Meet Our Team
Darris will explore the effects of inclusionary behaviors and how an understanding of behavioral science can help to foster a sense of community and belonging. He will delve into the impacts and influences these interactions can have on animal professionals, businesses, pet parents, and the communities in which we serve. At a time when tensions and temperatures are high in many ways, taking the small step to identify and utilize the tools already within your toolbox is an approximation worth acknowledging and celebrating.
Placing animals that are behaviorally challenged can be difficult. With a conversation based approach to adoptions, you can find wonderful homes for any animal while decreasing your length of stay. Using this approach, you can find a good fit for a very complicated case and ensure the safety of the pet, the family and your community.
Dot Baisly is the Executive Director for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and the Behavior Consultant at Heal Veterinary Clinic in Watertown, MA. Dot also holds a master’s degree in Animal Behavior from Tufts University and is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA), a certified dog behavior consultant (CDBC), certified cat behavior consultant (CCBC), and certified shelter behavior specialist (CSB). Dot is currently a core member of the Shelter Playgroup Alliance team where she facilitates course content. Most recently she was the director of behavior for Northeast Animal Shelter where she built a behavior program and transformed the organization’s approach to behavior as a result of her leadership. Prior to this she was also the lead behavior staff at the SPCA of Westchester and then the Animal Rescue League of Boston.
Dot also worked as a consultant for Paws With A Cause, working with service dogs and the clients they serve for over 10 years. She has been working in animal welfare, veterinary care and behavior for over 20 years, both in animal welfare and rescue organizations and as a private consultant. Dot has consulted with private clients since her initial certifications, working with owned cats and dogs on a regular basis. In her private practice, Dot specializes in working with dogs and cats exhibiting significant behavioral concerns, including human-directed aggression.
She also provides consultations to shelters across the country where she has evaluated dogs, educated staff and volunteers and continues to be recognized as a key leader in the animal welfare and shelter behavior community where she is sought out for her expertise, compassion and skill in leading change efforts. Prior to working in sheltering, Dot managed a veterinary clinic and worked as a technician where she developed her knowledge and skills in low-stress veterinary handling. Since that time, Dot has taught those techniques in shelters and at veterinary practices across the country.
This presentation will give attendees the knowledge and confidence to help teach cats and dogs to participate in their veterinary care. Learn what cooperative care means, how we can teach consent and the importance of choice. Consent behaviours discussed will include stationing and chin rest. As well as the benefits of using predictor cues for cooperative veterinary care training and how to transfer this type of training to veterinary procedures.
In this lecture, attendees will:
– Understand the benefits of cooperative care
– Become familiar with the tools and skills involved in training cooperative care
– Learn how to get started teaching cooperative care
– Understand the Importance of predictor cues and how to teach predictor cues
– How to create positive associations in the veterinary hospital
Melinda is experienced in business analysis, quality assurance and project management and worked with various state and local agencies implementing Information Systems for over 20 years. She is the Communications Director with IAABC, the Director of Volunteer and Foster Engagement with Mr. Bones & Co., an animal welfare non-profit and is a Humane Policy volunteer with the HSUS. Melinda runs a small business part-time offering fine stationery for special events in which she offers calligraphy, letterpress and graphic design services. She is a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Melinda currently resides on Long Island with her partner David and their two beloved dogs Shea and Citi. You will usually find a third dog, a foster, in their home.
Darris has worked in the industries of animal training and behavior, pet lifestyle, and broadcast television for nearly 15 years. Working with pets, pet parents and animal lovers everywhere has been a dream come true & an incredible journey. He has trained at zoological facilities, working with both domestic and exotic animals. His passion for all animals and all people has led him on a journey of discovery and impactful experiences that reinforces the animal and human bond.
He’s a strong believer in industry collaboration and partnerships and knows that true innovation comes to life when Trainers, veterinarians, grooming professionals, and animal welfare organizations all work together.
As a lifelong learner Darris is also recognized with the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers, and holds the Fear Free Animal Trainer certification, he’s also an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and works with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team with IAABC Foundation.
He volunteers with animal rescue organizations and has worked on the front lines in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Darris also serves as an on-air contributor to local and national television and print publications on pet lifestyle and behavior.
Darris loves spending time with his family and is a pet parent to pups Zakai & Kelea and 3 aquatic turtles. You can also find Darris at many animal rescue fundraisers, wildlife conservation events, and animal related conferences and tradeshows to continue his quest of lifelong learning.
San Choi is the founder of Ruff Roll Academy a dog training and daycare service located in Los Angeles California. He is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
With 8 years of animal care experience, he specializes in helping families build meaningful relationships between people and the animals they live with. Choi believes living and training animals is rightfully rooted by science, consideration, and empathy. A recent graduated in August 2020, San is is inspired and determined to explore the incredible avenues of growth the animal industry has to offer. San is most passionate about learning and connecting with people to create a better tomorrow with animals.
Born in Macau, China, Choi and his family immigrated to the United States in 1995 to seek a better life. Choi and his family lived in the San Gabriel Valley for 25 years. Throughout his early life, there were many social barriers that shaped San’s evolving initiative to organize and collaborate with local modern social justice groups and movements within the greater Los Angeles County. San carries his passion to help others beyond the dog training realm by working with local community leaders to facilitate multi-racial solidarity in public community gatherings with organizations such as Neighborhood Safety Companions, Chinatown Overwatch Patrols, and Asians with Attitudes. When San is not working, he likes to spend his time hiking and training with his dogs Molly and Shadow and expanding his knowledge and skill in animal behavior.
Drop-in at your leisure to network with speakers, colleagues, and old friends round-table style!
This opportunity is available Friday (6:30-8:00 am) and Sunday (7:00-8:15 am).
– Assorted New York Style Bagels with Assorted Cream Cheese
– Assorted Breakfast Pastries
– Variety of Flavored Low-Fat Yogurts and Granola
– Seasonal Sliced Fruit and Berries
– Butter, Preserves, and Jams
– Freshly Squeezed Orange and Grapefruit Juice
– Freshly Brewed Coffee and Decaffeinated Coffee
– Selection of Hot Teas
In this discussion, panelists will focus on understanding what aggression is from a multi-species perspective, and then we’ll dive into similarities and differences in protocols across species.
In many cases of cats exhibiting aggressive behavior, pain can be the cause or a contributing factor. As a behavior consultant and veterinary technician, I am lucky to bring a clinical eye to the home environment. Many behavior concerns have medical roots that would otherwise go unnoticed. Cats are unique in that they are both predator and prey animals. Due to this, assessing their pain is challenging not only for pet owners, but also for veterinary and shelter professionals.
Through lecture and video demonstration, this session will hone your pain assessment skills and provide you with the resources to advocate and care for the cat’s in your care. Tabitha will also share a case study in which pain was the cause of the aggressive behaviors.
Tabitha Kucera is an Elite Fear Free and Low-Stress Handling Certified Registered Veterinary Technician, VTS (Behavior), CCBC, and KPA CTP. She is the owner of Chirrups and Chatter Cat and Dog Behavior Consulting and Training in Cleveland, Ohio. Her teaching credentials include lecturing on the regional and national levels and lecturing at multiple veterinary technology programs. She is a Fear Free certified speaker, a Fear Free Practice Certification Consultant, a behavior consultant for Cat Pawsitive Pro, and host of the podcast, Tails from a Vet Tech. Tabitha has helped to develop training and behavior programs for various veterinary hospitals and shelters and works as a consultant for many shelters and private veterinary practices.
Michelle Mullins is the owner and director of training at Honest To Dog® in Richmond, Virginia, USA. As an IAABC Certified Dog Behavior Consultant she offers private in-home pet training with a focus on evidence-based training and behavior modification for dogs with fear, aggression, and reactivity, basic training for puppies, and Fear-Free training of pets for veterinary and grooming procedures. In her work, she collaborates closely with veterinary professionals to ensure her clients have a complete pet care team.
Michelle has guest lectured at Ohio State University and the University of Tennessee and presents at a variety of training and veterinary conferences. She has served on the board of directors for the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants) and is the current board president of the IAABC Foundation as well as a mentor for IAABC Foundation courses. She is a content contributor to the Fear Free Animal Trainer Course, and both a Fear Free Certified Animal Trainer and Elite Certified.
All of Michelle’s work has the goal of developing long, enriching relationships between pets and their people. She is passionate about sharing continuing education in her field as it ultimately provides our clients, both human and canine, the highest quality services available.
Uli grew up in Germany, but spent three years of her youth in Spain. She participated in several dog sports with her Catalan Sheepdog, and soon she noticed that training dogs and their humans was much more important to her than she had anticipated. Helping owners with their family dogs’ behavior problems soon became her passion.
After moving to Santiago de Chile with her husband, she dedicated time to raising their three children and founded her dog training business www.citydogs.cl with the country’s first puppy socialization program for owners. Ever since she has been creating awareness of the significance of puppy socialization through talks for owners and an internship program for trainers.
From 2018-2022 she directed the IAABC Español Division. Uli lives in Santiago de Chile with her human family, three cats, two target-trained Mediterranean tortoises and her Border Collie Luke, the tortoise detection dog.
Erin is a CPDT-KA, ADT-IAABC, CDBC, is an Accredited Dog Behaviour Consultant with Companion Animals New Zealand and has a MSc in Anthrozoology. She holds a PhD in Animal Studies from the University of Canterbury with a primary research focus on the human-dog connection, behaviour of companion dogs, and society. Erin runs Merit Dog Project, an educational/research-based organization also offering behaviour consultations for dogs and their humans, specializing in fearful and anxious dogs. Erin currently lives in Christchurch New Zealand with her husband Mike and dog Juno.
Darris currently serves as the National Dog Training Manager for one of the nation’s largest pet retailers, focusing on program operations, communications, strategy, partner training and development and the implementation of innovative programs. Darris has worked in the industries of animal training, behavior, and broadcast television for 15 years. Darris is recognized with the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers as CPDT-KA and holds certifications as a Fear-Free Animal Trainer and American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen® Evaluator. He has trained animals at zoological facilities, working with both domestic and exotic animals. He fosters dogs, volunteers with rescues and adoption partners, and has worked on the front lines in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. Darris also serves as an expert judge on American Rescue Dog Show, and on-air contributor to local and national television and print publications on pet lifestyle and animal behavior.
Nicole is a trainer and animal behavior professional with over 15 years of experience working with animals with behavioral problems. She is a U.S. Veteran and began her career as a Military Police Dog Handler/Trainer for the U.S. Navy and Department of Defense. She is passionate about helping pet owners develop a loving and enriching bond with their pets through positive reinforcement and holistic treatment methods. She is a Boston native and is owned by rescues Peter, Huckleberry cat and Oscar the tortoise.
IAABC Foundation Journal Spanish Editor, Head of Translators, and IAABC Language Director. Masters in Canine Clinical Psychology and Education, Vet assistant, first aid certified and pet groomer. She is also a journalist, professional translator and proofreader, as well as Editor in chief of El Telégrafo newspaper, Uruguay. She’s been invited by the Uruguayan government to take part in the national shelter program as a dog behavior consultant through the Cero Callejero Foundation, with whom she is taking action on animal welfare.
Living in a country where science-based dog training was not common, many years ago she began her research in order to set herself for success in the field. Thus, she has taken courses at Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), Dunbar Academy, Pet Partners (Delta Society), Victoria Stilwell Academy (VSA) and specialized in children-directed education regarding animal care and behavior. She is also a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and Doggone Safe.
She has worked with guide dogs, in cooperation with Freedom Guide Dogs, from New York, supporting organizations for the blind in her country.
Passionate about dogs, she devotes most of her time to ensure their wellness in society, offering a helping hand as a volunteer in rescue organizations and writing articles about animal welfare and behavior in the newspaper at which she works. Her human and non-human children take up most of her heart.
Matthias Lenz has over 10 years’ experience as a professional dog trainer and is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP). He works full time as the Puppy Raising Manager for BC & Alberta Guide Dogs and helps pet dog owners through his personal business as well. He is a Supporting Member of the IAABC, where he served as the Chair of the Working Animals Division for two years before taking on his current role as a board member with the IAABC Foundation.
An engaged and well-respected member of the international dog training community, he has written and published several articles in the peer-reviewed IAABC Foundation Journal and has presented his work at international conferences and events.
San Choi is the founder of a dog training and daycare service in Los Angeles, California and serves on the IAABC Foundation Board. He is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner with eight years of animal care experience. He specializes in helping families build meaningful relationships between people and the animals they live with.
San believes living and training animals is rightfully rooted in science, consideration, and empathy, and is inspired and determined to explore the incredible avenues of growth the animal industry has to offer. He is most passionate about learning and connecting with people to create a better tomorrow with animals.
Born in Macau, China, San and his family immigrated to the United States in 1995 to seek a better life. They lived in the San Gabriel Valley for 25 years. Throughout his early life, many social challenges shaped his evolving perspective and led him to get directly involved in the movement to provide a better tomorrow for people with less opportunity. San carries his passion to help others beyond the dog training realm, volunteering and collaborating with organizations such as APPI United to help support the Asian-American community in the San Gabriel Valley.
When San is not working, he likes to spend his time hiking and training with his dogs Molly and Shadow, aqua-scaping fish tanks, participating in recreational basketball, and expanding his knowledge and skill in animal behavior.
Kierah Moore has been in the behavior realm for almost 10 years. It all started with a Chicago kid working on a farm for college credit. Upon receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Sciences, she eventually made her way to a large pet retailer where she trained dogs, trainers, and made an impact on pet parents’ lives every day.
Kierah finds deep purpose in being part of the IAABC Foundation’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Team, a passion that has slowly become her northern light over the years, empowering her to be the change that she wants to see in the world.
Join us for an honest and open discussion to enhance our awareness on how, together, we can create meaningful, lasting opportunities for all who wish to work in animal training and behavior, and ensure a safe and healthy environment within the community as a whole.
There has been an urgency in the last decades to promote collaboration between veterinary medicine and companion animal behavior professionals. As the relationship between disease, illness, and behavior becomes more widely understood, we animal welfare professionals are more cognizant of the fact that to remain siloed, even competitive, only works to the great detriment of those we serve. Conversely, when veterinary medicine professionals and behavior specialists operate in the spirit of cooperative engagement, the greatest successes in humane treatment can be achieved. This is especially the case in shelter administration, where the effects of veterinary medicine on behavior and the effects of behavioral practices on health most immediately impact an animal’s fate.
In this session, Dr. Treviño will explore the scholarly literature that reflects the urgency to pursue synergistic operation of shelter behavior and veterinary medicine departments. He will also report on case studies from his own experience as medical director at Friends For Life Animal Shelter, where the unique closeness between wellness and behavior departments has resulted in several groundbreaking firsts, including a free public veterinary clinic that utilized animal-friendly handling practices to treat over 36,000 patients in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This presentation will allow attendees to:
– List examples of successes, from most accessible to ambitious, achieved through cooperation between shelter veterinary medicine and behavior personnel
– Implement strategies for nurturing synergy between veterinary medicine and behavior professionals, in sheltering and private practice
– Apply lessons from Batman towards cultivating power through partnership among animal welfare professionals
Dr. Learn attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation, she completed an internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ. She remained in general practice for 20 years before she began her residency in Clinical Behavioral Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Radosta in South Florida, and Dr. Amy Pike in NoVA. She completed her residency training and was certified as one of only 90 board certified behavior specialists in the world by the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. She is currently the Chief of Clinical Behavioral Medicine at the Animal Behavior Wellness Center in Richmond VA.
Dr. Learn has contributed to several veterinary behavior textbooks, journal articles, blogs and received the prestigious RK Anderson Resident Achievement Award for outstanding research in the field of applied animal behavior.
Michael and Dilara will share guidelines for matchmaking as well as best practices for introducing cats and dogs. Setting up the environment to allow for optimal welfare (including for the humans!), training and management protocols, and potential red flags will also be addressed.
Catja lives with a retired older cocker spaniel, who still loves to work, and a younger Australian Koolie, who is starting his first competitions. Since 2009, when she finished her instructors’ course, Catja has been working full-time with teaching on the topic of training, both online and at in-person workshops and conferences. She is always on the path of continued education and curious to learn.
She has competed in the highest level of working trials including obedience, tracking and search and rescue and has also been working with drug detection and rally obedience over the past years. But no matter if she works with working or family dogs, her focus is on developing the basic skills through clean training sessions and fluency in the trainers’ skills. She is passionate about clean training, fluency, shaping, back chaining and giving the learner choice in the training. Practicing the basics and having great mechanical skills, is one of the things that will elevate your training to the next level, in her opinion. She believes that every dog handler can and should work with their dog, and that planning your session to be as clean and efficient as possible, will create more reinforcement opportunities for both learner and teacher.
Catja’s first focus is to teach 80 different basic skills, that makes it possible to teach just about anything “advanced” later. Dividing all training into the smallest behaviors possible, before even thinking of adding the cue and setting the stage for clean training loops, is a high priority. She uses shaping wherever it is possible, and always tries to have a clean, smooth session, with clear information for the dog while removing all background distractions.
Meeting the learner where they are and getting to be part of team growth is the most rewarding thing for her. Catja works with learners at all levels and also believes in continued education for everyone.
Shawna Karrasch started using positive reinforcement (R+) when she worked at SeaWorld in San Diego. For ten years she was immersed in using R+ in a systematic way, teaching complex behaviors to many species. You cannot, after all, coerce a whale or sea lion to do anything they don’t want to do! From there, she developed a love of horses and jumped into that world by working first with show jumping phenoms, John and Beezie Madden. Since then, Shawna has worked with other Olympians and top athletes as well as casual horse owners whose primary goal is having a loving companion. Shawna has been instrumental in sharing this applied learning theory with the horse world and was an original pioneer. R+ has taken off from the work she began back in the 90’s and this method of training has grown a hundred fold thanks to what she started. She is a fun and highly engaging speaker with a gift for clearly explaining the science and theory. Not too many of us came to horses learning any other way except traditionally. Shawna’s marine mammal background gives her a completely unique perspective on teaching both people and animals. Her expertise in the field of equine behavior is second to none.
Fear is an underlying cause of many problem behaviors in horses. A frightened horse is also a potentially dangerous horse, with defensive responses ranging from anxiety and vigilance to panic and flight. Horses are also afraid of many things. Having evolved as a prey species, they tend to be neophobic and are easily conditioned to fear harmless objects and situations. Fear rehabilitation can only happen when the horse is exposed to these objects and situations, even as the horse’s motivation is to avoid them.
In this practical session, Robin will demonstrate techniques used to modify fear-based behavior, including systematic desensitization, counter-conditioning, flooding, and constructional approach training for horses (CAT-H). She will also discuss the learning principles that operate in each technique, including habituation, extinction, reciprocal inhibition, and negative reinforcement.
Justine is an IAABC Certified Horse Behavior Consultant, a member of the Application Review Team and a Co-Chair of the UK & Ireland division. She is also a registered Accredited Animal Behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour & Training Council, one of the organisation’s trustees and the chair of their Equine Committee. She was recently awarded an Honorary Degree for distinction in the equine industry from Writtle University College, UK.
In 2021, Justine set up an online education platform providing behaviour and welfare education for equine professionals and caregivers. She lectures on the Equine Behavioural Science BSc degree course at Writtle University College and teaches as a visiting lecturer at several UK universities. Justine practices as an equine behaviour consultant, teaches and mentors behaviour students worldwide and works as an expert consultant in legal disputes and court cases involving equine behaviour. She holds lectures and workshops around the UK and regularly contributes to a wide variety of international publications, either writing articles, commenting or answering specific questions about horse behaviour and training.
Gabriel Lencioni graduated from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences from the University of São Paulo. During those years, he was concerned about how patients were being treated, so in search of better approaches, Gabriel went on to study animal behavior and welfare sciences. Gabriel has published research on the topic of automated methods to assess facial expressions related to pain and other affective states in horses and is currently working on his PhD at the University of São Paulo, in Brazil.
He is a Certified Horse Behavior Consultant with the IAABC and Fear Free Elite certified.
With a science-based approach, Gabriel lectures on animal behavior and welfare and his work focuses on improving behavioral and physical issues through prevention, positive reinforcement methods, and developing LIMA protocols for horses and dogs.
As an IAABC Certified Horse Behavior Consultant and ABTC Accredited Animal Behaviourist, Trudi runs a successful horse behavior and training consultancy in the UK, helping horse guardians and charities find solutions to behavior problems. Complementing her behavior work, Trudi creates programmes of gymnastic training to refine the horse’s physical and emotional balance both on the ground and ridden.
Using reward-based training methods following LIMA protocols, Trudi is a bit-less specialist, and has been providing video assessment to online students since 2010.
As a guest lecturer at UK universities, writer, conference presenter and provider of courses, Trudi imparts the science behind behavior and training but is primarily focused on the practical application of the science to help horses and their humans.
Prof. Robin Foster is a life-long animal admirer, ally, and advocate. As an animal admirer, she earned a PhD in animal behavior and has taught university courses in animal learning and behavior for more than 30 years. She also conducts and supervises student research on animal learning, behavior, and human-animal interactions. As an animal ally, Robin is certified as an Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) and an Equine Behavior Consultant (CEBC), and she owns a private consulting practice for equine and canine behavior cases. As an animal advocate, Robin currently serves as membership secretary for the International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) and is past chair of the Applied Animal Behavior Committee of the Animal Behavior Society.
Beyond a plethora of oddball skills and experiences, Philip joins the IAABC as a certified dog trainer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but can also frequently be found in the shelters of Taiwan. Having grown up in Taipei, Philip is focused on further improving animal welfare programs among municipal shelters and private rescues. Stateside, Philip works with local and international rescues, hoping for the day when dogs no longer need to fly halfway across the globe to find a home.
A lifelong learner, Philip’s area of emphasis revolves around alleviating fear for his own Taiwanese mix, Alisa. Philip strives to further his mechanical skill and theoretical knowledge, with eyes set on becoming a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) with the IAABC. Besides animals, Philip is a reluctant activist, as well as a bonafide gearhead and music lover.
Matthias Lenz has over 10 years’ experience as a professional dog trainer, and is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP). He works full time as the Puppy Raising Manager for ‘BC & Alberta Guide Dogs’ and helps pet dog owners through his business ‘Lenz Dog Training’. He is a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) where he served as the Chair of the Working Animals Division for two years before taking on his current role as board member with the IAABC Foundation.
An engaged and well-respected member of the international dog training community, he has written and published several articles in the peer-reviewed IAABC journal, and has presented his work at international conferences and events, including the 2019 and 2022 Assistance Dogs International (ADI) conferences.
In this talk, we will discuss the two most commonly seen medical disorders that contribute to behavior problems. Whether they are the full underlying cause of a behavioral disorder, or, more commonly, a component that needs to be treated alongside the behavior, these two medical disorders can be difficult to diagnose and treat. This discussion will take us from diagnosis through treatment to get you thinking about how many cases may be struggling with underlying medical disorders.
Dr. Trevino grew up in Houston, Texas. In 2009, he graduated from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine; later, he completed his Masters in Public Health from the University of Texas. Dr. Trevino has practiced both emergency and general veterinary medicine in the greater Houston area for many years. For a six-year period, he provided international aid for animals as a World Vets staff veterinarian.
Dr. Trevino recently returned from a year immersed in emergency medicine in Anchorage, Alaska. He continues to serve as a volunteer veterinarian/medical director for Friends For Life Animal Shelter in Houston.
When not practicing veterinary medicine, Dr Trevino is an avid cinephile, food-lover, Lego-builder, Batman enthusiast, and outdoor adventurer.
As the Director of Animal Care at the Houston Zoo, Tarah Cornelius has the opportunity to engage in internationally impactful work every day. In this presentation, Tarah will discuss some of the amazing projects the Houston Zoo is involved in, including the Houston Zoo’s continuing collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine to develop a vaccine for a fatal virus which affects both zoo and wild elephants alike. Then, crossing the globe, Tarah will share her recent experience hosting two workshops on training, enrichment, and exhibit design for zoo colleagues in China. She will also discuss her on-site consulting work at Hangzhou and Chengdu zoos, detailing how cross-cultural discussions have the ability to take our professional learning experiences and growth to the next level.
Tarah Cornelius is the Director of Animal Care at the Houston Zoo. She has worked with animals in zoos for over 20 years and has been at the Houston Zoo for the past 8 years. She serves on the steering committee of the Behavior Scientific Advisory Group and a member of the Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. She has an Associate of Science degree in Zoo Animal Technology from Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.
When a person suffers a physical injury in a horse-related incident, the human-horse relationship may be fractured. Equine behaviorists and trainers often work with horses that have experienced traumatic events, but they are less prepared to address and support the human side of the experience. In this talk, I will present a series of behavior cases in which the clients contacted me about a horse behavior problem, and later disclosed that they had also been seriously injured in a riding or handling incident. Although their physical injuries had healed, the clients continued to experience emotional distress and loss of self-confidence and trust in their horse, yet they elected to continue working with their horses. In order to encourage owner compliance with the behavior modification plan and engagement in the process, I adjusted the behavior change goals, protocols, and instructions to incorporate strategies for supporting people who have experienced trauma. The approach was drawn from selected articles on working with people who have PTSD, an interview with a trauma recovery counselor, and my practical experiences as an animal behavior consultant.
However good you are at your job, unless you can promote your business effectively to your target market, your business may not be reaching it’s full potential.
Justine is a successful equine behaviour consultant working in the UK. In a previous career she worked as a graphic designer and Art Director in the publishing and advertising industries in London. She has a wealth of experience in branding, design, media and marketing.
Justine will discuss effective branding and marketing techniques that will help you decide how you want to be perceived, distinguish yourself from your competitors, clarify what it is you offer, reach the audience you want and grow your business.
Acral Lick Dermatitis (ALD) is an often challenging and frustrating condition to treat, as diagnosis and treatment require comprehensive, thorough evaluation and a careful consideration of medical and behavioral contributors. This presentation will focus on the diagnostic and treatment process of ALD as a marriage between physical interventions and behavior modification. Discussion of the neurophysiology implicated in the development and maintenance of ALD and similar repetitive and self-traumatic diseases is included.
The experience of stress affects a wide array of physiological and behavioral processes. Owners and professionals alike often report that an animal appears ‘stressed’ or ‘anxious’, but how do these states originate in the body? How are they perpetuated? In order to understand the behavioral implications of stress, it is important to understand the neurobiology of the stress-response system. This discussion provides an overview of the organs, hormones, and neurophysiological pathways responsible for stress response as a framework for discussion of its role in behavior across species.
Dr. Gibson grew up in southern Illinois with a family Yorkshire Terrier. In high school, he volunteered at shelters in the St. Louis area where he assisted with socialization, enrichment, and basic training of the shelter dogs. This sparked his interest in animal behavior and welfare and started his journey to veterinary behavioral medicine.
Dr. Gibson continued volunteering at shelters during his undergraduate education and began working with the shelter veterinarian. He co-authored a manuscript on the molecular process of bacterial biofilm formation. He then applied to the veterinary medicine curriculum at University of Missouri. During his veterinary education, Dr. Gibson maintained his interest in behavioral medicine but also became very interested in dermatology. He served as President of the Shelter Medicine Club and the Student Chapter of the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society. Dr. Gibson participated in a research project on the otic (ear) microbiome in dogs and presented these findings at the Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Scholars Symposium in 2018. He was an ICU veterinary assistant at Veterinary Specialty Services in St. Louis for several months between veterinary school semesters.
Throughout his veterinary education Dr. Gibson sought exposure to behavioral medicine by networking with other behavior professionals and doing external rotations with multiple board certified veterinary behaviorists. He also completed his Fear Free Certification in 2021, achieving Level 2 Certification in 2022. While he was considering a career in dermatology, these experiences along with challenges with his German Shepherd, Charley, and her fear aggression toward dogs, anxiety, and separation-related distress, convinced him that his future lay in behavior. Additionally, Dr. Gibson felt his goal to improve the welfare of dogs in general was best accomplished by obtaining Board Certification in the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. After finishing his rotating internship at Auburn University in 2022, Dr. Gibson joined Texas Veterinary Behavior Services to begin his residency training in veterinary behavioral medicine.
Many successful behaviour consultants are booked solid for many weeks, earn a good living, but in the end, are still trading time for money.
If you want to grow beyond that, you have to multiply. But, unless you own a cloning machine, the only way to scale your consulting business is to attract, train, and retain talented people to help you.
But, it can be scary, and bad hires can be very costly. In this lecture, Andre will share best practices he used to grow his team to over 20 talented professionals, across the country.
Whether you’re just getting started, or have been in the industry for many years, understanding how to create a winning strategy is key to your success in attracting clients and beating the competition.
Sun Tzu once said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest path to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Most business courses teach tactics, but in this lecture, Andre will share the strategic frameworks he used to achieve market dominance and grow his dog training business to over $1 million US in annual revenue.
Andre Yeu is the founder of When Hounds Fly Dog Training, responsible for growing it to over 6 locations across Canada, with a talented team of 20 dog trainers and behavior consultants.
He is one of only two Canadians to be part of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy Faculty, where he delivers the Karen Pryor Academy program and certifies other talented trainers across the country.
Andre is often sought out by the media for his dog training expertise, and has appeared on television programs such as CTV Your Morning, eTalk Daily, Global TV News, and CBC News. In print, he’s often interviewed by publications such as Canadian Living and the Toronto Star.
Andre lives in Toronto, Canada, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce, with Honours, from the University of British Columbia.
In this session Jim will address the history of dog evaluations, temperament tests, and other guessing games. We will look at the expectations of the past and whether we have met them. We will talk about observer bias, reproducibility, and exactly what we are evaluating FOR. Are we even close?
Each case in this presentation has two things in common, intolerable mess and significant client challenges. Start your soiling cases off right with a considerate approach and urgent solutions.
When are drugs necessary? What makes a drug bad or a veterinarian terrible? What is this email from the Ethics Committee??
Learn to navigate professional boundaries while improving outcomes for your medicated cases.
Step away from the icky sticky strips. This hour presents a practical application of the Humane Hierarchy of Behavior Change Procedures for the management of undesirable environmental scratching.
This is an advanced learning lecture. Attendees should already have a solid grasp of the principles of operant and Pavlovian conditioning.
This lecture will cover information relating to the impact of Pavlovian conditioning and instinctual behavior including relationships with emotional state. Information will be presented regarding the summation or competition between appetitive and aversive conditioned stimuli. This will include definitions and examples of the three types of Pavlovian to Instrumental Transfer.
The lecture will also provide information and examples of how intersections between Pavlovian and operant conditioning can assist behavior modification or hinder it.
In this presentation, Gabrielle Johnson discusses how the myth of non-compliance harms pet professionals and their clients and how to use the lens of disability justice to overcome barriers to success.
Gabrielle Johnson (they/them), owner of Best Life Dog Services, is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the IAABC and holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology. They specialize in aggressive behavior and nervous system dysregulation, using virtual training options to support clients worldwide. Gabrielle works with clients using a trauma-informed and integrative approach, and actively creates a safe space for clients who are disabled, chronically ill, mentally ill, and neurodivergent.
Dr. Pike is a native Arizonan and graduated from Colorado State University’s school of veterinary medicine in 2003. Working as an Army veterinarian after graduation and taking care of the Military Working Dogs returning from deployment spurred her interests in behavior medicine. Dr. Pike completed a Residency program and became board certified in 2015. She is owner of the Animal Behavior Wellness Center and was recently named one of the “Top Veterinarians of Northern Virginia” by NoVa Magazine for the sixth year in a row.
Dr. Pike speaks all over the world about veterinary behavior medicine, has been published in numerous veterinary journals, has conducted, co-authored and published three scientific research studies, and is a contributing author in five clinical text books. She is the editor for the new edition of Blackwell’s 5 Minute Veterinary Clinical Consult – Canine and Feline Behavior, due out in the Fall of 2024. In addition, she mentors 3 clinical behavior residents and is a clinical instructor for online education as well as the Masters Program in Applied Animal Behavior at Virginia Tech. She is an advisory board member for Royal Canin, Fear Free, and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, and is a consultant for Chewy, Inc.
Dr. Kristina Spaulding has been in the dog training and behavior profession for over 20 years and owns Science Matters Academy of Animal Behavior LLC. She has a B.S. in wildlife ecology and a PhD in biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—and is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. As part of her graduate training, Dr. Spaulding was formally trained in effective teaching techniques. In graduate school, she received an award for Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student. She is currently a co-instructor for the graduate level course in animal behavior consulting at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Spaulding’s interest in teaching has carried over to her applied behavior work where she teaches a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior. Dr. Spaulding also regularly presents on canine behavior science at conferences and other events. She is the author of The Stress Factor in Dogs: Unlocking Resiliency and Enhancing Well-Being.
She is particularly interested in stress, neurobiology, cognition, emotion, and well-being and how to apply these concepts to the prevention, early intervention, and treatment of behavior problems in dogs.
In 2019, Dr. Spaulding received the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award. She currently serves on the IAABC Foundation Board.
Our field is changing. Some of these changes are coming from within the profession itself, others originate from the world of science and academia, and others are a result of global changes impacting all of humankind. Join Dr. Pike and Dr. Spaulding for a big picture view of what is coming in the field and what we expect to see in the near future. Some of these changes are already happening- whether we want them or not. In other areas, behavior consulting is at a crossroads and we have the opportunity, and responsibility, to decide which path we will take. Things are changing quickly and this is a very exciting time to be in the applied behavior profession. This talk will highlight those changes and provide you with insight into how to change with the field in ways that benefit you, your clients, and the animals you work with.
For shelter behavior programs, where the focus is on moving animals most efficiently through from intake to adoption, it makes sense to take advantage of all reasonably available behavior modification tools. These include social learning-based training processes, which have proven effective in the socialization of moderately to severely fearful shelter animals. This presentation outlines procedures incorporating the use of socialized conspecifics in the behavior modification of fearful shelter cats.
For shelter behavior programs, where the focus is on moving animals most efficiently through from intake to At the end of this session, learners will be able to:
For shelter behavior programs, where the focus is on moving animals most efficiently through from intake to – Identify candidates among shelter cats who would benefit from socialization exercises that incorporate “helper cats”
For shelter behavior programs, where the focus is on moving animals most efficiently through from intake to – Implement specific social learning-based training exercises that result in interaction with handlers
In this presentation, Gabriel will discuss how we can use our latest technological breakthroughs in current behavior and welfare science to improve management of basic equine physiological and behavioral needs. Special focus will be given to recognizing pain with AI technology, equine disease, and antecedent arrangement in hospital environments aiming for low-stress approaches.
Dante is the founder of DanteDogWorks. His focus is on teaching other dog trainers and dog owners around the world how to successfully train and live with dogs using positive reinforcement-based training.
Dante started his dog training career in the late 1990s and was one of the first dog trainers to introduce clicker training in Brazil. He is an international presenter and a dog sports enthusiast, having represented Brazil and Canada in multiple World Agility competitions, titled dogs in Rally Obedience and Dock Diving, and taught and performed Dog Dancing for almost a decade in Canada and the United States. In recent years, Dante developed a dog training platform that offers multiple courses for his Brazilian audience. He also teaches a post-grad course at the UNIRP University (Centro Universitário de Rio Preto).
Since 2020, Dante has worked as a volunteer developing training programs and training staff at the Rio Preto Zoo.
Imagine living in an overcrowded, major city with a dog who struggles with reactivity. In most cases, we can’t predict or avoid triggers. When we’ve already managed everything we can in the environment, how can we help this dog? In this presentation, we will explore the importance of rehearsing behavior patterns and the principle of guidance to address reactivity in tough environments when management is not enough. We will discuss behavioral priorities like choice, mental and physical stimulation, and teaching arousal/emotional regulation, which directly affect behavioral intervention success.
Retired Lieutenant James W. Crosby (Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, Jacksonville, FL, USA) has extensive canine behavioral training and expertise and served as chief of two Florida Animal Control agencies. Jim served on the Board of Directors of the Florida Animal Control Association and has worked with and assisted FACA, the Southeastern Animal Control Association, and several others across the US and Canada. Jim assisted the Department of Animal Services for the Australian Capital Territory, leading a National Study on Dangerous Dog policy and procedure. Jim assisted, on-site, the Australian Federal Police on a fatality case in Canberra, Australia.
Jim is an internationally recognized authority and court accepted expert on canine attacks and aggression. Jim’s specialty is investigating dog bite related fatalities, especially evidentiary and behavioral factors involved in these deaths. Jim’s on-scene investigation of over 30 fatalities and post attack evaluation of over 50 subject dogs has been essential in numerous successful prosecutions. He assists prosecutors and agencies facing these cases.
Jim assists in dogfighting investigations and was the expert on a Polk County, GA case wherein the subject was sentenced to fifty years for dogfighting, the longest sentence for that crime in US history. He serves as an expert consultant regarding the use of deadly force by police officers against companion animals. Jim earned his Master’s Degree in Veterinary Forensics from the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Florida and should have his PhD by the time of this conference! He lives in Florida with his dear wife, The Queen of Darkness, a couple of Curly-Coated Retrievers, and a rescued Jack Russel Terrorist.
This session will address Jim’s research across the past twenty years into the rare but flashy occurrences of Dog Bite Related Fatalities (DBRF). How many really happen, where, and for crying out loud WHY? Does where you live matter? How about income level? Who are the likely suspects? Jim will bring you up to date on the latest and discuss some notable cases.
Asking why a dog barks is like asking why a person talks. Dogs bark rather than talk because they came with the right parts for it, but like speaking, once barking produces feedback from the environment, it can easily acquire many new uses. Kiki will discuss how to assess the function(s) of an individual dog’s barking and how to use that information in designing customized training plans, as well as some inventive protocols that—with an understanding of the principles at work—can be adapted for addressing barking across various circumstances.
The past years, it appears that shaping has become the troublemaker of the class. It’s time to look at why this tool has gotten such a bad rep, and how we can change that. Done thoughtfully, through environmental setups and consistent feeding patterns, we provide all the information to our learner that we need, and can get very clean loops with high ROR. If we get in the habit of operationalizing and making plans, we have a real powertool on our hands, and it’s time to give shaping the comeback it deserves. How do we differentiate between all the names and labels shaping has gotten? I’m suggesting, let’s not! Let’s relive this oldie, but in a version we can all work with. We will look at how we plan and structure sessions, how we execute them and how we progress by using our data. In short, we want to be efficient and make every moment count. We will also talk about when it is a great tool, and when it’s not the best option.
Kiki Yablon is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member, and a co-instructor for Susan Friedman’s BehaviorWorks, and holds a master’s degree in applied behavioral science from the University of Kansas, where her thesis research involved dogs who barked at their caregivers while they were on Zoom.
Kiki came to dog training in 2005 as a novice dog guardian with an undersocialized adolescent shelter pup, Pigeon. She had the good fortune to live next door to a marine mammal trainer at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, who turned her on to clicker training, which in turn led her to her first mentor, Laura Monaco Torelli. After graduating from KPA, she worked for Laura for eight years before leaving amicably to focus on her own private in-home training and consulting business, Kiki Yablon Dog Training. Some of Kiki’s particular training interests include loose leash walking, excessive barking, proactive puppy raising, “weird” problem behaviors, and teaching and problem solving solutions that involve arranging the environment to do most of the work.
In her previous career, Kiki was an editor for magazines and newspapers, and currently puts those skills to use writing about the application of behavior science to dog training on her well trafficked blog.
Modern, dog-centered loose leash walking is not the single, homogenous behavior of simply trotting by your side, but rather one of the most complex things that we ask our dogs to do with us. It’s an improvised dance that involves two parties making decisions moment by moment, in response to each other and an ever-changing environment. Like any improvised performance you would actually want to watch, it requires a suite of interlocking prerequisite skills, for both handler and for the dog, that need to be generalized across many situations. In this session, Kiki will talk about what initial arrangements may facilitate this learning from the get-go and why; organize and break out critical component skills for both dogs and handlers; and discuss how to teach some of the ones that she thinks are often overlooked.
Michael Shikashio is the founder of AggressiveDog.com and focuses on teaching other professionals from around the world on how to successfully work aggression cases. He is a five-term president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and was the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Member of the Year in 2020.
Michael is sought after for his expert opinion by numerous media outlets, including the New York Times, New York Post, Fox News, The List TV, Baltimore Sun, WebMD, Women’s Health Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, SiriusXM Radio, The Chronicle of the Dog, and Steve Dale’s Pet World. He also hosts a podcast show where he chats with the foremost experts on dog aggression.
He has been a featured keynote speaker at conferences, universities, and seminars in more than 200 cities and 14 different countries around the world, and offers a variety of educational opportunities on the topic of canine aggression.
When working with aggression cases, there are a variety of scientific disciplines we may use to assess the “why” of the behaviors we are observing. From ABC contingencies to ethological considerations to emotional states, the assessment pool can become quite muddy!
For this enlightening and interactive session, Michael Shikashio CDBC will evaluate a variety of aggressive behaviors, from video and case submissions, to unpack the “why” of each aggression case by incorporating a multidisciplinary approach. From antecedent to amygdala or consequence to cortisol, this presentation will be a deep dive into aggression!
Bring your observational skills to this fun and interactive talk where we will dissect and assess a variety of aggressive behaviors!
Dr. Denise Johnson is a general practitioner of veterinary medicine and IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant. Special interests include behavioral health and low-stress handling. Additional qualifications include Elite Fear Free, Low-Stress Handling Silver, and Cat Friendly Veterinarian Certifications.
In addition to being a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, she serves on their ethics committee and as a peer-reviewer for the IAABC Foundation Journal. Dr. Johnson is also a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s Speakers Bureau. She spends her free time working on Committed to Claws, an education project that provides pet owners and pet professionals with resources to reduce the incidence of onychectomy.
Cats are dependent on their owners to determine when, what, and how they eat, which can impact their welfare. I will review the research related to feline feeding behaviors, including my own work on contrafreeloading in cats and owner use of food puzzles with their cats as a way to accommodate predatory behavior. Because feeding-related concerns are common in cats, I’ll address managing cats fed different diets, finicky eaters, helping cats with obesity, and the benefits of using food to modify behavior.
Note: This talk will NOT address what types of foods cats should be fed.
Inter-cat aggression is one of the most common behavior problems Tabitha sees in her behavior consulting business. This distressing problem can occur with cats that are new to one another, as well as with siblings that have always been “best friends.” This session will discuss the identification of problems, prevention strategies and client recommendations. Tabitha will also review the extensive protocol she implements to manage and resolve inter-cat aggression and share cases studies. This is an issue that often resolves at a glacial pace, so the session will also discuss how to manage client expectations and provide support during the process.
Behavior consultants are most likely to work with cats in one of two environments: the shelter or the home. Each location requires special attention to how they may uniquely impact cat behavior and behavior modification. In this presentation, we will discuss the most common behavior concerns, their causes, and approaches to working with cats in each environment. We will address critical similarities and differences in recommended behavior modification techniques and expected outcomes.
Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist and Certified Cat Behavior Consultant who has been working with cats in shelters, homes, and clinics for over 20 years. She offers cat behavior consulting through Feline Minds.
She completed her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a postdoctoral researcher at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis where she researched the health and behavior of orphaned neonatal kittens and cats in multi-cat households. Mikel is author of the forthcoming book “Play with Your Cat!”, co-author of the book “Total Cat Mojo,” and has published her research in several academic journals.
Mikel lives in Sacramento, California with her boyfriend, Scott, (a cat-loving CPA) and their three rescue cats.
Play behavior is found throughout the animal kingdom, but why? In dogs, one primary function of play is building social cohesion. To contrast, for cats play is primarily an outlet for predatory behavior. This presentation will review the scientific literature related to cat play, including its development and functions. On a more applied level, I will discuss how play is related to cat welfare, play-related problems that cat owners may experience, and how play can be used as part of a behavior modification plan.
1 out of 5 people suffer from anxiety and over 1 in 10 people struggle with depression. In the US, depression is the leading cause of disabilities amongst people 15-44 years old. At Medical Mutts, the demand for Psychiatric service dogs far exceeds any other category of service dog. I’ll discuss some of the benefits and challenges related to training such service dogs, and explore, more generally, how our interactions with animals directly affect our mental health, whether we have a disability or not. Animals provide companionship of course and sometimes even specialized behaviors to help us. What we don’t always measure however, is how our training methods also affect our mental health. Through reinforcement-based training we can expand our social skills and heal our minds.
– An epidemic of mental disorders
– Who is most at risk how does it impact someone’s life?
– Service dogs helping our veterans – a population with high suicide risk
– How does mental disorder impact our life?
– How do we select our dogs? From rescue to service dogs
– How do psychiatric service dogs make a difference?
* Managing the symptoms
* Alerting to the onset of an episode
* Trained behaviors to help
* Smelling our emotions
– The importance of training service dogs with R+
* Impact on the quality of the SD
* Impact on the relationship
* Impact on the trainer/handler
– How training affects us
– The impact of human-animal interactions
– How service dog training with R+ helps inmates develop better social skills such as: patience, prioritizing another being’s needs, learning the importance of clear communication, focusing on the positive, etc.
– The story of Caleb and Darcy
This presentation will focus on case studies of cats (in shelter settings and in homes) who have a history of “attacking” people. What are the commonalities? What methods work best to modify this behavior?
Outcome options and ethical considerations will also be addressed.
In the past 5-10 years, the range of conditions that dogs can help with has greatly increased, especially with conditions that involve scent. From diabetes to seizure alert, and even psychiatric disorders, dogs are trained to help manage or prevent challenging and sometimes life-threatening episodes. What is the reliability as well as the limits of medical alert service dogs? What type of dogs work best? Who can most benefit from such specialized dogs? I’ll also discuss some of the latest findings in the field of seizure alert dogs. Epilepsy is a condition that can greatly limit a person’s ability to live a full and independent life. This complicated disorder presents unique challenges from a trainers’ perspective. I’ll describe how medical alert service dogs are trained at Medical Mutts Service Dogs, from sample collection to live alerts.
– Dogs in the medical field – what conditions do they help with today
– The benefits of medical alert service dogs
– Who can such dogs help – the ideal candidate
– What do we know about the smell?
– A step-by-step process:
* The indication behavior
* Pairing the scent with the alert – Pros and cons of different types of alerting behaviors
* Developing live alerts
– Reliability of medical alert dogs: example of seizure alert dog study
– What can affect odor perception
– Night alerts
– Additional behaviors trained to help
Jennifer, along with her husband, founded Medical Mutts with two goals in mind: helping those who need service dogs and helping dogs that have been abandoned find a quality forever home.
Jennifer has a Doctorate in Psychology with a specialization in Animal Behavior (Ethology). She completed her studies at the Faculty of Psychology in Geneva Switzerland where she was an assistant professor for 8 years. She has worked professionally as a dog trainer and behaviorist since 1988.
Jennifer started the first professional dog training school based on clicker training in France (Animalin). She is the author of Selecting and Training Your Service Dog: How to Succeed in Public Access Work.
Passionate about helping people in difficulty, she learned how to train service dogs while working as the Director of Training for ICAN, a local prison-based organization. She enjoyed coaching the inmate trainers and helping them develop skills to better their lives while helping people with disabilities. It was during those years that she learned about the impact of life-threatening conditions, such as diabetes and started developing training protocols for medical alert dogs. Her love for dogs led her in 2013 to continue working with service dogs while also making a difference for dogs in need. She since has set her focus on medical conditions and the use of scent for service dogs.
With her scientific background, she also contributes to ongoing scientific research in the field of medical detection and has co-authored the first peer-reviewed studies proving the existence of a scent, that dogs can be trained to detect, in patients with diabetes or epileptic seizures. Given her expertise in the field of service dog training and medical detection, as well as her fluency in both English and French, Jennifer also coaches service dog organizations and trainers internationally.
Working animals represent a large investment in training and resources, and each animal’s performance is essential to meeting the service goals. Like humans, some working horses appear to experience burn-out, and behavioral and physical issues are the primary reasons for working horse turnover. Burn-out models developed for human employees and athletes provide a useful framework for working animals, for whom task demands are both psychological and physical. This talk focuses on strategies that trainers and behaviorists can adopt to improve working equine welfare and retention. They include establishing systematic protocols to prevent and detect burn-out, such as selecting individuals that are a good fit for the task, creating a positive training experience, ensuring sufficient rest and recovery, and providing a good ‘work-life balance’ that satisfies the animal’s ethological needs.
Dilara Göksel Parry was raised in Istanbul, Turkey and holds degrees in Psychology (Neuroscience emphasis) and Comparative Literature from Oberlin College. She has worked in the animal welfare field for the majority of her professional life, including 12 years as the Cat Behavior Coordinator at the San Francisco SPCA. In 2008 she co-founded Feline Minds with Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado, where they focus on private consultations to help cat guardians live harmoniously with their cats, and consult with animal welfare organizations with an emphasis on improving cat sheltering practices. In addition to staying busy with Feline Minds, Dilara works part-time at Cat Town Oakland, an innovative, cage-free rescue for cats deemed unadoptable in traditional shelter settings.
Dilara is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant. She enjoys writing educational material to “translate” cats for humans, and has been interviewed by MSNBC, Animal Sheltering, thedodo.com, PetMD and Chewy, as well as written for the Bay Woof Foundation and Maddie’s Fund. She shares her life in Richmond, CA with her family of humans, cats, dogs, and chickens.
Melissa Taylor is the Behavior and Training Manager at Friends For Life Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas. Melissa has logged more than twenty years in shelter animal behavior, starting with an internship at the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center in New York City. She developed a lasting love for cooperative care from training livestock and wildlife as the Coordinator of the Behavior and Training Department at the Houston SPCA, and applies the same principles to the dogs, cats, exotics, and humans she works with now at Friends For Life.
Over the course of her career, Melissa has focused on the development of shelter humane education programs, particularly those for volunteers, with the intention of mentoring new companion animal trainers and behavior consultants with practices steeped in evidence and based on building trust, security, and partnership. Melissa has started several shelter behavior volunteer programs and consults with other humane organizations on starting such initiatives of their own.
Chirag entered the field professionally in 2004 and has since become a leading figure in the profession internationally. He consults on the behavior management and training of all animals living under human care (including domestic and wild ones). He is highly sought after for work with high profile private clients and organizations, as well as teaching workshops and presenting at conferences. Chirag has been an expert on a number of TV shows.
Chirag is passionate about the application of ethical behavior change science to improve the life of animals living under human care by teaching animals to be active participants in their own daily and veterinary care in a low-stress manner. The goal is to empower all learners including the human ones.
Chirag earned his BSc(Hons) in Veterinary Sciences from the Royal Veterinary College in London and a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Animal Behaviour from the University of Lincoln, UK. He also holds an Advanced diploma in practical aspects of companion animal behavior and training from the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology. In 2005, Chirag completed an internship in dog behavior and training with a focus on aggressive behavior under the mentorship of Jean Donaldson at the San Francisco SPCA and developed his understanding and skills in puppy training under the mentorship of Ian Dunbar. Chirag has taken various classes and courses in Applied Behaviour Analysis and continues to do so in the fields of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Clinical Animal Behaviour.
Chirag is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers UK and has previously served on their committee. He is also a Certified Parrot Behaviour Consultant (CPBC) with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) and is registered as an Accredited Animal Behaviourist with The Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC). He was invited to join the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), Animal Training Focus group as the scientific officer and external consultant in 2015, which he did until 2021.
Chirag has worked for Dogs Trust as Assistant Head of Canine Training & Behaviour and managed the Animal Behaviour Centre at Dr. Roger Mugford’s Company of Animals. He also held a post as a research technician at the University of Lincoln where he was responsible for the training of Rats and Degus in a sponsored odour discrimination and induction project. In addition to this, Chirag worked in veterinary practice part-time for over 6 years.
Dr. Haug graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1993. She did a one year rotating internship at Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine before returning to Houston in a general practice. Dr. Haug worked in general medicine and emergency medicine until 1999 when she returned to Texas A&M to complete a residency and Master’s degree in Behavioral Medicine. After her residency, she remained on faculty at TAMU running the Animal Behavior Service until 2007 when she returned to the Houston area to work in a private referral practice doing behavioral medicine exclusively. Dr. Haug currently sees behavior cases in a variety of species.
She is a past President of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior. Dr. Haug has a special interest in neurobiology, learning principles, and pharmacology. She is a frequent speaker at veterinary and behavior conferences and writes for several industry publications. She has also authored chapters in a number of animal behavior textbooks.
Dr. Haug began showing Doberman Pinschers in 1980 and actively competed in obedience and conformation for many years. She also has experience with agility and tracking. She is an active equestrian and currently shares her home with her husband, a pit bull mix dog, and an Arabian gelding.
In 2022, two working conservation detection dogs with Action for Cheetahs in Kenya were making a consistent mistake in their jobs: they were alerting to caracal and leopard scat instead of just cheetah scat. With novice handlers at the other end of the leash, the issue wasn’t going away. The K9 Conservationists team, including Kayla Fratt, spent roughly 3 months in Kenya mentoring handlers. After an exhaustive history-taking on the training samples used and training history of the dogs, the team decided to attempt an extinction procedure for false alerts while rewarding the dogs heavily for interest in their target odor – essentially a DRA procedure. Over several weeks, the combined teams worked on increasing search area, layering in other distractors, increasing the dogs’ alert duration, reducing the availability of target odor, and varying handler behavior in order to proof the dogs’ search behavior with the correct target.
Kayla Fratt is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with a background in ecology and shelter behavior. Since 2019, Kayla has merged dog behavior and ecology to work in the field of conservation detection dogs. In addition to co-founding a conservation detection dog organization, Kayla travels internationally to provide training and support to emerging working dog groups. Kayla provides mentorship and education for best practices and standards for scent-detection dogs through consultation. She also hosts a podcast to spread the word about how working dogs and their handlers can contribute to conservation efforts.
Many of the dogs that end up being rehomed, considered for “career change,” or placed in shelters are declared to “need a job.” But how do you know if a dog is really qualified for a job? How do you assess WHAT job that dog may excel at? And how do you help match the dog with working dog organizations? Are there any working dog organizations that are even LIMA-based?
In this presentation, you’ll learn what qualities help or hurt a dog’s potential to succeed in a given detection dog field and how to help match that dog with an organization or handler. This talk is well-suited to attendees who work in shelter behavior or assist clients with difficult decisions regarding rehoming dogs.
In this presentation, Trudi Dempsey will share her work with the Behavior Team at Redwings Horse Sanctuary in the UK. Attendees will view video documentation of the arrival of the “Bodmin Boys,” a feral group picked up from a moor in Cornwall in the South West of England. Next, Trudi will show how she and the Behavior Team prepared an unhandled group for welfare/husbandry handling, using gentle methods and then R+ based training once individual equines showed they were ready to cooperate in their own care. Finally, attendees will see how Redwings’ incredible team of veterinarians have developed their least stressful methods for emergency situations.
In 2018, Friends For Life Animal Shelter (FFL) launched the Fraidy Cat Program, aimed at conditioning fearful shelter cats to approach and solicit affection from potential adopters. This made it possible for once unadoptable cats to be able to reliably find timely placement. Four years and 268 Fraidies later, FFL is moving cats through the program more efficiently than ever. This presentation provides a then and now overview of FFL’s fearful cat program, highlighting the procedural and environmental upgrades that cut the average time to Fraidy Cat “graduation” in half.
This session will focus on:
– Improved methods in quickly identifying program candidates and starting conditioning processes
– Advancements in Fraidy Cat training procedures that allow the cats increased perceived subjective control over their environment
– Fraidy Cat by numbers: changes in enrollments, graduation times, and length of stay of Fraidy Cats over the life of the program
– Small, resource-friendly changes that shelters can take to cultivate a Fraidy Friendly environment
This presentation will cover the benefits as well as the challenges of working with cats in cage-free environments including multicat or colony housing based on my work with Cat Town. I will discuss how we assess the appropriate environment for individual cats, how adoptions may be affected by various housing options, and how to implement behavior plans for free-roaming cats. Ways to utilize volunteers – including foster homes – will also be included.
This talk will focus on the ASPCA’s groundbreaking work at our Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC), a facility dedicated to the recovery and study of fearful, undersocialized dogs, most from cruelty cases. Attendees will learn about problematic behaviors commonly seen in these dogs, the BRC’s behavior modification and enrichment program, and our recently published research on the program’s efficacy. In addition to sharing our research design and findings, we’ll discuss discoveries made over a decade of working with this unique population of dogs, show video footage, and include time for Q&A.
Kristen leads the ASPCA’s Rehabilitation Services (RS) program group, which includes the Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (BRC), the Cruelty Recovery Center (CRC), and the Learning Lab. She will also develop and oversee the newest RS program, the Recovery & Rehabilitation Center, slated for launch in New York State in 2024.
Kristen joined the ASPCA in 2007. She first served on the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team, providing behavior expertise and handling during ASPCA cruelty cases and disaster responses. She played an integral role in the creation of the ASPCA’s first standardized behavior evaluations, enrichment programs and behavior modification protocols for animals from dogfighting, puppy mill and hoarding cases. Before stepping into her current role, Kristen led the development and launch of the BRC in 2013, first as a pilot study focused on rehabilitating fearful, undersocialized dogs, and, in 2018, as an expanded program in a new, custom-built facility in Weaverville, NC.
In addition to overseeing RS teams and programs, Kristen works closely with the ASPCA’s Behavioral Sciences Team (BST), consults with other ASPCA teams on behavior-related projects and research across the organization, writes and edits articles and textbooks on animal behavior, and speaks on animal behavior topics at professional and academic conferences. Kristen has been quoted in local and national media outlets, including Good Morning America, Rolling Stone, NPR, CNN, Parade, Reuters, and the New York Post. She was also in Second Chance Dogs, a documentary featured on Netflix about the groundbreaking work of the BRC.
An Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB), Kristen holds a master’s degree in applied animal behavior from the University of Illinois, where she was guest lecturer in the Animal Sciences Department and taught an animal-behavior practicum.
This topic is about taking R+ under saddle. Most ridden horses have been trained with traditional (R-) methods. They are often referred to as crossover horses. Many people struggle with the process of transitioning to R+. A key to a successful transition is going to require a focus on the learners emotional state and it will vary for each individual. Other common areas of confusion that we will discuss have to do with cues: Pressure vs tactile cues. We will discuss how to build duration and behavior chains when working under saddle.
Our horses’ emotional well being is of the utmost importance. Too often in our work, we encounter horses with behavioral challenges from an emotional past and a less than desirable reinforcement history. They may be in a state of learned helplessness or suffer from anxiety. They may demonstrate a lack of emotional regulation or impulse control. To build the horses’ trust and confidence in us may seem like insurmountable work, but in our experience, the key to starting off on the right hoof is to help them access a relaxed emotional state through R+ methods. Once the horses feel safe and relaxed enough to express their feelings about the stimuli around them, we can accurately adapt our training protocols to maximize effectiveness and address each individual horses’ needs.
Aggressive behavior in horses is rarely straightforward to resolve. These cases are often complex and involve numerous contributing factors including pain, fear, unsuitable feeding, handling, training and a challenging environment. In this presentation, equine behavior consultant Justine Harrison will discuss the different types of aggression we commonly see in horses and look at two very different cases involving aggressive behavior. She will discuss how many of the behavior problems commonly seen in the domestic horse are a natural consequence of the stress created by modern management practices. Justine will identify the key areas to consider when working with horses, the techniques we can use to rehabilitate the aggressive horse and examine how small adjustments to management can have a profound effect on horse behavior and improve their welfare.
The emphasis in training is often on shaping behaviour from the horse before the click, overlooking possibly the most important element, the reinforcement procedure. What happens beyond the click deserves clear rules, careful mechanics and accurate shaping.
Trudi will share creative reinforcement techniques that she has found to be successful in lowering frustration when training equines with food.
Trailer loading issues are very common in horses. This lecture will cover some of the common causes of trailer loading problems and identify frequent trouble spots. Some brief information regarding the characteristics and choice of a good trailer will be covered. The majority of this lecture will be spent covering protocols that can be used to address different aspects of trailer loading (or unloading) difficulties using videos from a variety of different horses.
This lecture is suitable for both beginner and advanced behavior consultants.
There will be a brief introduction regarding some of the common types and causes of intraspecific aggression in horses.
The majority of this lecture will involve a live demonstration of some behavior modification techniques that can be used to address intraspecific aggression.
Upward and downward transitions are a persistent dilemma for horse owners. By encouraging voluntary participation and coming at old problems with a new lens, we can create new responses from our horses.
In this presentation, Shawna will demonstrate how to address common challenges utilizing R+. Participants will see first-hand the value of the reverse round pen and observe how empowered and encouraged the horse feels when given agency in their training experience. We will also use cones with targets to illustrate how to transition to addressing these issues under saddle.
For a horse to learn effectively, they need to be aroused enough to pay attention without becoming anxious. Judging a horse’s emotional state when training can be difficult, especially if they are particularly stoic. When training our horses, it is vital that we can read the individual’s body language signals that indicate when they are starting to become worried or anxious, so we can react accordingly.
In this practical workshop, equine behavior consultant Justine Harrison and participants will observe and discuss the body language and behavior of horses when introduced to the audience and different novel stimuli for the first time. We will consider antecedent arrangements to ensure each horse has the best opportunity to learn in that environment, how to reduce stress, how to prepare the horses for approaching novel or feared stimuli, and when is the best time to end the session.
Whether related to fear, pain or frustration, problems with the tacking up process tell us plenty about a horse’s opinion of our training.
In this practical demonstration, Trudi will take us step by step through protocols for training and retraining tack-wearing. She will discuss baseline threshold data collection, hanging emotional responses to tack, shaping new processes, and recognizing and responding to yes and no.
Veterinary examinations and procedures can often be stressful for the horses and risky for veterinarians. While many training techniques can be used to improve this interaction, we often neglect to work equally as hard to set up the hospital environment carefully. This oversight can contribute to accumulating triggers, unwanted responses, and accidents.
In this practical session, Gabriel and attendees will workshop practical and innovative antecedent arrangement solutions for various scenarios, aiming to set our horses up for success in veterinary hospital environments.
Veterinary Behaviorist Dr. Amy Learn, and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant Gabrielle Johnson share unique insight into their collaboration on complex behavior cases to serve their mutual clients best. Unpack the elements of a successful working relationship between a Veterinary Behaviorist and an independent behavior consultant as they walk through mutual case studies.
Yuching is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and service dog coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She enjoys learning everything about the behaviors of canines and humans. After adopting a fearful dog who was scared of everything and would bite if pushed over his limit, Yuching began her learning journey on dog behavior while exploring all kinds of canine training with her dog. Her dog, Bailey, showed Yuching that learning should be fun in order to help the stressed brain. Through fun exercises such as tricks and nosework, Bailey’s confidence was built and the relationship between them was improved and strengthened. This led to Yuching starting her dog training business K9 Learning to share her learning and help pet owners with fearful dogs to find fun in training.
Prior to being a dog trainer, Yuching worked in the corporate world with a specialty of English-Mandarin translation. This leads to her using her translation skills to translate IAABC journals into Mandarin Chinese to reach a wider readership.
My name is Kierah Moore and I have been in the behavior realm for almost 10 years. It all started with a Chicago kid working on a farm for college credit. Upon receiving my Bachelors in Anima, Sciences, I eventually made my way to Petco, which is where I have spent my last 4 years. This is where I get to train dogs, trainers, and make an impact on pet parents lives every day. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is a passion of mine that gives my purpose regularly. It has slowly become my north light over the years. Empowering me to be the change that I want to see
Sarah Rodriguez graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Psychology. She went on to earn her CPDT from the Ethology Institute. She owns her own dog training business, Home Schooled Hound, where she helps clients both in person and virtually to build deeper relationships with their pets through training. She is also Fear Free certified and works with a local Fear Free veterinary office doing in service training to help create a low stress experience for their canine and feline patients. In addition, she helps interested clients learn how to teach their pet animal husbandry behaviors, so they can provide stress free care.
Born with a neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy, she uses a power wheelchair to get around. She enjoys empowering others with disabilities to creatively come up with ways they can train their own dog and build a lasting bond between them.
Sarah shares her home with her dog, Annie, and her parrot, Gracie. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering and fostering for shelters and rescues and teaching her pets tricks. She regularly attends animal behavior conferences to stay up to date on the latest scientific findings to provide the most recent training techniques to her clients.
Linda Randall, DVM began her veterinary career working with companion animals in a practice that was primarily dairy cattle. She then built Cloverleaf Animal Hospital, in Westfield Center, OH, gaining extensive experience as a Board-Certified Specialist in Companion Animals, while also establishing herself as a respected dog trainer. Using the science of positive reinforcement, Linda is committed to understanding how behavior informs access to medical care. She is especially interested in the convergence of human and animal emotional states as they intersect in marginalized communities.
Dr. Randall has been on the Board and is a past president of The Battered Women’s Shelter in Medina, OH, and has served multiple times as an expert witness in animal abuse cases. She is also a past president of the Ohio Veterinary Licensing Board, and has served as the chair and face of Agriculture Day for Leadership Medina County for over 16 years. She is proud of her recent webinar “Kids, Race and Positive Reinforcement”, looking at how, and if, positive training affected the way her young agility students interacted with animals, family and their social circle, and how they perceived the news of the world.
Linda took a broken arrow path to her current career: she was an English Literature major at Earlham College, Richmond,IN, and subsequently taught English at Oakwood, a private Quaker school in Poughkeepsie, New York. Answering an ad in the New York Times led to a 3 year contract teaching English in Bida, Nigeria for the Nigerian Federal Government, which she was forced to leave early due to a coup. Returning home to Connecticut, Linda reconnected with her original passion for veterinary medicine (which she originally did not pursue because her high school guidance counselor told her Black people would not get in to vet school and women should stay home, an she wasn’t good enough in the sciences…) moving to Ohio to attend the University of Cincinnati in biology before being admitted to the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
As the owner of One Smart Dog in Seville, Ohio, she specializes in helping people access their dog’s learning mindsetthrough non-aversive training and instructing. Dr. Randall is widely known for her love of teaching people how to encourage their dog to be a good and joyful citizen of the world, for dancing the Lindy Hop wherever she goes, and her conviction that compassion, generosity, and a gentle sense of humor will always return to the giver tenfold.
She is also determined to learn to play the ukulele.
Alison Stannard Is a freelance designer who’s been working with the IAABC Foundation and the IAABC for nearly 15 years.
Ben Chambers is a grant writer and fundraising consultant based in St. Louis, MO who oversees foundation and corporate grants for the IAABC Foundation. He has nearly a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector, with experience in public advocacy, public media, mental health, and a variety of other causes. Ben is an avid animal lover who has a Golden Retriever named Rosie and an Orange Tabby named Meeko. He loves spending time with his wife, Ashley, and his two sons, Elliot and Carson.
Dr. Denise Johnson is a general practitioner of veterinary medicine with a special interest in behavior, particularly feline behavioral wellness. She spends her free time working on Committed to Claws, an education project that aims to reduce declawing by providing cat owners and pet professionals with humane scratching solutions. Dr. Johnson also serves as a handling lab facilitator for the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, with qualifications including Elite Fear Free Certification and Low Stress Handling Silver Certification.
Joan Forry, Ph.D., is a certified dog trainer (CPDT-KA) and owner of The Dog Abides, LLC in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.
Joan holds a Ph.D. in philosophy (2008) with a specialization in applied ethics from Temple University. Prior to working as a dog trainer, Joan was a philosophy professor and taught applied ethics courses, including animal ethics. She held academic appointments at Vanderbilt University, Linfield College, and the University of Southern California. She is a graduate of the Academy for Dog Trainers, and certified Fear Free Professional.
When she’s not training dogs in her community, she sometimes trains her own six dogs. She enjoys competing with Gustavo, her old, cranky chihuahua mix in Rally Obedience. She also enjoys working on her ongoing photography project, Miles on Hydrants.
Tiro Miller Ph.D SBA is the managing editor of the IAABC journal, lead author of the monthly newsletter, and Chair of advertising and promotions.
He lives in San Francisco with his partner and a rather demanding chihuahua, where he volunteers at the SFSPCA and writes in his spare time.
His favorite thing about working for IAABC is the chance to bring together people with unique and interesting perspectives on animal behavior.
Dae Grodin is the owner and trainer of Dog-Abilities, a professional dog training business, servicing the Northern KY and Cincinnati areas since 2011. She offers private training, behavior consults, group classes, 4H Dog Club classes, and board and trains. Dae has a BA in psychology from the University of Kentucky, is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), and FitPAWS Master Trainer (FP-MT). She also belongs to various dog training organizations, including IAABC and APDT. She was awarded the APDT Member of the year in 2015.
Currently, Dae is the Social Media Director for IAABC, running their Instagram accounts @iaabcfoundation, @iaabcbehavior, and @iaabcpets.
Dae lives with 4 dogs—a Husky/German Shepherd Dog mix, a Parson Russell Terrier, a Border Terrier, a Danish Swedish Farmdog, a house bunny, and a foster Pitbull. Dae’s dogs actively work in search and rescue, therapy dog and crisis response work, nose work, barn hunt, agility, fast cat/lure coursing, dock diving, and trick training. When she is not working with dogs, she enjoys hiking and photography.
Beth (she/her/hers) has been an animal enthusiast her whole life, but started making it into a professional career when she started volunteering at a shelter. She has since earned her CPDT-KSA, CCUI, and CCBC, and is very passionate about bringing cat behavior and welfare into the 21st century. She works as a private consultant for anyone having behavior issues with their cats or dogs, and working to find solutions that work for people and their animals in their normal, everyday life.
In her personal life, Beth lives with her husband and 4 dogs (Picabo, Niflheim, Baby Cthulhu, and Senua) in Houston, Texas and enjoys reading, crocheting, diamond painting, and really anything else that seems like fun at the time, and changing her hair color as frequently as possible.
Sandy Crosby is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal and Strasbourg University in France. Having spent her working career in high tech for the Department of National Defense, in Ottawa, she happily retired in 2005.
After retirement Sandy obtained new skills for Search and Rescue for herself and one of her dogs, Bö. She now uses these skills to teach tracking and air-scenting to students who enjoy working outdoors.
Teaching dog training since 1997, Sandy is CPDT-KA and IAABC-ADT certified. She is a huge supporter and practitioner of methods that are kind, positive and scientific based for her human and canine students.
Sandy has been a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) since 2004, Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC) since 2009, a CGC (Canine Good Citizen) evaluator since 2006, and a member of the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC) since 2017.
Sandy is enjoying a happy retired life of country living in Ottawa, Canada, with her hubby, Pat, and Rottie, Bender.
Courtney Johnson has been in the video world for over 13 years, and has produced over 500 videos ranging from weddings to advertisements, and anything in between.
Her passion began in a videography course she took throughout her high school years. During which she honed her skills for everything film, from pre production through post. Since then she has worked to create videos with many professionals including but not limited to: Radio Systems Corporation® (PetSafe®), The Virginia Holocaust Museum, Veterinary Emergency Treatment Fund (VetFund®), Honest To Dog®, and countless others.
Her passion for animals started at a young age, and flourished to a deeper understanding of animal fundamentals when she began working alongside Michelle Mullins. Her training alongside Michelle taught her the proper foundations of how to appropriately approach every animal and their quirks with respect and understanding.
Now, Courtney has the truest honor of working with the IAABC Foundation as their lead Video Editor. Helping to promote and encourage the power of knowledge in all things animal and training. She continues her studies in videography daily in pursuit of perfecting the craft, while also gaining the cognizance that all IAABC Foundation lecturers have to give. Meshing her two purest passions, animals and videography.
Camille Asmer is the owner of Sit, Stay, Play Animal Training and Behavior. She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and Accredited Dog Trainer (ADT) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC) and Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). Camille started her dog training career volunteering and then working for a non-profit that breeds, raises, and trains English Labradors to become service dogs for veterans and disabled persons. Very soon after becoming a full time trainer, fascinated with animal behavior, Camille continued to train and study until she became certified in behavior too.
Camille’s favorite thing about her job is bringing clients hope and helping them see results, shaping a strong and happy bond between the owner and pet through positive reinforcement based training. She specializes in canine aggression and fear based behaviors, working closely with veterinarians in the Charlotte, NC, area to help clients understand, train, and live happily with their dogs.
Camille is a true dog nerd and loves to study all things dog. She enjoys being a volunteer parrot trainer with Companion Parrots Re-homed, and being a mentor for other people studying to become trainers. When not working, Camille loves to spend time with her husband, three children, and 2 Labrador Retrievers.
Education Coordinator, IAABC Foundation
Sylvia Currie works with subject matter experts to develop online courses, webinars, and yet-to-be imagined educational programs. She has been designing and facilitating online learning and supporting others to do the same since the early days of web browsers. When Sylvia is not tethered to her computer she is out consulting with dog behaviour clients through her business, Being With Dogs, or romping around trails and dodging wildlife with her own crew in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada.
Zach is a professional dog trainer helping families create and maintain better relationships with their canine companions. He owns/operates Evolved Dog Training out of Oklahoma City where he was born and raised. Zach has received a Certificate in Training and Counseling from The Academy for Dog Trainers, has completed Dr. Susan Friedman’s Living and Learning with Animals course, Mike Shikashio’s Aggression Mastercourse, and plans to continue learning and taking courses from the best. Zach currently has 3 dogs, Tech (M, deaf American Staffy – 8yr old), Villain (M, Catahoula Mix, 2yr old), and Nugget (M, BC/Great Dane mix, 1.5yr old).
Helen is the owner and operator of No Monkey Business Dog Training. Based in Concord, New Hampshire, she is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA) and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) and an Operation Socialization Certified Trainer (OSCT). Helen has been training dogs for over 19 years. She is a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, a member of the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals and is a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a member of the Pet Professional Guild. Helen is also a licensed Dogs and Storks presenter, a licensed Dogs and Toddlers presenter, and a certified AKC evaluator.
Helen’s skills range from teaching basic life skills to behavior modification of serious problems including aggression, as well as service dog training. Helen is constantly going to continuing education seminars to learn more about the fascinating world of dog behavior, and she has been featured on the radio, in print, and on T.V. for her work. She volunteers countless hours at the local SPCA and works with homeless dogs to help them learn skills to find a home that is lasting and successful. Her two large facilities in Concord offer state of the art experiences for people wanting to better their relationship with their dogs, offering classes for reactivity, nosework, agility and so much more.
Helen strongly believes that true success in dog training is learning how to educate people kindly, compassionately and fairly so they can be better handlers for their dogs and understand them more. Helen has 9 dogs of her own, and runs a senior and hospice dog rescue out of her home also. When she’s not training her dogs, she’s spending time with her daughters, her horse, and her husband.
Nini is a dog behavior trainer from Taiwan. She established the I Know Pet Behavior Training brand located in the south of Taiwan with her sister who is also a dog trainer.
Nini is a professional dog trainer certified by Karen Pryor Academy. The main job is pet’s behavior training, including cue training and problem behavior adjustment. In her point of view, she pays attention to offering comfort and high quality walking and also giving choices for dogs to improve most problem behavior efficiently.
She has many experiences of being invited as a lecturer by many pet related organizations. She hopes to expand positive- based training by education to make the pet parents more understand dog behavior and enhance the relationship between them and their pet.
She also has experience of working dog training. She has taken Detection dog course at Tarheel Canine and joined a pilot study collaborating with US Fish & Wildlife Service and US Geological Survey as a handler of avian botulism detection dog. Due to the passion of scent work, she sets up related courses of scent work in I Know Pet Behavior Training to make pet parents enjoy the fun of cooperation with their pets becoming the best partner to each other.
Tom Candy is a Senior Training and Behaviour Advisor for a shelter in the United Kingdom. Tom is responsible for overseeing the training and behaviour at multiple rehoming centres across the UK. His duties include assessment, management and behaviour modification.
A passion for animal welfare and training led Tom to undertake a BSc (Hons) in bio-veterinary science, and an MSc in clinical animal behaviour from the University of Lincoln, UK.
Having started volunteering in rescue at the age of 15, Tom has been involved in a variety of aspects of rescue, including fundraising, home checks, transporting, and general day-to-day activities. Since graduating from University, Tom has been working as a training and behaviour advisor at a DogsTrust, locuming across 7 centres before moving to the senior training and behaviour team.
Tom is a certified clinical animal behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council, and a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant and Certified Shelter Behaviour Specialist.
Kira’s career was in restaurant management when she decided to follow her lifelong passion with animals. Today she works at a shelter giving second chances to those who can’t stand up for themselves. She works with dogs and cats that come from other shelters and are deemed unadoptable, and would otherwise be euthanized. Everyday she gets to help an animal live a better life is a great day for her.
In her personal time Kira values learning new things that she can use to help the animals. She enjoys anything to do with arts and crafts, reading, and spending time with her peers.
Ken Ramirez is the EVP and Chief Training Officer for Karen Pryor Clicker Training where he helps to oversee the vision, development and implementation of training education programs. Previously, Ken served as EVP of animal care and training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium. A 40+ year veteran of animal care and training, Ramirez is a biologist and behaviorist who has worked with many zoological organizations and dog programs throughout the world.
Ken’s work has included guide dogs, service dogs, law enforcement, search and rescue, film and television, and countless private clients. He is past president of the International Marine Animal Trainers Association and has been active in various leadership positions within IMATA for over 30 years. He hosted two successful seasons of the TV series Talk to the Animals. Ramirez authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement in 1999 and most recently The Eye of the Trainer in 2020. He taught a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University for 20 years. He currently teaches at ClickerExpo every year, offers hands-on courses and seminars at the Karen Pryor National Training Center (the Ranch), and teaches online courses through Karen Pryor Academy.
Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Certified Animal Behavior Consultant
Dr. Mary Burch is the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Director. She is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, one of less than 100 in the United States and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (the human end of the leash).
Dr. Burch has trained dogs to the advanced levels of obedience and she is considered an international expert on the topic of therapy dogs. She is the author of eight books including “Volunteering with Your Pet” and “How Dogs Learn,” and over 200 articles on dog-related topics. She has lectured at universities and colleges and has given presentations on canine behavior throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
Her work with therapy dogs has been featured in US News & World Report, Newsweek and Readers’ Digest. Dr. Burch’s book, “Citizen Canine,” was the training Book of the Year for the Dog Writer’s Association of America and in 2013, she was inducted into the DWAA Hall of Fame.
Dr. Burch is a founding member of the Animal Trainer’s Forum in the Association for Behavior Analysis. Dr. Burch has also been a lobbyist on legislation pertaining to dangerous dogs and responsible dog ownership. She served as a member of a county Animal Control’s “Dangerous Dog Committee,” determining if dogs were to be declared dangerous and the course of action.
Dr. Burch has appeared on “Martha Stewart Living TV” and “Animal Planet” as well as numerous radio programs to discuss animal training.
Dr. Burch is frequently interviewed for print media (newspapers, magazines) on topics related to canine behavior.
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed
Fear Free Dog Trainer
Family Paws Educator
An evidence-based, Fear Free Certified dog trainer, Ayelet spent nearly a decade volunteering with dog rescue organizations and shelters in Manhattan before creating her first company, Sabra Dog Training, in Nashville. As of September of 2021 she has merged her business with Julie Farris, CBCC and Beth Strickler, CACVB to open Instinct Nashville, where she is a co-owner and Co-Director of Behavior and Training.
Ayelet is a proud graduate of The Karen Pryor Academy and a licensed presenter for Family Paws. She was also a Behavior Technician for Veterinary Behaviorist Beth Strickler, DACVB for 5 years. Some of Ayelet’s favorite work has been teaching group classes at Davidson County Male Correctional Facility, where inmates are paired with rescued Greyhounds to help prepare the dogs for adoption. Finally, Ayelet is a mentor for CATCH and Victoria Stilwell Academy, helping shape the trainers of tomorrow.
Ayelet (pronounced i-yell-it) was born in Israel, raised in Louisville, and lived in New York for a decade before returning to her Southern roots and settling down in Nashville with her husband, sons and “beagle-mix,” Chloe.
Director, IAABC Foundation
Rochelle Burtt is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through IAABC and a Certified Behavior Consultant (Canine) through CCPDT. Her love of animals was realized at a very young age when she was known for saving baby birds, stray animals, and even the odd worm from the fishing bait box! She earned a diploma in Animal Science nearly 30 years ago but then went on to study Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick and subsequently worked in the field for many years. She returned to working with animals on a full-time basis many years ago as a Behavior Consultant and Service Dog Trainer.
Rochelle is passionate about promoting the LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) model and animal rights and welfare through the development, distribution, and promotion of education through the IAABC Foundation.
When she’s not promoting education, Rochelle enjoys a country life with her husband, four sons, a Labrador Retriever, and a senior cat. Flower and vegetable gardening are what help keep her ‘grounded’.
Catja (she/her) is living with a retired older cocker spaniel, who still loves to work, and a younger Australian Koolie, who is starting his first competitions.
Since 2009, when she finished her instructors’ course via Canis academy, Catja has been working full-time teaching on the topic of training, both online and at in-person workshops and conferences.
She has competed in the highest level of working trials, including obedience, tracking, and search and rescue and has also been working with drug detection and rally obedience over the years. But no matter the topic, her focus is on developing the basic skills through clean training sessions and fluency in the trainer’s skills. She is passionate about clean training, fluency, shaping, backchaining and giving the learner choice in training.
Practicing the basics and having great mechanical skills is one of the things that will elevate your training to the next level, in her opinion. She believes that every dog handler can and should work with their dog, and that planning your session to be as clean and efficient as possible will create more reinforcement opportunities for both learner and teacher. Her first focus is to teach 80 different basic skills that makes it possible to teach just about anything “advanced” later. Dividing all training into the smallest behaviours possible, before even thinking of adding the cue and setting the stage for clean training loops, is a high priority.
She uses shaping wherever it is possible, and always tries to have a clean, smooth session, with clear information for the dog while removing all background distractions. Meeting the learner where they are and getting to be a part of the process where the team grows together is the most rewarding thing for her. Catja works with learners on all levels and also believes in continued education, for everyone.
Dr. Kristina Spaulding has been in the dog training and behavior profession since 1999. She earned her undergraduate degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While in college, she worked for the Dane County Humane Society and volunteered as an assistant trainer at Dog’s Best Friend, then owned by Dr. Patricia McConnell. She opened Smart Dog Training and Behavior LLC in 2001. She completed her PhD in biopsychology—the study of the biological basis of behavior—in 2016. In 2017, Dr. Spaulding became a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. She 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.
Dr. Spaulding has a passion for teaching and offers a variety of online courses and webinars on the science of behavior through her website, www.smartdogtrainingandbehavior.com. During graduate school she taught undergraduate courses for several years. She was trained in innovative and effective teaching skills through the Institute for Teaching, Learning, and Academic Leadership and the University at Albany. In 2012, Dr. Spaulding received the Excellence in Teaching by a Graduate Student Award through the local chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology. In 2019, Dr. Spaulding received the Association of Professional Dog Trainer’s (APDT’s) Member of the Year Award.
In addition to teaching other professionals, she regularly presents on canine behavior science at conferences and other events. She also continues to work with private training clients where she specializes in fear, reactivity, and hyperactivity/impulsivity. She currently serves on the IAABC Foundation Board and the Fear Free Advisory group.
Amy is a partner in the Animal Behavior Wellness Center and runs the Richmond, VA office. She attended her undergraduate education in Bethlehem PA receiving a BS in Biology, and worked at a wildlife conservation park in Texas before being accepted to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. After graduation in 2003, she completed an internship at Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ, and then she went into general practice until 2017 at which time, she started a Residency in Clinical Behavioral Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Lisa Radosta in South Florida and Dr. Amy Pike in Northern Virginia.
Amy completed her residency training and is currently the Chief of Clinical Behavioral Medicine at the Animal Behavior Wellness Center in Richmond VA where she counsels clients from Richmond, Charlottesville, Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, Roanoke, and North Carolina. She has contributed to veterinary textbook chapters, journal articles, blogs and received the RK Anderson Resident Research Award. She has lectured for APDT, Veterinary Behavior Symposium, IAABC, Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, VMX. Her memberships and certifications include: Fear Free elite, Fear Free Compliance Committee, Low Stress Handling Silver, Pet Professional Guild, IAABC Foundation Board Member.