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Understanding and Working With Reactivity in Dogs

Abigail Knue, MFA, CPDT-KA

Barking, lunging, growling- does this sound like something your dog or the dogs you work with experience? This lecture will help you better understand aggression and reactivity (specifically barking, lunging and/or growling on leash) in dogs and how to best treat and modify it. Topics covered will range from potential causes and contributing factors to prognosis for various types of cases and how to create and set training plans. Reactivity training methods will be discussed and compared with lots of examples to build your reactivity training toolbox!

Hands-Off! Working With and Treating Resource Guarding in Dogs 

Angela Schmorrow, MSW, CSB-D, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Resource guarding is one of the most frequent causes of dog bites in the home, yet much of the conventional wisdom about handling it ranges from ineffective to downright dangerous.  We will discuss strategies for recognizing, preventing, managing, and modifying this common issue.

Puppy Socialization and Learning - Working Together

Laura Perkins, MS, CPDT-KA

When we think of puppy socialization, we often think of all of the experiences our puppies should have during this critical developmental time. In this session, we’ll review what we know (and what we don’t know) about those developmental periods and we’ll briefly cover the basics of operant conditioning. I will share examples of how we can use these two sciences together to support puppies through those experiences in their first 20 weeks and beyond!

Too Much Teen Spirit? Navigating Adolescence in Puppies & Kittens

Kristen Klebba, LVT, KPA, CPT 

Adolescence can be a trying time for dog and cat owners with their pets becoming increasingly more independent and training problems or behavior disorders becoming more pronounced. This presentation will discuss common behaviors that arise during this period, how to address these issues and how to identify actions that could potentially lead to a more severe behavior problem if left untreated. 

Risky Business - Assessing and Managing Risk in Aggression Cases 

Jenn Gavin, BA, CPDT-KA

Working with animals with a history of aggression presents a significant challenge, especially in today's post Covid landscape. With bites on the rise, how can behavior professionals ensure that they accurately assess the risk of injury to humans and other animals presented by their canine subjects, as well as their clients' ability to manage them? We will discuss best practices for assessing, and communicating risk to clients and other professionals; constructing management plans that are safe and, well, manageable for clients; and documenting and communicating effectively to reduce misunderstanding and increase compliance when managing risky dogs. 

Behavior Euthanasia Decisions: Considerations and Determining Factors 

Dr. Theresa DePorter, DVM, MRCVS, DECAWBM, DACVB

Can and should all animals be saved? How and when do you even open a conversation about humane euthanasia? Should alternatives, such as adoption or re-homing, always be considered first? If not, how do you decide? This lecture will take a deep dive into what is often one of the most sensitive of topics for those of us working in animal welfare or medicine. During this lecture, we will look at several case studies and real life examples of things that were or should be considered when dealing with various types of serious behavior concerns. You will walk away from this interactive lecture with the tools you need to help you determine if and when this drastic measure might be the safest and/or most humane option for an animal in your care, rescue, or community.

Consent Behaviors: "Yes!" from Both Ends of the Leash

Laura Maihofer, CBCC-KA

Consent behaviors are trained behaviors that serve as communication between the animal and handler to signify readiness to proceed. These behaviors help build trust and reduce the risk of aggression during procedures. In this presentation we will demonstrate different consent behaviors as used for a variety of husbandry and vetting procedures, including ear cleaning, nail trims, vaccinations, and blood draws. We will outline the steps of teaching these behaviors and provide tips for getting your pet’s consent.

Data Can Be Easy!

Laura Perkins, MS, CPDT-KA

One of the defining features of applied behavior analysis is taking data and using it to make decisions when creating behavior plans.  When we are working through an animal's guardian or caretaker, data is even more important because it gives us a glimpse into what is happening between sessions.  Data doesn’t have to be complex, overwhelming, or burdensome to gather.  We’ll take a look at how to choose what data to take, how to keep it simple, and some ways to work with your human clients to help you to collect that data.  

What is Canine Welfare, and How do We Measure it in the Shelter?

Dr. Lisa Gunter, PhD, MA, CBCC-KA 

Considerable progress has been made to improve the outcomes for dogs arriving to animal shelters, resulting in substantial increases in the number of dogs adopted and returned to their owners as well as reductions in euthanasia. Over this time, the role of the animal shelter has changed as well, from one of temporary holding to longer lengths of stay as we attempt to save the lives of more dogs. Thus, we must also evolve the care that we provide to adequately meet and ideally exceed their welfare needs. In this talk, I’ll discuss how we can best assess welfare and promising measures found across the scientific literature that can help us better understand dogs’ experiences in the shelter. By identifying meaningful welfare measures, interventions intended to improve the lives of shelter-living dogs can be tested and disseminated to animal shelters.

How Enrichment Can Improve the Welfare of Your Shelter's Dogs

Dr. Lisa Gunter, PhD, MA, CBCC-KA 

The use of behavioral interventions designed to improve the welfare of dogs in animal shelters has become much more commonplace; yet, many interventions have not been empirically tested. Within the literature, animal scientists have explored the use of a wide range of enrichment strategies with sheltered dogs and tested their impacts on physiology and behavior with the goal of improving welfare. In this presentation, I’ll examine these interventions which can be broadly categorized as either social interaction with a human or conspecific; object enrichment; or sensory stimulation. I’ll also discuss the implications of these studies, including which additive interventions show the greatest potential for positively impacting dogs’ lives in the shelter.

Enrichment Application- Building Your Shelter's Enrichment Program

Kent Schulte CBCC-KA

This lecture takes a look into better understanding the role enrichment plays in the behavioral health of our shelter dogs. We will dive into creative ideas to better enrich stressful environments, and discuss ways to reduce common behavior issues by providing a variety of outlets to perform natural canine behavior, tailored to the dogs individual needs. This course will provide a range of low cost options and resource conscious examples, to help inspire you and your team to create your own robust enrichment plans and protocols. You will walk away with clever easy to implement ideas and tools that can help to minimize stress and better support the mental and psychological needs of the dogs in your care.

Reducing Fear in Dogs at Vet Visits

Dr. Erica Hawker, DVM

In this lecture we will cover a wide range of topics as it relates to fear-free vet visits for dogs including both medication protocols as well as tips, tricks, and easy to implement techniques that you can start using today to make your clinic or patients happier, healthier, and more successful both in and out of the office. 

Psychotropic Medications and Nutraceuticals for Fear Free Veterinary Visits – Pre-treatment for dogs and cats before the vet visit

Dr. Theresa DePorter, DVM, MRCVS, DECAWBM, DACVB

In this session we will look at how we can prepare our patients to have a better experience at the veterinary clinic by strategic use of situational medications and nutraceuticals.

Compassionate Care Euthanasia 

Dr. Kate D. Renyolds, DVM, CCRP, CHPV, CVPP

Animals give so much to humans: companionship, support, service, unconditional love. When end of life comes, we can provide them with the comfort, kindness, and love that they deserve, including a peaceful and pain-free passing. In this hour, you will learn about euthanasia, performed in a way that brings as little Fear, Anxiety, and Stress (FAS) as possible to the patient and the humans involved (both family and veterinary staff).

From Rescue to Home: Keys to a Successful Transition and Long-term Placement

Jean Carew, ACDBC

This lecture will give you the tools you need to help the animals in your rescue or shelter integrate happily and smoothly into their new homes, especially those at-risk friends who may struggle or be a higher risk for return due to existing behavior issues or concerns. Content will include: behavior foundations; keys to understanding and explaining what is happening from the dogs perspective during each phase; initial meetings and introductions; integration with other dogs, cats or children; helping adopters truly absorb and follow behavior or management advice; preventing and reducing behavior issues during and after the dog has settled in; and tips and tricks to ensure a successful long-term placement. We will finish up with key resources, recommendations, and tips that you can give to help ease seamlessly through the transition and reduce rates of returns. 

Capable Canines: Caring for Dogs with Visual and Auditory Challenges

Kalie Wiser, BSW, CPDT-KA 

Rose Adler, CPDT-KA, CTDI

This lecture will discuss the challenges of training deaf and blind dogs, with a focus on building optimistic learners and preventing common behavior problems

The Two-Legged Animal: Working with the Human Side of Animal Welfare – Effective and Positive Communication, Empathy, and Compassion Fatigue

Angela Schmorrow, MSW, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, CSB-D and Lowell Zuckerman, MSW, CPDT-KA, CDBC

Whether we work in animal training, shelter and rescue work, veterinary medicine, or any animal welfare-related field, the animals we most frequently work with are still humans. Yet while we strive to continue to build our skills and knowledge in working effectively with the four-legged animals in our care, we too often neglect the importance of working with the human component effectively, efficiently, and compassionately. In this workshop, we will discuss skills related to working with our colleagues and clients, such as using effective, non-violent communication and positive methods for shaping behavior. We will also discuss extending that kindness to ourselves, and talk about how to recognize compassion fatigue, and know when and how to look for help.

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