ClickerExpo 2017

We – Rachael, Andre, and Verena – just got back from Portland, Oregon, where we spend 4 days at ClickerExpo – a huge conference for clicker trainers, run by the Karen Pryor Academy, where all three of us studied.  It was a truly amazing experience, spending four straight days surrounded by clicker trainers of all walks of life and experience levels.

We spent one full day doing chicken camp – in which we clicker trained chickens with Terry Ryan.  This should be on every dog trainer’s bucket list.  It’s an excellent way to brush up on your precision and timing, with a less forgiving animal than a dog.

Three days were then spend back to back in labs and seminars, with presenters like Kathy Sdao, Dr. Susan G. Friedman, Ken Ramirez, Michele Pouliot, Sarah Owings, Laura VanArendonk Baugh, Hannah Branigan, Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, and more.

I think it’s fair to say that  we all came back better trainers – and teachers – than we were when we left.

Rachael, Verena, and Andre in Portland

Chicken Camp Attendees

Andre and his Chicken (Photography by: Marty Strausbaugh)

Terry Ryan & Verena

First Night of Expo Meet and Greet

Working with Chickens! (Andre on left, Rachael on right)

Andre, Verena, and Rachael with our Chickens

Verena Schleich has been a life-long animal lover, and fell into the world of dog training while raising Athena, her Doberman. She began learning about dog training as a student at When Hounds Fly, and had taken nearly every single class offered at the school. Because of her hard work and good training skills, she’s been able to train Athena to become a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog. Since then, she has turned her passion for animals and dog training into a life and career. Her experience with animals includes working as a full-time dog walker, volunteering with the Toronto Cat Rescue, and planning her own animal welfare efforts through her travel in the Middle East. Verena is scheduled to graduate from the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Training and Behaviour, in January 2016, studying under Laura VanArendonk Baugh. You can read her blog at

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