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February 13

1:00 pm PT


Hosted by Melissa Breau, with panelists Denise Fenzi, Kamal Fernandez and Dante Camacho.

This lunchtime discussion will be streamed via YouTube, even to those not paying to attend the conference. Our panelists will discuss the current state of the R+ world from their perspective, where they’d like to see it go, and their thoughts on some of the best ways to help it thrive and grow.

Denise Fenzi

Denise (she/her) has titled dogs in obedience (AKC and UKC), tracking (AKC and schutzhund), schutzhund (USA), mondioring (MRSA), herding (AKC), conformation (AKC), and agility (AKC). She has two AKC obedience champions, perfect scores in both schutzhund and Mondio ringsport obedience, and is well known for her flashy and precise obedience work. While a successful competitor, Denise’s real passion lies in training dogs and solving the problems that her own dogs and her students’ dogs present. She is a recognized expert in developing drive, motivation, and focus in competition dogs, and is known internationally as an engaging speaker and an expert in no-force training for sport dogs. She has consistently demonstrated the ability to train and compete with dogs using motivational methods in sports where compulsion is the norm.

Denise thoughtfully and persistently works to break down the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a truly interactive and mutually enjoyable sport relationship with their dogs. Fenzi Dog Sports Academy is the culmination of her efforts in providing progressive information to any trainer who wishes to learn. In 2021, Denise started a new online program specifically for High Drive Dogs – check out!

Kamal Fernandez

Kamal Fernandez (he/him), Internationally renowned dogs trainer, author, World Championship Level Sports dog coach. With over 30yrs experience in the world of dogs and dog training, Kamal has pioneered to the use of reinforcement based methodology to train dogs from unruly pets to Crufts winners. He has competed at the highest level in dog sports, and speaks at conferences and delivers seminars all over the world, including the Victoria Stillwell Bite Conference, IMPACT conference for service and military personnel, as well as TV appearances on Sky Televison ‘Dogs Might Fly’, where 12 rescue dogs were followed on their journey to ‘flying a plane’.

Career Highlights so far:

  • Crufts competitor
  • World championship level dog sports coach
  • Crufts judge/steward/team manager
  • Keynote speak: IMPACT conference
  • Victoria Stillwell Bite Prevention conference
  • International Seminar presenter
  • Author of: Pathway to Positivity

Dante Camacho

Dante Camacho (he/him) is a professional dog trainer, international presenter and has been involved in dog training since 1998. Training quickly became a passion and took him to a never-ending adventure (including leaving college to become a full time dog trainer) of constant learning. He was one of the first to introduce the use of clicker training in Brazil, “I was fascinated by the tool and all that I was able to accomplish with my dogs very early in my career.” Dante went on to work with dog owners privately for the first years of his dog training career.

In 2000, he fell in love with dog sports and started teaching his own dogs in agility and freestyle. In agility, he became a reference for positive training in Brazil, teaching seminars, being cited in magazines and websites, and making numerous TV appearances. Dante ended up representing Brazil in four FCI Agility World Championships as well as two European Open and two Americas and Caribbean. He initially performed freestyle (dog dancing) in Brazil, first in dog shows but soon on TV and at fairs, and then became a member of the Canadian Superdogs Team and performed his dancing routines in shows throughout the country and in the United States. Not only a performer, Dante also eventually became a member of the production team of the shows, helping scout and train people and dogs to perform under the lights. The incredibly popular shows were seen by over one million people every year.

Dante was part of the Canadian Agility Team (European Open and Americas and Caribbean ) and also coached the Canadian Agility National Team, sharing his experience as a competitor and trainer. He has also competed and titled dogs in dock diving and rally obedience, and in recent years has been dabbling with FCI obedience and scent work. His experience teaching other species started in 2013 at a “chicken camp” with Terry Ryan and since then he’s hosted a number of camps as TA and also as an instructor. For the last year he’s worked as a volunteer at a local zoo in Brazil helping zoo administrators develop training plans to enrich and benefit the lives of species that until then had lived in precarious conditions.

Dante is an invited teacher at Rio Preto University, where he teaches dog behavior and training for the post graduate degree course on Animal Behavior and Well Being. He’s an online instructor with several online courses (all in Portuguese so far, sorry….) available on his platform with over a thousand students, ranging from professional dog trainers to committed dog owners. He’s also developing his own certification course for dog trainers in his country.

Panel Hosted By:

Melissa Breau

Melissa (she/her) is the host of the FDSA podcast and FDSA’s resident marketing geek. She owns and operates Click and Repeat, a small marketing agency focused on helping dog trainers build better websites and market their businesses successfully. She also co-owns Dog Trainer’s Umbrella, which offers dog trainers a community focused on helping them positively thrive — because dog trainers shouldn’t have to choose between doing what they love and making a living.

She also teaches several marketing classes at FDSA — Marketing for Pet Professionals and Building a WordPress Website — and teaches FDSA’s Treibball classes and workshops. She is currently owned by an English cocker spaniel and a small tuxedo kitty.