ClickerExpo Portland 2017 | Faculty & Speakers

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.


Eva Bertilsson

Eva Bertilsson has a master’s degree in behavior analysis and a passion for all things related to behavior, learning and animal welfare. 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 on the agility field, earning top merits with phalènes Misty and Soya. She has always been most fascinated by the processes of learning and teaching. For the past ten years Eva has been working full time 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” 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 only for agility enthusiasts.

Eva lives in the village Ljungskile, on the west coast of Sweden and north of Gothenburg, but spends much of her time travelling. Border collie Tizla makes sure Eva’s free time is filled outdoor activities and enriching training projects.


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).


Lindsay Wood Brown

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.


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

Lori lives with her Labrador, Zam, and her border collie, Blink. She enjoys participating and competing in canine sports, including Treibball, agility, and K9 Nose Work, and has many titles on her dogs in those sports.


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.


Susan G. Friedman, PhD

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 offers 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.

The Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Humane Association (AHA) Film and TV Unit, Susan is a member in good standing of ABAI, AZA, ABMA, IAABC 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.


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 has also produced The Click That Teaches DVD lesson series and is presently at work on new books and videos.


Debbie Martin

Debbie 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 fulltime 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!


Theresa McKeon

After more than 30 years as a national-level gymnastics coach, Theresa was determined to find a way to speed up skill acquisition for her athletes while simultaneously decreasing stress and fear in the learning environment. Her search for behaviorally sound techniques, clean instructions, and the proper timing of feedback and reinforcement, led to the development of the TAGteach methodology. Theresa teamed with Joan Orr, Beth Wheeler, and Aaron Clayton and Karen Pryor of Karen Pryor Clicker Training, to found TAGteach International, LLC.

Since then, TAGteach has evolved into an entire teaching protocol benefiting an endless variety of human applications. The success of the methodology has been accented by the wide range of applications embracing it. Theresa now consults and designs TAGteach programs in business management, industrial safety, medical and surgical training, sport coaching, family communication, and, of course, training for those who teach people to train their companion animals. She is a sought-after speaker around the world, including in Europe, the U.K., Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.


Sarah Owings

Sarah Owings, KPA CTP, is passionate about reaching the difficult dog. She 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, Sarah is known for her innovative approaches to tough behavior problems, and her compassionate and insightful teaching.

A regular speaker at ClickerExpo for the past four years, Sarah was 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 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, as well as 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.

In addition to a lifetime of working and living with a wide variety of animals, Sarah has had many years of experience as a kindergarten teacher where the joys and challenges of the classroom have fueled a passion for teaching, learning, and human connection. She lives in Los Angeles with her amazing and supportive husband, Fred, her mom, Morgan, three rescue dogs, Zoë, Maya, and Tucker, four house rabbits, three cats, one dove, a tortoise, and an iguana named Spot.


Emma Parsons

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 B.A. 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.


Michele Pouliot

Michele Pouliot began her animal-training career through her love of horses. 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 there as an instructor, until her next position, in North Dakota. There, 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.

Michele Pouliot began her 42-year 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.

Since 2005, Michele has been a pioneer in the guide dog industry worldwide. 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. In order to provide education to more individuals worldwide, GDB and Michele have offered four International Guide Dog Clicker Conferences for professionals in the guide dog field. Recently, Michele was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award from the International Guide Dog Federation for her innovation, creative development, and service to blind clients and guide dog programs around the globe. She leads seminars and workshops around the world, for guide and service dog organizations and for dog sport training. Michele is known as a very clear and enthusiastic teacher who demonstrates her love for animals and people every time.

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 has also competed in tracking and in the sport of agility. In 2005, Michele discovered the new sport of Canine Musical Freestyle; she is now a leader in the sport, with help from her dogs Cabo, Listo, Déjà, and Saké. Michele and her dogs are winners of multiple national and international competitions; they are known for creative behaviors and entertaining routines. 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 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

Ken Ramirez is the Executive Vice-President (EVP) and Chief Training Officer of Karen Pryor Clicker Training. There he helps to oversee the vision, development, and implementation of training education programs for the organization.

Previously, Ken served as EVP 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, and public presentation programs for more than 32,000 animals. Ken worked at Shedd Aquarium for more than 25 years and continues as a consultant to this day.

A 35+-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 has maintained a close affiliation with pet training throughout his career. Ken 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. Recently, he has also recently worked closely with several search-and-rescue-dog organizations and service-dog groups, as well as with bomb and narcotic dogs.

Ken has been active in several professional organizations, including the International Marine Animal Trainer’s Association (IMATA), of which he is a past president. He has been actively involved in the creation of a certification process for animal trainers in zoological settings. 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 teaches a graduate course on animal training at Western Illinois University.


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 Ph.D 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.


Kathy Sdao

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.

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.


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 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” 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 only 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.

2017 ClickerExpo Speakers | Portland, OR

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.


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 inspiration from 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 apply to environments that range from agility to freestyle to medical procedures. All of these freely offered and shaped behaviors create wonderful riding horses. Peggy has worked with clicker training techniques in the area of horse rescue as well.


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 DogTrainingology, 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, StaleCheerios.com.


Subject to change.