ClickerExpo Faculty & Speakers

Faculty and speakers for ClickerExpo 2017 will be announced over the summer and may vary by location. Stay tuned for more information!

Faculty and speakers represented on this page have taught at previous ClickerExpos and represent some of the world's best teaching and training experts.


Laura VanArendonk Baugh Laura VanArendonk Baugh

Laura VanArendonk Baugh operates Canines in Action in Indianapolis. As a crossover trainer, Laura is particularly interested in the science of more efficient behavior change. She became a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP) in 2008 and returned to the Academy as an instructor, teaching certification workshops around the country. She is also certified in TAGteach. Laura blogs on clicker training and behavior frequently, writes articles on various behavior and training topics, and is the author of the bestselling Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training Crazy Dogs from Over-the-Top to Under Control.

Preview and purchase video of Laura's past ClickerExpo sessions

Eva Bertilsson Eva Bertilsson

For 18.5 years, Eva Bertilsson shared her life and her passion for training with Misty (a phalène). Together they excelled in agility, won the individual Swedish Agility National, and were part of the Swedish Agility Team. They also earned titles at the highest levels in obedience and conformation, and played around in several other dog sports. Over time, Eva's pack expanded to include phalène Soya and Border collie Tizla. While still enjoying the thrill of competitive training, Eva's focus has shifted gradually toward broader behavioral questions, a focus which complements her strong interest in positive reinforcement training.

Eva is currently studying behavior analysis at the master's level. Previously she earned a degree in psychology and education and worked as a teacher. Eva has worked for the Swedish Kennel Club for many years, educating agility instructors and future instructors' teachers, as well as offering pet dog classes and campaigning for clicker training at local clubs. She is also involved in increasing the knowledge of training and behavioral management in animal caretaker education and in zoological facilities.

Working as an instructor and writer, Eva runs Carpe Momentum with her friend and colleague Emelie Johnson Vegh. Eva and Emelie lead agility seminars at all levels throughout Sweden and Norway, and are very much appreciated for their systematic and well-planned approach that focuses on joy and success for both dog and handler. Eva and Emelie also offer TAGteach Primary Certification seminars; they are the first level 3-certified TAGteachers in Europe. The colleagues write articles for magazines such as Canis (published by Morten Egtvedt and Cecilie Køste), and have released their first agility book, Agility Right from the Start, published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT). Learn more about Eva at her website. 

Preview and purchase video of Eva's past ClickerExpo sessions

Hannah Branigan Hannah Branigan

Hannah Branigan has been training dogs and teaching people for more than 12 years. In addition to being a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP), she is a faculty member for KPA, a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT). She is also a popular speaker and teaches workshops all over the country. As the owner of Wonderpups, LLC, Hannah is committed to training both dogs and people with positive reinforcement methods. She has titled her dogs in conformation, obedience, schutzhund, agility, and rally. Her dogs have multiple class wins, both AKC and UKC High in Trial awards, and scores that qualify for several Front & Finish Awards of Excellence (FFX).

Preview and purchase video of Hannah's past ClickerExpo sessions

Aaron Clayton Aaron Clayton

Aaron Clayton has been president of Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) and a business partner with Karen Pryor for more than a decade. He is a management executive with approximately 25 years of experience growing service-based businesses. Of all his experiences, Aaron's involvement with teaching and learning as the president of KPCT has been the most fun and reinforcing (pun intended!).

Prior to partnering with Karen, Aaron helped found and fund a human resources company and was a partner at a business strategy consultancy focused on improving the market position and performance of Fortune 500 companies. He is a board member of TAGteach, LLC. Aaron holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University and an M.B.A from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Preview and purchase video of Aaron's past ClickerExpo sessions

Susan Schneider Susan Friedman, Ph.D.

Susan G. Friedman, PhD, is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. She has helped pioneer the cross-species application of behavior analysis to animals, using the same humane philosophy and scientifically sound teaching technology that have been so effective with human learners. Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in four veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 13 languages. She gives seminars on animal learning at conferences and zoos around the world, is a member of Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo faculty, and teaches yearly hands-on animal training workshops with Steve Martin at Natural Encounters, Inc. Susan is the Parrot Division Chairperson of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), the Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, and a member in good standing of ABAI, AZA, ABMA, and IAATE. This year Susan was included on the Vet Tech College’s list of 15 Animal Professors to Know. Her acclaimed online course, Living and Learning with Animals for Behavior Professionals, has provided even wider dissemination of effective, humane, behavior-change practices to students in more than 30 countries. Learn more about Susan Friedman at Behavior Works.

Lori Gwyr Lori Chamberland

Lori Chamberland is the director of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA). KPA offers online and blended-learning courses for aspiring and experienced trainers. Lori oversees all of KPA's courses and programs, curriculum development, faculty, and staff.

In her prior position as curriculum development manager for KPA, Lori was responsible for leading the development and launch of three new KPA courses: Dog Trainer Foundations, Puppy Start Right for Instructors, and Shelter Training & Enrichment.

Lori taught group classes for several years at Dogs Learning Center in Hudson, MA. Currently, she offers private, in-home training lessons on a limited basis. Lori enjoys educating pet owners and fellow trainers on the joys and benefits of clicker training, and has a special passion for helping new puppy owners set up their puppies for a lifetime of success.

Lori has two Labradors, Zam and Scout, and a border collie, Blink. She enjoys participating and competing in canine sports with them, including Treibball, agility, and K9 Nose Work.

Cecilie Køste Cecilie Køste

Norwegian Cecilie Køste joined the ClickerExpo faculty in 2008. With her flat-coated retrievers, Cecilie has been a top competitor in both obedience and working dog trials. She has also competed in show jumping with her two clicker trained horses. Cecilie has experience with search and rescue dogs and dogs approved for military service.

With a degree in psychology, Cecilie is a doctor at a clinic for Child and Youth Psychiatry. She was an early adopter of clicker training and is one of Scandinavia's leading authors on this technology. Through Canis, the company she started with Morten Egtvedt, Cecilie edits and publishes a full-color magazine on dog training. Canis also publishes and sells Karen Pryor's book Don't Shoot the Dog, as well as many other clicker titles in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, and Finnish. Cecilie is the co-author of Clickertraining: The 4 Secrets of Becoming a Supertrainer, one of the three books on clicker training she has co-authored.

Canis also runs a clicker training school with multiple locations in Norway, focusing not only on the average dog trainer, but also on using clicker training to win in competition—any competition. The school's teachers and students are not just top clicker trainers, but also top-notch competitors in European dog-related sports. Cecilie's focus is on how to use the clicker edge in obedience competition, with major emphasis placed on basic skills and back-chaining, the tools that she considers the key to precision and reliability.

Preview and purchase video of Cecilie's past ClickerExpo sessions

Alexandra Kurland Alexandra Kurland

Alexandra Kurland began her instructional career as a dressage rider and teacher and as an accredited TTouch Practitioner. In 1998 she launched the rapidly growing field of clicker training for horses with the publication of her first book, Clicker Training for Your Horse. Alexandra teaches clicker training geared to any horse need or sport—including developing a gentle and companionable riding horse, halter training foals, training advanced performance horses, and reforming difficult and unmanageable horses. She travels widely, giving clicker training seminars in the US, Canada, the UK and Europe. Several years ago, Alexandra trained a miniature horse, Panda, to serve as the guide animal for a blind owner.

A graduate of Cornell University, Alexandra has written The Click That Teaches: A Step–By–Step Guide in Pictures and The Click That Teaches: Riding with the Clicker. She has also produced The Click That Teaches DVD lesson series and is presently at work on new books and videos. Learn more about Alexandra at her website.

Preview and purchase video of Alexandra's past ClickerExpo sessions

Kay Laurence Kay Laurence

Kay Laurence runs a training and education business, Learning About Dogs Ltd. Her business is located in the United Kingdom, in the Cotswolds at the Wagmore Barn Centre, and is focused on excellent training, thinking, and canine enjoyment. In addition to workshops at her own training facility and in the virtual learning environment, Kay holds workshops and seminars across Europe and the United States, teaching a wide range of clicker training skills and encouraging trainers to enjoy the expansive views outside the box.

Living intimately with many dogs over many years, observing their daily interactions, puppy-rearing, and activities, Kay has learned to view our world through their eyes. Dogs demonstrate the art of living skillfully and as a harmonious and connected group. Kay's understanding and skills are shared through her workshops, where consistent, high-quality results with a range of different dogs and people are achieved. With her passion for understanding dogs and her experience in teaching, Kay leads the way developing practical techniques that leave owners with a great sense of personal achievement and connection to their dogs.

Kay is considered one of the world's advanced clicker trainers. With 10 titles published and translated into German, French, and Spanish, her exciting books and videos offer her unique combination of talents. Kay has been a presenter at the twice-annual Karen Pryor Clickertraining's conference ClickerExpo more than 15 times and continues to enjoy exploring new cities in the US as part of the ClickerExpo faculty. A regular presenter at the ORCA "Wicked Minds" Conference at the University of North Texas, she has also been a Presenter at the Australia APDT Conference, Sydney 2011.  Learn more about Kay at her website.

Preview and purchase video of Kay's past ClickerExpo sessions

Laurie Luck Laurie Luck

Laurie Luck has been involved in the dog world for more than 20 years. Her formal education includes a M.A. in psychology, but she credits dogs for teaching her the most important concepts of behavior and training.

An entrepreneur (Smart Dog University) and social media enthusiast, Laurie delights in sharing her knowledge and experience with dog owners across the country. She is committed to helping improve the lives of dogs through education of the humans at the end of the leash. Laurie's YouTube channel offers free dog training videos, and her blog details training experiences and ideas that every dog owner will find helpful.

A member of the ClickerExpo faculty, Laurie is also a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy. She teaches the Dog Trainer Professional program at various U.S. locations. Laurie has spoken at regional and national conferences on both dog behavior and social media.

Laurie has been a volunteer puppy raiser for a service dog organization since 2001. She has had a hand in raising and training more than 16 service dogs, and enjoys being involved in the education of dogs that go on to do so much good for their human partners. Laurie and her Labrador retriever, Tango, are a certified R.E.A.D. therapy dog team and enjoy working in the classroom with elementary school students to improve their reading skills.

Preview and purchase video of Laurie's past ClickerExpo sessions

Debbie Martin Debbie Martin

Debbie Martin received a bachelor of science degree in human ecology from The Ohio State University, and an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology from Columbus State Community College. She has been a fulltime registered veterinary technician since 1996, and is actively involved in the field of animal behavior. Debbie is the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, a mobile veterinary service located in Austin, TX, with practice limited to the prevention and treatment of animal behavior disorders. She assists a board-certified veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Kenneth Martin, who is also her husband, during in-home behavior consultations. Debbie is a co-owner of

Debbie is a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in Behavior. She is the past president and treasurer for the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians and an active member and previous recording secretary for the SVBT (Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians). Debbie is a member of APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She lectures to veterinary professionals on animal behavior frequently, and has also published several articles on that topic.

In 2009, Debbie and her husband published a book on normal development and training in dogs, Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog. They are also the authors of the Karen Pryor Academy course, Puppy Start Right for Instructors. Debbie is the co-editor and a contributing author of the textbook Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses published in 2015. In her free time, Debbie enjoys mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, and training and relaxing with her dogs and husband. Currently, she shares her home with three Belgian Malinois, Jazmin, Iliana, and Polo, and a one-eyed beagle/terrier mix, Iris. Learn more about Debbie.

Preview and purchase video of Debbie's past ClickerExpo sessions

Theresa McKeon Theresa McKeon

Theresa McKeon, BA, is a co-founder and senior vice president of TAGteach International, LLC. TAGteach™ began in 1998 when Theresa, a national-level gymnastics coach, combined her knowledge of sports coaching with the clicker training principles she used with her horses. The results just "clicked." Theresa teamed with scientist Joan Orr, dance teacher Beth Wheeler, and Aaron Clayton and Karen Pryor of Karen Pryor Clickertraining to found TAGteach International, LLC. Since then, TAGteach has evolved into an entire teaching protocol benefiting an endless variety of human applications.

Theresa delights in designing new TAGteach programs for groups around the world including: gymnasts in Iceland, classroom teachers in New Zealand, military personnel in Norway, fishermen in Alaska, equestrians in Ireland, zoo keepers in Illinois, and professional dog trainers in Japan. Learn more about Theresa at her website.

Preview and purchase video of Theresa's past ClickerExpo sessions

Sarah Owings Sarah Owings

Sarah Owings, KPA CTP, is passionate about reaching the difficult dog, and specializes in using clicker training principles to help transform the lives of fearful or shy dogs. As the owner of Bridges Dog Training, co-creator of Cyber Dog Online, and a regular contributor to online training forums, she is known for her innovative approaches to tough behavior problems, and her compassionate and insightful teaching.

A speaker at ClickerExpo for the past three years, Sarah was also selected to serve as a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) faculty member in 2015. She has presented webinars for the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (SVBT) on the topics of emotions in training and shy dogs, and co-presented seminars with KPA faculty member and author of Chill Out Fido, Nan Arthur. Sarah’s popular YouTube channel features videos that showcase clicker training, exotic-animal training, life enrichment for puppies and dogs, and her clients’ success stories. She has written articles for Clean Run and Veterinary Technician magazines and blogs regularly about what she calls Brave Learning and the Art of Loving Dogs. Sarah is currently working on a book, Reaching the Wallflower Dog, based on lessons she has learned from the special-needs dogs she has worked with as a professional trainer in Los Angeles, as well as lessons from her own heart-dog, Zoë.

Preview and purchase video of Sarah's past ClickerExpo sessions

Emma Parsons Emma Parsons

Emma Parsons, BA, former president and head instructor for the New England Obedience Club, is the Canine Behavior Training Consultant for the VCA Rotherwood Animal Hospital, and Training Director for Karen Pryor Clickertraining. She is also the author of the popular book, Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog. The book was inspired by her work with her golden retriever Ben, who became aggressive to other dogs after being severely punished by an "aggression expert." Emma turned to clicker training and successfully eliminated Ben's dog-on-dog aggression.

Emma has been featured on numerous television shows, and gives seminars around the US on training and managing the reactive dog. She has also taught clicker training classes to graduate students at Tufts Veterinary School of Medicine and at Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue. Emma runs her own dog training business, the Creative Canine, specializing in canine aggression issues. To learn more about Emma, visit her website here.

Preview and purchase video of Emma's past ClickerExpo sessions

Karen Pryor Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot, with her dogs Cabo, Listo, and Deja, is the winner of multiple national and international freestyle competitions, including the World Canine Freestyle Organization (WCFO) World Championship in 2009. In November 2008, Michele and Listo made WCFO history as the first team to receive perfect "10s" for both Artistic and Technical scores in the Championship division of Perfect Dance Partners. They have since repeated this incredible achievement nine more times, receiving the special "Perfect 10" award a total of ten times. Among the ten awards for perfect 10s, six different routines are represented.

WCFO again honored Michele Pouliot, naming her "Trainer of the Year" for 2011. The award paid tribute to her teaching skills working with both people and dogs. At that time, Michele and Listo also received special awards for garnering "Double 10" scores seven times in 2011.

Michele has been a professional guide dog mobility instructor for more than three decades. In 1974, Michele joined Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), the largest guide dog school in the US, and attained her Guide Dog Mobility Instructor license qualification in 1977. In addition to personally training more than 350 guide dog teams over 20 years, Michele contributed to the GDB organization in many different ways through several positions of increasing responsibility. Michele has led Guide Dogs for the Blind through a gradual changeover from traditional training to clicker training in guide dog work, and has worked to instruct the organization's blind clients in the use of the clicker.

GDB and Michele actively support and assist other guide dog schools in their efforts to adopt clicker training; great strides are being made in the guide dog industry. In 2011, they held their second International Guide Dog Clicker Conference, continuing to assist schools in making the transition to clicker training. Michele is recognized internationally for her innovation and creative development in guide dog training and service to blind clients.

Michele joined the ClickerExpo faculty in 2008, and partnered with Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) to create the online canine freestyle course. The course has received rave reviews from students and is popular even with clicker enthusiasts who are not involved in the freestyle sport. Learn more about Michele.

Preview and purchase video of Michele's past ClickerExpo sessions

Karen Pryor Karen Pryor

Karen Pryor is a scientist with an international reputation in two fields, marine mammal biology and behavioral psychology. Through her work with dolphins in the 1960s she pioneered modern, force-free animal training methods. Karen is the author of many scientific papers and monographs and seven books. She is a founder and leading proponent of clicker training, the worldwide movement involving new ways to communicate positively with pets and other animals. She is the founder and CEO of the behavioral publishing company Sunshine Books, Inc., and its online divisions. Karen has three children and seven grandchildren. She lives in Boston with two clicker trained dogs and a clicker trained cat.

Preview and purchase video of Karen's past ClickerExpo sessions

Ken Ramirez Ken Ramirez

Ken Ramirez is Executive vice president & chief training officer at Karen Pryor Clicker Training. He was most recently executive vice president of animal collections and training at Chicago's world-famous Shedd Aquarium, where he developed and supervised animal care programs, staff training and development, and public presentation programs for the entire animal collection. In this position, he oversaw animal care and training for over 32,000 animals including whales and dolphins, sharks and turtles, sea horses and jellies, and so many more. His career at Shedd spanned 25 years.

A 35-year veteran of animal care and training, Ken worked for nine years at Marineworld of Texas. He also coordinated training programs at Ocean Safari in South Padre Island, Texas, and has acted as a consultant for many zoos and aquariums throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and has maintained a close connection to dog training throughout his career. His work with dogs has included search and rescue and scent detection. He hosted a popular television series on pet training Talk to the Animals that ran for two years in Australia.

Ken has been active in several professional organizations, including the International Marine Animal Trainer's Association (IMATA), of which he is a past president, and the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network, where he has served on the board of directors since 1987. He also has served on the board of the American Cetacean Society and is a professional member of both the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA).

In addition to his other work, Ken has written for several scientific publications, including Marine Mammals: Public Display and Research, and Soundings, published quarterly by IMATA. He teaches a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University, and authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management Through Positive Reinforcement, published in 1999. The book has become required reading for many animal trainers in the zoological field.

Learn more about Ken's work, at the Shedd Aquarium's website or his personal website.

Preview and purchase video of Ken's past ClickerExpo sessions

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.

Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. He obtained his PhD from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Dr. Donald M. Baer. He serves on several editorial boards, including the European Journal of Behavior Analysis and the International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy. His areas of interest include antecedent control of behavior, generalization, behavioral cusps, fluency-based teaching, treatment of autism, teaching of academic behavior, animal training, and rule- and contingency-shaped behavior.

To learn more about the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas, visit the school's website website.

Preview and purchase video of Jesús's past ClickerExpo sessions

Kathy Sdao Kathy Sdao, MA

Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent 30 years as a fulltime animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. Kathy received a master’s degree in experimental psychology from the University of Hawaii. The United States Navy then hired her to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Kathy next worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Later, Kathy co-created Tacoma’s first dog-daycare facility where she began teaching clicker-training classes.

Since 1998, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers. Kathy is proud to be an original faculty member at Karen Pryor Clicker Training’s ClickerExpo conferences.

Kathy has traveled extensively across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan, and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace, was published in 2012.

Preview and purchase video of Kathy's past ClickerExpo sessions

Emelie Johnson Emelie Johnson-Vegh

Emelie Johnson Vegh began training dogs as a teenager, after many years of involvement with horses. Her first dog was a mixed breed that competed successfully in both agility and obedience. Emelie's first Border terrier came into her life in 1994; all in all she's had three terriers, with "My" still sharing her life. The Border terriers have been involved in agility mostly, but also in some freestyle and ground work.

In 2009, a Kelpie made an entrance into the family. With her, Emelie is working in agility, obedience, and freestyle, with the hope of adding some search work. Emelie and her dogs have won medals at the Swedish Nationals, both as youths and as adults, with a silver team medal as the best placement.

Although trained as a high school teacher (degrees from Lund University and Malmö University), Emelie works solely within Carpe Momentum, which she runs with Eva Bertilsson. Together Emelie and Eva give seminars, private lessons, and lectures; they also write articles for magazines such as Canis (published by Morten Egtvedt and Cecilie Køste), and have released their first agility book, Agility Right from the Start, published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT).

Emelie and Eva also offer TAGteach Primary Certification seminars; they are the first level 3-certified TAGteachers in Europe. Their approach is systematic and well-planned, and focuses on joy and success for both dog and handler.

Emelie lives in the very south of Sweden, in the country's third largest city, Malmö. She shares her life with her husband, two sons and a daughter, and two dogs. Other than dog sports, she enjoys training in general and is very interested in sports psychology. Emelie is also an author of fiction novels. Learn more about Emelie at her website

Preview and purchase video of Emelie's past ClickerExpo sessions

Lindsay Wood Lindsay Wood

Lindsay Wood, KPA CTP, ACAAB, currently serves as the Director of Operations for Lynchburg Humane Society (LHS), an open-admissions animal shelter located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Her role at Lynchburg Humane includes the oversight of all shelter operations, with a strong focus on behavior and behavior modification to increase the number of animal lives saved and successfully rehomed.

Prior to her current role at LHS Lindsay served as the Director of Animal Training and Behavior for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado. She developed Boulder Humane's Training and Behavior Department, including the curriculum for a wide array of positive reinforcement, clicker training classes for community members. Lindsay also developed the organization's comprehensive behavior modification program that focuses on rehabilitating dogs with specific concerns, including food guarding, fearful behavior, body-handling sensitivities, separation anxiety, and dog-dog aggression.

Lindsay joined the Karen Pryor Academy faculty in 2012. With a master's degree in psychology and a concentration in animal behavior from Hunter College, Lindsay also received the Hunter College Graduate Certificate in the Advanced Psychology of Animal Behavior and Conservation. Her graduate thesis research project assessed the benefit of clicker training shelter dogs to facilitate learning, and is featured in Karen Pryor's book, Reaching the Animal Mind.

Preview and purchase video of Lindsay's past ClickerExpo sessions


Irith Bloom Irith Bloom

Irith Bloom, KPA CTP, CPDT-KSA, CDBC, CBATI, VSPDT, has been training animals since the 1980s, and has worked with everything from chickens and rabbits to dogs and horses—not to mention humans. A biologist by training, Irith continues to be fascinated by the science of learning, and loves taking part in conferences and seminars.

Irith has presented at a variety of conferences, including ClickerExpo and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Annual Conference, and has given webinars for the APDT and the Society for Veterinary Behavior Consultants. She has also written numerous articles for, and has been published in The APDT Chronicle of the Dog and Everydog. Irith is a member of the Steering Committee of the Los Angeles County 2020 Healthy Pets Healthy Families Coalition, a One Health Initiative focused on improving the health and well-being of pets and their people. She also volunteers with National English Shepherd Rescue.

Irith is the owner of The Sophisticated Dog, a pet training company based in Los Angeles, California, that specializes in private training and behavior consulting. She shares her home with a rescued English shepherd named Franklin and her husband Aaron (not a rescue).

Preview and purchase video of Irith's past ClickerExpo sessions

Elsa Blomster Elsa Blomster

Elsa Blomster is a Swedish dog trainer, instructor and author of the book “Retrieving for all Occasions”. She has three Golden Retrievers and she trains and has competed in obedience, rally obedience, tracking, working tests, field trials, and has obtained official qualifications in all these disciplines. In her every-day life she works as a Marketing Director for a chain of authorized car repair shops. Elsa is a popular instructor - holding courses in Sweden, Denmark and Norway on retrieving and clicker training. When her pupils a few years ago said to her “Training this way is so great and it’s so pleasant not having to be harsh to my dog”, “Why didn’t I come to you earlier for gun dog training” and “You should write a book about it” – it certainly warmed her heart and Elsa started to write the book “Retrieving for all Occasions” – recently published in the UK and the US – together with her ”partner in crime” Lena Gunnarsson. Together they own a publishing company – Klickerförlaget Göteborg AB - where they publish books, films and arrange clinics and courses about positive dog training.

Veronica Boutelle Veronica Boutelle

Veronica is the founder of dog*tec. She is the author of How to Run a Dog Business: Putting Your Career Where Your Heart Is and the co-author of Minding Your Dog Business: A Practical Guide to Business Success for Dog Professionals. She also writes the business column for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers’ Chronicle of the Dog. Veronica is a sought-after speaker at conferences and dog training schools across the country and internationally. She is the former Director of Behavior & Training at the San Francisco SPCA.

Veronica Boutelle Jen Digate

Her lifelong passion for horses has inspired Jen Digate to reimagine the horse-human bond, and explore both the myth and legend of these magical creatures. Through a blend of behavioral science, practical experience, and positive reinforcement methods, Jen strives to build a collaborative relationship with her horses. She believes in building choice, clear criteria, and barometer behaviors into the structure of her training sessions. Jen specializes in introducing untamed mustangs to domesticated life, including exposure to husbandry and vet care; exploring the intricacies of balance and healthy biomechanics to promote soundness, beauty, and longevity for all horses; foal training; and helping fearful, anxious, and mistreated horses learn to trust humans and enjoy the game of training. Jen has been training horses and dogs for 15 years, and holds a Certification for Behavior Consultants - Canine (CBCC-KA). She offers both in-home behavior modification consultations for dogs and group classes through her business, Wild Canine. Jen also holds foundation-level clicker training clinics at Idle Moon Farm in southeastern Wisconsin, as well as clinics with Alexandra Kurland, with whom she has studied intensively for the last five years. Jen offers individual coaching sessions for humans and their horses both through her own business, Spellbound, and as a coach for Alexandra Kurland's online course. More information about these sessions and Jen’s training can be found at, her positive reinforcement horse training blog.

Lena Gunnarsson Lena Gunnarsson

Lena Gunnarsson is a Swedish dog trainer, instructor and author of the book ”Retrieving for All Occasions”. She has two cocker spaniels and she trains and has competed in obedience class III, tracking, field trials and she also trains scent detection with her dogs. Lena has been training animals for all her life and dogs for the past 15 years. Her experience of training horses, dogs and educating people has taught her quite a lot about the learning process. For almost 20 years she has as an organizational consultant with focus on supporting people to solve problems and encouraging them to take on challenges, which has made her a confident coach. Add the fact that Lena is a journalist, the step to writing “Retrieving for all Occasions” and starting a publishing company - Klickerförlaget Göteborg AB - together with Elsa Blomster was not a big one. At Klickerförlaget they publish books, films and arrange clinics and courses about positive dog training.

Peggy Hogan Peggy Hogan

Through her business, The Best Whisper is a Click, Peggy Hogan provides clicker training lessons, clinics, and online coaching, all focused on horses.

A horse-lover since the age of three when her sister put her on a pay-per-lap pony ride, Peggy loves all animals and has a passion for training. She has studied natural horsemanship in depth and immersed herself in the teachings of Peggy Cummings, founder of Connected Riding. With the guidance of Alexandra Kurland, Peggy fully embraced clicker training and positive reinforcement.

Learning from clicker trainers of other species, Peggy has investigated ways to add more shaping, capturing, luring, and targeting to her clicker training for horses program. Horses offer complex behaviors freely if given the choice, behaviors that range from agility to freestyle to medical procedures. Peggy has worked with clicker training techniques in the area of horse rescue as well.

Preview and purchase video of Peggy's past ClickerExpo sessions

Irith Bloom Mary Hunter

Mary Hunter earned a master of science degree in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas in 2013. She has trained a wide range of species, including dogs, horses, cats, rats, raccoons, Patagonian cavies, macaws, and more. Mary is interested in how behavior analysis can be used to improve human-animal interactions; she believes that an understanding of the science of behavior can help us discover smarter and more humane ways to train animals. Currently Mary serves as the president of The Art and Science of Animal Training, a non-profit organization in Denton, Texas. The organization offers educational programs, including an annual conference, for both pet owners and animal training professionals. Mary also owns and operates Texas Animal Training, which provides training and consulting services to dog and horse owners in the North Texas area. In addition to training animals and their owners, Mary is involved in research about animal learning. Her main interests include studying the process of shaping and developing better methods for teaching people to train animals. On a regular basis, Mary shares about her training adventures and about the science of training on her blog,

Alan Kordowski Alan Kordowski

Alan Kordowski left the inaugural Exotic Animal Training and Management program at Moorpark College in 1975 to begin his 31-year professional career at SeaWorld, Orlando. During his tenure at SeaWorld, he was formative in establishing a highly successful training methodology, replacing punishment with positives. Alan worked across the entire management portfolio, from developing shows and enhancing day-to-day guest interactions and experiences to enriching the environments for the marine and terrestrial animals.

After SeaWorld, Alan attracted international attention from Atlantis, The Palm, a $1.5 billion ocean-themed destination resort in Dubai. The resort recruited him as their Vice President of Dolphin Bay; in that position he was responsible for instituting and operating the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first licensed dolphin interactive facility. There, Alan oversaw the installation of the natural-environment-based facility and recruited and managed an international team of 110 employees. He also developed educational programs for schools and universities in partnership with the UAE’s Government and Environmental teams, established a complete veterinary laboratory, and developed a program for the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded or injured marine animals.

After his return to the USA, Alan Kordowski became the Director of Zoological Operations at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia. The park includes hundreds of exotic animals, as well as a water park, rides, and concerts.

As an established speaker, Alan presents on a variety of topics, including service-dog training, the power of positive relationships, and the philosophy and practices of falconry. He co-hosted My Pet on KXAN in Austin, Texas, a Saturday-morning news segment focused on training a variety of pets at home—using the same methods employed in training service dogs and zoo animals. Alan has served as Vice Present, President, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the International Marine Animal Trainers Associations. He also served as CFO and on the Board of Directors for The Animal Behavior Management Alliance.

In September 2011, Alan took the reins of the 28-year-old nonprofit Service Dogs, Inc. He is steering the training department toward fulfilling the organization’s mission of adopting dogs from animal shelters and transforming them into working partners for individuals living with disabilities. Since arriving, Alan has spearheaded the development of the organization’s Assistance Dog Trainer’s Academy. The Academy instructs professional dog trainers on the nuances of operating a service-dog program, including behavioral methodology, temperament selection for service dogs, instructing clients, and hands-on training mechanics with program dogs.

Karen Mielke Karen Mielke

Karen is co owner and trainer at DogLogic training near Statesville in NC. Always fascinated by the scientific principles governing learning and behavior, she has found her training niche in the positive reinforcement, marker based training community. Karen is always eager to seize any opportunity to increase her training knowledge and graduated with honors from the Karen Pryor Academy the first year this prestigious certification was offered. She is a Certified American Treibball Trainer and Judge as well as a Therapy Dog evaluator and enjoys presenting clicker related seminars as well as teaching group classes and working with private clients at her training facility. Playing Agility and Treibball with her personal dogs is her favorite pastime.

Professor Daniel Mills Professor Daniel Mills

Professor Daniel Mills will be a speaker for both the Saturday evening event and the closing session of this years ClickerExpo Warwickshire in the UK.

Daniel is a RCVS, European and ASAB recognised specialist in clinical animal behaviour. He is the Programme leader for the acclaimed MSc in Clinical Animal Behavioural and the director of the University of Lincoln Animal Behaviour Clinic.

Daniel has a particular interest in what makes an individual different and how this arises from their interaction with the environment. This links both his applied and fundamental research, for example by examining how we and non-human animals recognise and respond to the emotional state of another.

Recent projects include:

  • An examination of the effect of a pet dog on families with an autistic child
  • The economic significance of pet dogs to the UK
  • The position of the cat in UK legislations
  • Matching of dogs with potential adopters

Full details of Daniels research can be found here.

Chirag Patel Chirag Patel

Chirag runs Domesticated Manners in London, UK. From here he consults on the ethical and science based practice for the behaviour management and training of domestic, zoo and laboratory animals. He works with private clients, organisations as well as running workshops for professionals internationally. Chirag is also a senior training and behaviour advisor for the UKs largest canine rescue charity, Dogs Trust.

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. Chirag is also a certified parrot behaviour consultant (CPBC), with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants (IAABC). Chirag is also currently continuing his education by studying for a MSc in Applied Behaviour Analysis. In 2005, Chirag completed an internship in behaviour and training with a focus on aggressive behaviour 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 a YouTube Channel that has accumulated over half a million hits and provides free resources for pet owners and professionals, you can access this channel by clicking here. You can also find out more by visiting his website at

Gina-Phairas Gina Phairas

A central force behind dog*tec, the dog pro industry’s leading business consultancy, and a former instructor at the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers, Gina now develops products that help trainers succeed and works one-on-one with dog pros to help them build their dream businesses. She is a dynamic speaker who teaches business workshops across the country. Gina previously ran a successful dog training business of her own and consulted nationally for shelters and rescue groups.

Irith Bloom Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP, KPA Faculty, Founder and President of Legacy Canine Behavior & Training, has been a dog training class instructor since 1968. Through Legacy, Terry teaches pet dog classes, writes books, presents national and international seminars and workshops, hosts interns, and offers consults. She was the Coordinator of the People-Pet Partnership, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, from 1981 until 1994. An American Kennel Club competitor and judge, Terry was on the American Humane Society’s advisory board for humane dog training. She is a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.

Lynne Stephens Lynne Stephens

Lynne Stephens is co owner and trainer at DogLogic Training near Statesville in North Carolina. She was an educator in England for 26 years and has more than 30 years experience in a variety of dog sports. Lynne has taken her own dogs to the highest levels of competition both in the USA and in the UK.

In 1987 she won the prestigious Working Trials competition, ASPADS (Associated Sheep, Police and Army Dogs) Patrol Dog of the Year with a Belgian Tervueren. She was a member of the British World Agility team in 2003 and 2004 with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and has taken both Cavaliers and Border Collies to AKC and USDAA Agility Nationals in the USA.

Lynne now combines her passion for teaching, learning and dogs in her role as agility specialist, instructor and seminar presenter at DogLogic. Lynne graduated with honors from the Karen Pryor Academy as a Certified Training Partner in December 2013.

Laura Monaco Torelli Laura Monaco Torelli

Laura Monaco Torelli is the founder of Chicago-based Animal Behavior Training Concepts (ABTC). Laura began her professional animal training career in 1991 at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago where she trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins. In 2000, she joined the San Diego Zoo and then later the Brookfield Zoo as a supervisory keeper. Working within the zoological community, Laura has trained a wide variety of species, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, horses, parrots, tree kangaroos, red pandas, and dogs.

In addition to heading ABTC, Laura serves as a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy and is on staff at Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants. She has been a speaker at many professional conferences, including the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Behavior Management Alliance, International Marine Animal Trainers' Association and the Interdisciplinary Forum for Applied Animal Behavior. Laura has appeared on various broadcast media, including WGN Midday and NBC 5 Chicago News.

Preview and purchase video of Laura's past ClickerExpo sessions

Irith Bloom Natalie Zielinski

Natalie Zielinski is the Director of Behavior Services for the Wisconsin Humane Society. She develops and oversees the behavior assessment, enrichment, and modification programs for shelter animals, public dog-training classes, private consultations, and hands-on animal training for more than 1000 volunteers for the three-campus shelter. Natalie’s love for teaching and bridging the gap between animal and human communication has fueled her passion for more than 20 years in the animal welfare community. A successful riding competitor in open and breed shows competing across multiple disciplines, Natalie introduced clicker training to an already impressive show record. She specializes in restarting horses, overcoming poisoned cues, and engaging the shutdown horse physically and emotionally to create a willing and enthusiastic partner. These transformations come from Natalie’s extensive studies with Alexandra Kurland and with influence from classical dressage. Natalie supports the clicker training community as a coach for Alexandra’s online course. As a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CBCC-KA) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Natalie understands the science behind clicker training and brings years of teaching experience to her craft. Her personal focus is building a community where horse and human are connected in both physical beauty and emotional balance. View Natalie’s YouTube Channel.