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8am                  Coffee + breakfast bar


(choose one 90-min session)

BREAK 10:30-10:45am

BREAKOUT SESSION  10:45-11:45am

(choose one 60-min session)

LUNCH BREAK  11:45am-1:15pm


(choose one 90-min session)

Understanding and Reading Play In Dogs

Abigal Knue, MFA

This lecture will dissect the dynamics of canine play using the most current research available on the subject. With a strong focus on understanding the language of play, this course will dramatically improve your ability to assess play situations and keep your dog and/or those under your care safe both physically and psychologically. Lecture looks at the origin, function, and “rules” of play, including what healthy play looks like, how to facilitate healthy interactions between dogs, and how to best set your dogs up for success with their canine friends.

BREAK  2:45-3pm


(choose one 60-min session)

Clicker Training Cats: Making Pet Cats Happier and Shelter Cats More Adoptable

Liz Drennan, LVT, KPA CTP

In this session we will discuss how to do what we once thought was impossible...train cats! We now know how important enrichment is for all species and clicker training is a perfect tool. Whether you want to help a reserved feline, make shelter cats shine or build a better relationship with your cat, this session will get you on the right path.


Panel Discussion

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

Dr. Marie Hopfensperger, DVM, DACVB;

Dr. Ashley Elzerman, DVM;

Dr. Erica Hawker, DVM;

Kate Wilson, BS, CDBC, CPDT-KA


Thank you for coming to the 2019 Science of Animal Behavior Conference!

Understanding and Treating Reactivity and Aggression In Dogs

Kate Wilson, BS, CDBC, CPDT-KA / Katelin Thomas, BA, ACDBC, CPDT-KA

This lecture will help you better understand aggression and reactivity (barking, lunging and/or growling on leash) in dogs and how to best treat and modify it in a home or shelter setting. Lecture will go over potential causes and contributing factors, genetics and prognosis, as well as prognosis for various types of cases, and how to create and set a training plan.

Low-Stress Veterinary Visits

Dr. Ashley Elzerman, DVM

This session will provide attendees with a framework to improve the veterinary visit experience for the animals in their care.  The session will touch on the elements of a less stressful visit, convey the latest science regarding less stressful visits, as well as present some practical insights and tips.  

Treating Behavior Issues In Dogs and Cats From a Veterinary Perspective: How and Why Pharmaceuticals May Not Have to Be the Last Option

Dr. Marie Hopfensperger, DVM, DACVB

This session is geared towards professionals in the veterinary field and other professionals wanting to learn more about how, why, and when various medications might be appropriate and necessary to help dogs in and out of the veterinary office. Session will discuss how to start and maintain treatment as well as how to identify when more advanced assistance might be needed. Strong emphasis on when and how pharmacological intervention might help you best help your patients and/or clients.


Common behavior issues, pharmaceutical medication options, dosing, starting/ending/changing medications, tracking, and supporting your clients with various treatment options will be discussed.

Feline Fracas: Why Cats Fight and How to Help Them

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

Cats in conflict: Feline fighting is a common reason for relinquishment. This session will review the complexities of feline social interactions and strategies for peaceful resolution of kitty controversies. Understanding, managing and reducing aggression between housemate cats.

Origins of Behavior

Kate Wilson BS, CDBC, CPDT-KA

This lecture will take a look at the role genetics, canine life stages, surrounding environment, and multigenerational messengers have on behavior. This session will dive into how these qualities each ultimately produce behavior in our dogs, and what we can do to change the odds in our favor.

Use of Nutraceutical and Botanical Therapies to Modify Behavior

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

Fear and anxiety in pets are often overlooked or misunderstood; if untreated, they may cause unnecessary suffering for the animal. Early and appropriate intervention is essential. Come learn about new research on nutraceutical and botanical products and applications for natural, non-prescription anti-anxiety aids that may reduce anxiety or fears in pets. We'll focus on practical application of evidence-based research.

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