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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

Session description coming soon.

8:00 - 9:00 am

A Framework for Behavior Modification and Training Plans to Help Build and Maintain Resilience: The Resilience Rainbow

Bobbi Bhambree

Resilience is an individual’s ability to recover from and resist the negative effects of stress. Understanding the physiological and behavioral bases for higher levels of resilience can help animal trainers and behavior consultants develop interventions that build and maintain resilience. Whether a professional in the behavior field or a competitor of dog sports, we must consider resilience when creating training programs or addressing behavior issues. Most dogs around the world no longer live quietly by the fireside, roaming open spaces, without restrictions; and as society continues to change, our cities get busier and our lives more hectic, it's not only humans that benefit greatly from an ability to adjust and adapt. Eliminating all stress in life is impossible and is never the goal of training. Instead, the goal is to help a learner acquire the skills that enable them to process stressful experiences and grow more resilient from them. The Resilience Rainbow represents seven domains around which an individualized training plan can be created that will support the dog’s development and help them build resilience. What interventions and exercises are most effective in building resilience? How do they help, and how can you implement them? What does a Resilience Conditioning training plan based around the Resilience Rainbow look like? What are the advantages of this approach? Evidence-based approaches to assessing and building a dog's ability to adapt, adjust, and recover will be shared. This will be an opportunity to look at an important topic in behavior through a multidisciplinary lens. Whether you are an animal trainer, veterinary professional, animal behaviorist, animal enthusiast, or someone interested in dog sports, there will be something here for you.

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

Learning lab description coming soon.

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

Exhibit Hall Exclusive

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

Learning lab description coming soon.

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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