Conference sessions focus on canine behavior

Getting to the Goal logo
Have you dealt with shy, fearful, aggressive, or reactive dogs? Has it affected their adoptability, resulting in returns or worse?  Three sessions at Michigan Pet Fund Alliance's Getting to the Goal Conference will focus on canine behavior, presented by Jane Wolff and Kate Wilson of Cascades Humane Society and Katelin Thomas of K9 Turbo Training.

The canine-focused sessions are:

Improving Potential for Successful Adoptions - Understanding Canine Body Language The more your staff, volunteers and fosters know about how to read and interpret dog body language, the more effective they can be in helping a dog overcome a behavior issue. This two-hour session focuses on learning to recognize and interpret negotiation signals; calming and cut off signals; the language of play; predation and prey drive; conflict and escalating signals; and stress, fear and anxiety.  Kate Wilson and Jane Wolff

Humane Behavioral and Handling Tips for Shy and Fearful Dogs   When faced with apprehending a fearful or fear aggressive dog, it is often human nature or habit to react with a brute physical force. Often the result is the dog struggling or fighting back, which can result in harm to both the dog and handler. Most dogs do not want a struggle or even a conflict. This session will focus on the use of your best skills and attitudes, along with new tools and techniques. Learn a variety of tools and techniques for catching dogs by hand in a safe, humane, and efficient manner; compassionate physical restraint including scruff, lateral restraint, leash muzzle wrap and hobbles without adding energy to any struggle; recognize how you, the handler, is raising or lowering the tension of the dog and the situation; and explore how to create a calm conscious manner to minimize the energy of conflict, even with very uncooperative dogs. Kate Wilson, Jane Wolff, Katelin Thomas

Improving Potential for Successful Adoptions - Understanding Aggression & Reactivity   When a dog responds in an abnormal way or overreacts to a certain stimulus (known as a 'trigger'), we sometimes refer to them as being reactive. Some common behaviors that you may see in a dog displaying reactivity include barking (or other vocalizations such as whining), growling, or lunging. Reactivity can develop for various reasons but generally stems from fear, frustration, or aggression. This two-hour session discusses the basics of reactivity and aggression in dogs, what it is and how to safely and effectively modify it. The session will specifically focus on assisting shelters and the rescue community in making dogs more adoptable and training these dogs in a way that increases adoptability and reliability.   Kate Wilson and Jane Wolff

Meet the presenters:

Katelin Thomas
Katelin Thomas
Katelin Thomas
Katelin Thomas is the owner of K9 Turbo Training, a company based in Metro Detroit that assists owners, rescues, and shelters with their more "difficult" dogs.  Katelin offers in-home behavior modification and training for owned animals, as well as volunteer and staff training to rescues and shelters in order to ensure that adoptable dogs get only the best and most up-to-date training available.
Katelin is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants as well as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.  Katelin shares her  home with her lab/shepherd, Turbo, and bully breed mix, Denver.

Kate Wilson
Kate Wilson
Kate Wilson 

Kate Wilson has a BS from Michigan State University that is focused on applied animal behavior and neurobiology. She has had a lifelong passion of observing and studying animal behavior. Kate is the trainer at the Creature Conservancy, where she works to improve the lives of exotic animals and provide less stressful vetting and handling. Kate is also the trainer at Cascades Humane Society, where she works to train the dogs that come to the shelter and provide enrichment for them. Previously, she worked as an educator in math and zoology and traveled around the world, observing animals in their natural environments.

Jane Wolff
Jane Wolff
Jane Wolff

Jane Wolff's background is in Sociology from the University of Michigan.  She has had dogs all of her life and started educating herself and working with them professionally about three years ago.  She was a volunteer at Cascades Humane Society doing training and enrichment and is now on staff in Animal Care.  She became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer spring 2016 and is enrolled in the Academy for Dog Trainers.  Her focus and what pushed her into training is rescue and working with dogs and people in need.

Michigan Pet Fund Alliance's 2016 No Kill conference, 
will be held September 15-16 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre Flint - Grand Blanc.

View all sessions here

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Exhibitor information is here.

Sponsorship information is here

We have already had requests for scholarships but the scholarship fund is dry! 
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Can you help by making a tax-deductible donation to the conference scholarship fund

More Questions?   Contact or 877-387-7257.

MPFA board member featured in TNR podcast

Community Cats Podcast
The group Community Cats Podcast has just released a podcast featuring MPFA board member and former Barry County Animal Control director Dr. Diana Newman. Listen to the interview here

Dr. Diana Newman
Dr. Diana Newman
Dr. Newman's success in implementing a TNR program and getting grant funding for it was part of the reason that Barry County Animal Shelter drastically improved their shelter save rate, for which they received the  Most Improved Open Admission Shelter for 2013.

Dr. Newman believes that TNR can be implemented statewide. She will be one of the speakers at the 2016 Getting to the Goal conference in the session Million Cat Challenge: Return to Field.
About Michigan Pet Fund Alliance 
The single mission of the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is to stop the killing of healthy and treatable homeless cats and dogs in Michigan shelters. 
MPFA is an all-volunteer organization collaborating with shelter and rescue organizations to achieve No Kill through training, technical  assistance,
 education and advocacy.
For more information: 
877-FUR-PALS  (877-387-7257)
The Michigan Pet Fund Alliance is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization as defined by the IRS and is a Guidestar Exchange Gold Participant.
 Contributions are tax deductible. 
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