Day 1

Saturday, May 23rd

Click on a description for more information about the speaker.

Treating Separation Anxiety

Learn the practical steps necessary to treat this most troublesome issue, from start to finish. Recognize all the signs of distress (it’s not all barking and howling!), and help your client lay the groundwork towards resolving the problem from the very first consultation. We’ll examine why desensitization remains the most effective way to help dogs learn to be home alone. With this understanding, you’ll be able to get started right away with short, easy exercises focused on building confidence in both the dog and your client.

Pain Assessment and Management – What Every Owner and Trainer Should Know

Is the animal you are working with showing a change in behavior? Is your agility dog missing the weave entrance? Are you working on a dog aggression case that is not responding as expected? Is your obedience dog running around the jump on the retrieve over the high jump exercise? Is your cat refusing to jump up on a table to earn a treat? Is your parrot trying to bite you when you reach for him? These could all be training issues, but your animal could be in pain. It is very important to recognize pain in animals and treat it appropriately. In this presentation, I will discuss the varied, and often subtle, clinical signs of pain in animals. I will explain the difference between acute and chronic pain, and why it is necessary to differentiate between the two. Finally, I will talk about the many options for treating pain, and why it is crucial to do so as soon as possible. If your dog (or any animal that you work with) has been, is, or will be injured or sick, this presentation will give you useful information that you will need to help support your animal.

Facilitating Safe and “Healthy” Dog Play in Shelters

During this one-hour session you will learn about the basics of shelter enrichment, how playgroups fit into a comprehensive shelter enrichment program, and how to promote ‘healthy’ and safe dog-dog interactions, and how to run inter-dog playgroup that increase animals’ choice and use the Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) ethical principle.

Intro to Behavior Medications: What Are They, and How Can They Help?

Do you have a dog with behavior issues, or work with client dogs who do? If so, join me for a fun and informative discussion! You may already know how to address issues like anxiety, reactivity, or aggression from a training standpoint, but many dog owners and trainers are unsure about how medication might fit into the picture. This webinar will provide an overview of the most common medications used to treat behavior problems in dogs. Our focus will be on practical, “real-world” information including: How to know if your dog might benefit from medication Goals of using meds in behavior cases - specific effects we want to see, and how they can complement a behavior modification plan Different classes of drugs and how they work Deciding how long to use meds and if/when to wean off Natural supplements and calming aids

“Come!” The Art and Science of Recall Training

What makes Chrissi's recall training approach stand out is the strong focus on the dog/human relationship. Before even introducing a recall cue, her relationship games help dog and human connect on a new level, and turn boring walks into exciting adventures. The resulting dog/human connection becomes the foundation for a systematic training protocol. Once classically conditioned to mean "awesome stuff is about to happen," the new recall cue will be plugged into movement-based games. Is the dog enthusiastically coming when called? A customizable distraction protocol ups the ante, and prepares your dog for the challenges you'll encounter out and about. Finally, Chrissi's "recall ladder" - a simple yet useful tool to transition from training games to real life - sets you and your dog up for success in the real world.

Stress in Dogs

Stress is around us all of the time. Its impacts can be neutral, negative, or even beneficial. What determines how an animal reacts to stress? What impacts does stress have on behavior? What can you do to prevent stress reactivity in your dog and what can you do to help your dog cope with stress that they are already experiencing?

Anxiety: The Whole Story

So you have a shy dog – one who’s easily frightened of strange people or places, or maybe even one who sits at home IMAGINING what horrible thing might happen next. Is this because of genetics? Or did you mess up somehow? Jessica will talk about the biology behind anxiety: the roles of genetics, early environment (as early as in mom’s uterus!), and socialization. Spoiler alert: you didn’t mess up. But this talk will help you understand better where your dog is coming from and help you think through the many different puzzle pieces that made her who she is.

Using Virtual Consults to Maintain Income and Client Progress Amid COVID-19

Behavior consulting professionals are nothing if not adaptable, which is a skill that is critical now more than ever. In the face of social distancing and self-quarantine, it can feel like our businesses are crumbling through our fingers while client progress has come to a screeching halt. But fear not! Adding virtual consults to your services is one way to stay afloat during these uncertain times while offering a lower fee service to clients struggling with reduced income. Meet with new clients to establish safety and management protocols and keep things stable until you are able to meet in person. Keep existing clients on track or at least prevent regression with maintenance sessions. Expand your geographic reach to areas where there are no consultants with your skill set, or perhaps no consultants at all. In this session, learn logistics of offering virtual behavior consultations, review a variety of formats, and discover some tips and tricks to get your virtual sessions up and running.

Concept Training: An Introduction and Overview

Ken Ramirez has been involved in teaching concept training to animals and trainers for more than 30 years. Conceptual learning takes the trainer’s skills to a new level and can provide an animal new learning opportunities. In this session Ken will define what he means by concept training, discuss the basics needed for all types of conceptual learning, and give examples of concept training, including intelligent disobedience, match to sample, imitation, adduction, modifiers, and quantity recognition.

Ideas that Should Die: Training Myths & Misconceptions

The inertia that results from so-called conventional wisdom about how behavior works is a big obstacle to the widespread adoption of positive reinforcement-based training. Discussions quickly devolve into rancorous debates based on little more than personal opinions and political affiliations. One example is the intrinsic vs. extrinsic reinforcement debate. Resulting from the many myths and misunderstandings, learners fail to benefit from the wellspring of information that is the result of decades of application of the technology of behavior change known as applied behavior analysis (ABA). At the center of this problem is the deeply rooted belief that behavior exists inside individuals, independent of the conditions in which they behave. In this presentation, common myths and misunderstandings will be discussed so that participants are better able to address them.

Navigating Difficult Conversations: Client Communication With Compassion and Efficacy

As animal care professionals, we're no strangers to adjusting our methods or strategies to the one that allows us to work most effectively with the animal. But when it comes to communicating with clients, many of us are significantly less prepared to navigate those hurdles. This presentation will include discussions around which types of conflicts or obstacles we may be likely to face with pet owners, and strategies for working through or around those obstacles in an effective and compassionate manner.

Success With Sensitive Dogs

Do you have a sensitive dog? One who shuts down, quits, goes sniffing, gets the zoomies, reacts to everything and anything, or just plain wilts like an unwatered plant at the slightest perceived pressure? Does your sensitive dog’s behaviour slow down your training? Prevent you from doing the things you want to do together? Or maybe is so extreme that it affects her ability to fully enjoy life? If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then you definitely have a sensitive dog. I have a house full of sensitive dogs and know all too well how tricky they can be to work with sometimes. But don’t despair! While challenging, sensitive dogs can also be some of the most wonderful and exciting to both train and live with. You just have to understand how to adjust your approach to bring out their best. And, perhaps most importantly, how to open yourself up to what they have to offer. Join me in this discussion as I share my five-pronged approach to working with sensitive dogs. Specifically, in our hour together, we will be exploring: Arousal issues and the sensitive dog The critical importance of handler mindset when working with these dogs Identifying and curing poisoned cues Building consent and control into your dog’s training, and life in general Management strategies for those times when training isn’t possible In this talk, I will give you key strategies and tools you can implement right away that will give you immediate results. Practiced regularly, you’ll continue to see improvement over the weeks, months, and years to come. Even better, as you learn how to more effectively work with your sensitive dog, you’ll discover that these dogs can be some of the most delightful to work with. They are the most amazing teachers, and offer us the opportunity to grow, learn, and dramatically improve our skills as trainers. Your sensitive dog can even become the partner of your dreams! I hope you’ll join me and learn how to bring out the best in your sensitive dog, and grow that partnership with her that you’ve always hoped was possible.

Location and Arousal Specific Marker Cues

Reinforcement drives behavior, right? What if your dog cares what type of reinforcement they get and likes some more than others? What if specific types of reinforcement carry different arousal/excitement and you can take advantage of that in your training, whether sports skills or for general behaviors? And in the meantime, how about adding clarity to where and how to collect the reinforcement, something that highly motivated toy dogs could definitely benefit from. We’ve all been using a clicker or a verbal word like Yes to mean “collect reinforcement” to our dog. Now let’s think about slicing up that clicker and making it more concise and clear to your learner dog. Having verbal cues that tell your dog where to collect reinforcement and what exactly that reinforcement is can be so mind blowing and complicated for the handler, but it clears things up and makes things so much simpler for the dog! The dog can devote their entire concentration to listening to you and performing the behavior skills instead of watching your physical motions as predictors of where and when the reward is coming. A side benefit of teaching and using this concept is that it incorporates “switching reinforcement” and also teaches “no”. If yes means “food from the hand”, it also means not food on the ground, or the ball on the chair, or that other dog over there, extending all the way up to “Not that deer”! Teaching your dog this concept with reinforcement you control can only benefit your training in sport and real life skills that often bring about interactions with reinforcement you cannot control.

Dog Bite Interpretation – Evidence and Behavior

**Warning: Extremely graphic content** Dog bites are more than just ‘pass/fail’ incidents. Not only are the big three factors (Intensity, Frequency, and Purpose) at play, but bites have physical attributes such as depth, direction, and dental profile that assist us in seeking the underlying behavioral issues. Let’s look at bites, their geometry and characteristics, and place those in our day to day practices.

Making Patterns Out of Lemons: Using the Control Unleashed Pattern Games

Got a dog that worries about stuff? Leslie will show you how to quickly and effectively help them feel and function better using the CU Pattern Games. Learn how to implement two highly potent tools, Patterns and Voluntary Behavior, in order to create A predictable, repetitive set of rules that lowers anxiety by telling him what to expect and when. A way for him to control his experience–enabling him to direct his behavior mod by communicating start, stop, go towards or away from something. These games are very simple, confidence-building on both sides of the leash, and fun! Come explore them with Leslie!

Is Positive Permissive? A Positive Parent’s Guide to Raising and Training Dogs and Puppies

If you are already familiar with the concepts and techniques of raising children without using physical punishments or emotional intimidation (positive parenting) and yet with dogs you find yourself stuck when trying to work with these ideas, then this webinar is for you! With kids, you naturally apply concepts like redirection and living with predictable structure but with your dogs? Not so much! Puppy mouthing your arm? You have no idea what to do! Dog doesn’t want to go into his crate or is hyper in the house and making you miserable? You’re paralyzed! Dog is nervous of your neighbor when you go for a walk? You’re a deer in the headlights! This webinar will help you translate what you know about handling a cranky, difficult, fearful or overly-enthusiastic typical toddler into an approach that will allow you to handle situation after situation with your dogs in real time without questioning yourself. If you want to raise a dog that fits well into your home and society then this webinar will help you take what you already know about positive parenting and help you apply it to your dogs.  

Modifying Resource Guarding Behavior – Just Pee on Your Dog’s Toys?

Out of all the "types" of aggressive behaviors in dogs, resource guarding is one that has so much conflicting advice available online, it can be difficult for pet owners to wade through the sea of information (or misinformation!). Yes, "peeing on your dog's toys" is just one of the misguided (and gross!) recommendations out there on the Internet. In this presentation, Michael will dispel some of the common, and not so common misconceptions related to resource guarding behavior. He will also highlight effective behavior change strategies and include several case studies with video demonstrating progress from start to finish.

The Play Way: Therapeutic Help for Fear, Anxiety, and Stress

All dogs can experience stress at times, and some struggle with stress, anxiety, or reactivity routinely. Play is one of the best stress relievers there is in general, but it can also be used therapeutically to help a dog reframe its experiences and learn new responses to them. Additionally, a social play habit increases our sensitivity to our dogs’ early signals of stress, and can allow you to more reliably identify “threshold” so you can make good therapeutic choices. Help your dog dismiss her fears while supporting her through social play!

Advanced Platform Training – Beyond the Basics

Are you up to date on all the creative ways trainers are using raised platforms? Join Michele Pouliot for this webinar that goes Beyond the Basics in Platform Training. Since Michele’s first Platform Training DVD, in 2010, trainers around the world have been discovered the power and simplicity of this training tool. What began as the development of specific platform training methods has evolved to an international platform phenomenon. Over the past 10 years Michele has continued to discover and expand the versatility of raised platforms as effective training tools. Pet dog training challenges the amateur owner to effectively train management skills in their dogs. Competitive dog sports can challenge the serious and professional trainer in developing precision behaviors for a variety of scenarios. Platforms offer strong communication tools for our “teaching conversation” with our dogs, regardless of the human’s training goals. This presentation assumes a basic knowledge of using raised platforms (both 2 paw and 4 paw platforms) for training foundation skills. Although some fundamentals information will be included, this webinar will focus on more advanced and creative ways of applying the platform tool in training and problem solving. This presentation includes lots of video demonstration. Join us for the Webinar and learn powerful platform techniques from Michele Pouliot, the original ‘platform guru’. Experience and realize how platforms are a “must have” tool in any trainer’s toolbox. This webinar will likely give you one or more “light bulb moments”!

Tricks With a Purpose

Tricks aren't just for fun anymore! Through trick training, we can teach our dogs important concepts that will not only benefit future sport behaviors but will also help our dogs be happy and healthy! In this lecture, we will discuss how to train four different tricks including "Hike it!", sit pretty, wall handstand and "Thing in a Thing". These behaviors will have mental and physical benefits for your dog as well help you learn more about your dog during the training process. We will break these tricks down and utilize free-shaping as well as luring.

The Science of Semiochemicals

Chemical communication is one of the most important forms of communication for most of the animals that we work with. The term semiochemicals refers to all of the chemicals used by animals for communication. Pheromones are the specific chemicals that individual species of animals use to communicate with others of their species. Several synthetic pheromones have been commercially available for more than 20 years. This presentation will review the current pheromone research and the many ways in which pheromone therapy may be useful when preventing or responding to behavior problems in dogs, cats and horses.

Loopy Agility Training

Great training happens in loops. Trainers set up their environment so that the wanted behavior is most likely to happen and then when that behavior does happen, a well-placed reinforcer is delivered. After that reinforcer is collected, the loop restarts. We all love watching training sessions that move seamlessly in that loop. How can we achieve that in agility training? How do we make that happen during sequencing, during coursework, during our regular group class, while training alone? In this presentation, Megan will go over the details to make loopy training a reality. How to choose your loops within coursework, decide which reinforcer works best, how to respond to errors, and how to transport your dog from the end of one repetition to the beginning of another. Problem behaviors (sniffing, spinning, barking, biting, bar knocking, tunnel sucking, etc) creep in when there are cracks in our loops. When we learn to observe our dog's behavior surrounding the coursework, we can identify the cracks before those problematic behaviors take over our training. This presentation is for any agility or dog sport competitor, as clean loops are the goal during any training session of any sport!

All the World’s a Stage: Antecedents – Our Secret Weapon

Functional analysis, or A.B.C. analysis is one of those aspects of Applied Behaviour Analysis that can kind of hurt your head when you are first introduced to it. It’s not a way any of us are ever taught how to think about behavior in normal life, so it can take a while and can sometimes feel like the pain is really not worth the effort. Anyway, all we really have to learn about is treat delivery...right? WRONG! SO WRONG! And that, my dear training nerd friends, is VERY EXCITING! I am going to take you on a journey in this session, a journey into the amazing world of ANTECEDENTS. Not just "cues", not just "get your hand out of your treat bag", but a really in-depth, sight-seeing tour. By immersing ourselves into this different way of looking at our animal's experiences; what they are learning and what information they come to predict from different situations and environments, we gain an amazing new perspective and I can guarantee you will leave with more ability to understand, interpret and predict behavior in your real world training than you can dream. This skill is one of the main reasons people think I’m smart, but don’t tell anyone I’m really not... I just know my ABCs.