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The Pet Professional Guild provides for its members lots of educational opportunities. Each month we offer our members one FREE 
webinar and as we expand we will grow our member webinar services.  The Guild also offer a selection of education courses 
through third party providers. If you would like to host a webinar with PPGBI then please complete this short form 


Upcoming events

    • Friday, June 05, 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (UTC+01:00)
    • Live Webinar
    Register


    CEUs: PPAB 1, CCPDT (pending), IAABC (pending), KPA (pending)

    So you have a shy dog - one who's easily frightened of strange people or places, or maybe even one who sits at home IMAGINING what horrible thing might happen next. Is this because of genetics? Or did you mess up somehow? In this webinar, Jessica will talk about the biology behind anxiety: the roles of genetics, early environment (as early as in mum's uterus!), and socialisation.

    Spoiler alert: you didn't mess up. But this webinar will help you understand better where your dog is coming from and help you think through the many different puzzle pieces that made her who she is. Jessica will also provide concrete suggestions for breeders, puppy buyers, and working dog trainers to help minimise the chances of producing or buying anxious dogs.

    Learning Objectives:

    • List the different methods by which parents pass information on to their offspring, which might make offspring more or less anxious

    • Discuss the importance of mild stress, but not trauma, in early life

    • Explain how genetics and early life experiences can interact to result in adult anxiety

    • Describe the pre-fear period in puppies and explain its relevance to adult anxiety

    • List some negative effects of stress in terms of health and well-being

    About The Presenter


    Dr. Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD


    Jessica is a veterinary researcher who is fascinated by dog behavior. After eleven years working as a computer programmer, she decided to go back to school to research the causes of behavior problems in dogs. She received her veterinary degree in 2012 from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, where she also received a Master's degree for her work on stress behaviors in hospitalized dogs. After graduation, she completed a year-long internship specializing in shelter medicine at the University of Florida Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program. She received her PhD in genetics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying a group of foxes (often known as the "Siberian silver foxes") which have been bred over many generations to be friendly to humans. She is currently working at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a postdoctoral associate, studying the genetics of behavior in pet dogs through the Darwin's Ark project and the Working Dogs Project. Her ultimate goal is to find genetic causes of fearfulness in dogs, to work with behaviorally challenged shelter dogs, and to help people better understand the science behind dog behavior. She also frequently teaches online classes and webinars about canine genetics and behavior. Jessica lives in Raymond, NH with her husband and three dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @dogzombieblog or on Facebook at facebook.com/dogzombieblog.



    • Wednesday, July 01, 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM (UTC+01:00)
    • Live Webinar
    Register


    CEUs: PPAB 1.5, CCPDT (pending), IAABC (pending), KPA (pending)



    Registered for the live event, get busy and cannot make it?

    Don't worry, you will automatically receive a recording!


    Ferster and Skinner’s (1957) Schedules of Reinforcement was a landmark book, introducing the scientific community to the different schedules and their effects on behaviour. Since that time, the various schedules of reinforcement have been used in thousands of basic and applied research studies to examine issues as widely diverse as work performance, drug use, and legislative bill passing. While the importance of these consequential schedules on all behaviour is unmistakable, how they relate to our day-to-day lives is not always clear.

    This webinar focuses on some of the core principles involved in schedules of reinforcement, namely what they are and what are their effects on behaviour. Throughout the webinar, we will detail (1) the history of these schedules, from Skinner to modern-day animal training procedures, (2) some of the past confusion of such schedules, including “variable” vs. intermittent reinforcement, and (3) how can we understand and apply schedules of reinforcement in the most effective manner. The goal will be to provide a general, empirical framework for schedules of reinforcement so that any person, trainer and scientist alike, can readily identify them and how they relate to all aspects of behaviour.

    Learning Objectives

    • Understand how we operationally define a schedule of reinforcement.
    • Identify the four basic types of schedules, as well as the difference between continuous, intermittent, and “variable” reinforcement.
    • Recognise applied instances of schedules of reinforcement, including how different schedules might be effective for our applied animal behaviour purposes.



    About The Presenter


    Eduardo J Fernandez, PhD

    Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez received his Ph.D. in Psychology (minors in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior) from Indiana University, where he worked with the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Zoo. He received his M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas, where he founded and was President of the Organization for Reinforcement Contingencies with Animals (ORCA).

    Most of his past and current work involves behavioral research applied to the welfare and training of zoo and companion animals. He has worked with over 50 species of animals, with a focus on marine animals, carnivores, and primates.

    He is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australia. His past positions include a Visiting Professorship in the School of Behavior Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology, an Affiliate Professorship in the Psychology Department at the University of Washington, a Research Fellowship with Woodland Park Zoo, and a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. While working with UW and Woodland Park Zoo, he started the Behavioral Enrichment Animal Research (BEAR) group, which conducted welfare research with many of the species and exhibits located throughout the zoo.

    Eduardo also continues to run the Animal Reinforcement Forum (ARF), a former listserv and now Facebook group, which is dedicated to group discussions on animal training and behavior from a scientific perspective. Many of his past publications, research projects, and presentations can be found on his ResearchGate profile

     

    • Friday, August 07, 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (UTC+01:00)
    • Live Webinar
    Register


    CEUs: PPAB 1, CCPDT (pending), IAABC (pending), KPA (pending)


    Veterinarians used to routinely recommend that your dog be neutered (spayed or castrated) at 6 months of age.  That recommendation has been questioned in the past decade as information about the possible health consequences of early age neuter (or neuter at any age) comes to light.

    Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD, will discuss what we know about the relationship of spay/neuter timing and changes in the risk of development of cancer and/or of orthopedic injuries such as cranial cruciate ligament disease (CCL tear).  She will also talk about how spay/neuter can affect behaviour, for better or worse.  She will specifically discuss some recent studies and will detail problems designing effective studies to ask these questions. She will also cover alternative approaches to the traditional spay/neuter surgery. If you are wondering when, or if, you should neuter your dog, make your decision based on facts, not emotions.

    Learning Objectives:

    • Interpret recent findings about spay/neuter outcomes in light of what those studies can actually tell us
    • Make reasoned decisions about the risk of cancer/orthopedic disease and early spay/neuter
    • List alternatives to traditional spay/neuter and compare their pros and cons to traditional spay/neuter
    • RELAX about this decision!

    About The Presenter


    Dr. Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD


    Jessica is a veterinary researcher who is fascinated by dog behavior. After eleven years working as a computer programmer, she decided to go back to school to research the causes of behavior problems in dogs. She received her veterinary degree in 2012 from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, where she also received a Master's degree for her work on stress behaviors in hospitalized dogs. After graduation, she completed a year-long internship specializing in shelter medicine at the University of Florida Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program. She received her PhD in genetics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying a group of foxes (often known as the "Siberian silver foxes") which have been bred over many generations to be friendly to humans. She is currently working at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a postdoctoral associate, studying the genetics of behavior in pet dogs through the Darwin's Ark project and the Working Dogs Project. Her ultimate goal is to find genetic causes of fearfulness in dogs, to work with behaviorally challenged shelter dogs, and to help people better understand the science behind dog behavior. She also frequently teaches online classes and webinars about canine genetics and behavior. Jessica lives in Raymond, NH with her husband and three dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @dogzombieblog or on Facebook at facebook.com/dogzombieblog.



    • Friday, October 02, 2020
    • 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM (UTC+01:00)
    • Live Webinar
    Register


    CEUs: PPAB 1, CCPDT (pending), IAABC (pending), KPA (pending)

    Anxiety is a major problem for many pet dogs. What happens in your dog's brain and body when something scares her? How long can you expect her stress response to last?

    In this webinar, Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD, will talk about the stress response in dogs. She will explain the original evolutionary purpose of the stress response; what the hormones involved in it (like cortisol) do in the body; the difference between acute and chronic stress and the different effects they have on dogs' health; and what we know about how long it takes the body to clear those hormones. You will definitely learn some cool stuff about how the brain works and what that means for your stressed-out dog!

    Learning Objectives:

    • Describe how the stress response functions and what its purpose is.
    • Describe health effects (both positive and negative!) for acute versus chronic stress.
    • Explain how the stress response affects the dog's brain and their ability to think clearly and behave normally.
    • Describe how long it takes the stress response to clear from the body, and list possible alternative explanations for dogs who display signs of stress longer than it takes for stress hormones to be cleared.

    About The Presenter


    Dr. Jessica Hekman, DVM, PhD


    Jessica is a veterinary researcher who is fascinated by dog behavior. After eleven years working as a computer programmer, she decided to go back to school to research the causes of behavior problems in dogs. She received her veterinary degree in 2012 from the Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts, where she also received a Master's degree for her work on stress behaviors in hospitalized dogs. After graduation, she completed a year-long internship specializing in shelter medicine at the University of Florida Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program. She received her PhD in genetics at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying a group of foxes (often known as the "Siberian silver foxes") which have been bred over many generations to be friendly to humans. She is currently working at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard as a postdoctoral associate, studying the genetics of behavior in pet dogs through the Darwin's Ark project and the Working Dogs Project. Her ultimate goal is to find genetic causes of fearfulness in dogs, to work with behaviorally challenged shelter dogs, and to help people better understand the science behind dog behavior. She also frequently teaches online classes and webinars about canine genetics and behavior. Jessica lives in Raymond, NH with her husband and three dogs. You can follow her on Twitter @dogzombieblog or on Facebook at facebook.com/dogzombieblog.





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