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SEMINAR: A Veterinary Behaviorist's Approach
(Scroll to bottom of page for details on CEUs and Registration)


A Two-Day Seminar for Professionals and Pet Owners

24-25 June 2017

The seminar is now full, but we are operating a waiting list.
Please email to put yourself on the waiting list:


Day 1 (Saturday)


A Systematic Team Approach to
Reducing Reactivity in Dogs

Aggression and reactivity directed towards unfamiliar dogs and people is a common cause for relinquishment and ultimately euthanasia.  This day will focus on leash reactivity in dogs including probable developmental causes, contextual variability, motivations and possible treatment recommendations.

  • Reactivity: The Nuts and Bolts
    This presentation will compartmentalize the many facets of reactivity in dogs. Utilizing an applied behaviour analysis approach we will hypothesize possible ABC’s and also discuss potential causes and motivations.
  • Tools of the Trade
    Useful behaviour modification tools to use when addressing reactivity issues as well as which tools to avoid and why.
  • Starting the Conversation
    Learn how to effectively communicate with your dog on an emotional level. This session will explore efficient training methods for successfully addressing reactivity.
  • ACES
    Specific training to reduce reactivity. This portion will be a combination of short lectures, demonstrations, and practice sessions. 

    Associations- Changing the dog’s emotional response to stimuli.

    Cues- Operant behaviour for addressing reactivity.

    Exposure- Providing exposure and working at the dog’s success level.

    Systematic training exercises- How to set up close encounters with specific stimuli.

    A brief discussion on possible pharmacological intervention will also be held.


Day 2 (Sunday)


Fear Free (SM) and Clinical Animal Behavior

This day will introduce attendees to the Fear Freesm initiative in the morning sessions and some common clinical animal behavior disorders in the afternoon sessions.  Whether you are a pet owner, trainer, behavior consultant, or veterinary professional, we all play an important role in alleviating fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. It takes a team approach to make this a reality.

  • Fear Free: Learning to Listen to our Pets
    How do cats and dogs perceive the veterinary hospital? What are they learning during their experiences at the hospital? If the dog or cat could talk, what would he/she be saying right now? This presentation will help to answer these questions.  Identifying how cats’ and dogs’ sensory perceptions vary from our own and how pleasant and unpleasant associations can be made, allows us to infer what it may be like to walk in their paws. Being able to recognize signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in pets will open your eyes to hearing what they are trying to communicate.

  • Fear Free: The Fear Free Veterinary Experience: From home to hospital and home again
    The veterinary visit begins at home. Decreasing fear and stress associated with a veterinary visit, requires a team approach. This session will explore tips for at home preparation by the pet owner, as well as cost-effective strategies veterinary hospitals can implement to cultivate a relaxing and inviting environment from the front door to the back door.

  • Fear Free: Making the Unpleasant More Pleasant
    Many of the procedures we need to perform on cats and dogs in the hospital and at home with routine care are uncomfortable and unpleasant. There is no one technique or method that will work with every pet. Discover how to adapt and implement Fear Free℠ techniques for the individual pet.

  • Pre-Visit Pharmaceuticals for Fear Free Veterinary Visits
    Some pets will need more than just a gentle and considerate approach. This session will explore a variety of options for treating and preventing acute fear, anxiety, and stress in dogs and cats. Determining the FAS (fear, anxiety, and stress) score for the patient, will help you decide what type of intervention is needed. The main focus will be on veterinary visits but many of the medications may be used in a variety of anxiety-inducing contexts.

  • Home Alone: Canine Separation Anxiety
    Anxiety when left home alone is a common behavioural complaint. This session will explore potential causes and treatment recommendations, including pharmacological treatment.

  • Intruder Alert: Territorial Aggression
    Dogs that see all unfamiliar visitors to the home as a potential threat, can put a strain on the human-dog relationship. This session will discuss potential causes and treatment options for aggression towards unfamiliar people visiting the home, including pharmacological treatment.



Kenneth M Martin DVM DACVB


Dr. Martin is a Diplomate of the American Dr. Martin is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and a licensed practicing veterinarian in Texas. He completed a clinical behavioral medicine residency at Purdue University's Animal Behavior Clinic under the mentorship of Dr. Andrew Luescher PhD, DVM, DACVB in 2004 and graduated from Louisiana State University - School of Veterinary Medicine in 1999.

Dr. Martin is the owner of Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC ( in Spicewood, TX and regularly consults with veterinarians and pet owners on behavior and training. Dr. Martin is an international lecturer on animal behavior disorders and training. He teaches a small animal behavior course for veterinary students at Louisiana State University-School of Veterinary Medicine.


Debbie Martin

Debbie is a licensed veterinary technician and Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior (VTS-Behavior). She has been a fulltime registered/licensed veterinary technician since 1996 and worked in private practice for over 14 years.  Since 2005 Debbie has been the animal behavior technician for Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC.

Debbie is a faculty emeritus for the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional program.  She is an international lecturer regarding animal behavior and training.



Debbie and Dr. Martin are the co-owners of TEAM Education in Animal Behavior (

They are both Fear Free Certified Professionals ( Dr. Martin is on the Fear Free Advisory panel and Debbie is honored to represent veterinary technicians on the Fear Free Executive Council. They are both consultants for Fear Free as subject matter experts.

Dr. Martin and Debbie are published authors in magazines and books. Some of their contributions include articles for the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA), American Veterinarian, and Today’s Veterinary Technician. They have contributions to the texts Manual of Parrot BehaviorVeterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice –Behavior, Blackwell's Five-Minute Veterinary Consult: Canine and Feline / Edition 6, Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion – Canine and Feline Behavior, and Canine and Feline Behavior for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses.  They co-authored Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog book and the acclaimed Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right for Instructors Course and they both also co-authored the course Fear Free Foundations for Kittens and Puppies (with Mikkel Becker).

Debbie and Dr. Martin live in a small town 30 miles west of Austin, TX called Spicewood. On their 5 acres, affectionately known as the 'Malamo' (Alamo and Malinois combined), they share their home with 3 Belgian Malinois and a one-eyed Beagle-Jack Russell mix along with a couple dozen of chickens. In their free time, they enjoy hiking with the dogs, visiting local craft breweries and vineyards, and exploring the beautiful hill country of Texas on their motorcycles and dirt bikes.





CVBC: 13 CE hours (6.5hrs/day)

Veterinary Technicians

BCVTA: 5 CEUs per day


Behavour Consultants

CCPDT: 13 CEUs for the two days

IAABC: 6.5 per day



If you belong to a different organization, we will be happy to provide the necessary documentation for your organization's approval.






(Reg & Pay)


Two days Early-Bird

15 March


Two days Slow-Bird

15 April


Two days

31 May



31 May



31 May


1PLEASE NOTE that SPACE IS LIMITED. Registrations will close when the event is filled.
2GST applies

The seminar is now full, but we are operating a waiting list.
Please email to put yourself on the waiting list:

Cancellation/Refund Policy - IMPORTANT

If you cancel your registration, you need to notify us in writing (e-mail, fax, letter), please. Cancellations received no later than 30 March will receive a refund of 50% of the paid registration fee less a $25 processing charge. Cancellations received no later than 30 April will receive a refund of 25% of the paid registration fee less a $25 processing charge.
NO refunds will be issued for cancellations received after 31 May. This necessary policy is without exception.





What's New?
What Clients Are Saying:

I had the good fortune and pleasure to take the Foundation Program at Cowichan K9 this winter with my lab cross puppy Cody. Cody just turned 8 months when we graduated with distinction from this awesome training experience. Bev, Karen, and Glenda were terrific and facilitated our learning with clear instruction, helpful tips, and much kindness and caring. I've worked with dogs all my life and was amazed at how much I learned participating in this program and now Cody and I get to benefit daily from our indelible experience with you. Training with such positive reinforcement, small class size, and expert facilitation enhanced our relationship beyond measure and will continue to do so now that we have the tools and understanding. Cody travels on rounds with me and is continually being complimented on his fine manners and keen willingness to please. I am so proud of him! Attending our classes at Cowichan Canine was the highlight of each week and will continue to be as we begin agility classes and scent games. I can't thank you enough for how your program has enriched our relationship and daily life together. I recommend all my clients take their dogs to Cowichan Canine. Every one can benefit! p.s. Your Christmas party was the highlight of the season, hands down! Class act: so many happy, well behaved dogs and their people, games and prizes, Santa and presents, incredibly delicious appies and meatballs galore for all. That was the best Christmas function I've ever attended! Thank you again -

Dr Brenda Bernhardt
Cowichan Veterinary HouseCall Services

Wanting to be new dog owners, we got 16 weeks old puppy, named Pepper. Shortly after bringing Pepper home, she was attacked by much larger dog and seriously injured. After consultation with the vet, we came to understanding that Pepper maybe traumatized by the horrible experience. We soon realized this was the case, Pepper was scared of other dogs and continuously barking. We contacted Lisbeth at Cowichan canine, who came to our home and gave us one on one lessons. We found Lisbeth to be very knowledgeable , professional and patient with novice dog owners. Lisbeth invited us to the Cowichan canine facility, where we were introduced to the staff and other dog owners. Being so impressed with the dedication of the staff and variety of classes, we enrolled Pepper immediately. Whenever we have any concerns or questions, Lisbeth is always quick to respond. Pepper became much calmer dog after reactive dog classes, so I am enjoying walking with her. To Lisbeth and the stuff, Thank you for everything.

Natsuko and Gary Chaperon
Duncan, BC

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Group Classes, Private or Semi-private in-home training Lessons and confidential
Behaviour Consultations in the Cowichan Valley area, on southern Vancouver Island, servicing Chemainus, Cobble Hill, Cowichan, Cowichan Bay, Crofton, Duncan, Glenora, Ladysmith, Lake Cowichan, Malahat, Maple Bay, Mill Bay, Saltair, Saltspring Island, Shawnigan Lake, Vancouver Island and Youbou.
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