As a dog trainer, you’re used to working solo. But you don’t have to navigate this industry alone. You can connect with other dog trainers, learn from industry experts, and earn points toward a dog training certification by attending a dog trainer conference.
Keep reading. We compiled a list of the top dog trainer conferences in 2023.
Which Dog Trainer Conferences Should I Attend in 2023?
There are dozens of conferences for dog trainers annually, each focusing on a different specialty or topic. You might choose to go to a conference because the keynote speaker is a dog behaviorist or one that gives credit towards an IAABC certification. Either way, these conferences are informative and convenient.
Usually, you can earn continuing education credits (CEUs) towards your dog training certification by attending a conference. And most conferences let you rewatch the presentations if you can’t attend in person. But only a few allow you to bring your own pets (bummer!)
Here are nine popular dog training conferences to attend in 2023.
#1 ADPT’s 2023 US Conference
The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (ADPT) has hosted this prestigious annual conference for the past 30 years.
If you attend, you’ll hear from 20 dog training experts, including keynote speakers Andre Yeu and Dr. Simon Gadbois. There will also be workshops and a demo area to watch pros show off training methods in person.
You can earn up to 30 CEUs (from IAABC, CCPDT, and others) by attending the ADPT conference.
Dates: October 18- October 2023
Cost: Non-members pay $345 – $545 (early bird) or $405 – $605 (regular). Members, students, veterans, and shelter volunteers have special rates.
Location: Covington, Kentucky
#2 The Dog Behavior Conference 2023
Victoria Stilwell organizes the annual Dog Behaviour Conference. Dog professionals and dog lovers alike will learn about animal behavior and training techniques from experts and thought leaders. It’s a must-see for an aspiring dog behaviorist.
The conference aims to teach trainers how to make a positive change in a dog’s life. The 2023 speakers will cover a wide range of topics, including:
- Coping methods for overwhelmed dogs
- The pandemic’s impact on dogs and caregivers
- Emotional safety in dog training
- Rethinking dog patterns and habits
- Managing hyperactivity and aggression
- The science of aggression in dogs
- Dog training concepts for families
- Canine first aid, and much more!
Attendees can earn 18-20 CEUs from IAABC, CCPDT, PPAB, and VSA.
Dates: April 21- April 23rd
#3 2023 IACP Annual Educational Conference
The International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) hosts an annual conference for dog trainers. The four-day conference features a mix of dog business , lifestyle, science, and behavior speakers and concludes with a gala dinner and award show.
It’s too soon to tell who’ll speak at the 2023 conference, but last year’s conference featured over 20+ speakers.
The IACP started in the US and has expanded to other countries. They offer certificate programs, promote high standards in trainers and provide members with resources to advance their careers. The IACP also hosts a European version of this conference.
Dates: September 24 – September 28th
Cost: TBD (The 2022 conference was $650 to attend.)
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
#4 Dogs and The City
This conference, hosted by Educanine, will focus on the challenges of city life for dogs and unique methods to resolve these issues. You’ll hear from dog training experts, including
- Michael Shikashio will discuss techniques to navigate dog reactivity in the hustle and bustle of the city.
- Kim Brophey will provide insight into why city life is tough on dogs and provide tips to make it easier.
- Dr. Laura Donaldson will teach methods to relieve an anxious dog living in the city.
Dates: September 22 – September 24th
Cost: $445 before July 1st or $565 after July 1st
Location: Toronto, Ontario
#5 International Working Dog Conference
The International Working Dog Association (IWDS) organized this conference for industry professionals that train detection, military, guide, and service dogs.
You’ll learn about scientific advancements and best practices in the working dog space, including:
- Health care and management
- Performance and temperament assessments
There will also be a breeders workshop that can be attended for an additional $400. IWDS members get a 10% discount on the conference.
Dates: October 16 – October 18th
Cost: $500 (early bird) or $650 (regular)
Location: Colorado State University
#6 Aggression in Dogs Conference
This event, hosted by Aggressive Dog, brings together 12 of the world’s leading experts on training aggressive dogs, including Sindhoor Pangal, Dr. Tim Lewis, and Aggressive Dog founder Michael Shikashio.
The fourth annual conference will provide the training community with relevant research and methods to aid aggressive dogs. You’ll get to network with other dog trainers, hear valuable presentations and even attend a cocktail party.
Continuing Education Credits will be available for both the in-person and livestream events, but the number of CEUs is still pending.
Dates: Sper 29 – Oct 1, 2023
Cost: $545 (in person) or $149 (virtual)
Location: Chicago, Illinois or Virtual
#7 Canine Science Symposium
The Canine Science Symposium is a research and science-intensive event for dog trainers and animal behavior enthusiasts. You can learn from top researchers about:
- The dynamic between wolves, pets, and free-ranging dogs
- Dog sheltering
- Dog moods, motivation and learning
- Prong and shock collars
- Building trust with dogs, and much more!
Grad students also have an opportunity to participate and showcase their work at the symposium through the emerging scientist sessions.
You may be able to earn CEUs for attending this conference, but the amount is still pending.
Dates: May 20th – May 21
Cost: $119 – $469
Location: San Francisco State University or Virtual
#8 Modern and Ethical Training (MET) Conference
The MET is an international virtual dog training conference. For the past three years, dog trainers from around the world have come together to share their expertise. Over two days, you get professional advice from six or more expert trainers. Past speakers include Michael Shikashio and Jean Donaldson.
Dog trainers can earn up to 18.5 CEUs towards CCPDT and IAABC certifications by attending this event.
Dates: March 4th – March 5th
Cost: Unknown – The 2022 conference cost of attendance was $128.
#9 Clicker Expo 2023
The ClickerExpo, hosted by the Karen Pryor Academy, explores fundamental principles and best practices in the dog training space. With a mix of courses, demos, presentation sessions, panels, and informal Q&As with some of your favorite trainers, you’re sure to have an invaluable experience.
The best part is that you can bring your dog!
By attending this event, you can earn up to 30 CEUs from CCPDT, IAABC, Karen Pryor Academy, and AAVSB.
Dates: March 17 – March 19
Cost: $649 early bird or $699 regular
Location: Washington, DC
Dog trainer conferences offer a wealth of information and opportunities to grow your business. You get to learn from the best while making connections with your peers. Who knows? You might be a keynote speaker one day. At the very least, you’ll learn new techniques to help your clients.
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