2015 Professional Seminars

The East Bay SPCA is proud to host thought leaders and innovators in animal behavior and training at our newly-renovated Oakland Education & Training Center.

Nan Arthur presents "Chill Out, Fido! HOW to Calm Your Dog"

When: Saturday, April 11 2015 from 9 am - 4 pm
Where: East Bay SPCA Oakland Education & Training Center: 8323 Baldwin Street, Oakland, ca 94621
Cost: $109 (Early bird registration - before March 11, 2015 - just $95); group discounts available for parties of 3 or more. Contact Laurel Stark at lstark@eastbayspca.org for details.
Included: Vegetarian snacks and lunch provided.

Does your dog go bonkers when the doorbell rings or when you grab the leash to take him for a walk? If you find your dog is often difficult to control, you are not alone! Getting your dog to calm down and relax is one of the most common challenges pet parents face.

This workshop led by Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant Nan Arthur will help you identify the factors that cause this kind of behavior in dogs and provide you with key training exercises to teach your dog how to calm down, pay attention to you, relax, and respond to everyday situations with confidence and composure.

Who should attend: This workshop is beneficial for dog guardians, dog trainers and behavior professionals, and volunteers and staff of shelter and rescue organizations.

What will be covered:

  • Why can't dogs relax and chill out?
  • Common complaints by dog guardians
  • Self-control is an exhaustible resource - what we can do to help our dogs
  • Social pressures of having a dog that misbehaves
  • Stress factors and how that affects behavior
  • Training and equipment factors
  • Exercise- too much or too little? Where is the balance?
  • How diet can affect behavior
  • Demonstrations with dogs of "chill out" exercises


Nan is the author of the acclaimed book "Chill Out Fido! How to Calm Your Dog" and is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. Nan serves as a faculty member for the esteemed Karen Pryor Academy, regarded as the "graduate school" for dog trainers and is a uniquely qualified behavior consultant with expertise in evaluating, managing and modifying a wide range of challenging dog behaviors. Nan's mission is to help pet parents and their animals understand and communicate clearly with one another using the science of positive behavior and training methods.


Suzanne Clothier - Presented by paws and cues dog training

When: Saturday and/or Sunday, April 25 & 26 from 9 am - 5 pm
Where: East Bay SPCA Oakland Education & Training Center: 8323 Baldwin Street, Oakland, ca 94621
Cost: $270 for two days; $150 for one day
Included: Continental breakfast

Day 1 - What's the problem? unraveling the puzzles of behavior, training & performance

This exciting new seminar from Suzanne Clothier provides attendees with a practical and powerful way of looking at any behavior, training or performance problem, and figuring out what to do. This systematic approach to unraveling the puzzle will help any handler, novice or expert, identify the areas that need attention, recognize training methods that are effective, and understand their dog as a physical, emotional and mental being. For the dog lover, this approach helps guide your thinking about behavior & training problems, and helps you identify where to turn to help -- and what kind of help you need and want. For the dog training professional, this approach offers a number of powerful tools for quickly and accurately identifying the issues that may be at the root of any presented problem. This allows trainers to focus on areas that need to be built or that need strengthening or repair. Above all, how do you know how and what needs work? How do you know if a method or equipment choice is right for you and your dog? There is a bewildering array of options and information out there. How do you know which way to go? Suzanne can help you find your way using your own good sense and specific approaches to finding answers. While Suzanne cannot provide a magic wand or any miracle fairy dust, she can and will provide meaningful tools and ways of thinking that will help you make better decisions for yourself, your dogs and - for professionals - your clients.

Topics covered:

  • The Dog - physical, mental, emotional
  • Clothier's Functional Assessment Tool (FAT)
  • The Handler - goals, skills, tools
  • Control, Connection & Permission - finding the strengths and gaps
  • Training Triage - who, what, where, when, why
  • What's Right for You - Creating a framework for assessing tools, methods and results

Day 2 - You had me at sniff: understanding dog-dog interactions

Dog-to-dog interactions are difficult to master. Because we don’t speak Dog, and dogs don’t speak English, we are stuck with interpreting what we see… and sometimes, we are wrong. It can be hard to know what to do. But we want to get it right. We all have the same questions and worries when two or more dogs are together. Are we being too cautious? Or too careless? Do we just “let them work it out” or try to orchestrate pleasant encounters? When is it okay to put two dogs together? What is play and what is not play? What is a suitable playmate? Do size or age differences matter? Argument or serious fight? Practical information and techniques will be discussed (and demonstrated as possible), including

Topics covered:

  • Reading Body Language - Important clues
  • Connection & Control - Supporting your dog and remaining connected
  • The Think & Learn Zone - How arousal affects dog-dog interactions
  • Management vs. Training - Know the difference
  • Permissions, Not Permissive - The power of explicit permissions
  • Safe Introductions - Multiple techniques for sensible, safe introductions
  • Even Through...Training - Developing responsibility in the dog for self control and appropriate behavior "even though"
  • Looks Who's Here! Changing Attitudes towards Others
  • Breaking Dog Fights Safely - For those involved in rescue, fostering dogs can create additional stresses on your permanent canine family. Special considerations and practical tips for meeting the unique needs of fosters will be addressed. This seminar is packed full of practical information, effective techniques and hard won experience.

About suzanne clothier

Internationally known dog trainer, behavior consultant and speaker, Clothier is the author of “Bones Would Rain From the Sky” and numerous other publications. Involved professionally with dogs since 1977, Suzanne’s background is widely varied, with experience in breeding, kennel management, grooming, showing, training, canine midwifery, puppy aptitude testing, instructing, behavior consultations, in-home training, K-9 Search & Rescue, holistic health care and various club memberships & activities. For a full biography, see http://www.suzanneclothier.com/content/suzanne-clothier