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Find out more about some of our speakers

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Dr Roger Abrantes

Roger Abrantes, PhD in Evolutionary Biology and Ethology, BA in Philosophy, DHC, DF, MAPBC. He was born in Portugal in 1951.  He is currently based in Cambridge, UK, but has also lived in Portugal, Denmark, USA, Australia, Tanzania and Thailand.

He is the author of 17 books in English, German, Spanish, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Italian, and Czech, and numerous articles on behaviour. He is probably one of the most versatile ethologists in the world. His work ranges from lecturing at the Ethology Institute, where he is the Divisional Director, to appearances as guest lecturer in universities world wide and giving popular talks on the treatment of behavior problems.  He has taught canine and human behaviour to police officers, trained rats to detect landmines in Tanzania, and performed marine environmental management duties. (He is also a certified Divemaster and Rescue Diver and a Sea Captain).

He has written popular books with sound advice to pet owners as well as theoretical scientific dissertations. He teaches ethology, anthropology, and epistemology (theory of knowledge), besides his practical work with dogs, horses cats, rats, and diving missions.

He is a popular guest in TV and radio programs in his home countries and in the US.

His English books “Dog Language–An Encyclopedia of Canine Behavior” and “The Evolution Of Canine Social Behavior” became hits the moment they reached the US bookshelves and he often lectures in the US.

Dr. Abrantes is especially known for his views on social behavior and its applications to the daily understanding of pet behavior; and for his no-nonsense working methods, a practical and thorough application of Ethology and Learning Theory, teaching the animal the new patterns patiently and efficiently step by step.

His actual work involves research into the philosophical aspects of evolutionary biology and writing articles and blogs (besides his sailing and diving commitments).

Roger Abrantes is truly a citizen of the world. If you ask him where he lives, he will answer you, “Planet Earth.'” He speaks nine languages, English, Portuguese, French, Danish, and Swedish (fluently), Spanish, Italian, German, and Thai (less fluently).

He is a keen sportsman, having raced cars for many years. He has also played roller hockey in the German Bundesliga where he was his team’s first goal-keeper until well into his 50s. Nowadays, he plays pool (8-ball and 9-ball), runs and dives. When he’s not working, he dedicates himself to his two life-long passions: reading (everything) and listening to music (Blues, Rock, New-Age, Opera).

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Brenda Aloff

Brenda Aloff has been training dogs professionally for over 20 years and has published 5 books and a DVD.  She also teaches at clinics and workshops around the globe.

Her widely published books and DVDs include the award-winning Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide  Brenda’s area of specialisation is problem behaviour in canines. A large percentage of her practice consists of dogs that are referred when other training techniques have been exhausted or failed.

Her particular expertise is in dealing with aggression problems. Brenda did several years of rescue work, rehabilitating dogs out of  shelters and was active in Fox Terrier Rescue as well as mixed-breed rescue. Aside of home consultations, Brenda’s  “Heaven On Arf Behaviour & Training Center” offers group lessons for Puppy Socialisation, Basic Obedience through Advanced Obedience for pets, Competition Classes, Re-socialisation (dogs with aggression issues group class) Field and Tracking classes, Back Packing, and Agility classes.  The center is also used to provide private lessons for pet or competition training and Behaviour Consultations that do not need to take place In Home.

Brenda has written several manuscripts on dog training and behaviour, articles for magazines, participated in local and national radio programs (including WGN of Chicago – Steve Dale), produced a canine television program and currently serves as a consultant in canine behaviour for local media sources.  She is a member of NADOI (National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors and the IAABC (International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors).  Ms. Aloff does clinics for dog trainers, shelter and service personnel and pet owners.

Her mind is always working and she has even cross-trained species. Currently she is competing with her Morgan geldings in dressage. She is also a shepherd and keeps sheep, and does herding; as well as having some experience with bird training.

She is known for straight-forward talk, a passion to make the daily lives of dogs better through promoting better relationships between dogs and their owners and a fun-loving sense of humour.

Brenda's books include: Aggression in Dogs, Get Connected With Your Dog and Puppy Problems? No Problem

Ian Dunbar

Dr Ian Dunbar

Veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and dog trainer, Dr. Ian Dunbar (PhD, BSc, BVetMed, MRCVS) received his veterinary degree and a Special Honors degree in Physiology & Biochemistry from the Royal Veterinary College (London University) plus a doctorate in animal behavior from the Psychology Department at UC Berkeley, where he researched olfactory preferences and the development of aggression in domestic dogs.

Dr. Dunbar has authored numerous books and DVDs about puppy/dog behavior and training, including the Good Little Dog Book and the SIRIUS® Puppy Training video. In 1982, Dr. Dunbar designed and taught the world’s very first off-leash puppy socialization and training classes — SIRIUS® Puppy Training. Subsequently, he created and developed the San Francisco SPCA’s Animal Behavior Department, the American Kennel Club's Gazette "Behavior" column, which he wrote for seven years, and the K9 GAMES®, which were first held in San Francisco in 1993 and continue as annual events in Japan and Europe. 

He hosted the popular UK television series Dogs With Dunbar for five seasons and has appeared on numerous radio and television programs, including the Today Show (US) and Dash Village (Japan). Additionally, Dr. Dunbar has consulted on a variety of movies — full-length features, documentaries and animation (including Pixar’s UP) and he has twice spoken at the prestigious Conference (TED).  

Over the past 40+ years, Dr. Dunbar has given nearly 1500 one-day seminars and workshops for dog trainers and veterinarians in an effort to popularize off-leash puppy socialization classes, temperament modification, and owner-friendly and dog-friendly dog training. After he founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in 1993, Dr. Dunbar was inducted into the Dog Fancy Hall of Fame along with four of his heroes, James Herriot, Konrad Lorenz, Lassie, and Balto.

Currently, Dr. Dunbar is President of the APDT Foundation, TopDog (CEO) of the Center for Applied Animal Behavior and Scientific Director for www.dogstardaily.com — a free online, multi-media educational website for puppy and dog owners.

There are very few educated trainers who have not been strongly influenced by Dr. Dunbar's fun & games, from-the-animal's-point-of-view, dog friendly dog training. Dr. Dunbar is peerless in his field; there is simply no other person who has his qualifications, experience, and expertise in the realm of modern psychological dog training and behavior counseling-fields which Dr. Dunbar has played a major role in developing over the past 25 years. 

Dr. Dunbar's books and DVDs are available from the Dog & Bone store.

David Ryan

David Ryan

David Ryan followed 26 years as a police dog handler and Home Office accredited training instructor with a postgraduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, with distinction, from Southampton University, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for animal behaviour studies. In 2008 he was certificated as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist by the prestigious Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.

He was chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors from 2009 to March 2012 and currently works as a companion animal behaviour consultant, being an independently vetted member of the UK Register of Expert Witnesses since 2008.

David presents seminars and lectures around the UK and Europe and is currently employed as lecturer on three modules of Newcastle University’s MSc in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare.

In 2010 David wrote the RSPCA’s definitive guide on dealing with aggression in dogs, used in their website and in leaflets: “Growing up with a dog: How dogs and children can enjoy living together.” and “What to do when you meet an unfamiliar dog.” In both 2011 and 2012 David was an invited contributor to the PDSA’s Animal Wellbeing (PAW) report.

David has written and published four books and contributed to a fifth: Guide & Control Your Pet Dog’s Behaviour; Dogs that Fight and Bite; Dog Secrets; “Stop!” How to Control Predatory Chasing in Dogs; and Chapter 2, Our relationship with dogs in Appleby D (editor) The APBC Book of Companion Animal Behaviour

Grisha Stewart

Grisha Stewart

Grisha Stewart is an author, international speaker, and dog trainer who specializes in dog reactivity. She founded Empowered Animals and the online Animal Building Blocks Academy in Alaska and Ahimsa Dog Training in Seattle, which has earned many awards, including Best of Western Washington. 

“Ahimsa” is a Buddhist doctrine of nonviolence to all living things, which reflects Grisha’s focus on force-free methods to promote the well-being of dogs and their humans.

Her seminal book, “Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Aggression, Reactivity, and Fear in Dogs,” was published by Dogwise in late 2011 and will be released as a second edition with BAT 2.0 in mid-to-late 2015. Her popular second book, “The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual: A Practical, Force-Free Guide to Problem Solving & Manners,” was published in 2012 and updated in 2014. She also has over a dozen DVDs, with 6 currently in print.

Grisha is an enthusiastic and entertaining presenter who creates her seminars to accommodate a variety of learning styles.

Grisha has a Master’s in Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College and most of a Master’s in Psychology with an emphasis in animal behavior at Antioch University, which was interrupted by her hectic travel schedule. Grisha also runs her 6-trainer business in Seattle (from Alaska) and does private consults for aggression cases. Her first career as a theoretical mathematician and college instructor serves her well in dog training and behavior consultations, because she relies heavily on the problem solving, critical thinking, and teaching skills she gained in that field. Since founding Ahimsa Dog Training in 2003, she has found her canine and human students to be much more excited about learning than her college students! 

Canine behavior fascinates Grisha and she is highly motivated to help improve our techniques for rehabilitating and training dogs. Her professional interest in reactivity, along with the need to find an efficient rehabilitation technique that would work with her own fearful dog, led Grisha to develop BAT.