Objectives: • • •

How to teach three attention exercises. How to implement the attention exercises in their training plans. How to add environmental cues adapted to their client’s or students’ training goals.

Jean Donaldson: Place Object in Hand Plan for Retrieve DRI for Object Guarders While systematic desensitization and counterconditioning are still the gold standard for resolving object guarding in dogs, some cases do very well with a retrieve DRI that commences with

unguarded objects and progresses to guarded. Some of these require a precise placement of the object into the trainer’s hand to avoid conflict at the end of the guarded object retrieve. Learning Objectives: Using video examples, this presentation will walk participants through the standard plan for this behavior as well as useful incremental splits. Participants will come away with the basics of planning and executing a place-in-hand DRI for object guarders.

Kamal Fernandez: Building Resilience through Shaping This session will explain and demonstrate how to plan and complete a shaping session, as well as introduce challenges to create resilience and, ultimately, confidence in your dog. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Identify what is shaping. Planning shaping. Creating errorless learning. Planned frustration for resilience. Building confidence.

Jade Fountain: Say Ahh! Teaching Open Mouth Behaviors as Part of Animal Care and Husbandry Mouth, muzzle, teeth…training oral behaviors for safety and care is important. Each husbandry task we can teach the animals in our care to participate in can improve quality of life by giving us early tell-tale signs that there is a health concern or give us a tool to provide preventative care on a daily basis – without ongoing stress or battles each time medication is needed. The behavior of opening the mouth on cue can allow us to give care through inspecting teeth and gums, clean teeth, administer oral medication and much more, which we will explore in this session. Is your dog or cat reluctant to have their mouth handled? Do they leave, hide or avoid checks? Are you worried about checking their teeth? We will explore different techniques whereby this behavior can be taught across different species, along with the foundation behaviors that may be needed to develop the behavior. The aim of this session is to provide you a guide as to how to teach the ‘mouth open’ behavior, building on the ever-important foundation of how great teaching husbandry and care behaviors are for empowering the animals in our lives. Learning Objectives: • •

Learn how to teach a mouth open. Discuss tips on husbandry and vet care behaviors.

Learn how to build duration.

Paula Garber: Do Less to Get More – Practical Tips for Positive Human-Cat Interactions How many times have you heard the complaint, “My cat bites me out of nowhere,” or “My cat scratches people for no reason,” or “My cat randomly attacks my hands and feet,” or “My cat hates me—she runs away when I try to pet her and struggles to get down when I pick her up,” or any number of similar laments from clients? This presentation will explain why interactions between cats and humans go wrong and provide practical skills and techniques for improving contentious human-cat relationships. We will discuss some of the differences between humans and cats that often contribute to the problem, and also explore similarities that we share with cats that can help cat guardians better understand and interact with their pets. You will learn how to empower your clients to “do less” so they can “get more” positive interactions with their cats. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand how a cat’s genetics and experiences influence his or her interactions with humans. Recognize and correctly interpret cat communication signals. Learn best practices for interacting with cats. Discover how to develop a “common language” with a cat.

Aimee Gardiner: Step On The Brakes – Perfecting the ‘Stop on Cue’ A skill that should be a vital cue in all dogs (but seems to be rarely taught and trained in pet dogs) is the ‘stop on cue.’ While this potentially lifesaving skill can be found predominantly in competition and in working dogs, a case can also be made for the cue’s application in pet dogs in situations where ‘brakes’ would be an asset. Historically, stop on cue has often been trained aversively. This is potentially due to the high impact, high arousal nature of the situation it occurs in, as well as the previous history of aversive training in the disciplines in which it is commonly found. Dogs in such situations are usually engaging heavily in strong genetic behaviors, and so the belief among trainers in these disciplines may be that aversive techniques are needed to ensure a reliable stop. However, a sharp stop can of course also be achieved using positive reinforcement, without punishment and aversives. This session will explore how stop on cue can be applied to pet dogs and puppy classes, being taught as a vital skill alongside recall and other important cues. Once learned, it would give owners an extra tool to ensure their dogs’ safety, while also allowing a much more controlled off-leash experience.

Aimee will explore the mechanics of the stop on cue and the cue’s application in working and pet dog training, as well as how the cue can be taught fear free and with positive reinforcement. She will also discuss proofing and how to prevent ‘creeping’ (where the dog walks a few steps before stopping) to achieve the ideal stop. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Explore the ‘stop on cue’ and its application within competition and working dogs. Explore how this can be applied to non-competition and non-working dogs and how pet dogs can benefit from this vital skill. Master the reliable and sharp stop. Demonstrate training techniques to proof the stop around distractions.

Dr. Dorothy Heffernan: Walk on – Creating Movement without Pressure in Horse Training How can you train a horse to move on cue without using pressure? Traditional approaches get the movement using an aversive the horse will move to escape, and when movement happens, the aversive is removed. It’s commonly believed this is the only way to teach a horse to move on cue. This session will discuss how to train movement using antecedent arrangements, shaping and capturing. Learning Objectives: • •

Learn about three ways to teach a horse to move, on cue, without the use of pressure. Understand the role of antecedent arrangements and have a number of examples to try.

Rain Jordan: Fear and Luring – Curing the Inadvertent Aversive to Prevent and Treat Fear in Dogs Much is said and spread on the topic of working with fearful dogs, but more than a little of what is taught to dog behavior and training professionals (as well as to veterinary professionals, rescues, shelters, animal welfare organizations, and private dog owners) results in aversive experiences for the dog—the exact opposite of what we intend to provide. As the science continues to illuminate the correlation between aversives and behavior degradation, our profession must further enlighten itself as well. It’s easy to see how shock, prong, and corporal punishment are aversive, but we are wise to look much deeper and more carefully—to consider how even the most positive intentions nevertheless might at times result in an aversive experience. This session will explore how and why this happens, and then update

best practices to the anti-aversives standard for working with and living with feral, anxious, traumatized, and other fearful dogs “in captivity.” Learning Objectives: • • • •

Learn what is meant by “anti-aversives” and how it differs from LIMA and similar models. Understand how luring can hinder the behavior modification process for fearful dogs. Learn how and when to replace luring during fearful dog interventions. Understand how to set up a fearful dog for success by relying first on ‘Date’ over ‘Bait’: o Phase One: Learn how to achieve fearful/avoidant dog approach without the use of luring. o Phase Two: Learn one possible option for transitioning dog from Phase One (choose to approach) to Phase Two (choose to touch the human).

Judy Luther: What Is ‘Attachment’ and How Does It Affect Our Relationship with Our Dogs? Attachment theory is a psychological, evolutionary and ethological theory concerning relationships between humans. The attachment theory also applies to the human and animal relationship. Within attachment theory, attachment means an affectional bond or tie between an individual and an attachment figure (usually a caregiver). This applies to relationships between humans and their animals and between animals and their parents. In this session, we will learn how attachment styles affect our dogs’ ability to learn and function. We all know that a trusting relationship is beneficial to our dogs’ well-being, but it is also important to their welfare. The presenter will cover attachment theory and how to assess attachment styles of the dogs you work with. You will also learn how various attachment styles effect behavior, and how you can use this information to help your clients build a strong relationship with their dog. Once you understand the different attachment styles, you will be able to easily identify which attachment style you have with your dogs, the attachment style your clients have with their dogs, and the attachment style you have with your client’s dogs. Knowing this will help you adjust your training programs and protocols to benefit the individual dog. At this point you will be able to discuss the attachment style with your client, determine the health of the attachment, and develop a plan to incorporate changes in the relationship to help improve the attachment style, to better benefit both the dogs and their people. Learning Objectives:

• • • •

Gain a solid understanding of the attachment theory, and how it effects the dogs and families you work with. How to identify the attachment styles of the dogs you interact with. Know the steps to guide your clients to initiate a strong, trusting relationship. Have the tools you need to transform a damaged relationship into a trusting, safe relationship.

Michelle Martiya: Mindful Equine Guidance In this session, Michelle will be going over how to introduce clicker training to fearful, wild, and feral equids. Through video examples, she will demonstrate how to reinforce equids that cannot be hand fed and how to build on the animal’s natural behavior to decrease distance between horse and handler and begin targeting. She will also look at using both protected contact and social facilitation to increase training success. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

How to reinforce animals from a distance. How to use protected contact to increase a fearful animal’s confidence. How to use a more confident animal to help a fearful animal succeed. How to raise criteria. How to begin targeting from a distance.

Leslie McDevitt: Thirsty for Knowledge about Helping Your Reactive Dog? Try a LATTE The Look at That game from Leslie’s Control Unleashed series has been a popular, tried-and-true operant counterconditioning game for reactive and distractible dogs for over a decade. Leslie recently developed a new twist on this game, LATTE, which incorporates an enriched environment with decompression breaks into this procedure. LATTE was created for people who want the counterconditioning piece without the working level of focus on the handler that Look at That creates. It is also excellent for uncertain shelter dogs and socializing shy puppies. Come learn about the how’s and why’s of both Look at That and its baby sister, and how to apply them for your dog and/or your clients dogs. Learning Objectives: • •

Learn the how and why of the Control Unleashed Look at That game. Learn the how and why of the new variation of this game, LATTE.

Jasmine Molloy: Behavior Chains – for Life and for Canine Freestyle Behavior chains are absolutely everywhere – our dogs are always connecting sequences of behavior. Behavior chains are a very important thing to understand when it comes to working with and training dogs, and can be extremely useful if we know how to utilize them. Additionally, they can occur where we don’t want them to, so it is crucial to have knowledge about them in order to undo these undesirable behavior chains. There are a wide range of applications of behavior chains and sequences, and this session will examine what behavior chains are, how dogs can learn them, and how we can use them in pet dog training and sports. Jasmine will break down a specific behavior chain and talk about the process of connecting the individual behaviors. She will approach the topic of behavior chains from a few different angles, and will explore the all-important perspective of how this can be applied to general pet dog training, as unintended behavior chains can interfere with our goals for our pets and can create unwanted habits. She will also discuss how to build a behavior chain, how to ensure the behaviors you wish to train are individually fluent enough to start combining as part of a sequence, and how behavior chains can be helpful to us in day-to-day life. Finally, she will break down a specific behavior chain – a sequence of moves for a canine freestyle routine – into individual components and talk through them step-by-step, so you can go away and try them – or your own sequence – with your dog. This session is perfect for people who enjoy teaching their dogs different behaviors and/or tricks and want to go a step further in putting them together into a smooth, fluid chain. It will also be a good refresher on techniques like forward chaining, back chaining and proofing behaviors, so they are fluent enough to start putting together. Learning Objectives: • • • •

To develop a deeper understanding of behavior chains and how they come into play in everyday life. To understand the different techniques you can use to chain behaviors in a sequence. To learn about proofing tricks or moves to a level that they can be included in a behavior chain. To follow the process of training a behavior chain sequence for a canine freestyle routine.

Helen Phillips and Jules Morgan: Force-Free Fetch In this session, the presenters will demonstrate how to shape a reliable retrieve delivery to hand, using a variety of strategies that are force-free and fun.

Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Breakdown the retrieve delivery to hand. Understand shaping and how reinforcement works. Develop good timing skills. Add a release cue. Finally, isolate the cue from body language and a variety of external stimuli.

Simone Mueller: Hunting Together – Harnessing Predatory Chasing through Motivation-Based Training Conventional training protocols can stifle a dog’s natural predatory behaviors by constantly requesting them to return to their handler. These restrictive protocols work against the dog’s nature and against what they want most: to go for a hunt! Predation is an inner need that makes dogs happy. Suppressing those natural urges is like putting a lid on a boiling pot. Eventually, that pressure needs to escape; without a proper outlet, it’s probably going to get messy. Predation Substitute Training (PST) is a motivation-based and need-oriented training program designed to stop uncontrolled predatory chasing and provide safe outlets for a dog’s natural drive. Instead of making “discipline” the nagging factor that spoils the fun, this training system will help dogs and their guardians to grow as a team and go hunting together. In this session, Simone will discuss: • • •

What is predation? Why do our dogs love to hunt? Why is predatory behaviour so hard to interrupt?

Learning Objectives: To stop a dog’s predatory chasing and see real-life results, the four aspects of PST need to become part of the dog owner’s training routine: • • • •

Prevention: How to structure walks to set our dogs up for success. Predation Substitute Tools: Tools that help dogs to control their urge to chase in a healthy way. Predation Substitute Games: A new way to express predatory energy in a safe, controlled environment. Safety Net: Building a strong “emergency cue” to immediately interrupt predatory chasing.

Julie Naismith: Puppy Separation Anxiety – What the Pandemic Has Taught Us About Preventing and Treating Separation Anxiety in Puppies For the longest time we've questioned whether separation anxiety was preventable. But we know how to prevent the development of fear-based behaviors in dogs because we use socialization to gently expose them to novel experiences in a safe way. Yet, we missed that being home alone is a totally novel and alien concept for dogs. Home alone time has been missed off the socialization list! The pandemic has shown us exactly what happens when puppies don't experience safe alone time during their sensitive period. And now we have a pandemic of puppy separation anxiety. Julie will explore this, and much, much more, in her new book and she wants to share it with professionals who are on the frontline when dealing with this ballooning problem. This session will cover: • • •

• • •

What separation anxiety really is, what it’s not and why separation anxiety can develop at any age. The most common myths surrounding separation anxiety in puppies and why we need to bust them. How we can apply what we know about the prevention of fear to separation-related issues and what we can do give puppies their best chance of gaining home alone confidence. What we know about object permanence and dogs and how we can teach this concept to puppies. Why home alone socialization is so crucial, why it’s been overlooked, and how to build it into your puppy clients’ homework. What we can do to help the puppy who already has separation anxiety.

Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand the factors affecting the development of separation anxiety in puppies. Have new insight into what you can do to help prevent puppy separation anxiety (without having to be a separation anxiety expert). Be clear on what guardians can do to build home alone confidence in puppies. Know the interventions required to help puppies who have already developed separation anxiety.

Evelia Rivera: Tomorrows Trainer – How Dog Trainers Can Speak Cat! Have you ever worked with a client and their dog in their home and out of nowhere they say, “Oh, we adopted a cat the other day, can you help us introduce them?” Or, “You are so great with our dog, can you help us with our cat scratching the furniture?”

If you have never worked with cats, this can be intimidating. Your first instinct may be to “phone a friend” and refer them to someone else. In this session Evelia will share with you some basics of cat behavior, so you can feel confident to discuss various techniques with your clients and become their go-to “pet” trainer! You will be surprised at what enrichment and training techniques work across the board for both species of animals. Learning Objectives: • • • • • • • •

Learn the basics of feline body language. Learn some of the key differences in dog and cat behavior. Take home training tips that will work for both cat and dogs that you can keep in your back pocket. What is the basic set up for introducing cats and dogs or cats and cats? Is the family meeting the needs for both cat and dogs? How can you help them set up the environment? Learn what behaviors to look for when showing clients that the animals are genuinely having fun together. Explore enrichment that is fun for the whole family. Know what to advise if the puppy is eating cat poop.

Veronica Sanchez: Service Dog Retrieve Skills – 5 Common Training Mistakes The retrieve is an important skill for service dogs. People with various kinds of disabilities often need their service dog to retrieve medications, phones, and many other objects of different shapes and sizes and materials. Not only is the retrieve itself a task that is important for service work, but the components of the retrieve, take, hold, carry, and give serve as foundation skills for many additional complex tasks. Commonly needed tasks like opening doors, giving items to other people, and assisting with dressing are all based on components of the retrieve. However, the service dog retrieve can be deceptively challenging to teach. Trainers often make technical mistakes in the training process. This can result in a service dog that chews, drops and even damages items that the handler needs. If the trainer has not considered aspects of the handler’s disability, the dog may not be able to deliver items securely to the handler. Additionally, inadequate training of the retrieve can make it difficult to teach the many service dog tasks that build on components of the retrieve. This session will examine five common mistakes that trainers make when teaching the service dog retrieve and discuss multiple strategies to address these problems. It will cover technical aspects of training the retrieve, as well as disability considerations that are critical to the successful training of this important service dog task. Learning Objectives:

• • • •

How to identify the components of the service dog retrieve and understand how these components serve as foundation skills for many service dog tasks. How to set incremental criteria to teach the service dog retrieve. Learn strategies to successfully troubleshoot common problems encountered when teaching the service dog retrieve. Understand how to adjust the training of the service dog retrieve to ensure that the end task meets the handler’s disability needs.

Alexandra Santos: How to Train an Easily Frustrated Dog Training dogs that get frustrated easily can be challenging, in the sense that it repeatedly prompts them to choose the lower-value but immediate payoff, rather than cooperate in the training process. This is due, in part, to frustration being related to annoyance. Furthermore, there are physiological components to it such as a dopamine imbalance. Training dogs shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach, but this holds particularly true with regards to easily frustrated dogs. We trainers need to make the training process less demanding by breaking it down into manageable steps – thus setting the dog up for success, be more skilled at managing and delivering reinforcement, avoid inadvertently punishing the dog, and avoid ratio strain. This session explores the various causes and signs of frustration, the impact of the valuediscounting function on the choices dogs make, the importance of using reinforcer sampling and jackpots, as well as the efficient application of differential schedules of reinforcement, and offers practical solutions and adjustments for setting easily frustrated dogs up for success. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

How to recognize frustration in a dog. The most common causes of frustration. The application of differential schedules of reinforcement in the training process. How to set up the easily frustrated dog for success. The nuts and bolts of teaching the easily frustrated dog to loose leash walk, stop mouthing and jumping on visitors, control himself when wanting food or a toy, and not run out a door or gate.

Michael Shikashio: “Beneath the Bite” – Recognizing Underlying Emotions in Aggression Cases An effective behavior change strategy in any behavior case often includes assessing the external factors in the environment, such as the antecedents and conditions that precede the behaviors. In aggression cases, it can be paramount for successful outcomes to properly recognize and

address the underlying motivations and emotional responses in a dog that displays aggressive behavior. In this session, aggression specialist Michael Shikashio CDBC will be highlighting how to determine what emotions may be in play when a dog shows aggression, and what we can do to help. Learning Objectives: • • •

Identify contexts and behaviors that can indicate certain underlying motivations and emotional responses in dogs displaying aggression. Review the body language of dogs in a variety of emotional states. Understand physiological factors that can impact the intensity of aggressive behaviors.

Louise Stapleton-Frappell: 10 Steps to an Amazing Response to Name In Louise’s role as a teacher and trainer of pet professionals, pet dog guardians, and pet dogs, as well as that of someone has grown up with dogs as part of her own family, if she had to make a choice and could only teach a dog one skill, it would be this – a dog who happily and enthusiastically responds to his name! Response to name is such an important skill but one that frequently does not have enough emphasis placed on it. Name recognition is the first component of a recall and most of the behaviors we regularly ask our dogs to perform. Yet if a puppy does not attend class, the guardian simply names the new addition to the family and expects them to respond to their given name. It never ceases to amaze Louise how much importance is often placed on, for example, training a fluent response to a sit cue. However, even if the puppy does attend class, how many puppy class programs highlight the ongoing use of both operant and respondent conditioning to systematically train a quick, reliable, and happy response to the dog’s name? Dogs have an amazing ability to learn crucial skills but sometimes struggle to fulfil their family’s expectations. How often do we hear of dogs who don’t come when called, don’t always respond to their name, or ignore their human? What a disservice we do to our amazing companions when we, the humans, and the trainers, fail to teach them, and then blame them for getting it wrong! In this skills-based presentation, Louise will present a DogNostics’ Pet Dog Solution that combines the art, craft, and science, of training an enthusiastic response to name. Learning Objectives: • •

Explore the meaning of name response. Learn how to condition a positive emotional response to a dog’s name so it becomes music to his ears.

• • •

Master the 10 steps to optimal name response via step-by-step instructional videos. Demonstrate games and activities that can be used to proof and generalize an incredible response to name. Discover how you can incorporate your newfound knowledge, and the material presented, to increase your business revenue.

Victoria Stilwell: The Resilient Dog Dogs have an incredible ability to adapt and survive and this has made them one of most successful domestic species on the planet. But this ability is sometimes undervalued and comes with human expectations that some dogs just can’t fulfill. The pressures of domestic life are ever present, and dogs are having to play constant ‘catch-up’ that can make living with people challenging. How can we help our dogs meet those challenges and give them the right coping skills to be successful? Building resilience depends on an understanding of how dogs perceive the world, as well as an awareness of what dogs need and how canine caregivers can meet those needs. This is vitally important when it comes to raising puppies as well as living with adult dogs. Learning Objectives: • • • • • • • • •

Learn what resilience is and why it’s important for dogs. Discover what it takes for dogs to live in a human world. Explore the relationship between resilience and stress. Investigate what it means to ‘bounce back.’ Understand the importance of sleep and quiet time. Build fluidity and coping skills. Play resilient building games and activities. Find out what it takes to be a resilient human. Discover how BRAVE can help build resilience in all dogs.

K. Holden Svirsky: Cooperative Care Case Study – Kea’s Extreme Fear of Veterinary Contexts and Routine Procedures Kea, a 2-year-old spayed Berger female Blanc Suisse shepherd initially presented with fear of strangers, children, and location guarding during early adolescence. These issues were mostly resolved with excellent execution of management and positive reinforcement-based training by her guardians. In early 2021, Kea’s fear of the veterinary clinic presented as extreme and scrambling flight behaviors through window panes, as well as incessant trembling. Trials of two medications

did not appear to lessen her ability to tolerate routine veterinary care. Veterinary restraint became more difficult and veterinary staff would forgo taking vital signs (temperature) prior to treatment due to Kea’s extreme fear and aversion. Kea’s cooperative care treatment plan included training a chin rest and lateral recumbency behaviors. These learned behaviors were then used as the basis for checking consent during a careful desensitization to veterinary handling, rectal thermometer, and temperature procedure. Protocols from the Academy for Dog Trainers’ Husbandry Project were utilized and training was completed by the guardians with remote support by Holden. Kea also began desensitization to the entrance of the veterinary clinic. As is typical in fear cases, there have been gains and regressions throughout the process. This case study is an example of excellent client participation and compliance, as well as the effectiveness of remote consulting via Zoom and shared videos. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Utilizing a step-by-step written plan from The Academy for Dog Trainers’ Husbandry Project. Execution of desensitization and counterconditioning to create feelings of safety for rectal temperature taking. Execution of operant conditioning of a chin rest and lateral recumbency to gauge dog’s comfort with veterinary procedures. Effective remote coaching of clients.

K. Holden Svirsky: They Just Want to Play – Increasing Welfare, Reducing Shelter Length of Stay and Increasing Live Outcomes for Dogs with Barrier Frustration For understandable safety reasons, many shelter and rescue organizations test a dog’s “sociability” with other dogs on a leash or through a fence. Members of PPG’s Shelter & Rescue Committee found that this results in false positives for “dog-aggression,” which can result in dire consequences for the animal, including euthanasia or increased length of stay due to adoption barriers. When 60% of US households have dogs, a sheltered dog who must be the “only animal in the home” has a much lower chance of being adopted. A great many dogs bark, lunge, growl and/or snarl when introduced to other dogs on a leash or through a physical barrier like a kennel door or fence. However, we have found that a significant number of these dogs have the ability to exhibit appropriate, pro-social and playful behavior with other dogs when these barriers are removed. This session will focus on introduction methods and behavior modification protocols that are realistic for resource-thin shelter and rescue organizations, who may not have the luxury of

qualified behavior specialists to perform dedicated and time-consuming desensitization and counterconditioning procedures. We believe we can increase adoption rates, reduce euthanasia, reduce “kennel stress” and length of stays with the playgroup and behavior modification protocols presented.

Learning Objectives:

• • • •

Learn about the free PPG resource for shelters and rescues, and see case studies and examples of the treatment of aggressive behavior with playgroups. Define and understand barrier frustration vs. fear, proximity sensitivity, compulsive fighting, etc. Why mislabeling dogs presenting with frustration as “dog-aggressive” is a serious welfare concern. How to treat barrier frustration without the resources for desensitization.

Melissa Taylor: First Impressions 101 – How Ritualized Introductions Can Turn a Scaredy Cat into a Social Butterfly Interactive cats who approach unfamiliar people in a friendly manner or remain relaxed as they are approached, are much preferred by caregivers. In a shelter setting, the more quickly cats approach potential adopters, the sooner they get adopted. In contrast, shelter cats who are less comfortable in the proximity of strangers have a mean length of stay as much as three times longer than that of their interactive counterparts and are more likely to be euthanized. Despite the risks for relatively fearful cats, behavioral interventions for them rarely extend beyond environmental management and patience. At Friends For Life Animal Shelter, Melissa and colleagues have developed a simple, novel, and effective ritualized introduction method that trains undersocialized cats to display genuinely friendly and affectionate behavior towards new people. This protocol has been successful as a component of a socialization program for fearful cats, and demonstrates a wider application for helping the typical “house feral” learn to look forward to meeting visitors in their home.

Learning Objectives: • • •

Describe how adoption programs can benefit from a structured approach towards socializing fearful shelter cats. Outline a step-by-step process for conditioning undersocialized cats to approach and solicit affection from new people in shelter and at home. Identify components of a pre- and post- adoption support plan to ensure that fearful cat placements stick.

Nancy Tucker: Harmonious Walks – Redefining Loose-Leash Walking Ask any trainer why clients reach out to them for help, and somewhere in the top three reasons you’ll often find “walking on-leash.” Owners want to fix a common problem that occurs when they’re handling their dog on leash, usually pulling, or playing tug with the leash. In this session, we’ll cover how to achieve harmonious walks. Nancy will move away from focusing on the traditional heeling behavior, and towards recognizing and meeting dogs’ needs through foundation skills and on-leash games that anyone can do. “Harmonious walks” means everyone wins: Happy dogs, and happy clients. Learning Objectives: •

Learn how to help your clients attain that elusive “loose-leash walking” behavior in the most enjoyable way.

Yvette Van Veen: The Mechanics of Creating Dog Training Magic, and Giving Dogs a More Positive Learning Experience Our clients are often expected to achieve an incredible feat. They enter a training class as student and within minutes become their dog’s teacher. There are few subjects that expect such fast and furious skills development. Developing mechanics is critical part of this learning process, but why does it matter and how do we improve these skills? This session will examine the science of sensation/perception, associative learning, and neuroscience to understand why mechanics are necessary to client success. It will then move into hands-on skills development with an easy but effective drill to improve timing. Finally, the presenter will work with a basic targeting skill to demonstrate how slight changes can achieve success. Learning Objectives: •

Learn the science on perception – your dog might not perceive what you showed them.

• • • • • • • •

Understand how neuroscience explains what high rate of reinforcement does to the student; using cookies does not always mean the experience was positive (or that a positive association will form). Understand overshadowing effect and how they cause animals to tune information out. See how poor timing often leads to dogs that exhibit undesirable behaviors such as mouthing at hands. Start doing, “Yes (or click)/treat” might make people too fast. Learn to use Criteria, Timing and Location of Reinforcement to get to fast hands and high Rate of Reinforcement. You don’t need fast hands to be more than fast enough. Understand why people have difficult times with timing. Learn how to “split the difference.” Learn a timing drill to get to fast hands. Implement these strategies in order to achieve faster, better and more positive training.

Ruby Welsford: But My Dog Doesn't Catch Discs When it comes to disc dog, there are two things Ruby hears all the time: "But my dog doesn't catch discs," and "But my dog isn’t toy motivated." The reality is that these types of dogs can make some of the best disc dogs because they are thinkers – they think first and act later. They are the dogs that think of the crucial question, "What's in it for me?" And so they should! The skill of catching discs and the need for interest, anticipation, motivation, and the drive to chase and bite down on the disc should not be the only essential skill trainers focus on for being a good disc dog. Whether doing freestyle or toss-and-fetch type games, we also want a dog that can accurately catch and has the confidence and body awareness to do so. Join Ruby in exploring various ideas to get dogs interested and motivated in discs and, more importantly, making sure they are happy, coordinated, and confident to chase and catch them in a variety of ways that are suitable for both handler and dog. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

How do I select a disc from my dog? How to build drive and interest in chasing discs. How to make collection the BEST THING EVER. Develop foundation collection confidence for pre-vault work for freestyle. How to split the skill into the splinter skills required, in a way both dog and handler can understand, to give partnerships a better chance of success and to learn in a safer and fun way.

Contents Natasha Attwood: Mentoring in the Dog Industry – Giving a Helping Hand and Paw in the Development and Journey of the Future of Dog Trainers and Behaviorists ....................................................................... 2 Angie Arora: Self-Care – The PRIME Framework .......................................................................................... 2 Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas: Beating the Big Boys ........................................................................... 3 Irith Bloom: Working Successfully with Clients ............................................................................................ 3 Petra Edwards: Re-Thinking Communication – Can We Be More Effective and Reinforcing? ..................... 4 Tamsin Durston: The Emotional Side of Working with Animals ................................................................... 4 Tracey Lee Davis, Jingle All the Way to Online Marketing Success This Holiday Season ............................. 5 Coleen Ellis: Helping You Help Them – Celebrating a Perfect Dog and a Perfect Life .................................. 5 Mychelle Garrigan: Digital Marketing for Pet Care Professionals ................................................................ 6 Andrew Hale: Helping Clients Become Invested in the Emotional Needs of Their Dog ............................... 7 Dr. Katie Howie: How to Use Google Paid Search Ads to Increase Your Revenue ....................................... 7 Dr. Robert King: PDQ 4Ps of Marketing ........................................................................................................ 8 Shannon Riley-Coyner: It Is Not Just about Training .................................................................................... 8 Grisha Stewart: Power Sharing with Companion Animals – Boundaries and Consent Apply to All Species 9 Dr. Zazie Todd: An Introduction to Blogging for Dog Trainers and Other Pet Professionals ........................ 9 Emily Tronetti: Inspiring Compassionate Action: Pet Professionals as Humane Educators ....................... 10 Nancy Tucker: How Should I Say This? Handle Sticky Situations with Clients in Writing – with Confidence! .................................................................................................................................................................... 10 Niki Tudge: Learn How to Enjoy More Success with Your Virtual or Live Training Programs by Implementing Motivational Interviewing and Commitment Strategies ..................................................... 11

Natasha Attwood: Mentoring in the Dog Industry – Giving a Helping Hand and Paw in the Development and Journey of the Future of Dog Trainers and Behaviorists This session will discuss how to access mentoring in the field of dog training, why it is so important for professional development, and the need to have support with some of the challenges professional trainers face. Natasha will cover: • • • • •

How to deliver mentoring in the industry. What to expect from a mentor. What to look for in a mentor. I have been approached to be a mentor, now what? Moral and ethical obligations to meet the needs of all individuals regardless of their individual needs.

Learning Objectives: • • • • • • •

Help people find what they need from a mentor and what to look for in a mentor. How to approach an individual to be their mentor. How to support people who may want to mentor others and are not sure where to start. Consider current workload and time to invest into mentoring. Where mentors can get support. How mentors can adapt their work and support system to meet the needs of all individuals, regardless of individual needs. To make both future mentees and mentors feel confident in their ongoing endeavors.

Angie Arora: Self-Care – The PRIME Framework While the systems we live and work in must change to prevent and address burnout, our bodies cannot wait for this change to occur. We know that self-care is important to sustain ourselves but what we don’t always know is how to actualize it. This session will introduce you to The PRIME Framework, an approach Angie has developed to describe the elements of a successful self-care plan. Learning Objectives: •

Leave with concrete and comprehensive tools that you can begin integrating into your life immediately to reap both short and long-term benefits.

Learn how to revitalize your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual energy to thrive, not just survive.

Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas: Beating the Big Boys Tired of undoing the damage caused by training businesses with less humane training methods? Frustrated by trying to compete with large box stores, franchises and larger training businesses with bigger marketing budgets? What if you could get dog lovers to come to you first, to choose you over the big boys? You can, and the ladies from dogbiz will tell you how. You don’t have to have a big budget, large staff, or loud personality to beat the big boys. It’s all about a clever use of what you DO have – your expertise, ethics, and passion for serving dogs and their people. If you’re serious about training for a living and spreading the reach of positive reinforcement, too, don’t miss this eye-opening and inspiring session! Learning Objectives: • • • • • •

Learn about the unique advantages small R+ dog training businesses hold over larger companies, and how to wield them to help build your business and help more dogs. Come away with specific tips on pricing strategy. Come away with marketing approaches in line with your R+ ethics and goals. Come away with clever ways to beat the guarantee game. Come away with ideas for structuring your services for maximum appeal. Learn how to provide better customer service than larger companies despite not having a “front office.”

Irith Bloom: Working Successfully with Clients One of the hardest parts of a pet trainer’s job can be getting the people on board. You can come up with the best plan in the world, but if the clients don’t follow it, nothing is likely to change. This session will help you figure out ways to collaborate with clients, so that both they and their pets get the best possible results. Topics covered will include creating training plans that work for the client as well as the pet, encouraging clients to practice, and adjusting the plan as the case progresses. Learning Objectives: • •

Learn specific tools for better communication with clients. Understand how and when to focus on the human side of the equation.

Be able to collaborate with clients to get better outcomes for all involved.

Petra Edwards: Re-Thinking Communication – Can We Be More Effective and Reinforcing? As positive reinforcement trainers, we tend to be great at identifying target behaviors and delivering reinforcement effectively. We are also, generally, very compassionate, patient and understanding for the animals we work with. However we can always improve in our communication skills with our clients and colleagues. Regardless of the reason we are called in, emotions like worry, stress, frustration, resentment, fear or anger are often involved. Effective communication aims to consciously acknowledge these factors that also influence human behavior, while also advocating for the animal’s welfare. Human behavior change (in order to change their animal’s behavior) is much more likely if we can address their attitudes and beliefs about the behavior first. In addition to this, being able to strategically provide information and constructive feedback that is targeted in its purpose of reinforcing behavior change can make a big difference to how successful we are. Teaching people new, and sometimes complex, mechanical skills, and giving them the knowledge to change their dogs behavior, is just as critical a skill as knowing how to train dogs. This session will provide a chance to level up our communication skills and re-evaluate their effectiveness with our clients and colleagues in order to set them, and us, up for success. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Identify situations in which adapting communication approach might be more effective. Consciously and strategically employ different language to effectively navigate conversations and communicate concepts with clients or colleagues. Identify language that can provide more constructive feedback. Evaluate the success of communication using future behavior.

Tamsin Durston: The Emotional Side of Working with Animals This session will examine the risk factors for, and explain the difference between, compassion fatigue and burnout as experienced by those working within animal-related fields. It will examine the supporting evidence for various approaches to self-care, and provide suggestions for developing a practical toolkit to buffer the potential stresses involved in caring for animals and their people. Learning Objectives:

• • • •

Explain the difference between compassion fatigue and burnout and understand why these problems might develop. Identify risk factors for occupational stress and emerging problems in themselves and others. Describe self-care techniques aimed at restoring work-life balance and building resilience. Implement changes to ways of working aimed at enhancing well-being.

Tracey Lee Davis, Jingle All the Way to Online Marketing Success This Holiday Season The holidays are the biggest spending season of the year, so are you prepared to claim your piece of the pie? With all of the holiday promotions out there, it can be difficult to get your audience's attention. During this presentation, Tracey Lee will guide you through planning your online marketing strategy this holiday season. She will also provide tips and ideas for leveraging the online channels that matter to your business. Learning Objectives: • • • •

How to prepare your marketing for the holidays. How to execute your holiday plan. How to prepare for ongoing success after the holidays. And more!

Coleen Ellis: Helping You Help Them – Celebrating a Perfect Dog and a Perfect Life Remember the day you got the call? They had a new puppy and needed you. They needed you to take this ball of fluff and create The Perfect Dog. They had already fast-forwarded through life with The Perfect Dog, imagining family vacations with everyone piled in the station wagon and headed off to the mountains. They had visions in their head of the perfect Saturday morning at the local coffee shop, sitting outside sipping their Joe, The Perfect Dog lounging by their feet slowly taking in the sites with nary a care in the world. They were ready for The Perfect Dog to be… well just that. Fast forward through life and that Perfect Dog… well was perfect in every sense of the word. Maybe not exactly in the area of being perfectly trained, but perfect nonetheless. The end is near, and the final walk is happening. Every pet lover has been here. The time they spend with us is short, and the hole they leave when they go is huge. They need you to walk with them now more

than ever. To help them with what to do to honor their Perfect Dog, and their messy emotions. They need you now more than ever. Let’s do this together. Let Coleen help you, help them, so they can have a perfect ending to a perfect life shared. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understanding the grief journey: what do they need and how can you help? How can you guide them with a Bucket List? What are others doing to celebrate the life they shared with a special pet? How can you add this to part of your services and create market differentiation in an unusual way?

Mychelle Garrigan: Digital Marketing for Pet Care Professionals Navigating the ins and outs of the world of online marketing can be overwhelming. There are so many ways to reach your potential audience of pet lovers seeking help, from websites to Google My Business pages, to pay-per-click ads, social media and more. Pet care professionals like trainers and behavior consultants are often small businesses with one or a handful of employees and can lack the resources to tackle all these different avenues. This session will provide an overview of options for pet care professionals on marketing their services online and the pros and cons of each, along with answering common questions. Which is the right one for you and your business and client demographics? How can use online marketing most successfully if you have limited hours and technical and/or writing and design skills? If you decide to hire a professional, how can you be sure to find the right one for you who understands your business and special mission? How can you use your website more effectively to not only sell your services but also streamline your workload? Should you have a presence on every “hot” social media platform? The presenter will walk you through a high-level view of digital marketing and, as a former dog trainer and behavior consultant, can provide you with specific, “real life” examples that are highly relevant to your business and clientele.

Learning Objectives:

Learn about all the available options for digital marketing, which can include websites, Google My Business, pay-per-click ads, and social media.

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Learn about the available tools that make using these digital marketing venues easier, such as social media scheduling software and automation software. Understand how to decide which digital marketing tactics are best for your own business and how to proceed – either by doing it yourself, or finding a professional to help you grow your business.

Andrew Hale: Helping Clients Become Invested in the Emotional Needs of Their Dog In this session, Andrew will examine the emotional experience of the client and how that connects to their judgments of both their dog’s behavior and how they feel it needs to be handled. He will explore the role of belief systems, judgments, expectations and, importantly, language in the support process and the influence it all has on best outcomes. Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Understand more about the emotional experience – both for the human and the dog. Learn about belief systems, and the cognitive biases that support them. Look at the role judgments and expectations, and the language used to communicate them, have on getting best outcomes. Offer practical advice on how to help the client become more invested in the support process. Learn how, as the practitioner, we can navigate the clients belief systems, especially those that might run counter to the needs of the dog.

Dr. Katie Howie: How to Use Google Paid Search Ads to Increase Your Revenue In this session, Dr. Howie will cover the basics of how placing search ads with Google works. Additionally, we will cover the strengths and weaknesses of this marketing tool and how this tool can fit into your greater marketing program. This session will also go over executional elements of how to create and run ad campaigns specifically for pet related businesses. Lastly, it will discuss how to interpret the analytics from your search ads and how to optimize your ads to maximize the return on your ad dollars.

Learning Objectives: •

Understand what paid search is.

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Understand how paid search strategy fits with your overall marketing program. Learn how to execute a paid search program. Learn how to evaluate and optimize a paid search program long-term.

Dr. Robert King: PDQ 4Ps of Marketing If marketing can be broken down into its most basic components, it is the 4Ps. This session will focus on a PDQ (Pretty Darn Quick) look at the main components of the 4Ps to start thinking of marketing for your business. This will be an introduction to marketing, focusing on product mix, target markets, advertising basics, and price setting in a macro sense. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Develop a product mix. Define and describe a target market. Discuss overarching promotional topics. Set pricing for product mix.

Shannon Riley-Coyner: It Is Not Just about Training As dog trainers, we are asked to change a dog’s behavior every day. But in reality, we often need to change our clients’ behavior in order to get the dog to truly change. In many cases, dogs are fully integrated into our families and our lives, just like our partners, children and friends. When dealing with problem behaviors, we often need to repair a relationship problem between the dog and the human. By looking at the problem behavior as a relationship issue, we can not only change the unwanted behaviors to desired behaviors, we can also improve the human-dog bond. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Recognizing how unmet needs often lead to relationship issues. Recognizing what is needed to have a healthy relationship. How to talk to your clients about changing their behavior in order to change their dog’s behavior. How to encourage and help your client when they are trying to change their own behavior.

Grisha Stewart: Power Sharing with Companion Animals – Boundaries and Consent Apply to All Species Whether it’s scratching a dog’s head, grooming a cat, overfeeding a child, or intimate contact between adult humans, the power to give or deny consent is a basic need that is often ignored. The more we all pay attention to all types of consent, the safer we will be, interpersonally and even between countries. The bulk of this session will be about how to ask for and properly get consent from animals for things like nail trimming, petting, etc., but consent between humans in the physical and technological world will also be briefly discussed. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand boundary setting between humans and with non-human animals. Improve awareness of the ethics around consent. Learn how to ask for and receive consent from non-human animals. Learn how some different animal training techniques relate to consent.

Dr. Zazie Todd: An Introduction to Blogging for Dog Trainers and Other Pet Professionals A blog can be a great way to share your expertise in dog training and improve search engine optimization for your website. Whether you simply want to improve your Google rankings or ultimately want to write books or feature articles for magazines, a blog gives you the opportunity to share your writing with the world. This session will cover the basics of blogging, including reasons to include a blog on your business website, where to get topic ideas, and what a blog post should look like. Unfortunately, blog posts typically don’t arrive easily or neatly, and so rewriting is an essential part of the writing process. We’ll look at how to edit your writing, how to find photographs to accompany posts, and how to understand copyrights (and avoid problems). Sharing your content is important, and repurposing blog content into social media posts or other content can save you time and increase your reach. These methods can also help you to build a community around your blog. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Understand how a blog can help your business, and how to get started with writing one. Apply a system for thinking of, writing, and editing blog posts. Understand copyright issues related to blogging and how to find appropriate images for your blog. Develop a strategy for social sharing and building community with your blog.

Emily Tronetti: Inspiring Compassionate Action: Pet Professionals as Humane Educators As pet professionals, a primary part of our work is educating guardians about their pet’s behavior and welfare. By adjusting our approaches to doing so, Emily believes we have a unique and powerful opportunity to do more than just help the individual animals in front of us. This session will explore how pet professionals can integrate humane education into their work. Companion animal protection has long been a goal of both pet professionals and humane educators, but comprehensive humane education teaches and inspires critical thinking, empathy, and compassionate action in how we interact with all animals, including other humans, and the natural world. The session will examine the evolution of humane education and introduce pet professionals to what this looks like when teaching adult learners. It will review literature across disciplines to demonstrate the importance of adult humane education in nontraditional educational contexts such as animal shelters, veterinary hospitals, and training businesses. It will also illustrate how humane education in these settings can teach critical thinking to adults, and help them acknowledge how their cognitive biases may influence how they perceive and treat nonhuman animals, and the environment. The session will also discuss how pet professionals can foster empathy for other sentient beings. While more research is needed, Emily believes that pet professionals as humane educators can inspire adults to not only better care for their pets, but also to take informed, compassionate action to better coexist with all animals and the natural world. Learning Objectives: • • • •

Define adult humane education. Describe research on adult humane education in contexts such as animal shelters. Demonstrate how humane education results in critical thinking and empathy. Illustrate how pet professionals can inspire compassionate action in their human learners.

Nancy Tucker: How Should I Say This? Handle Sticky Situations with Clients in Writing – with Confidence! Communicating in writing can be tricky, and things can quickly snowball into sticky situations that are stressful and not always good for business. Business writing is a skill and communicating electronically in an emotionally-laced industry like ours is a specialized skill. This webinar will turn the chore into a joy! No more: • •

Stressing over having to deal with confrontation with a client in writing. Feeling guilty about the policies you want to establish for your business.

By the end of this session, you’ll have skills and scripts that will allow you to communicate effectively and with confidence. When things get heated and the stress is on, you’ll know exactly how to respond – and help grow your business in the process. All of this, delivered with large doses of humor! Learning Objectives: Easily handle uncomfortable issues with a professional, empathic tone: • • • •

How do I get an evasive client to settle his bill? How do I establish boundaries with a client who calls or texts me several times a day? How do I handle a dissatisfied client who’s demanding a refund they’re not entitled to? How can I make my cancellation policy sound firm, but kind?

Niki Tudge: Learn How to Enjoy More Success with Your Virtual or Live Training Programs by Implementing Motivational Interviewing and Commitment Strategies Behavior change for clients is a game we continue to play without always getting reliable results. How many times do clients drop out of programs, not rebook sessions, or ask to be referred to an alternative trainer? One of the most stated reasons by professional trainers for a failure to perform successful services in pet training is that the client was not committed, or was noncompliant. Clients, just like all human beings, make choices that do not always align with their goals and may, at times, lack self-control. However, commitment to a training program can be resolved by unmasking and addressing ambivalence. Consequently, compliance can be sought through the implementation of commitment strategies.

As professional trainers, we may feel intense pressure to quickly prove to our clients the efficacy and effectiveness of our approach and methods. As individuals advocating for humane, effective approaches, we strive to stand out amongst the competition. Lacking speedy results, we may fear the abandonment of clients moving towards quick-fix solutions and electronic devices, many of which leave pets in peril.

While professional pet trainers are armed with the relevant academic knowledge and skills needed to train pets, their success as people trainers is predicated on changing their clients’ personal behavior in their interactions with their pets. What the pet trainer needs and what has

been provided through their education is not the same. They also need up-to-date, evidencebased and innovative approaches to changing human behavior, not only for their individual case success, but also to promote the humane and ethical side of pet training.

In this session, Niki will introduce the concepts of Motivational Interviewing and Commitment Strategies. Learn how these can be used to harness a client’s ambivalence, and then use this ambivalence to provide motivation for effective behavior change. The session will also discuss various types of commitment strategies that can be used to hold clients accountable for their own words and goals.

Learning Objectives: • • • • •

Understand the concepts of Motivational Interviewing and Commitment Strategies. Learn to be more patient and understanding of the concept of the “Two Selves” and how difficult it is for clients to match behavior with intent. Recognize the process of change management and how resistance to change is a biological response. Understand the behavior economics of Limited Resources, Fading Benefits and Temptation Options. Differentiate between soft and hard commitments and how to incorporate these tools into your behavioral consults.

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