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September 19

7:00 - 7:45 am

Morning Event TBA

Special morning event to be announced soon.

8:00 - 9:00 am

Quiet Please! Dealing with Excessive Barking

Irith Bloom

Have you ever found yourself wondering why a dog is barking–or how to make it stop? Excessive barking can be a challenge to deal with. One reason it’s hard to reduce excessive barking is that not all barking is the same. Dogs bark fora lot of different reasons. That means there is no one-size-fits-all answer for barking. This presentation will take a fresh look at the topic of barking. It will go over several different categories of barking and how to differentiate among them. It will also cover a variety of humane, pet-and-client-friendly training techniques that can be used to reduce barking. You will learn how to determine which type of barking is happening, as well as how to address it. If you want to know more about barking–or just want to hear less of it–this session is for you!

8:00 - 9:00 am

Pawsitive Support: Separation Anxiety Best Practices for Shelters and Rescues

Malena DeMartini

We know that providing for dogs with separation anxiety in the shelter/rescue system has been a challenge for quite some time, and we have listened to and learned from so many shelters and rescues about the challenges they face caring for dogs with this issue. In 2023, we launched a survey to gather as much data as possible about these challenges and how to better support shelter/rescue staff and volunteers in responding to them. We know the tireless work that they devote to these dogs (and all animals) in their care, and it is our mission to support them in that work. In this presentation, we will delve into what we have learned from our 2023 survey, share some of the new resources we have developed in response to that learning, and discuss best practices for successfully adopting out a dog with separation anxiety. This session will include some interactive components, and participants will leave with ideas and free resources to take back and implement in their local contexts.

9:00 - 9:15 am


9:15 - 10:30 am

Human-Dog Interactions and Non-Verbal Faux Pas: As Seen Through the Magnifying Lens of Dog Sports

Sue Sternberg

Whether you participate in dog sports or not, they provide an extensive curriculum of body language lessons from human to dog. Dog sports, whether you are actively training, competing, or even just observing, can serve as a university in which to teach the human how to speak more clearly to their dogs. When we get it right, in timing and vocabulary, nothing feels quite as good! When we inadvertently say the wrong thing, or make some unbidden body language faux pas, dogs will respond in various ways, from displacement behaviors (common and not-so-common), waning enthusiasm, loss of gumption or initiative, all of which can be misinterpreted.

9:15 - 10:30 am

General Guidance For Your Clients

Kristina Bergsten

In this session, you will learn how to provide general guidance to your clients to protect yourself and them. Things to watch out for as a business owner when dealing with difficult clients.

9:15 - 10:30 am

Winning Hearts: The Art of Crafting Exceptional Client Relationships, Managing Expectations and Disarming Difficulties

Amber Burckhalter

Whether you're a seasoned trainer or just starting out, building successful relationships with your clients is essential. By breaking down the complexities of client interactions into manageable components, this presentation empowers dog trainers with strategies to foster positive relationships, skillfully manage client expectations, and navigate challenges with grace

9:15 - 10:30 am

Learning Lab: Muzzle Mastery Made Easy

Sara McLoudrey

Join us for "Muzzle Mastery Made Easy Learning Lab" and embark on a journey towards confident and effective muzzle training for all dogs. It's time to make muzzle training a positive and rewarding adventure for both you and your clients!

10:30 - 1:30 pm

Exhibit Hall Exclusive

Exhibit Hall is open! Join us for special events and more!

11:30 - 12:30 pm

Exhibit Hall Nose Work Plenary

More information coming soon.

12:00 - 1:30 pm


Concessions are available for purchase at the Riverside Convection Center.

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Unaltered Adventures: Welcoming Intact Dogs in Your Business

Sara McLoudrey

In a world where more pet owners are choosing to keep their dogs intact, the landscape of canine care is evolving. The COVID era brought delays in elective surgeries that have not seemed to end. It has prompted a surge in intact dogs. Join us for an eye-opening presentation that explores the benefits, dispels myths, and redefines how to approach welcoming intact dogs into your business. •Why Now? The aftermath of pandemic-related surgery delays and more research into the health benefits has led to a rise in intact dogs. It's time for trainers, walkers, and daycare providers to reassess their policies and embrace the changing dynamics of more clients having intact dogs. •Biological Insights: Dive into crucial biological information about intact dogs that every animal care professional should know. Equip yourself with the knowledge to confidently handle and train intact dogs, debunking common misconceptions along the way. •The Myth-Busting Journey: Let's unravel the myths surrounding intact dogs! Dispelling fears and uncertainties, this presentation will empower you with facts and practical insights, transforming intact dogs from enigmas to valued clients in your care. •Boost Your Business: Discover how being welcoming and understanding of intact dogs can actually enhance your business. It's time to foster an environment where intact dogs are not feared but embraced. From training classes to daycare services, embracing intact dogs can broaden your clientele, elevate the quality of your offerings, and build a more inclusive and knowledgeable canine care community.

1:30 - 3:00 pm

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

Dr. Kathy Murphy & 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.

1:30 - 3:00 pm

Shaping for High Drive Dogs and Positive Reinforcement: What is the cookie for?

Susan Garrett

High drive dogs are often the most misunderstood group of dogs on the planet. They can present as overexcited, frantic, frenzied, over-aroused, out of control, and appear as if they can't seem to think and don't want to listen. There's so much we can do through shaping and the astute use of positive reinforcement to help these dogs be brilliant, reducing not only their frustration but also the frustration we might feel with our dog.

1:30 - 3:00 pm

Hands-On Tech and Learning Lab

Bill Dotson

Bring your devices and questions to a hands-on lab with Bill. He'll review the top ten things to do to secure your machines (computers, mobile, or tablets) and then take questions showing people how to do things. Or, you can book a 10 min time while networking with others in case you want the privacy!

3:00 - 4:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Exclusive

Join us for tricks and treats in the Exhibit Hall!

4:00 - 5:00 pm

Why We Need People to Recognize All of the Hidden Reinforcement in Their Dogs' Lives

Susan Garrett

To be positive reinforcement-based dog trainers, we need mastery of all that is reinforcing. Recognizing the real sources of reinforcement in a dog's life will empower people to bypass situations where punishment may be considered necessary. It starts with awareness because seemingly innocuous interactions shape a dog's learning. Understanding the timing and nature of reinforcement for dogs significantly enhances creating a positive, harmonious relationship centered on mutual trust.

4:00 - 5:00 pm

Off Leash Kindergarten: How to Handle and Prevent Challenges

Amanda Gagnon

Teaching puppies and their humans how to connect and safely respond to each other in high-distraction, off leash environments is essential. Still, many trainers are nervous about off-leash training in puppy class due to problems with over-the-top play styles, anxious/shy puppy behavior, and client mistakes. Don't let those things stop you from doing what's best for puppies! Learn strategies for problem prevention, and how to make the most out of challenges that arise.

4:00 - 5:00 pm

Specific Training Techniques for Helping Dogs Develop Impulse Control

Ken McCort

Many of the dogs that trainers see are referred to as “reactive” or “lacking impulse control”. Some of these dogs can present as a real challenge because they become rather difficult for the handler to regain the dog’s focus once an eliciting stimulus is present. If the dog develops a history of this over reactive response, the challenge for the behavior specialist can become even bigger. In order for the dog to lessen or stop the response pattern, they need the neurological ability to accomplish this emotional control. This session is designed to discuss the basic neurology and offer the trainer exercises in the form of behaviors to help the dog build the neurological structures to better control its emotions.

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