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. 

Understanding and Working with Predation in Dogs

Kate Wilson, CDBC, CPDT-KA

In this lecture we will be exploring what predatory behaviors we see in dogs, why animals predate, and how to use this ingrained behavior to train and manage predatory behavior.

Reducing the Stress of Vet Visits for Cats

Kristen Klebba, LVT, KPA, CPT 

Clients who own fearful cats are less likely to bring them in for wellness or interventional care due to the stress it causes them. This presentation will discuss how to set cats up for success before the visit, during the visit, and on the trip home.  

Fractious, Fearful, or Frustrated? Uncover Causes of Human-directed Feline Aggression

Dr. Christopher Pachel, DVM, DACVB, CABC

Cat behaviors are commonly misunderstood, and their patterns of human-directed aggression are no exception to that rule. This presentation will take a deep dive into the "why" behind these aggression patterns and what you can do about them. Cases will be used to illustrate the various types of aggression and the intervention options that you can share with your clients.

More Than Just a Naughty Cat: Understanding Feline Nuisance Behaviors

Dr. Christopher Pachel, DVM, DACVB, CABC

"Not quite a behavior problem, but not exactly well-behaved either..." Do you have any feline patients that fit that description? Normal cat behaviors aren't always appreciated, they may be creating discord in your clients' homes, and they may even be risking the surrender or euthanasia of your patients. Knowing how to respond to client questions about everyday behavior patterns, efficiently (!), can mean the difference between frustration and enjoyment, and potentially between life and death.

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.

Behavior Euthanasia Decisions: Considerations and Determining Factors 

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

Session description coming soon.

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.

Relinquishment & Return in the Animal Shelter: What We Know & Directions for Future Interventions

Dr. Lisa Gunter, PhD, MA, CBCC-KA 

Improved understanding of relinquished dogs, their owners, and motivations for relinquishment is needed to effectively address the causes of pet abandonment. While there are no validated interventions that have systematically reduced return rates to animal shelters, we can look to previous research and the risk factors for both dogs and owners that are associated with surrender and failed adoption to develop more impactful community interventions. In this presentation, I'll discuss what we do know about the dogs that enter shelters as well as characteristics of their owners and examine interventions, such as tagging, chipping, spay/neuter, and behavioral resources, that have successfully kept dogs in homes and out of 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.

Equine Behavior and Common Behavior Problems

Dr. Jill E. Sackman, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVB, KPA-CTP

This talk will cover normal equine behavior and common behavior problems in the horse. We will also discuss the importance of management in preventing and solving behavior problems as well as understanding the role that pain and fear play in equine behaviors.

Equine Trailering Problems and How to Solve Them

Dr. Jill E. Sackman, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVB, KPA-CTP

This talk will review causes of trailering problems in horses, review best practices for safe / low stress trailering, preventing problems and how to overcome common behavior problems associated with trailering.

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.