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2020 National Dog Behaviour Conference

Victoria Stilwell Positively

Saturday, 9 May 2020 at 09:00 - Sunday, 10 May 2020 at 17:00 (BST)

2020 National Dog Behaviour Conference

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Dog Behaviour Conference Registration   more info 8 May 2020 £225.00 £0.00

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Event Details

The seventh annual National Dog Behaviour Conference will be held on May 9-10, 2020 in Coventry, England.


This unique two-day event has become the UK’s preeminent dog training and behaviour-related conference, featuring a world-class lineup of presenters, a breadth of unique topics and concepts covered which is unmatched in the industry, and a commitment to providing education and inspiration for all attendees. For the seventh straight year, renowned TV dog behaviour expert Victoria Stilwell is bringing together many of the world’s top canine behaviour experts, university scholars, specialists and thought leaders to explore topical animal-related concepts, the social and behavioural issue of dog bite prevention, innovative approaches to understanding and communicating with our domestic dogs and more.


The Dog Behaviour Conference (DBC) is unique among dog industry events in terms of the quality and scope of its presentations, while also fostering and celebrating an inspirational sense of community among like-minded dog owners, trainers, wardens, veterinary professionals, organizational leaders, groomers, responsible breeders, walkers and general animal lovers. This conference is open to everyone including dog lovers, dog trainers, groomers, pet sitters and dog walkers, animal shelter workers and other animal care professionals, as well as dog wardens, law enforcement, educators, veterinarians and legal and medical professionals.


Spaces are limited, and this event has sold out for the past five years, so don't delay in registering for the conference now to ensure you have a seat at this industry-leading annual event!


2020 DBC Conference Speakers & Presentations*:

  • Victoria Stilwell, Dog behaviour expert, creator of It’s Me or the Dog, founder of VSPDT and the Victoria Stilwell Academy
  • Kay Laurence, Dog trainer and designer of training systems
  • Sarah FisherT-touch practitioner and behaviour counselor
  • Sarah Heath, Renowned veterinary behaviourist
  • Holly Root-Gutteridge, Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Sussex
  • J. Nichole Smith,  Founder of Working With Dog, pet business marketing and branding expert

Essential Coping Strategies for Every Dog  (Victoria Stilwell)

The vast majority of existing dog training strategies which relate to canine fear and anxiety are designed to help ‘fearful’ dogs, but all dogs encounter a crisis of confidence at some point in their lives. For example, a breeding dog rescued from a puppy mill will likely have specific challenges to overcome, especially when compared to a dog that has been raised with a family. But every single companion and working dog will face situations that test their resilience. How a dog copes with these life challenges and how their families interact with them, will determine everyone’s future success. Victoria will reveal a set of new essential dog training protocols which can be specifically adapted for all dogs regardless of their level of anxiety or fear. From the confident canine to the most fearful pup, every dog requires some level of support at some point in their life, and these protocols can be utilized to help all dogs successfully negotiate any challenge that lies in their path.


Become an ACE Dog Detective: How to hone your observation skills and deepen your understanding of the only dog experts that exist  (Sarah Fisher)

Sarah will be sharing tips and techniques to enable you to add more layers to your existing skills. Topics in this presentation will include:

  • ACE Free Work; watch more, ‘do’ less
  • Are our interactions triggering the behaviours we wish to modify or change?
  • The link between posture and behaviour
  • Nervous system responses
  • How to establish a body contact contract


Emotional arousal – its influence on onset, maintenance and resolution of problematic behaviour  (Sarah Heath)

In this presentation Sarah will explore the subject of emotional arousal and its influence on behaviour. Is high arousal a good or a bad thing? Is a high level of positive emotional motivation always beneficial? How does arousal influence the ability to learn and what are the implications for behavioural modification programmes? These questions and others will be explored using a combination of behavioural theory and clinical cases.


Sounds, Sights, Sniffs, and Science: A researcher’s perspective on dog behaviour and cognition  (Holly Root-Gutteridge)

In this overview of modern dog science Holly shares her unique view about what science can tell us about how dogs think including:

  • Science behind training methods
  • Understanding dogs’ perception of sound and speech
  • Using brain scans to understand dog cognition
  • Future research discussions


Find Your Magic: Discover how to leverage your unique skills & resources to change more dogs' lives positively  (J. Nichole Smith)

In this dynamic workshop Nic will take you into the wilds of your own mind: first to explore and then to leverage your unique skills, resources and personal experiences in order to increase your overall impact on behalf of dogs. As she walks you through her signature 'why mapping' exercise, you'll discover what truly drives you (you might be surprised what you find), and how you are uniquely positioned to leverage your wonderful weirdness to build a more profitable, sustainable pet business, and/or a more powerful platform to change dogs' lives positively. 


Skills of a Trainer: Understanding and Application  (Kay Laurence)

There is a science and technology that underlies how we teach, both people and dogs. Understanding the science and being able to apply the technology are critical to successful progress. We identify the skills, isolate the individual skills, practice to build fluency, integrate with other skills and develop our competency. By travelling through this skills building process again and again we become more adept at teaching others in the same skills. This presentation will look at the skills that lead to clear communication through luring and cue technology.



Hotel Info:

The Conference is held at the Doubletree by Hilton Coventry (Paradise Way, Walsgrave Triangle, Coventry, CV2 2ST).

Official room blocks are sold out but regularly priced rooms are available on a limited basis. Contact the hotel to inquire about availability.  

Off-Site Hotel Recommendations:

Many attendees stay in other nearby hotels including:

  • Premier Inn Coventry East M6 J2 (rates approx £50/night) - website
  • Holiday Inn Coventry M6 Jct2 (rates approx £100/night) - website


Conference Details:

  • Free parking is available for conference delegates only at the venue in the hotel car park.
  • Hot lunches, refreshments and tea/coffee are provided with registration.
  • Dogs are welcome in the conference hotel but are not permitted in the actual conference room during presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q:  Can I attend just one of the two DBC days?
Due to space and registration limitations, attendees are not able to register for only one day of the conference. All registrations are for the the full, two-day conference.

Q:  Is lunch included?
Yes! Refreshments and lunches are included in the cost of registration.

Q:  Is there free parking?
Yes. Complimentary parking is available in the conference hotel car park.

Q:  What time does the conference begin and end each day?
Saturday will begin at 9am (registration and check in open at 8am) and end at 6pm. Sunday will begin at 9am and end at 5pm. All times are subject to change.

Q:  Are there discounts for group or rescue organisations?
Costs for the conference are already underwritten and further discounts are unfortunately not available. Discounted ‘early bird’ rates are available for those purchasing tickets before Jan 1, 2019.

Q:  What is the refund policy?
Refunds are available up to 30 days before the event, after which refunds will only be granted upon request if there is a waitlist for the conference.

Q:  Is VAT included in the ticket price?
No VAT is collected on the ticket purchases, as the organising entity is a US company with no VAT exposure. Therefore, VAT receipts are not available for delegates.

Q:  My ticket was bought for me by someone else. Does my name need to be on the ticket?
Yes. The ticket registration process requires the purchaser to list each attendee by name, however if this changes or for some reason there is a different name on your ticket from the person who will be attending, please contact us at and let us know the names of each attendee that will be attending with each ticket.

Q:  Do I need to bring my printed ticket with me to the conference?
Yes. Please bring the ticket that was automatically sent to you when you registered.


Testimonials from Attendees of previous Dog Behaviour Conferences:

Pretty overwhelmed with your fantastic line-up.


A brilliant conference. I brought so much away with me; expanding personal knowledge, practical things that I can implement on a day to day basis and ideas for areas in which I can improve my own dog training business.


It was my first Dog Bite conference and loved it. Came away a lot more knowledgeable with links to useful sources of information. The conference is sharing a great message and the more we can spread the word to help prevent children getting bitten, the better.


This was my first attendance and I thought it was brilliant, I will certainly encourage people to attend, this information needs to be filtered through to pet owners not just dog trainers.


As a veterinary nurse I have a very basic knowledge of dog behaviour but after this weekend I have really seen how behavior is an essential part of caring for dogs with in the veterinary practice. I will 100% be looking into ways of getting the information out to clients, especially regarding children and dogs. I learnt something from every speaker and overall thought the conference was amazing. Can't wait for next year!


I came away from it totally motivated and to put into practice what knowledge I had gained. It was a lot to take in but hopefully the notes I wrote down will make sense to me.


The conference gave me so much information to think about. I've been to lots of conferences for Veterinary nursing but never have I come out and thought Wow!


Truly inspiring and informative


I felt everyone was very welcoming and open, it is a great group to "feel a part of". Very well run. Thank you to the whole team.


A Great experience, the speakers were incredible informative but also meeting all the other attendees taught me a lot about all sides of the dog world.


Just starting out in the dog world having been a People trainer for the last 20 years. For me this conference was invaluable. It has opened my eyes up to so many things and my head hasn't stopped spinning yet. Thank you for such an amazing experience.


The speakers were excellent and entertaining when appropriate. As always I learnt something new and became inspired to want to do more.




Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, thank you so much for bringing it all together. Fabulous range of excellent speakers. Learned a great deal and has given me lots to consider and reflect upon. Was not sure how relevant this was going to be to me, but am so glad I attended and will help to make sure that Pets As Therapy staff & volunteers get to attend next year.


The conference was great, really motivational and informative. It has a great mix of speakers and had a lot of practical knowledge and help


The conference was brilliant I have learn so much and I feel that what I have learn will make me a better person in my job. Thank you again for running a brilliant conference and I will be at next year's conference.


An inspirational 2 days of lectures, great to see so many people working hard to change the lives of both dogs and people.


The DBC is an excellent opportunity to network. I attended initially as an interested party (being on my second people-reactive dog) and out of my networking, I have ended up enrolled on a canine behaviour and training degree programme, planning a future in canine welfare. I love the mix of academic and practical that the conference provides and think it found the 'just right' balance of the two.

Do you have questions about 2020 National Dog Behaviour Conference? Contact Victoria Stilwell Positively

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When & Where

DoubleTree by Hilton Coventry
Paradise Way
Walsgrave Triangle
CV2 2ST Coventry
United Kingdom

Saturday, 9 May 2020 at 09:00 - Sunday, 10 May 2020 at 17:00 (BST)

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