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Friday,
September 20

7:00 - 7:45 am

Morning Event TBA

More information about special morning event coming soon.

8:00 - 9:00 am

Controlling Dogs: How Can We Give Dogs More Freedom and Choice

Amanda Gagnon

As modern trainers we seek to avoid force and coercion, but our culture doesn't always support our efforts. Many people don't like to see dogs out of control, at large, or even off a leash with their human nearby. Some systems of control are wise in order to create safe and optimal environments for both humans and dogs, but others create more problems than they solve. In this presentation, Amanda Gagnon will take an anthrozoological approach to illuminating the ways that we control dogs, even without realizing it. We'll compare our systems of control to those used in some other cultures, and we'll strive to find opportunities to grant more freedom and agency to the dogs in our care.

8:00 - 9:00 am

Case Study: Addressing Big Fears in the Big City - Benny’s Story

Bobbi Bhambree

In this presentation, we explore the unique challenges that urban living poses for dogs and the impact it has on their well-being. From limited space and access to green areas to heightened levels of noise and air pollution, urban environments present a host of obstacles for our canine companions. We delve into the implications of crowded streets, stricter regulations, and the lack of socialization opportunities, shedding light on how these factors contribute to higher stress levels and behavioral issues in urban-dwelling dogs. Despite these challenges, we also discuss proactive strategies and solutions for urban dog professionals by demonstrating how medication, resilience conditioning, and training work symbiotically to improve the quality of life for Benny and his person. We will look beyond conventional behavior modification techniques, using the Resilience Framework as the foundation for Benny’s behavior program. Join us as we navigate the complexities of urban living for dogs and discover ways to support their health, happiness, and overall well-being in our bustling city landscapes.

8:00 - 9:00 am

Conflict Resolution in the Human-Canine Bond: A Systems Thinking Approach

Cat Harbord

Conflict is a daily reality the dog training and behavior world, arising in various forms such as interactions between dogs, between dogs and their environments, and between guardians and dogs with far-reaching impacts on training, behavior, and the human-canine bond. In this session, Cat will introduce systems thinking as a powerful tool for understanding and addressing these conflicts. Attendees will explore basic systems concepts and their application to human-canine conflict, gaining valuable insights into communication dynamics—the real-time, continuous interaction of all the 'moving parts' involved in dyadic interactions—and emergent patterns – the properties that arise from these dynamics that are greater than the sum of the parts. By understanding these dynamics, attendees will leave with a nuanced perspective on conflict and its resolution and be equipped to navigate conflict within the human-canine bond with insight, effectiveness, and compassion.

9:00 - 9:15 am

Break

9:15 - 10:15 am

Making Your Dog Training Accessible and Disability Inclusive

Jen Kolar

As dog trainers, we learn to work with the dog in front of us, but what about the human end of the leash? Over 25% of adults in the US identify as having a disability. And many of them are pet dog owners. As trainers, it is crucial to understand how to support the many disabled people looking to train and enrich the lives of their dogs. In this session, you will learn how to make your services accessible from the very first point of contact with a new client and throughout your training time with them. Gain valuable information on how to create an accessible training space and on adapting lesson plans to fit your clients’ individual needs and abilities. You will discover new adaptive ways to train skills and behaviors that will empower your clients to participate in the training of their dog in ways they or you may not otherwise have considered. With some creativity and an open mind, we can create a more inclusive community, and support people with disabilities as they train their dogs!

9:15 - 10:15 am

Passion to Profit: 5 Business Basics Every Dog Trainer Needs to Master for Success

Amber Burckhalter

Is turning your passion for dog training into a profitable business your entrepreneurial dream? Join this lively presentation and learn how implementing the Business Basics system can greatly contribute to your success.

9:15 - 10:15 am

Learning Lab: Geeking Out on Science

Kristina Spaulding, Irith Bloom, Tim Lewis

After decades of ostracization by the behavior research community, dogs are back in vogue as research subjects. It’s an exciting time for those of us working with dogs! New papers exploring canine behavior and the human-animal bond are published every month. Here’s where it gets complicated, though: Studies can be difficult to interpret and apply. This is especially problematic in a relatively young field like dog behavior research. So where does that leave working trainers? This stimulating and educational session will help you improve your scientific literacy, as well as your ability to apply research findings to the training you do. The presenters will take an interactive and hands-on approach, so you can learn by doing. Attendees will dive into research papers and collaborate in small groups to evaluate and discuss research findings. You'll not only enhance your scientific literacy, but also learn to critically apply research findings to your training methodologies. If you’re interested in integrating scientific research into your training practice, this session is for you. Come join Dr. Tim Lewis, Dr. Kristina Spaulding, and Irith Bloom (CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA) to explore how delving into research on dogs and behavior can make you a better trainer! Session Objectives: - To provide participants with an understanding of how to interpret and apply research findings to training. - To enhance scientific literacy among trainers and educators. - To foster collaborative evaluation and discussion of research papers

9:15 - 10:15 am

Synergy in Conflict: Dynamics and Systems - Understanding, Resolving, and Evolving Relationships

Cat Harbord

In this presentation, Cat will unpack actionable strategies for resolving conflicts within the human-canine bond. Cat will begin with an exploration of the complex interactions within this system, analyzing the components contributing to conflict. Attendees will gain valuable insights into communication dynamics and individual factors shaping conflicts, along with the ability to identify key leverage points for intervention—places where small changes or “tweaks” can make a big impact. Real-world scenarios involving resource guarding, aggression, and separation anxiety will be woven throughout the presentation, providing attendees with tangible examples of the conflict resolution process – leaving them empowered to implement strategies in their practices that promote synergy and understanding in human-canine relationships. Special Note: This presentation builds upon the groundwork laid in the first presentation, offering practical insights into conflict resolution within the human-canine bond. While designed as a continuation, it also stands alone, providing valuable strategies for attendees unable to attend both sessions.

10:15 - 11:15 am

Exhibit Hall Exclusive

Join us in the exhibit hall for this exclusive break!

11:15 - 12:30 pm

A Stroll Through the Neighborhood with Your Dog: Triumph or Tribulation?

Sue Sternberg & Tim Lewis

Join Tim and Sue on a virtual walk through a typical neighborhood, as seen from a dog’s point of view. Experience the triumph felt by the sentinels at the gates (and the bay windows and fences), and the tribulations of those who pass. We will look at the behavioral and biological implications of these interactions.

11:15 - 12:30 pm

dogbiz Secrets to Dog Training Services that Sell

Veronica Boutelle & Gina Phairas

As a dog trainer, your job, your passion, how you make your living is improving the lives and relationships of dogs and their people. So getting the chance to help is critical—and that means offering training programs that sell! This session is for you if any of these describe you: •Want to make a real living while helping dogs to your fullest ability •Brand new to biz and have no idea where to start •Tired of one-and-done client consults and students who stop after one class •Frustrated by clients who choose your smaller package for their bigger problem •Afraid to suggest the amount of training necessary to really get a job done •Struggling or afraid to sell your training services, whether private training or classes •Concerned about clients/students who lose motivation and quit early Dogbiz founder and THRIVE! coaches Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas step you through creating a training program that’s a perfect fit for your clients or students, your business, and you. You’ll learn how to design a program that draws serious clients ready to commit to the work it takes to make real change. A program designed to help those you serve achieve that change. In short, a program that’s easy to sell because it truly serves. Whether you’re just starting your dog training business or have been running it for ages, you have an idea for a service or don’t know where to start, or you have a service that just doesn’t sell or work the way you’d like it to—wherever you are in your dog biz journey, come ready to explore exciting new ideas with the dogbiz coaches and trade in frustration and burnout for sales and results!

11:15 - 12:30 pm

Dealing with Pet Parents: The Real Job of a Dog Trainer

Irith Bloom

“Hey! You’re a dog trainer. It must be such fun to hang out with dogs all day.” How many times have you heard that? Personally, I’ve lost count. While it’s certainly nice to have four-legged, furry clients, for me (like for the vast majority of professional dog trainers), the real clients are the people, not the dogs. People tell us what they want to change about a dog’s behavior. People write the checks (or send the electronic payment). Most importantly, people are the ones who implement the training plans. You are all already skilled dog trainers. But are you a skilled human trainer? In this highly interactive session, we’ll hone our people-training/coaching skills. We’ll delve into how to find out what your clients really want, go over best practices for helping clients learn new skills, and (most importantly) discuss effective ways to get clients on board with the training plan. As mentioned above, this session will be interactive, so come ready to think, get creative, play-act, and laugh!

12:30 - 2:00 pm

Lunch

Yappy Hour

Concessions are available for purchase at the Riverside Convention Center.

2:00 - 3:30 pm

Advanced Nose Work

Amy Herot

Whether training nose work for sport competition or advancing class curriculum, dogs and handlers must continually further their skills for improved performance. Dogs need to gain experience and efficiency in problem-solving abilities while handlers work on honing their observation skills and understanding of the dog’s instinctive response to odor. Amy will review ways to progress teams through advanced nose work that are adaptive to a wide range of dogs and handlers.

2:00 - 3:30 pm

Best Tech to Operate Your Business Securely

Bill Dotson

Bill will explain technology risks and how to manage them without overdoing it on paranoia and security measures. Bill will cover major tech risks, how to look out for them, and what to do to minimize the downside when you do experience a negative event. You’ll hear stories from other organizations and observe how a business can be held ransom.

2:00 - 3:30 pm

Anxiety Allies: Making a Difference in Dogs' Home-Alone Lives

Malena DeMartini

Undoubtedly, canine separation anxiety is a prevalent concern, affecting an estimated 20% of dogs. The need for assistance in addressing this condition is undeniable. To offer optimal support to guardians dealing with dogs experiencing alone-time anxiety, a broad understanding of the issue is essential, along with a detailed comprehension of how to contribute to the support team. The roles involved in providing assistance are diverse, ranging from overseeing management strategies, analyzing data as observers, offering emotional support and encouragement, and serving as behavior modification counselors. This presentation will dive into some important treatment aspects, severity, and common myths. Participants will leave with a foundational knowledge of separation anxiety and the ways individuals can actively participate in the crucial support network.

2:00 - 3:30 pm

Learning Lab: Geeking Out on Science

Kristina Spaulding, Irith Bloom, & Tim Lewis

After decades of ostracization by the behavior research community, dogs are back in vogue as research subjects. It’s an exciting time for those of us working with dogs! New papers exploring canine behavior and the human-animal bond are published every month. Here’s where it gets complicated, though: Studies can be difficult to interpret and apply. This is especially problematic in a relatively young field like dog behavior research. So where does that leave working trainers? This stimulating and educational session will help you improve your scientific literacy, as well as your ability to apply research findings to the training you do. The presenters will take an interactive and hands-on approach, so you can learn by doing. Attendees will dive into research papers and collaborate in small groups to evaluate and discuss research findings. You'll not only enhance your scientific literacy, but also learn to critically apply research findings to your training methodologies. If you’re interested in integrating scientific research into your training practice, this session is for you. Come join Dr. Tim Lewis, Dr. Kristina Spaulding, and Irith Bloom (CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA) to explore how delving into research on dogs and behavior can make you a better trainer! Session Objectives: - To provide participants with an understanding of how to interpret and apply research findings to training. - To enhance scientific literacy among trainers and educators. - To foster collaborative evaluation and discussion of research papers

3:30 - 3:45 pm

Break

3:45 - 5:00 pm

Closing Keynote: Being a Positive Reinforcement Trainer in the Real World

Ken Ramirez

As professional trainers we are bombarded with challenges and social media posts proclaiming so many different positions about training. No matter what your philosophy you are likely to find criticism of that viewpoint. It can be tiring, and keeping up with the non-stop social media barrage can zap you of energy and occupy too much of your time. But as a working professional you need to get the job done, you need to do good work for your clients and their dogs. Ken will share his position and his approach to keeping his head above water and remaining sane among all the noise. Ken will discuss phrases that get us in trouble and tactics that often backfire. He will then focus on suggesting we use data-based arguments, ensure successful training approaches, and use clarity and honesty in our interactions.

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