2015 IAABC Animal Behavior Conference

Dog Learning

April 18-19, Chicago, IL

The Anti-Cruelty Society
Best Western River North Hotel
125 West Ohio Street, Chicago, Illinois 60654
312-467-0800 for reservations, $189 per night

A rare opportunity for an intimate and in-depth look at high-level work with behavior and training!


IAABC Members: You must use your Account page to buy member discount tickets. Members may buy as many tickets as they like, but only the IAABC member’s registered e-mail address will be accepted as a purchasing address. 


There are no group discounts.


Saturday, April 18th

8:30 - 9:20amKeynote — Steve Dale on the Human Animal Bond

9:30 - 10:20am: Dr. John Ciribassi — Fear Based Aggression

10:30 - 11:20am: Dr. John Ciribassi — Resource Guarding

11:40 - 12:30pm: Dr. John Ciribassi — Separation Anxiety

12:40 - 1:45pmLunch

1:50 - 3:30pm: Laura Monaco Torelli — Exotic to Domestic Animals: Lessons Learned That Come Full Circle

Working with exotic animals in established programs has many training benefits: trainer consistency, set training schedules and sessions, a closely monitored and healthy diet, detailed record-keeping that lends itself to spectacular planning. But, how do professional trainers help the average dog owner who simply wants a better behaved dog, less stressful health care and grooming? Surprise—a little planning goes a long way! This presentation will discuss the many benefits of teaching the importance of pre-session planning, group collaboration and communication, and frequent assessment of discrete goals that highlight immediate success points.

3:45 - 5:00pm: Panel - What is a Veterinary Behaviorist, What is a Behavior Consultant, What is a Trainer?

With Dr. John Ciribassi, Steve Dale, Michael Shikashio

Sunday, April 19th

8:30 - 10:00am: Kristin Buller, MA, LCSW and Kelly Ballantyne, DVM: Living With and Loving a Pet with Behavior Problems: The Impact on Pet Owners

In our research, we have found that owners of pets with behavior problems often feel isolated, embarrassed, judged, and feel like a failure. Owners are often struggling to understand their pet’s behavior, what they can do about it, and what the next decisions are for themselves and their pets. We will present initial findings from our qualitative research of the experience of owners of pets with behavior problems. In this research we are examining the impact on pet owners when living with and loving a pet with behavior problems and assessing the supports that owners need. We will introduce our developing collaboration between a veterinarian and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker to increase support for owners of pets with behavior problems, including lessons learned from the support groups for pet owners that we began in the fall of 2014 as well as counseling provided to pet owners.

Coffee Break

10:20 - 12:40pm: Ken Ramirez: Introducing Highly Reactive & Aggressive Dogs - An Experiment 

This presentation is a report on a conditioning trial that was done with several reactive dogs. Ken Ramirez has introduced highly aggressive exotic species successfully over the years in a variety of zoological settings. In 2013 and 2014 he used these same techniques and protocols to introduce 4 dogs to each other (3 of which were highly reactive). He will share his approach and the results.

12:50 - 2:00pmLunch

2:00 - 5:30pm (15 minute break included): Ken Ramirez: Complex Tools

A review of some of the advanced but seldom used or misunderstood tools - a discussion of the science behind each tool and the practical applications of these tools. These could include Jackpots, Timeouts (TO), End of Session Signals (ESS), Behavior Chains, Least Reinforcing Scenario (LRS), Keep Going Signals (KGS), No Reinforcement Markers (NRM), Recall Signals, Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Responses (DRA).

Live streaming and/or recording of the event is not yet available. We’re working on it, but may not be able to provide it.


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Animal Behaviour & Training Council (ABTC)


565 Callery Road
Cranberry Township, PA 16066


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