Conference dates and venue:

Date: Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January 2018
Time: 8:30am to 5pm
Venue: Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwick CV8 2LD

Dog-friendly venue

Please click on the red letter tabs (below) for conference information

Each day equivalent to 6 hours of CPD for vets and vet nurses



Important: Please read the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) here or under ‘Conference Fees’ below before purchasing an instalment plan

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Welcome to the UK’s first ever Puppy Conference!

We aim to bring you three exciting and fun days of jam-packed high-quality presentations from some of the best national and international speakers about all things puppy. Whether you are a dog trainer, behaviourist, other canine professional or simply a canine enthusiast, the conference will provide tonnes of useful information for you to apply in your own puppy classes and careers, or simply to take home. Come and join us in January 2018 and start the year in style!

The conference is structured and the schedule will be as follows:

Friday 19 January

Puppy development  Dr Kathryn Lord (Karlsson Lab, University of Massachusetts)

Puppy diets  Linda Case (The Science Dog)

Life Skills for Puppies  Dr Helen Zulch (University of Lincoln)

Creative puppy classes  Sian Ryan (Developing Dogs, ‘Me and My Dog’)

Puppy Control Unleashed®  Leslie McDevitt (Control Unleashed®)

The Foundations of Puppy Fitness  Ann Harmes (FitPaws)

Q&A session

Saturday 20 January

How to market your puppy classes  Susan McKeon (The Business End of the Lead, Happy Hounds Dog Training and Behaviour)

Training puppies as mental health assistance dogs  Kirsten Dillon (Veterans with Dogs)

Training puppies to become Medical Detection Dogs Kimberly Cox (Medical Detection Dogs)

Training gundog puppies Helen Phillips (Clicker Gundogs)

Training puppies for competitive obedience  Di Martin (Click-2-Heel)

Helping puppy farm puppies  Linda Goodman (CARIAD)

Q&A session

Sunday 21 January

Helping puppies in rescues  Julie Bedford (CCAB)

Generation Pup project  Dr Rachel Casey (School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol)

The emotional basis to emerging puppy problems and how we should address them  Prof Daniel Mills (University of Lincoln)

Impulsivity in puppies/young dogs  Sian Ryan (Developing Dogs, ‘Me and My Dog’)

Helping to prepare dogs for family life  Gemma Abbott (Dogs Bumps Babies & Beyond)

Selecting and raising puppies for Police work Guy Williams (Positive Police Dogs)

Q&A session


Special Guest Speaker

Leslie McDevitt

LMcD200Leslie is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) in the US. Her background and her experience working with dog sport clients led her to create her popular course for performance dogs with issues then started writing articles based on themes from the course for Clean Run Agility Magazine. She then took things one step further and wrote her award-winning, best seller, “Control Unleashed®®: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog” which was published by Clean Run Productions in 2007. It was followed by ‘‘Control Unleashed®: The Puppy Program” in 2015.



Dr Kathryn Lord

KL200Kathryn is currently a postdoctoral associate in the Karlsson lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her main interest is in the evolutionary development of animal behaviour, and its application to the management of domestic and wild species. In her graduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Kathryn’s work focused on how changes in developmental timing act as a mechanism for the evolution of adaptive behaviours in animals. Since receiving her doctorate Kathryn has served as a visiting assistant professor of biology at Gettysburg College, Pennsylvania, and visiting assistant professor of animal behaviour at Hampshire College in Massachusetts.


Linda Case


Linda is a dog trainer, canine nutritionist and science writer. She earned her BS in Animal Science at Cornell University and MS in Canine/Feline Nutrition at the University of Illinois. She was a lecturer of companion animal science at the University of Illinois for 15 years and  of companion animal behaviour  &tr aining at the College of Veterinary Medicine. She has authored seven books, including “Dog Food Logic: Making Smart Decisions for your Dog in an Age of Too Many Choices”, “Beware the Straw Man: The Science Dog Examines Dog Training Fact & Fiction”, and recently “Only Have Eyes for You: Exploring Canine Research with The Science Dog”. Linda is well-known worldwide through her popular blog “The Science Dog”. Linda owns AutumnGold Consulting and Dog Training Center in Mahomet, Illinois, US.

Dr Helen Zulch


Helen is a veterinarian and European and Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Specialist in Veterinary Behavioural Medicine. She is currently a Principal Lecturer in clinical animal behaviour in the School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln and an Honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. She has worked in the field of companion animal behaviour for over 15 years, currently lectures at the University of Lincoln and is the Programme Leader for the MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour. Helen also consults in the University of Lincoln’s Animal Behaviour Referral Clinic where was instrumental in developing the Life Skills for Puppies programme. She is the author of several books and book chapters aimed at behaviour professionals and the pet owning public. She continues to publish journals and speaks at national and international conferences and CPD events.

Sian Ryan

SR200Sian gained an MSc in Clinical Animal Behaviour from the University of Lincoln, the subject of her thesis was Self Control in Pet Dogs. She has worked as a behaviour counsellor and trainer at the Lincoln Animal Behaviour Clinic, and researched ways of measuring emotions in dogs. Sian was the first Life Skills for Puppies tutor, and helped create and develop the course as well as train new tutors. Her book ”No Walks? No Worries!” (with Helen Zulch & Peter Baumber) was published in 2014. She has appeared as an animal training and behaviour expert for BBC programmes including ‘Me and My Dog’ (2017) and Bang Goes the Theory, and  was consulted for ‘Inside the Animal Mind’ with Chris Packham.  Sian owns the Developing Dogs Training Centre & Holiday Cottages in Cambridgeshire, and teaches seminars and workshops UK-wide.

Ann Harmes

Ann Harmes

Ann is a Certified Canine Fitness Trainer and a Managing Director of Camddwr Canine Ltd and FitPAWS UK. As a successful  agility handler of over 25 years, she has won major titles and has represented Wales several times at the World Agility Open. She is passionate about injury prevention, good foundation training and canine fitness. Camddwr Canine Ltd has been working with US company FitPAWS in the UK for the last five years, providing  a range of dog specific equipment for therapists, dog trainers and dog sport handlers, and in 2015 brought the first FitPAWS Master Trainer Program to the UK, a training program for dog trainers, vets, therapists and dog sport enthusiasts wishing to become Certified Canine Fitness trainers.


Susan McKeon

SMcK200Susan is a qualified marketing communications professional, with over 25 years’ experience of working with a wide range of businesses. She is also an experienced dog trainer and behaviourist and runs her own dog training and behaviour business. She is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing, APDT UK, and has a BSc (Hons) in Canine Behaviour and Training. She contributes and teaches the ‘How to run a dog business’ modules for the Association of Canine Trainers (PACT). She recently launched ‘The Business End of the Lead’, her Marketing & PR advice consultancy for pet businesses. Susan is passionate about Greyhounds and has a keen interest in sighthound welfare.


Kirsten Dillon

KD200Kirsten is an experienced behaviour-focused experienced dog and animal trainer. She is currently Head of Training at the charity Veterans With Dogs, as well as a Trainer and Assessor for  Dog AID (Assistance in Disability). She is also a tutor and esteemed member of the team at the Professional Association of Canine Trainers (PACT). As well as writing articles for canine industry publications, she is also an expert contributor to Dogs Monthly magazine. Kirsten also works as a consultant in zoo animal handling and husbandry and is committed in finding ways to improve the lives of captive wild animals, as well as those of veterans and the disabled.


Kimberly Cox

Kimberly Cox

Kimberly is a Training and Behaviour Consultant for the charity Medical Detection Dogs (MDD) and is involved in the selection and training of dogs recruited by the charity. The MDD cause is close to Kimberly’s heart as she suffers from Type I Diabetes and, for the last 8 years, has been involved in helping to develop the assistance dogs programme. She has a BSc (Hons) in Animal Welfare and Management and over 15 years’ experience in dog training.  Kimberly established a training school in 2006 and has built a successful business offering courses, workshops and 1-1 lessons to support pet owners. Kimberly’s passion is working with puppies and young dogs to set a good foundation of life skills to develop a balanced family pet. She thrives on helping owners to get the most from their dog, particularly those with working breeds who require an appropriate outlet for their natural instinct but make fantastic pets.

Helen Phillips

Helen philips

Helen is well-known as the author of the popular book ‘Clicker Gundog’, the first gundog training guide using clicker techniques. She holds a Distinction in Canine Training and Behaviour from Warwick College, as well as a Distinction in the Learning About Dogs Clicker Trainers Competency Assessment Programme (CAP) Levels 1, 2 and 3, plus a City and Guilds Level 5 qualification in Teaching. She subsequently taught the Canine Training and Behaviour at Warwick College for several years. She owns and runs of the Clicker Gundog Training Centre and over the last ten years, was a business partner at Learning About Dogs Ltd, as well as an active assessor for their CAP scheme. Her experience with gundogs is extensive and she  works with her team of Hungarian Vizslas and Springer Spaniels. Helen is also an instructor for the Gundog Club.


Diane Martin

DiM200Di is an accomplished dog trainer with 25 years’ experience in obedience and behaviour training who runs an established dog training business in Berkshire. She has educated herself extensively and worked hard to provide the best puppy training in her area, including helping  owners to establish and build a healthy relationship with their puppy and prevent behaviour problems occurring. Di actively competes in obedience competitions, qualifying for Crufts Obedience Championships in 2010, winning Bitch Obedience Championships in 2011 and ranking 4th in 2012 and 2014. Di has also qualified for the upcoming Crufts Obedience Championships in 2018.


Linda Goodman


Linda is the founder of CARIAD ( ‘Beloved’ in Welsh and stands for Care And Respect Includes All Dogs), and has helped to rehabilitate many ex-puppy  farm puppies, breeding bitches and stud dogs. CARIAD was initially launched to raise awareness about puppy farming and to educate the public on how to find a puppy responsibly. Its team also works with members of the public, who unsuspectedly buy puppies from pet shops who can be traced back to puppy farms, by directing complaints to local authorities, trading standards, veterinarians and the police. CARIAD also provides intelligence to the RSPCA’s special operations unit to assist with raids and prosecutions, partners other organisations in providing submissions and evidence based reports to government, and promotes rescue dogs as a first consideration.


Julie Bedford

JB200A certificated clinical animal behaviourist, full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) and a registered clinical behaviourist with the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC), Julie has run an animal behaviour/training consultancy for over twenty-eight years.  She is a visiting university lecturer, expert witness, supervising clinician, staff trainer at leading animal charities and advises on welfare policy and strategy.  She has extensive experience of handling, advising on and resolving behavioural and training problems in companion animals. In 2015 The Daily Mirror and RSPCA acknowledged her work within rescue and rehoming by giving her the Animal Hero Superstar award.


Dr Rachel Casey

RC200Rachel is a veterinary surgeon, European specialist in veterinary behavioural medicine and welfare scientist. Her research interests include identifying early life risk factors for undesired or ‘problem’ behaviours in companion animals so that strategies for prevention can be developed in the future, as well as  identifying the best ways to measure and improve the welfare of dogs.  Rachel is leading ‘Generation Pup’, a ground-breaking scientific study which follows recruited dogs throughout their lives. Collecting information about each dog allows the investigation of factors that increase, or decrease, the likelihood of multiple health and behaviour issues that may affect the welfare of dogs


Prof Daniel Mills


Daniel is a RCVS, European and ASAB recognised specialist in clinical animal behaviour and a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons He has been developing and exploring new interventions for behaviour problems at the University of Lincoln for over 20 years, and was Europe’s first professor of veterinary behavioural medicine. He has pioneered internationally both the practice and research of companion animal problem behaviour management. He has also been at the forefront of the explosion of research in dog behaviour and cognition which has taken place over the last 15 years. Daniel still consults at the specialist behaviour referral clinic and teaches on both undergraduate programmes and the MSc in clinical animal behaviour at the University of Lincoln.


Gemma Abbott


Gemma holds a first class BSC in Animal Behaviour Science form Lincoln University and has over ten years’ experience as a companion animal behaviourist and dog trainer. After starting her own family, Gemma established Dogs Bumps Babies & Beyond ‘Helping to prepare your dog for family life’. She expanded her expertise through studying with Family Paws™ Parent Education to become a Licensed Educator of the Dogs & Storks® and Dogs & Toddlers™ International Programmes. She has provided specialist support for nearly fifty expectant families and families with babies/toddlers/young children who have a family dog in the last 3 years. She is currently pursuing additional qualifications and study in Child Development, Learning and Psychology. Gemma has her own two young children and three dogs to keep learning from!

Guy Williams

A Police dog handler and trainer of 16 years, Guy is a long-standing advocate for higher welfare dog training. He has made it his personal mission to promote a non-punishment based training culture and to develop sound training systems. He is the author of Positive Police Dogs, a blueprint also adapted into a modular system to help train police dogs. Guy hopes to get his 13 month old Dutch herder (Elvis) licenced very soon, and return to operational duties. He has been involved in puppy development for many years, and has a special interest in breed and puppy development programmes, as well a dog selection and testing.

Date: Friday 19, Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January 2018
Time: 8:30am to 5pm
Venue: Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwick CV8 2LD

  • Dogs are welcome at this venue
  • Babies, toddlers and children under 16 years are not allowed at the conference 


Dog-friendly accommodation is also available at the Chesford Grange Hotel. The conference fee does not include accommodation. Please book your accommodation separately.

The conference room rate for delegates is £97.50 for single occupancy and £110 for double occupancy (per night) including breakfast. Please quote The Puppy Conference to the reservations team when making your booking. Please note that the special conference rate offer will end on 5 January 2018.

Full Conference 3-Day Pass

Standard Rate: £375

1-Day Conference Pass

Standard Rate: £150

Instalment Plan

  • Available for Full Conference 3-Day Pass ONLY
  • Available until 5 pm on 22 December 2017 
  • Four payments of £93.75
  • First instalment is strictly non-refundable
  • Please note that the closing date for all cancellation refunds is 31 October 2018

Please sign up for an account when purchasing your first instalment – that way you will not have to enter your details again when purchasing subsequent instalments.

You are welcome to purchase a pass to the event via the Instalment Plan. You can pay the instalments on whichever dates you choose  between now and 22 December, however any outstanding balance MUST be cleared by 5pm on 22 December 2017 or your place will be cancelled and the first instalment will not be refunded. Please note that instalment payments are your responsibility and we do not send emails reminders.

Fee includes:

  • Conference attendance and talks (for 1, 2 or 3-day options)
  • Welcome pack
  • Refreshments, pastries and fruit at conference arrival
  • Refreshments and cookies at morning break
  • Light Lunch
  • Refreshments and cakes at afternoon break
  • Free wifi
  • Sponsor area and trade stands
  • Certificate of attendance
  • Handouts of presentations (PDF files post-conference

Please note: We do not send out tickets. Please keep the booking email you should receive for your records. Email info packs are sent out 2 weeks before the event.


Payment via PayPal (includes debit or credit card). Please contact Animal Events UK if you need to pay by BACS or cheque.

Terms and Conditions:

  • We reserve the right to change/amend the speaker and/or topics list, as well as the running order of the conference at any stage. Information on this page may be amended at any time.

For 3-Day direct purchase and 1-Day Passes:

  • Cancellations will be refunded minus a £30 cancellation fee up until Midnight GMT on 31 August 2017.
  • Cancellations will be refunded at 50% after  31 August 2017 (Midnight GMT) until 31 October 2017.
  • There will be strictly no cancellation refunds after 31 October 2017 (Midnight GMT).

For Instalment Plans:

  • The instalment plan is ONLY available for the 3-day attendance option.
  • The instalment plan is available until 5pm on 22 December only.
  • The first instalment is non-refundable and cannot be transferred to another event.
  • Cancellations until 31 October 2017 will be refunded at 50% (In addition to the non-refundable deposit).
  • There will be strictly no cancellation refunds after 31 October 2017 (Midnight GMT).
  • It is the responsibility of the purchaser to make the instalment payments and ensure the full amount is paid by 31 August 2017 (Midnight GMT) and AEUK does not send email reminders.


  • You may transfer or sell your pass until 20 December 2017. There will be strictly no transfers after this date.
  • To transfer your place you will be required to complete a transfer form which is obtainable by emailing us via the Contact Form or can be downloaded here (coming soon).
  • Transfer forms must be submitted by 20 December 2017 (Midnight GMT). Forms sent after this time will not be accepted.
  • Transfers will not be accepted without a transfer form.
  • Please note that if you give or sell your place to someone else without submitting a transfer form by the cut-off date, the person will not be admitted to the conference.