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PPGA Dog Training Conference June 2024

PPGA 2024 Conference: Learn, Grow, Influence!

Are you a pet industry professional or an interested dog owner?

The Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) is hosting their biennial conference and this year they will offer more than just presentations. They are also holding workshops to hone your practical skills, too!

The conference will be held in Sydney from 14 to 16 June 2024. The practical workshops on June 14th are scheduled at St Ives Showground (transport from the city is organised) and the lectures will be held at the Rydges World Square in Sydney's CBD on June 15th and 16th. It does not get more central than that!

The dog and pet training industry are still unregulated and PPGA is one of the very few organisations in Australia that requires their professional members to undertake further education to keep up with best practices and scientific research and maintain their membership.

Nose Work or Scentwork is one of the most beneficial activities for your dogs and has many benefits. Scientist have recently found that dogs who do scent work may in general be better behaved*.

PPGA will be hosting Dr Robert Hewings (who runs The College of Scent Dogs with his wife), one of the most prominent experts in scent work. Robert spent 30 years with the Metropolitan Police, 25 years of which as a Police Dog Handler and the last 9 years as a full-time trainer with the Metropolitan Police Dog Training Establishment. 

He has enhanced this experience with a BSc (Canine Training and Behaviour), MA (Professional Practice Police Dog Training) and a Doctorate of Professional Practice (D/Prof) Canine Scent Detection. 

Rob has instructed all police canine search disciplines including explosive search and narcotics. 

He has more recently been involved in researching and training dogs around scent detection in an assistance dog capacity

Robert will cover introductory topics, advanced skills, a workshop that will cater to both, and a dive into Scent Work and the Assistance Dog.

Do you live with or train working dogs? 

Then Barbara Buchmayer is your person. Want to find out more about introducing the sport of herding to your dog

Or even better, Urban Herding: harnessing canine instincts for herding behaviours without the need for livestock? 

PPGA are excited to bring Barbara Buchmayer to Australia for the first time for a workshop and presentations covering all things herding: either for those interested in the sport, or those looking for some fabulous exercises and strategies to incorporate into pet dog life. 

Barbara has published three books, two on Positive Herding (Positive Herding 101 & Positive Herding 201) and her latest, Enrichment Games for High-Energy Dogs.

For more academic topics there will be Zazie Todd, PhD. Zazie Todd PhD is the award-winning author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy and Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. Her third book - on the science of helping anxious and fearful dogs - will be published by Greystone Books in late 2024.

Zazie is the creator of Companion Animal Psychology blog, has a blog at Psychology Today, and has written for magazines such as BBC Science Focus, Modern Dog, Modern Cat, Inside Your Dog’s Mind, and Inside Your Cat’s Mind.

She has a PhD in Psychology, is an honours graduate of the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, and has an Advanced Certificate of Feline Behaviour (with Distinction) from International Cat Care.

Originally from the UK, she lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband, one dog, and one cat. Zazie will be covering:

✔️ Counter-conditioning: how to get it right
✔️ From fearful to happy: the role of emotions in animal welfare 
✔️ How to prevent and resolve common behaviour issues in cats 
✔️ Strategies for the human side of fearful/reactive dogs 
✔️ Changing minds on training methods.

The Australian line up is just as impressive. You will be spoilt for choice for the workshops on the Friday:

Alexis Davis is presenting her Un-chase Workshop, helping to set clients up for success, teach key alternate behaviours, build calmness, and change chase triggers to cues. 

Ian Shivers' workshop is all about incorporating enrichment in your training plan. 

Noeline Cassettari's miniature horse, Rose, now holds a Guinness World Records for "the most tricks performed by a horse in one minute

Or did you want to train a different species? Then Trick Training with a donkey and a miniature horse with Noeline Cassettari might be your choice. 

Wanting to improve your training techniques? Then choose Laura Ryder’s workshop Mission Precision, the Clicker Games Tournament with Jari Castle, or the Mechanical Skills workshop with Jade Fountain

Hoopers Agility Training - Photo Credit: Let's Go Fido 

Or are you planning on having a bit more fun? Then Hoopers for Inner City Trainers with Louise Newman and Shelley Aukett might be your thing.

During the conference Dr Eduardo Fernandez will introduce LIFE (Least Inhibitive, Functionally Effective approach to animal training methods) the new best practice model for teaching and training. 

The pain of losing an animal can be overwhelming. Debra Milikan will talk about grief which comes in many forms and as do grievers. 

Alex Matsoukas will help you drum up more business with her talk on SEO and website analytics and Jari Castle will explain how to run seminars for reactive dog owners.

For the full Conference schedule, visit

What: Pet Professional Guild of Australia 2024 Conference: Learn, Grow, Influence

When: Friday 14th June to Sunday 16th June 2024

Where: St Ives Showgrounds & Rydges World Square, Sydney.

Registrations will open shortly at

About PPGA

The Pet Professional Guild Australia (PPGA) is a membership organisation representing pet industry professionals who are committed to science-based, force-free training and pet care. We are an official branch of the Pet Professional Guild, a worldwide organisation committed to advocating, educating and encouraging improvements in companion animal welfare through the use of fear free techniques.

Currently we have over 400 professional members, many of these professional trainers in the animal industry, mostly with companion animals such as dogs, cats, horses, birds and pocket pets. Our PPGA members include some of most well renowned veterinary behaviourists and trainers, many of which have worked with rescues and councils in the past and have a wealth of knowledge in behavioural modification. The PPGA also offers a free membership to pet owners (1,050 pet owner members currently).

The PPGA members and affiliates focus on a pet’s physical, mental, environmental and nutritional well-being, a holistic approach to the care and training of family pets. 

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