Canine Impulsivity, Reactivity, & Fear Mentorship

  • Overview

  • Required

  • Schedule

  • Prerequisites

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Course Begins: October 15, 2024

Duration: 8 Weeks

Instructor: Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB

Course type: Mentorship

Would you like to improve your effectiveness and success rate with impulsivity/hyperactivity, reactivity, and fear clients, or are you looking to get started with these types of behavior issues?


This 8-week mentorship provides mentees with ongoing video lectures, documentation, online chat, and scheduled weekly live/online meetings.


Relative to the course topics, full mentees can discuss their own cases or any others, ask questions about application and theory, ask for tips and advice on overcoming specific challenges, and be guided toward even higher levels of professionalism and effectiveness. The mentors are there for the mentees, and offer all help and discussion that each mentee finds useful.


This 8-week Mentorship will focus on canine impulsivity/hyperactivity, reactivity, and fear, and will discuss:

  • the current scientific understanding
  • history taking, assessment, and client communication
  • development and implementation of behavior modification specific to these issues


By the end of this course, students should know how to:

  • Define and correctly identify hyperactivity/impulsivity, reactivity and fear and explain what leads to the behavior
  • Develop effective, comprehensive behavior plans for these issues
  • Track progress and make adjustments as needed
  • Communicate effectively with clients


The course is ideal for:

  • Dog trainers, behavior consultants, and shelter volunteers or staff
  • Veterinarians and veterinary staff
  • Dog walkers and dog day care staff
  • Pet owners may also benefit from taking the course, although they would be best served if done in conjunction with one-on-one work with a certified behavior consultant



  • Auditors do not attend online meetings
  • Meetings are not recorded
  • Meetings take place on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm Eastern (first meeting October 22nd)
  • Meetings are 1 hour in duration
  • There are 8 meetings for this mentorship


Auditors do not attend the weekly live chats and have no instructor interaction. They may not introduce their own cases or ask for specific input on their own work.

To receive CEUs and/or a certificate of completion, Full Mentees must:

  • Choose a case to work with throughout the course (this can be your own dog, a shelter dog, or a client’s dog). If you do not have a case to work with, you can create a hypothetical case, but the greatest benefit will come from working with a live dog. The best fit for this course are dogs that are showing reactivity, fear and/or impulsivity, and hyperactivity without a history of aggression. Redirection during reactive episodes and extreme mouthing still fall under the scope of this course, but strictly aggression cases do not.
  • Review the recorded lectures prior to the live discussion calls
  • Attend and participate in at least 6 of the 8 online meetings
  • Complete homework consisting of short written assignments
  • Develop, modify, and track progress on a behavior plan throughout the course

Full Mentees should expect to spend an average of 3-5 hours per week on the course depending on the week’s materials.


To receive CEUs and/or a certificate of achievement, Auditors must:

  • Review the recorded lectures

This eight-week mentorship will begin on the specified start date and includes 8 weekly online meetings.

Students will have access to the course material for 1 year from the date of their most recent IAABC Foundation purchase.

This eight-week mentorship includes 8 weekly online meetings on the following topics: Each week will include pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, and live/online meeting with discussion and interactive activities.

Weeks 1 – 3: Assessment

Activities include development of training plans, case study, case selection, begin drafting behavior plans, and client communication written assignment.

Week 1 - Defining and recognizing reactivity, fear and hyperactivity/impulsivity

Week 2 - Working with emotion in dogs and how stress impacts behavior

Week 3 - Client communication and expectation setting

Weeks 4 – 6: Specific behavior issues – what the science tells us

Activities include updating behavior plans, receiving instructor feedback, and client communication assignments.

Week 4 - What the research tells us, how to use this information to improve outcomes, and addressing impulsivity/hyperactivity

Week 5 - Fear, learned helplessness, and addressing fear

Week 6 - Reactivity, the role of habit and emotion, and addressing reactivity

Weeks 7 - 8: Putting it all together - Core skills

Activities include finalizing behavior plans and receiving instructor feedback.

Week 7 - Foundation skills for reactivity, fear, and hyperactivity/impulsivity

Week 8 - Improving confidence and stress coping skills

This course is designed for students that already have a basic understanding of dog training principles (basic learning theory, how to teach new behaviors) and have strong mechanical skills.

Full Student:

CEUs: 24 (IAABC, KPA); 21 (CCPDT)

Cost: $600



Cost: $360

Cancellation Policy: We will refund 90% up to 30 days pre-event. A 50% refund will be available up to 15 days pre-event. After these deadlines, no refunds will be issued.

Instructor: Kristina Spaulding, PhD, CAAB

Dr. Kristina Spaulding has been in the dog training and behavior profession since 1999. She has a PhD in biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist through the Animal Behavior Society. Kristina is particularly interested in stress, neurobiology, cognition, emotion, and wellbeing and how to apply these concepts to the prevention and early intervention of behavior problems in dogs. In her private practice, she specializes in working with puppies and adolescents and dogs with reactivity, fear and hyperactivity and/or impulsivity issues. In addition to working with behavior clients, Kristina teaches a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior. She also regularly presents on canine behavior science at conferences and other events.


In 2019, Kristina received the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award. She serves on the APDT Education Committee, the IAABC Foundation Board, and the Fear Free Advisory group.


Before opening Smart Dog, Kristina earned her B.S. in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. In college, she worked for the local humane society for several years. She also served as an assistant trainer at Dog’s Best Friend which was owned at that time by Dr. Patricia McConnell.