Psychological Trauma in Dogs: Welfare Implications and Treatment Strategies

Conference dates and venue:

Date: Friday 30, Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2019
Time: 8:30am to 5pm
Venue: Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, Warwick CV8 2LD

Dog-friendly venue

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Friday 30 August

Psychological trauma in dogs and the resulting array of behaviour issues   Dr Karen L. Overall (University of Pennsylvania)

The effect of trauma and stress on the brain and endocrine system   Dr Simon Gadbois (Dalhousie University)

The impact of poor breeding practices on health and fitness: an ethical balance sheet   Dr David Sargan (University of Cambridge)

Tackling puppy farming and its legacy   Linda Goodman (CARIAD)

Greyhounds: Breeding and Welfare   Susan McKeon (Dogs Trust)

Canine mental health and well being   Dr Franklin McMillan (Best Friends Animal Society)

Q&A session


MARC THE VET (MARC ABRAHAM) – Fundraising for Pup Aid

PETER EGAN (Filming schedule allowing) – Fundraising for C.A.R.I.A.D

Details TBA

Saturday 31 August

The role of pain and disease in behaviour issues   Dr Rowena Packer (Royal Veterinary College)

Pharmacological interventions   Dr Karen L. Overall (University of Pennsylvania)

Nutritional deficits and supportive nutrition   Dr Lotte Davies (InsightPraxis)

Training interventions and rehabilitation   Amber Batson (IAABC)

Biting: assessment, implications, decisions and management   Julie M. Bedford (CCAB)

The role of play in rehabilitation   Dr Leticia Fanucchi (Washington State University)

Q&A session

Sunday 1 September

Olfactory training and stimulation as a potential tool for rehabilitation   Dr Simon Gadbois (Dalhousie University)

How to help the human help the dog: aspects of human-canine communication   Dr Márta Gácsi (Eötvös Loránd University)

Turning canine trauma victims into family dogs   Dr Pamela Reid (ASPCA)

Case histories: successes, compromises and happy endings   Dr Karen L. Overall (University of Pennsylvania)

How to address the root problem: A model for dog welfare Suzanne Rogers (Human Behaviour Change for Animals)

Q&A session


Full conference equals 6 hours of CPD for vets and vet nurses

12 months worth of CPD for PACT Members

17 CEUs for IAABC Members

17 CEUs for Karen Pryor Academy Members


Keynote Speaker

Dr Karen L. Overall, MA, VMD, PhD, Diplomate ACVB, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist

Dr Karen Overall is a world leading Veterinary Behaviourist who received her BA, MA, and Veterinary Medicine Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB) and is certified by the Animal Behavior Society (ABS) as an Applied Animal Behaviorist.

As well as core member of the Canine Behavior and Genetics Project, she is the author of over a hundred scholarly publications on behavioural medicine, as well as many textbook chapters.  Karen is the author of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals (1997) and Manual of Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Dogs and Cats (2013). She is also a columnist for DVM News and the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research.

Dr Overall ran the behaviour clinic at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine for many years, and is now a Research Associate at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior of the Psychiatry Department at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on canine neurobehavioural genetics and the development of normal and abnormal behaviours, and on the development of behaviours beneficial to working dogs. See and hear Karen Overall speak here.


Dr Simon Gadbois, PhD

Dr Simon Gadbois hails from Canada and is an ethologist and behavioural neuroscientist. He is the Director and Principal Investigator of the Canid Behaviour Research Team at the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University, as well as a Senior Instructor in the Department. He has a PhD in Animal Behaviour and Behavioural Endocrinology, and conducts and supervises research in canids, animal behaviour, neuroscience, olfactory processing – focusing on Canine Scent Processing and its Applications, and learning, and behavioural endocrinology. See and hear Simon Gadbois speak here.

 Dr David Sargan, MA, PhD

Dr David Sargan is a senior lecturer at the University of Cambridge Veterinary School working in comparative genetics and genomics, with special interests in the genes involved in canine inherited diseases. He curates the university’s database: Inherited Diseases in Dogs, a reference tool that catalogues inherited defects in dogs and their underlying genetics. His laboratory has produced a number of DNA based tests for canine inherited diseases. Dr Sargan is a Council Member of UK Dog Advisory Council and a Trustee of the University Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) and Humane Slaughter Association (HSA). See and hear David Sargan speak here.

Linda Goodman (CARIAD) 

Linda is the founder of CARIAD (‘Beloved’ in Welsh/Care And Respect Includes All Dogs). She 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 responsibly find a puppy. Its team also works with members of the public who unsuspectedly buy puppies from pet shops traced back to puppy farms – logging 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. 

Susan McKeon, BSc (Hons) ADPT UK (ABTC)

Susan is an experienced dog trainer and behaviourist who specialises in working with ex-racing greyhounds. She works for UK sighthound charity Forever Hounds Trust as their Post Homing Support Manager and also runs her own dog behaviour business. She is a member of APDT UK and a registered Animal Training Instructor with ABTC, Susan has a BSc (Hons) in Canine Behaviour and Training and her dissertation research focused on “Impulsivity in retired racing greyhounds (Canis familiaris): is racing status an indicator of increased impulsivity” She has private greyhound clients across the UK and has spoken at national and international conferences about greyhound behaviour.

Dr Franklin McMillan, DVM

Dr Franklin D. McMillan is the director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society in the US.  He was previously in a private veterinary practice for 23 years, as well as Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine. He is board-certified in the veterinary specialties of small animal internal medicine and animal welfare. His research interests are animal quality of life and the mental health and emotional well-being of animals who have endured hardship, adversity, and psychological trauma – to better understand the effects of trauma and to develop new therapies to restore to these animals a life of enjoyment rather than one filled with fear and emotional distress. Dr Frank lectures worldwide and has published dozens of scientific journal articles and is the author of the textbook Mental Health and Well-Being in Animals, and a book for the general public titled Unlocking the Animal Mind

Dr Rowena Packer BSc (Hons) PhD

Dr Rowena Packer is a companion animal welfare and behaviour scientist and BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) Future Leader Research Fellow and part of the Brain Health and Behaviour Group at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). Her PhD examined inherited disorders related to extreme conformation in dogs, while her postgraduate studies centred on canine epilepsy and its behavioural comorbidities. Her current research interests focus on the interplay between canine health, behaviour and welfare, specifically inherited diseases, canine neurodevelopmental disorders and their impact on animal welfare. See and hear Rowena Packer speak here.

Dr Lotte Davies, DVM, MRCVS

A Danish-Canadian Board Certified Veterinary Practitioner with over 30 years’ international experience in practice, industry and teaching, Lotte has a lifelong interest in animal nutrition-specifically, its influence on canine health and disease. She lectures extensively and consults via her company InsightPraxis, advising pet nutrition and pharmaceutical companies, veterinarians, and pet owners; while teaching veterinary students on Applied Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen. Her other interest is canine behaviour, and she holds a postgraduate Diploma in Applied Behavioral Medicine (led by Dr Karen Overall) from the NAVC Institute. To foster the best communication with her clients, she has undertaken University-level Psychology Units and Qualitative Research training. Lotte is the author of ‘Sund Hund’ (meaning ‘Healthy Dog’) a book aimed at Danish pet owners with evidence-based up-to-date information on how to keep dogs in optimal mental and physical condition throughout life – focusing on nutrition and behaviour. 

Amber Batson BVetMed MRCVS IAABC (ABTC)

Amber is an experienced veterinary surgeon and behaviourist. She graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 1999 and has worked in general practice ever since. She is passionate about animal behaviour and has undertaken several qualifications in canine, feline and equine behaviour and welfare. As well as working in practice, she lectures on animal behaviour and consults on behaviour and welfare for national and international animal welfare organisations. Amber presents workshops on all aspects of canine behaviour around the UK, focusing on severe issues, treatment and rehabilitation – aimed at trainers and behaviourists.

 Julie M. Bedford, BSc (Hons), PGCE, PG Dip (CABC), CCAB (ABTC)

A 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.  In 2015 The Daily Mirror and RSPCA acknowledged her work within rescue and rehoming by giving her the Animal Hero Superstar award.

Dr Leticia Fanucchi, DVM PhD

Hailing from Brazil, Dr Leticia Fanucchi is a veterinarian specialising in behaviour based at Washington State University. She holds the post of Clinical Instructor in the department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences’ Teaching Hospital. Additionally, she runs the Shelter Training Program at the Whitman County Humane Society where she serves on the board of directors. Leticia’s PhD research focused on attachment systems and the effects of separation in dogs – she was Professor Jaak Panksepp’s last postgraduate student. She is currently evaluating the efficacy of acupuncture as an additional modality to treat anxiety in dogs, and heads another project into the use of a canine cognition software for senior dogs.

Dr Márta Gácsi, PhD

Dr Márta Gácsi is a Research Associate Professor from the Comparative Ethology Research Group at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, Hungary (Professor Ádám Miklósi’s Lab). She is also part of the associated Family Dog Project. Márta’s PhD research focused on the attachment behaviour of dogs towards their owner(s). She is an expert in Cognitive Science, and is currently involved in a range of projects ranging from ethorobotics (the application of canine interspecific social behaviours as a model for designing more “social” service robots), inter and intraspecific vocal communication of dogs, to human-dog communication. Her primary research interest is the ethological analysis of dog-human relationship and the role of domestication in dogs’ socio-cognitive abilities

Dr Pamela Reid, PhD, CAAB

Dr Pamela Reid received her PhD in Psychology, Animal Learning and Behaviour from the University of Toronto and spent many years running her successful referral practice, as well as teaching and supervising graduates at the University of Guelph. Pam is a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB) currently serving as Vice-President of the ASPCA’s Anti-Cruelty Behavior Team (ACBT) and the Anti-Cruelty Behavioral Rehabilitation Center (US). The ACBT works closely with the ASPCA’s Field Investigations & Response (FIR) team to provide behaviour evaluations, enrichment and rehabilitation for animals from cruelty cases and disaster responses. Pam has played an integral role in many high-profile operations, including the evaluation of Michael Vick’s dogs, as well as dogs from the largest dogfighting raid in US history—commonly known as the “Missouri 500’’.

She has contributed to many scholarly books, is the author of the best-selling ‘’Excel-erated Learning! Explaining (in plain English) how Dogs Learn and how Best to Teach them’’ and ‘’Dog InSight: a Collection of Essays on the Essence of the Dog’’. She lectures on animal behaviour worldwide, has served on many committees, and was part of the development team of the PETsMART’s 2000 instructor training program. Her list of achievements is so extensive it is actually too long to list here!

Suzanne Rogers BSc (Hons) IAABC (ABTC)

Multi-talented Suzanne Rogers is an Animal Welfare Consultant who runs several projects via her business Learning About Animals. She is a Director of the Change For Animals Foundation and Human Behaviour Change for Animals, as well as sitting on the Board of the World Association for Transport Animal Welfare and Studies (TAWS). Suzanne holds a Degree in microbiology and has an extensive background in science publishing, science journalism and animal behaviour and welfare. She has worked for several animal welfare organisations, including as Programmes Manager of the Companion Animal Unit at the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) (now renamed World Animal Protection, WPA), managing dog population programmes and working on equine projects.

Suzanne consults and lectures internationally on animal welfare and human behaviour change.

Special Guest Speakers

Marc Abraham aka Marc The Vet

Marc Abraham, or ‘Marc the Vet’ as he’s usually known, is a veterinary surgeon, TV presenter, author, and animal welfare campaigner. Marc recently led his high profile and multi award-winning Lucy’s Law team to successfully change the law in Westminster and ban commercial 3rd party puppy (and kitten) dealers after a 10 year campaign. Marc will talk about campaigning in Parliament, working with animals in UK and abroad, TV appearances on Paul O’Grady Show and ITV’s This Morning, what the inside of No.10 looks like, and of course how the Lucy’s Law campaign was won!

Marc will give a fundraising guest talk titled ‘Lucy’s Law: The Story of the Little Dog That Changed the World’ on Friday 30 August. All proceeds to PupAid.

Peter Egan

Peter Egan, star of Ever Decreasing Circles, A Perfect Spy and Downton Abbey, will now be joining Marc the Vet on Friday evening (subject to any change in his filming schedule) for a second guest talk. Peter is a passionate and prominent animal welfare advocate and Patron of Care And Respect Includes All Dogs (C.A.R.I.A.D.).

All proceeds from his appearance will go to C.A.R.I.A.D


Date: Friday 30, Saturday 31 August and Sunday 1 September 2019
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 £97.00 for single occupancy and £109 or double occupancy (per night) including breakfast.This rate is not available via booking online. Please call the Chesford Grange direct on 01926 859331 and quote the ACTION Conference when making your booking. The hotel often has special offers available – we recommend you also check available rates online.

Full Conference 3-Day Pass

Standard Rate: £375

1-Day Conference Pass

Standard Rate: £150

Instalment Plan (NOW CLOSED)

  • Available for Full Conference 3-Day Pass ONLY
  • Available until Midnight on 21 March 2019
  • Four payments of £93.75
  • First instalment is strictly non-refundable
  • Please note that the closing date for all cancellation refunds is 21 June 2019

Please sign up for an account when purchasing your first instalment – this will prevent having 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 21 March 2019, however any outstanding balance MUST be cleared by Midnight on 21 June 2019  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 email 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 (PDFs will be emailed 72 hours before the 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.

Cancellation refunds:

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

  • Cancellations will be refunded minus a £30 cancellation fee up until Midnight GMT on 21 April 2019.
  • Cancellations will be refunded minus a £30 cancellation and at 50% after 21 April 2019 (Midnight GMT) until 21 June 2019.
  • There will be strictly no cancellation refunds after 21 June 2019 (Midnight GMT).

For Instalment Plans:

  • The first instalment is non-refundable and cannot be transferred to another event.
  • Cancellations will be refunded minus a £30 cancellation fee (in addition to the non-refundable deposit) until Midnight GMT on 21 April 2019.
  • Cancellations will be refunded at 50% (in addition to the non-refundable deposit) after 21 April 2019 Midnight GMT until 21 June 2019.
  • There will be strictly no cancellation refunds after 21 June 2019 (Midnight GMT).
  • It is the responsibility of the purchaser to make the instalment payments and ensure the full amount is paid by 21 June 2019 (Midnight GMT) and AEUK does not send email reminders.


  • You may transfer or sell your pass until 21 June 2019. 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 21 June 2019 (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.

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.
  • Please see full Terms and Conditions here.