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.
Eva Bertilsson has a master’s degree in behavior analysis and a passion for all things related to behavior, learning, and animal welfare. Always fascinated by the processes of learning and teaching, she grew up with horses, rabbits, and other animals and ventured into dog training in the early 1990s. For many years Eva spent most of her time training and competing in agility, obedience, and other dog sports. Nowadays she focuses mostly on helping others, working as an educator in a wide variety of settings—from puppy classes at the local dog club to husbandry training in zoological settings to seminars for teachers on the science of behavior.
Together with business partner Emelie Johnson Vegh, Eva runs their collaboration Carpe Momentum. Eva and Emelie's goal is to help people acquire knowledge and skills in science-based, modern, humane, and empowering teaching strategies for the benefit of learners of all species. They teach seminars on the general principles of behavior and learning, and coach trainers in the art of structuring great training sessions regardless of the venue or the species.
“E&E” are the first TAGteach faculty members in Europe, offering consultations and workshops about applying positive reinforcement techniques with human learners in all imaginable areas. The colleagues’ first book, Agility Right from the Start, was published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) in 2010. The book outlines Emelie and Eva’s philosophy and structured approach to training, making it a worthy read not just for agility enthusiasts.
Eva has also been directing a Swedish regional government project aimed at improving behavior management practices in the animal-care industry, with missions ranging from teaching positive reinforcement training to high school students and their teachers, to building a Fear Free veterinary care community in Scandinavia.
Eva lives in the village Ljungskile, on the west coast of Sweden and north of Gothenburg, but spends much of her time traveling. Border collie Tizla makes sure Eva’s free time is filled with outdoor activities and enriching training projects.
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). Hannah 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.
Hannah 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).
Lindsay Wood Brown is a board-certified applied animal behaviorist (ACAAB) with a master's degree in psychology and a concentration in animal behavior from Hunter College. Lindsay is a Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) course developer and has served as a KPA faculty member since 2012. She specializes in resolving behavior conditions and consults for animal shelters on the design and implementation of behavior programs, effective modification methods for a range of behavior conditions, and development of robust operational strategies to achieve behavioral health within the shelter.
Lindsay served 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 included the oversight of all shelter operations, with a strong focus on behavior and behavior modification to increase the number of animal lives saved and rehomed successfully.
Prior to her role as Director of Operations in Virginia, 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, which focuses on rehabilitating dogs with specific concerns, including food-guarding, fearful behavior, body-handling sensitivities, separation anxiety, and dog-dog aggression.
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.
Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Utah State University. Susan has co-authored chapters on behavior change in four veterinary texts, and her popular articles have been translated into 14 languages. She teaches courses and seminars on animal learning and consults with zoos around the world. Susan was appointed to the F&WS Condor Recovery Team from 2002 - 2010, after which time the team was retired due to the success of the birds in the wild. She is the Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee of American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, and a member in good standing of ABAI, ABMA, and IAABC.
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.
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. New(ish) to running, she found a way to share that passion with her dogs. She wrote several articles on her blog detailing her progress — and the progress of her canine running partner. The girl who hated running is now training for a half-marathon.
A member of the ClickerExpo faculty, Laurie has been a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy since 2008. She teaches the Dog Trainer Professional program at various locations in the United States. Laurie has spoken at regional and national conferences about 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 18 service dogs, and enjoys being involved in the education of dogs that go on to do so much good for their human partners. She combines her passion for puppies with her passion for craft beer by visiting local breweries with whatever service dog she's raising.
Debbie Martin is a licensed Veterinary Technician in Texas, as well as a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior (VTS-Behavior). Debbie 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 full-time registered/licensed veterinary technician since 1996, and worked in private practice for 14 years.
Since 2005 Debbie has been the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC. She assists Kenneth Martin, DVM, DACVB, during in-home behavior consultations.
Debbie is the co-owner of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior, LLC, a business focused on providing education on humane training and behavior modification and fostering collaboration between various animal behavior professions.
She is a contributing author and co-editor of the textbook Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses by Wiley-Blackwell. Debbie and Dr. Martin have also authored a book on normal development and training for dogs: Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog. The pair also authored the Karen Pryor Academy course, Puppy Start Right for Instructors. The course provides not only the thorough knowledge necessary to provide puppy socialization classes, but also a complete curriculum with supplemental materials.
Debbie’s combined experience in general practice and behavior specialty has fueled her passion for preventive behavior medicine and the Fear Free initiative. Debbie is honored to be representing veterinary technicians and animal trainers on the Fear Free executive committee.
When she is not seeing clients, writing, or speaking, Debbie enjoys spending time at home with her husband, three Belgian Malinois, and a beagle/Jack Russell mix on their 5-acre property, aptly named the Malamo, in Spicewood, Texas. She took up a new hobby recently, motorcycles, and is enjoying learning a new skill!
Leslie McDevitt, MLA, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is a dog behavior consultant, author, and speaker. She specializes in teaching counter-conditioning and biofeedback techniques to empower working, performance, and pet dogs to feel safe and comfortable so they can function confidently in stressful environments. Leslie has taught the material from her seminal book Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog to people and dogs all around the world. She is also the author of Control Unleashed: The Puppy Program and her soon-to-be-released third book, Reactive to Relaxed: What's Next in Control Unleashed. Most recently, Leslie has been consulting at the University of Pennsylvania's Working Dog Center, teaching a bunch of super-high energy Dutch shepherds to relax and focus so that they can do their patrol and scent-detection training without getting excited or distracted by the various environments they must work in. Since the publication of the original Control Unleashed (CU) book, Leslie has had a lot of time to update, revise, and add new games to the CU program and looks forward to sharing them at Clicker Expo!
Sarah Owings, KPA CTP, is passionate about reaching challenging learners. She specializes in using behavioral science to help transform the lives of fearful, shut-down, and over-the-top dogs. As the owner of Bridges Dog Training, and a regular contributor to online training forums, Sarah is known for her innovative approaches to tough behavior problems and for her compassionate and insightful teaching. She serves as a faculty member at ClickerExpo, an instructor for Karen Pryor Academy, and an advisor to the Glendale Humane Society in Los Angeles. Sarah is a regular contributor to Clean Run Magazine on topics such as stimulus control, release cues, and toy-related cues. She is also an avid Nose Work competitor, and, with Helix Fairweather, co-teacher of Cyber Scent, an online foundation-skills course for scent detection taught with clicker training.
Emma Parsons has been training dogs for more than 20 years and specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog. Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior (KPA), as well as a ClickerExpo faculty member. She gives Click to Calm seminars around the world, teaching others how to manage and rehabilitate reactive and aggressive dogs. Emma is the author of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog and Teaching the Reactive Dog Class, as well as some best-selling DVDs. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC).
Emma holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and shares her life with her husband, Greg, and their four clicker-trained dogs: three Goldens, Lizzie-Taylor, Kayden-Blue, Austyn-Roque; and a Papillon, Wylie-Rae.
Chirag Patel 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 and organisations and runs workshops for professionals internationally. Chirag is also a senior training and behaviour advisor for the UK’s 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). Currently, Chirag continues 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.
Michele Pouliot began her animal-training career through her love of horses. Immediately after high school, she attended the Pacific Coast Equestrian Research Farm, studying under the tutelage of Linda Tellington and Wentworth Tellington. After graduating at the school’s highest level, Michele remained as an instructor until beginning her next position, managing an equestrian center in North Dakota. It was there that Michele acquired her first dog—a move that would change her life and career.
With dog-training pointers from a former riding student, Michele became fascinated with her dog’s willingness to learn; she spent all of her spare time training him. It was then that Michele’s path changed toward a career in dog training, which progressed to guide dog training.
In 1974, Michele Pouliot began her career as a licensed guide dog instructor when she joined Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), the second-largest guide dog school in the world. In addition to personally training more than 350 guide dog teams over 20 years, Michele contributed to major change in the organization by leading the adoption of clicker training in the formal training of guide dogs and in the development of puppies raised for guide dog work. Michele also developed the education program for GDB’s blind clients learning to clicker train their own guide dogs.
Michele has been a pioneer and leader in the guide dog industry worldwide. Since 2005, GDB and Michele actively support and assist other guide dog schools in crossing over from traditional training methods to positive reinforcement and clicker training techniques. To provide further education to more individuals, GDB and Michele have held 5-day Guide Dog Clicker Conferences for international guide dog professionals. In 2016, the International Guide Dog Federation presented Michele with a Lifetime Achievement award for bringing clicker training to guide dog programs around the globe. Michele retired from her 42-year career with GDB in 2016 but continues to provide workshops around the world for guide and service dog organizations.
Michele has also been very active and successful in canine dog sports. She was heavily involved in competition obedience for 20 years, winning four Obedience Trial Championships with her personal dogs. Michele also competed in tracking and in the sport of agility. In 2005, Michele discovered the new sport of Canine Musical Freestyle and, with help from her first freestyle partners Cabo and Listo, became a leader in two years. Her current performance partners are Déjà Vu and Saké. Michele and her dogs have attained more than 10 Championship and Grand Championship titles and are winners of national and international freestyle competitions. They are known for entertaining routines with very creative behaviors. Michele and Listo made history in the World Canine Freestyle Organization as the first team to ever receive perfect “10” scores in both Artistic and Technical categories! They repeated this incredible achievement 23 more times with six different routines. Michele travels extensively giving seminars on clicker training for dog sports and for effective clicker training in general. She is well known for clarity in her teaching, her enthusiasm for training, and her love of animals.
Michele loves to spend time at home, in Oregon, with her dogs and her horses. A member of the ClickerExpo faculty since 2008, Michele partnered with Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) to create an 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.
Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice-President (EVP) and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT). There he helps to oversee the vision, development, and implementation of training education programs for the organization.
A 40+-year veteran of animal care and training, Ken is a biologist and animal behaviorist who has overseen or consulted on training projects for many zoological organizations throughout the world. He began his training career working with guide dogs for the visually impaired and continues to work with organizations training dogs for service work, search-and-rescue, bomb detection, and narcotic detection. Ken has also maintained a close affiliation with pet training throughout his career.
Prior to his work with KPCT, Ken served as EVP of Animal Care and Animal Training at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium for more than 25 years. There he developed and supervised animal care and animal health programs, staff training and development, and public presentation programs for more than 32,000 animals. Ken has written for numerous scientific publications and authored countless popular articles. He authored the book ANIMAL TRAINING: Successful Animal Management through Positive Reinforcement, published in 1999.
Ken taught a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University for 20 years and has been active in several professional organizations, including as a past president of the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA). He is actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. Currently, Ken is developing courses and programming at The Ranch, the Karen Pryor National Training Center in the state of Washington.
Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. He obtained his Ph.D from the University of Kansas in 1995 under the direction of Dr. Donald M. Baer. Jesús 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.
Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent more than 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.
Lori Stevens (CPDT-KA, SAMP, CCFT, CPBC) is a Senior Tellington TTouch practitioner for dogs, cats, and other animals. She is also a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a certified Small Animal Massage Practitioner, a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer, and a Certified Parrot Behavior Consultant.
Lori uses humane and scientific methods to improve the health, behavior, and performance of animals. Her experience is holistic and incorporates respect for animals as teachers. She continually studies the interactions between animal behavior, movement, learning, and health, and this is reflected in her innovative approach. Lori has an established companion animal practice in Seattle, WA. She also teaches workshops and presents at conferences worldwide. Lori has three DVDs produced by Tawzer Dog Videos. The most recent of her DVDs is called Gift of a Gray Muzzle: Active Care for Senior Dogs and is co-presented with Kathy Sdao.
Lori teaches online classes on canine fitness, aging dogs, and massage for Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. She is the creator of the Balance Harness by Blue-9 Pet Products.
Laura Monaco Torelli is the founder of Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago, Illinois. She began her career in 1991 at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, where she trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins. After nearly a decade at the Shedd, she moved on to the San Diego Zoo and then Brookfield Zoo as a lead supervisory trainer. During her time in the zoo community, Laura worked with a wide variety of terrestrial animals, including primates, large cats, birds of prey, horses, parrots, tree kangaroos, giraffes, red pandas, and dogs.
Laura serves as a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), and as a Teaching Assistant for Susan G. Friedman, Ph.D.'s Living & Learning with Animals online course. She offers private training at Medical District Veterinary Clinic, an extension of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Laura has presented at many professional conferences and taught seminars across the United States, Italy, Sweden, Japan, and the Caribbean. She has appeared on various broadcast media, including WGN and NBC 5 news and WCIU’s You & Me This Morning. This is her seventh year speaking at ClickerExpo.
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 together she has had three terriers. The Border terriers have been involved in agility primarily, but also in some freestyle and ground work.
In 2009, a Kelpie made an entrance into the family. With her, Emelie is working in rally obedience, obedience, and freestyle, and they also enjoy urban mushing. 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.
Together with business partner Eva Bertilsson, Emelie runs their collaboration Carpe Momentum. Emelie and Eva’s goal is to help people acquire knowledge and skills in science-based, modern, humane, and empowering teaching strategies for the benefit of learners of all species. They teach seminars on the general principles of behavior and learning, and coach trainers in the art of structuring great training sessions regardless of the venue or the species.
“E&E” are the first TAGteach faculty in Europe, offering consultations and workshops about applying positive reinforcement techniques with human learners in all imaginable areas. The colleagues’ first book, Agility Right from the Start, was published by Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) in 2010. The book outlines Emelie and Eva’s philosophy and structured approach to training, making it a worthy read not just for agility enthusiasts.
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, a daughter, and Kelpie, Scout. In addition to dog sports, she enjoys training in general, and is very interested in sports psychology, running, multisport, and yoga. Emelie is also an author of fiction novels.