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APDT          CAPDT

APDT/CAPDT Virtual Conference

20/21:  Broadening Our Sight – A Virtual Experience

September 29-30, 2021

Start Planning for the 2021 APDT/CAPDT Virtual Conference

The 2021 APDT/CAPDT Virtual Conference will offer a variety of opportunities to improve ourselves as trainers, as business people, and as an industry. From amazing keynote speakers to CE classes, the 2021 APDT/CAPDT Virtual Conference is a dynamic event for serious dog-trainers who want to stay at the top of their game.  All session recordings will be available on the virtual conference platform during the event and for twelve (12) months after the conclusion of the conference.

Opening Keynote: Susan Friedman, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Friedman is a psychology professor at Utah State University who has pioneered the application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to captive and companion animals. ABA, with its roots in human learning, offers a scientifically sound teaching technology and ethical standard that can improve the lives of all learners. Students from 22 different countries have participated in Susan’s online courses, Living and Learning with Animals for Professionals and Living and Learning with Parrots for Caregivers. She has written chapters on learning and behavior for three veterinary texts (Behavior of Exotic Pets, Clinical Avian Medicine, and Manual of Parrot Behavior), and is a frequent contributor to popular magazines. Her articles appear around the world in eleven languages. Susan has presented seminars for a wide variety of professional organizations around the world such as the Association of Avian Veterinarians, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, Moorpark College Exotic Animal Training and Management program, and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She has been nominated for the Media Award given by the International Association of Behavior Analysis for her efforts to disseminate to pet owners, veterinarians, animal trainers and zookeepers the essential tools they need to empower and enrich the lives of the animals in their care.

Closing Keynote: Ken Ramirez

In October 2014, Ken Ramirez began his role as Executive Vice-President and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training where he helps oversee the vision, development and implementation of training education programs for the organization. This role aligns with Ken’s philosophy of helping to bring positive reinforcement training to all corners of the animal training world.

Ken previously served as the Executive Vice-President of animal care and animal training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where he developed and supervised animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development as well as public presentation programs for the entire animal collection of more than 32,000 animals. He worked at Shedd for nearly 26 years.

A 40+ year veteran of animal care and training, Ramirez is a biologist and animal behaviorist who served nine years at Marineworld of Texas. He also was a trainer and coordinator at Ocean Safari in South Padre Island, Texas, as well as acting as a consultant to many zoo and aquarium programs throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has maintained a close affiliation to pet training throughout his career. He hosted two successful seasons of the pet training television series Talk to the Animals that compared pet training to the important work done with training and caring for animals in zoological facilities. He has also recently worked closely with several search and rescue dog organizations, service dog groups, as well as with bomb and narcotic dogs.

Since 2005, Ken has brought his experience as a trainer of many cognitive projects with marine mammals and primates to the dog arena. Most notable has been his work with modifier cues, adduction, matching to sample, mimicry, and counting. The latter two projects: teaching dogs to mimic or imitate other dogs; and to learn the concept of counting are in the process of being prepared for scientific publication. Both of these projects have documented cognitive abilities in dogs that have not been previously well documented or understood.

Ramirez has been active in several professional organizations, including the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA), of which he is a past president. Ken has been actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. He has been on the faculty of Karen Pryor’s Clicker Expos since 2005.

Be one of the first 500 people to register* and receive an APDT Gift box in the mail prior to the start of conference.  Gift boxes will have samples, coupons, and specials and are sponsored by PetSafe. 

*US residents only with a paid conference registration. 

2021 APDT/CAPDT Conference Speakers

(Opening Keynote) Susan Friedman, Ph.D. – How Animals Learn: An introduction to behavior analysis and training
Susan Friedman, Ph.D. – Effective Interpersonal Communication Skills: Applying What We Know from Contemporary Animal Training to Human Relationships
Sue Sternberg – Best Socialization Practices for Puppies and Dogs of All Ages
Elaine Ostrander, Ph.D. – Dog Genes Tell Surprising Tales
Kim Brophey CDBC, CPDT-KA – Ethological Contributions to “Behavior Problems” in Dogs- Part 1 and Part 2
Robin Bennett, CPDT-KA – How to Fit All Your Work into 40 hours (not 60 a hour week)
Eileen Kovalls, CDBC, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA – Methods and Efficacy: Positive snake avoidance training
Veronica Sanchez, M.Ed., CABC, CPDT-KA – The Changing World of Service Dogs
Sara Ondrako, CDBC – Mastering Media for the Modern Trainer
Alexandre Rossi and Sarah Rodriguez, M.A., CPDT – Successful Training in Record Time – Choosing the best pace for each case
Jamie Popper, KPA-CTP, CCFT, CPDT-KA – Canine Fitness: Tricks with a benefit!
Marsha Penner, Ph.D. – Memories in the Making: Applying the neuroscience of memory to dog training
Mara Valez, M.A., CPDT-KA, KPA – Part 2: What is LIMA and how do we assess if training is “really” LIMA?
Mara Valez, M.A., CPDT-KA, KPA – Part 2: LIMA-based case studies: What is Least and Minimally, anyway?
Gregory S. Berns, M.D., Ph.D – 10 Years and 100 MRI-Dogs: What have we learned from brain imaging?
Erica Fuerenbacher, Ph.D. and Lisa Gunter, Ph.D. MA, CBCC-KA – Examining the Impact of Temporary Fostering and Short-term Outing Programs for shelter Dogs
Jennifer Shryock, B.A., CDBC – Crawling Babies… Conflicted Dogs
Jennifer Berg, CPDT-KA – How Can We Make Dog Parks Safer?
Mandy Eakins, KPA CTP, CPDT- KA – Little Things, Big Impact-Grow your Business through Client satisfaction as free marketing
Ken Ramirez – Tower of Babble: Dealing with confusing terminology
Irith Bloom CPDT-KSA, CBCC-KA, CDBC, CSAT, KPA CTP, VSPDT, CBATI, VSDTA Faculty – Dealing with over-the-top behavior: A practical tool kit
Heid Meinzer, JD, CPDT-KA, CNWI and David Pearsall, CIC, CWCA – Legal and Risk Management Panel
(Closing Keynote) Ken Ramirez – Evolution of the Modern Trainer: A Personal Perspective

Register for the 2021 APDT/CAPDT Virtual Conference by July 30 and you will also receive the following presentations by industry and business experts at no additional charge ($225 value!).

*Speakers subject to change.

  • Alexandre Rossi and Sarah Rodriguez – The Potty Problem- A Study on Puppy Potty Training
  • Sarah Ondrako, CDBC – Puppy Foundations
  • Mandy Eakins, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP – Hay There Moo-ving Your Training Skills to the Hobby Farm
  • Dr. Nathan Hall – What the K9 Nose
  • Amy L. Pike, DVM, DACVB – Separation Anxiety in a Post-COVID World
  • Irith Bloom, CPDT-KSA, CDBC, KPA CTP, VSPDT, CBATI, VSDTA – Using Enrichment to Improve Outcomes
  • Clare Swanger, MBA, Senior Practitioner Tellington TTouch® Method – Tellington TTouch® Method: Techniques for the Toolbox
  • Larry Shively – Proactive Disease Prevention Protocol
  • Mandy Eakins, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP – What’s Up Dock? Diving Foundations From the Ground Up
9 CEU’s available for this content!

APDT Foundation Poster Presentations

  • Memory for Learned Tricks:  Do Dogs (Canis familiaris) remember a learned behavior better after an overnight sleep?
  • To Cue or Command?  A qualitative analysis of word use and choice by United States dog trainers
  • Are dogs that participate in dog sports in better shape?
  • Factors that Influence Cognitive Performance in Puppies

Social Media Badges

Tell everyone that you’re attending the APDT/CAPDT Virtual Conference by downloading and sharing the conference social media badges.


Showcase your brand at the APDT Conference.

Become an Exhibitor

APDT is pleased to offer a multi-employee discount on registration fees for groups of 5 or more employees.

To apply for this discount, please contact Member Services at 800-738-3647 or apdt@apdt.com.

Virtual Conference Pricing

All registrations by Friday, July 30 include access to 9 Bonus Education Presentations.
Individuals registering for the Active Military/Veteran category, should contact the APDT office first at apdt@apdt.com or 800-PET-DOGS.


US $169


US $179


US $189


US $219


US $99


US $99


US $99

Register by July 30 and receive the 9 additional presentations as part of your registration!

APDT Supporting Organizations

2021 APDT Virtual Conference Sponsors

Let your imagination run wild.

Now’s a good time to register for a great time.

Petco Puparazzi 2019 Video Recap