The International Dog Trainers Summer Summit

The International Dog Trainers Summer Summit 2021 ran from August 5-10th 2021, focusing on canine reactivity - from the perspective of both ends of the lead. It was an FREE virtual event for dog professionals and enthusiasts alike. We enjoyed a week of epic content, presentations and even a panel discussion with some of the world's leading canine professionals! 

This year saw the introduction of the Members Stage - with presentations aimed at pet parents alongside the Professional Stage - where content was tailored more towards canine professionals. So whether you are professional behaviourist, trainer, groomer, guardian or canine enthusiast, there is plenty to dive into.

Don't worry if you missed out on joining in LIVE - all of the presentations can be watched on REPLAY below, and on our Youtube channel:

Be sure to join our Facebook communities too for in depth discussions, bonus content and much more!

If you are a canine professional:
If you are a pet parent or epic guardian:


Empowered Dog is dedicated to creating a platform for education and generosity within the dog training sector to build a UNITED community where dog trainers and owners come together to create a future of empowerment, kindness and collaboration.

We offer events for both Pet owners and Dog Trainers including:
• Summits
• Masterclasses & Webinars
• Retreats
• The Empowered Dog Show - our weekly canine talk show!
• Monthly Expert Speaker events
• Hot Topic Discussions

Tasha Shaw-Verbic

From Fearful to Fear-less: one dog’s journey through cooperative care

As dedicated dog guardians, we will do anything to ensure the wellbeing, comfort and safety of our dogs. Despite our best efforts and intentions, many of us have struggled or worried about our dogs being nervous or anxious with brushing, grooming and vet visits.  Even the most friendly dog can experience discomfort in these situations, and if your dog is reactive, our concern is even deeper.    

The good news is that we can make these experiences more positive for our dogs by training them to truly cooperate as willing participants their own care. Cooperative care training teaches dogs to truly participate willingly in their care. It provides a framework to better understand how your dog communicates and creates an opportunity for you to work together to build trust and teamwork.   - Imagine if your dog could opt-in for nail trimming, or file their own nails! - Wouldn’t it be amazing if your dog would open wide and say “aaaahhhhh” so you could give them medication or brush their teeth?  - What if your dog willingly propped their chin on a pillow, to let you know they were ready to be still for brushing, vet check ups, or even an injection?    

I’ll be sharing my cooperative care journey with my own dog, and how we went from hearing “your dog needs to be sedated”, to having  fear-less experiences for grooming and veterinary care.    

Participants will learn  - the benefits and possibilities of cooperative care,  - tips on building trust, reducing stress, and strengthening your lifelong bond with your dog - how to become an advocate in your dog’s care team

Matty Al-Irimi

Microwalks - Revolutionising Relaxation for Reactive Dogs 

Does simply stepping out the front door with your dog leave you upset, frustrated and feeling embarrassed? And that's only the start of the walk.... Living in an urban environment with a reactive dog has its own whole set challenges and those challenges can feel impossible to overcome. But you know what, it's not that they are impossible, it's just that those challenges need to be met in a unique way that takes into account the reality of the world your urban reactive dog meets every time they leave their home and the internal experiences they have when they do. 

Jamie Pound

Scentwork for Reactive Dogs: The power of using the dogs nose with reactivity behaviour modification

Why it is important reactive dogs to sniff? We know that there are HUGE benefits to getting dogs sniffing. It has a huge impact on their wellbeing and outlook. But do you know how to use the benefits of scentwork to support dogs struggling with reactivity? Join me as we explore this topic in detail!

Debby Lucken

Kids Around Reactive Dogs

Having reactive dogs is an issue at best of times, but it can be even more problematic when children are part of the family or are involved in any way. This presentation will cover helping families with children who live with reactive dogs; it will cover adopting reactive dogs in families with children and how certain mistakes can be avoided. We will also discuss the importance of helping reactive dogs to avoid emotional repercussions on children too.

Rachel Jackson

Pain - what is it and how might it affect your dog's behaviour?
Rachel will be talking to you about what pain is and how it may affect your dog's behaviour. She will discuss the difference between chronic and acute pain and how this changes what your dog feels. Rachel will show you what you might observe both physically and behaviourally and how you can then help your dog. 

Janet Finlay

Virtual Reactivity Training and why you need it in your toolbox

Many trainers have gone online through the pandemic but there is still resistance to online training for behaviour issues like reactivity. Surely here you need to see the dog and client in person?    

In this talk I will outline different ways to support reactive clients online, both as a supplement to and as a replacement for face-to-face training. I will share the advantages of working this way for the trainer, the client and the dog! And I will let you know the secrets to successful online learning and support based on 10 years experience of online reactivity training and more than 20 years supporting online learning for adults.

Ellen Naumann

An Intro to Behavior Adjustment Training

Behavior Adjustment Training, developed by Grisha Stewart, was one of the first methods to identify the power of choice for our dogs. It has since become a cornerstone of training for many professionals and has helped a multitude of dogs around the world. But what exactly does BAT look like for us as trainers, and for our clients? Join me for an insight into Reframing and Reducing Reactivity using the hallmarks of Behavior Adjustment Training 2.0.

Stephie Guy

The Calmer Canines Masterclass: How to Stop Your Dog Barking When Treats Don't Work

*Treat training doesn’t work for me - I could wave a whole roast chicken in front of my dog’s nose and he wouldn’t notice. He won’t do a thing I say. It’s like I don’t exist.*

Does this resonate? I hear this statement a lot.  There’s so much conflicting information out there - according to google we have to “tell them who’s boss” “ignore the bad” “get better treats” “buy more equipment” “baby them” “don’t baby them”... it’s no wonder we struggle!  Meanwhile, the unpredictability is confusing, and it’s scary.    

Having worked with so many owners of reactive dogs who have experienced this and worse I can tell you that you’re not alone. You love your dog like a family member, and the last thing you want is for things to get any worse.    

You may feel that this is the way things have to continue but I’m here to show you a different way. * One that involves building co-operation, confidence and curiosity. * One that slows down thinking, so that the dog is able to make calm and rational decisions by themselves instead of leaping straight to fight mode.    

And this is the bit that’s been missing in all of your training so far. This is the bit that NO-ONE ELSE IS TELLING YOU.  The secret with our sensitive dogs is making sure that they're in the right headspace to learn before we begin. Then, and only then, can we teach them that those scary things are not so scary after all.

Irith Bloom

“I’m out of control!” Helping the over-aroused dog

Many of the behavior issues we see in dogs relate to over-arousal. But what exactly is arousal? And how can we help the over-aroused dog? Whether you are faced with reactive, aggressive, or fearful behavior, addressing over-arousal can be the key to improving behavior and keeping dogs in their homes. In this presentation, Irith Bloom will provide a working definition of arousal and share practical tools to help you deal with over-arousal issues in you clients’—or even your own—dogs.

Tricia Hollingshead

LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES - The Communicative Nature of Behaviour

While they may have the same basic emotional needs, each dog needs them in different quantities. Where do we look to find our dogs particular emotional needs ? How do we decide what is ,right , for one dog, but not for another ? How can we gift this decision making to the dogs' caregivers ? How do we empower our pet parents to WANT to protect their dog from difficult situations or from feeling the need to be reactive ? Join me to explore where we might find some answers to these important questions.

Julie Fryman

Tricks and Treats: Alternative Exercises for Reactive Dogs

Living with an over-reactive dog can feel like a lot of work sometimes. Often times owners feel 'stuck' and frustrated by the limitations of their dog's reactions to the world around them. But what if we shifted our mindset about how we exercise our dogs?

Physical enrichment can come from a lot of different activities and making sure owners and their dogs have fun together is paramount to their success in adjusting their dog's reactivity. Patterns, play, and laughter are scientifically proven to provide stress relief in mammals and we can use these tools make sure owners of reactive dogs have a positive outlet for exercise and bonding with their dogs. Join me to find out how we can gamify your reactive dog training plans to maximize success and reduce frustrations on both ends of the leash!

Michael Shikashio

Dumping Gas on the Fire! When Leash Reactivity Gets Worse!

You've been working consistently with your dog that barks, snarls, snaps, and lunges on-leash at other dogs or people...but you feel stuck, or it seems to be escalating! Michael Shikashio CDBC will highlight some of the common training errors that can happen when out and about with our "leash reactive Rovers!"

Ian Dunbar

Dog-Dog Reactivity

Dog-dog reactivity causes extreme stress for dogs and their owners and quickly destroys quality of life for both. Prevention is paramount & Resolution is URGENT. However, we must not be cavalier. Objectively assessing Bite:Fight Ratios from history (actual danger) and calculating a Friendly Quotient are ESSENTIAL to formulate a realistic prognosis. Only work with problems you are confident that you can resolve safely and quickly.

Staci Lemke

Kids and canines, creating harmony in your home

77% of dog bites come from a family or friend’s dog. That means that these aren’t crazy, stray, vicious dogs - they are OUR pet dogs!

Dogs rarely bite “out of the blue”. Most often bites are caused by miscommunication between human and canine. The key is to learn what dogs like, what they don’t, and how to tell the difference. Dogs use their eyes, ears, mouth, tail and whole bodies to show us how they’re feeling. It’s up to us to watch and listen to what our dogs are telling us.  

Kids can sometimes be scary to dogs because… they’re KIDS! By nature, they’re just more unpredictable, more uncoordinated and way more likely to get in a dog’s face than most adults. Our kids’ actions can play a HUGE role in how safe they are around the dogs they love and live with.  

This presentation will teach you how to read your dog’s body language, and help you understand when they’re happy and when they’re not, so you can intervene before a bite occurs.  

By teaching our kids to understand what dogs are saying they can learn when its ok to interact with dogs and when they should leave a dog alone. In addition, I’ll be showing you some games your kids can play with your dog that are safe and fun for both!

Epic Panel Discussion

With our expert speakers! 

How many times do you not only get to listen to one expert but several leading canine professionals discussing the different approaches and solutions to some of the most important and hotly debated topics in the modern dog industry. We can assure you, you don't want to miss this!!