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September 2020:
Issue 57

Special Geek Week Update #1 - Virtual Platform and Full Schedule Are Now Live

The full schedule for Geek Week, taking place online on November 11-15, 2020, has been released, complete with session titles. You can also check out the Virtual Platform where the event is being hosted and get to know your way around. You can also read the session descriptions in full and find out more about your presenters.

Special Geek Week Update #2 - Payment Plans Now Available!

You can now pay for Geek Week in four separate installments. Just email Sharon Nettles or Rebekah King to let them know and they will set it up for you.

Special Geek Week Update #3 - Win a Free Ticket

Enter our Writers' Competition: Animals Can Be Geeks Too!

You’ve studied with the best in the field, you’ve read all the books, attended all the conferences and workshops, done all the webinars and more… But what’s the one thing your pet – or any other animal you have ever worked with – has taught you? Something that you couldn’t possibly have learned without them and that has helped you become even better at your chosen profession?

We want to hear your stories about these amazing animals! Winning and selected entries will be published on the BARKS Blog and/or in BARKS from the Guild.

The author of the winning entry will win a FREE ticket to Geek Week 2020!

Submit your article here.

Deadline for entries: September 30, 2020 / Winner announced: October 7, 2020.

To find out more about opportunities to win a free ticket to Geek Week, click here.

Special Geek Week Update #4 - Early Bird Discount

Early Bird opportunities expire September 30 – Register Today!

Early Bird Registration: Member* $200 / Public $380

Regular Registration: (post September 30, 2020): Member* $220 / Public $440

Special Geek Week Update #5 - Get Your Geek Week Gear

Check out the PPG Store for your Geek Week apparel, including (left to right) the Geek Week Unisex Heavy Blend™ Crewneck Sweatshirt, the Geek Week Unisex Heavy Cotton T-shirt, the Geek Week Women's Long Sleeve Performance V-neck T-shirt, and the Geek Week Women's Polo Shirt.

Special Geek Week Update #6 - Geek Podcast

What's it all about? Listen to Niki Tudge and Denise O'Moore, chair of INTO Dogs, discuss PPG's virtual November event in this BARKS podcast.

Geek Week In A Nutshell

  • 134 Sessions delivered by 85 presenters - education at less than $1.55 per hour.
  • 5 day event - 24 hours a day to suit all time zones.
  • Live Q&A sessions.
  • Daily competitions, fun sessions and sponsor spotlights, virtual exhibitor booths, virtual swag bags, competitions, prizes, networking, geek apparel and more...
  • Access to session recordings for 12 months.
  • CEUs: PPAB 36, PPGA 24, INTODogs 30, KPA 36,CCPDT 30, IAABC 36.

    *Members of APDT Australia, Canine Arthritis Management, INTODogs, PPG Australia, PPG British Isles and PPG – discount codes are available on your respective websites

Register for Geek Week Today!

New! Facebook Live Sessions

Would you like to join PPG President Niki Tudge and other PPG members to discuss important educational topics on Facebook?

Simply complete this short form to get it scheduled and share your knowledge and experience.

The link is also available in the PPG member area of the website.


Cat Committee Releases News Feline Behavior Handout

© Can Stock Photo / vetdoctor

Cats keeping their people awake at night, whether by zooming around the house, chasing or playing with a toy, interacting with other cats in the home, or “talking”/vocalizing (usually loudly) will be a familiar concept to many a cat guardian.

To address this issue, the PPG Cat Committee has released a new client handout, Quick Cat Behavior Tips: Nighttime Wakefulness. Read it online here. You can also print/download a PDF version directly from the website.

Return of the Cat Lounge

After a summer hiatus, the Cat Lounge is back! The Call-In Lounge takes place on a web-based platform once a month, in the middle of the month (whichever week includes the 15th and usually on a Wednesday or Thursday).

Timings will alternate between late afternoons and evenings at around 8 p.m. (ET) and topics will include specific topics chosen by the group, case studies, and open discussions. The Lounges are open to all PPG members. Please check the PPG All About Cats Facebook group for further details.

September BARKS Is Out


The September issue of BARKS from the Guild is now available. Click here for immediate access if you are already a subscriber. If you have not yet subscribed, sign up today for your free lifetime digital subscription and instant access to the current issue as well as all back issues.

In this issue's cover feature, Dr. Liz Bales explains why the behavioral, social, and environmental needs of our pet cats are often not being met and the simple steps cat guardians can take to alleviate their cats’ stress levels to ensure improved physical, mental and emotional well-being – as well as how dog trainers can help.

Other articles include:
  • Feline: Multifaceted treatment suggestions for solving toileting issues in multicat households
  • Behavior: The importance of ethograms
  • Training: The effect of a handler’s behavior on a dog’s learning / Preventing resource guarding in puppies
  • Canine: Adapting life for a 5-month-old pit bull pup with joint issues / Setting up a calm, positive environment for a new puppy
  • Phoenix Writers' Competition: Enrichment options to alleviate stress in the shelter / Teaching an abandoned German shepherd puppy social skills / Finding inspiration in the saddest of experiences / Training shelter dogs at a facility for mentally ill youths
  • Consulting: During and post-pandemic creative and intuitive in the way we engage with our animals
  • Business: Flexibility in times of uncertainty
  • Equine: Rethinking dominance
  • Advocacy: Examining elements of animal cruelty syndrome
Subscribe to BARKS

If you have not already registered for your free lifetime digital subscription to BARKS, you can do so here.

Sign up today to get exclusive sneak previews of upcoming editions, download PDFs of individual articles, read all back issues from 2014-2020 inclusive, or order a print-on-demand copy.

Already subscribed? Enter your BARKS Membership Zone here to access absolutely everything, including special subscriber offers from BARKS partners. 


BARKS from the Guild, PPG’s bimonthly official trade publication, is looking for new writers to contribute on both a regular and an ad hoc basis.

BARKS is all about pet professionals sharing their individual knowledge and experience with others as we work to grow the force-free community and spread the message.

BARKS’ online audience is comprised tens of thousands of pet professionals and pet guardians all over the world; being featured in BARKS is great for your business, for your fellow pet professionals, and for the clients and pets we serve!

Please read the BARKS FAQs page for more information on submitting articles or contact the editor for further details.

Don’t Forget the
Pet Professional Accreditation Board (PPAB) Application Fee Waiver        

Effective April 1 - December 31, 2020, PPAB is waiving many of its application and submission fees for PPG members. Apply today and save:

  • Canine Training Technician – All fees waived. Save $90
  • Professional Canine Trainer – All fees waived. Save $90
  • Professional Canine Behavior Consultant – All fees waived except the proctored online examination. Save $115

 If you hold an existing credential and are thinking twice about renewing, now is the time to transfer it! Save the application fee of $50 and all other submission fees until December 31, 2020.

PPG Names July Project Trade Ambassador


Congratulations to Emily Blythe of Homeward Bound Animal Behavior & Training, LLC in Wisconsin, USA for trading one choke chain (above left) and who has been named Project Trade Ambassador for July 2020. Congratulations too to Daniel Antolec of Happy Buddha Dog Training in Wisconsin, USA for trading one shock collar (above right).

Project Trade is PPG's advocacy program whereby members offer service discounts in exchange for aversive training gear.

Find out how Project Trade can help your business in Helping Dogs, Helping Families.

BARKS Podcasts are now available on Anchor, from where you can select your preferred app to listen any time or download. Make sure you follow BARKS Podcasts on whichever app you choose so you can stay updated with new releases.

Latest Podcasts:

Join Niki Tudge as she chats to:

September 9, 2020: Veronica Sanchez of Cooperative Paws Service Dog Education discussing the service dog industry, public access dogs, and the concept of at-home service dogs, as well as her new program, Mobility Task Training How-To’s.

September 4, 2020: Laurie C. Williams of Pup ‘N Iron Canine Fitness and Learning Center discussing diversity and inclusivity in dog training.

August 26, 2020: Judy Luther, PPG Canine Committee chair, exploring the great programs her committee is working on, such as Project Trade, standard training procedures for boundary training, and more.

Upcoming Live Webinars

Friday, October 2 - 1 p.m. EDT: Stressed Out: Dogs, Hormones, and Stress. Presented by Dr. Jessica Hekman.

Monday, October 12 - 2 p.m. EDT: The Role of Habit in Behavior. Presented by Dr. Kristina Spaulding.

Available on Demand Webinars

Help and Insights on Managing Clients Dealing with Aggression. Presented by Chirag Patel

Dog Bite Liability: Risk Management and Insurance for Pet Service Professionals. Presented by David Pearsall

Sufferin’ Succotash! Why is My Cat Aggressive? Presented by Dr. Lynn Honeckman

Getting Serious about Dog Bite Research: What We Know and What We Don’t That Could Make a Difference. Presented by Janis Bradley

PPG is offering the following
selected webinars at a discount this month - each webinar is just $15:

How to Conduct a Successful Pet Loss Support Group - Coleen Ellis

The ABC’s of Animal Training and Behavior – Dr. Eduardo Fernandez

Defensive Aggressive Behaviour - Claudia Estanislau

Just Get ’Em Out? Investigating the Effects of Sleepover and Field Trip Programs on the Welfare of Shelter Dogs - Dr. Lisa Gunter

Genetic Testing Your Dog: Can you trust those health and breed results? - Dr. Jessica Hekman

The PPG Archive holds over 3,500 articles, blogs and videos. Here's a selection of what's been added this month:

Man's other best friend: domestic cats (F. silvestris catus) and their discrimination of human emotion cues - Moriah Galvan, Jennifer Vonk

Behavioral predictors of subsequent respiratory illness signs in dogs admitted to an animal shelter - Alexandra Protopopova, Nathaniel J. Hall, Kelsea M. Brown, Allison S. Andrukonis, Jessica P. Hekman

Harlow’s Monkey Experiment – The Bond between Babies and Mothers- Psychology Notes HQ

The rat could become man's newest best friend - Adam Wernick

Building your veterinary practice color palette - Heather E. Lewis

Dogs do not bite “out of the blue” – Yaletown Dog Training

Fear-Free: What you see is not what the cat or dog gets – Heather E. Lewis

Why Aren’t Dogs Bothered More By Masks? - Patricia McConnell

Why It Is Important to Understand Animal Behavior - Joy Mench

Odour-Evoked Memory in Dogs: Do Odours Help to Retrieve Memories of Food Location? - Angelo Quaranta, Serenella d’Ingeo and Marcello Siniscalchi

Behavioral and Psychological Characteristics of Canine Victims of Abuse- Franklin McMillan, Deborah L Duffy, Stephen L Zawistowski, James A Serpell

Active and social life is associated with lower non-social fearfulness in pet dogs - Emma Hakanen, Salla Mikkola, Milla Salonen, Jenni Puurunen, Sini Sulkama, César Araujo & Hannes Lohi

What Is Learned Helplessness and Why Does it Happen? - Kendra Cherry

A world of hurts—is pain special? - Franklin D. McMillan

Learning More About the Canine Victims of Animal Abuse – Zazie Todd

Failure to Escape Traumatic Shock - Martin E. P. Seligman and Steven F. Maier

Cats (Felis silvestris catus) read human gaze for referential information- Péter Pongrácz, Julianna Szulamit, Szapu Tamás Faragó

Alleviation of Learned Helplessness in the Dogs - M.E.P.Seligman, S.F.Maier, J.Geer

Havoc is Africa’s first pangolin-detection dog - Anita Froneman

This Music Calms Cats the Best, Study Finds – Melissa Breyer

Cats and dogs: Best friends or deadly enemies? What the owners of cats and dogs living in the same household think about their relationship with people and other pets - Laura Menchetti, Silvia Calipari, Chiara Mariti, Angelo Gazzano, Silvana Diverio

Emotion Recognition in Cats - Angelo Quaranta, Serenella d’Ingeo, Rosaria Amoruso and Marcello Siniscalchi

Adopter-dog interactions at the shelter: Behavioral and contextual predictors of adoption - Alexandra Protopopova, Clive David Lawrence Wynne

Domestic cats (Felis catus) discriminate their names from other words- Atsuko Saito, Kazutaka Shinozuka, Yuki Ito & Toshikazu Hasegawa

See the full PPG Archive.

New this month!

Getting Exercise Just Right! - Robyn Lowe

Celebrating National Dog Day 2020 - Bella / Animal Courses Direct

Phoenix Blog Competition: Understanding Behavior - Kimm Hunt

Phoenix Blog Competition: Traumatized Dog - Rhonda York

Phoenix Blog Competition: Choices Matter - Maria Zarate

The Importance of Ethograms - Dr. Sheryl L. Walker

Preventing Resource Guarding in Dogs - Daniel Antolec

Raising a Puppy – Sally Bradbury

Practice Makes Perfect - Joanna Moritz

How to Be More in Tune with Your Dog - Anna Bradley


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