APBC Annual Conference 2018: The Art and Science of Play

Event Date: 
Kettering Conference Centre
Event Type: 
Open to Everyone

APBC Spring Conference 2018: The Art and Science of Play: what is play and how can we use it effectively to strengthen the dog-owner bond and improve the welfare of the dogs we live with.

Dogs, like people, generally enjoy playing. Play, with other dogs or with humans, can be a source of fun and enjoyment, and can help to build a strong relationship between two individuals, including owner and dog. Play can also help expend excess energy and provide appropriate outlets for otherwise problematic behaviours such as hunting and herding behaviours. However dogs need to learn how to play appropriately with people, and with other dogs, from puppyhood onwards or play can become a source of problem behaviours.

Our speakers, all highly acclaimed experts in their fields, will discuss many aspects of play including its emotional and physiological effects, how play can be used to strengthen the human-dog relationship and reduce problem behaviours, ensuring play is appropriate, particularly when dogs are playing with other dogs, and also how to play with dogs with physical or sensory impairments.

Speakers to include:


Introductory talk on emotional and physiological aspects of play including effects on stress, health, welfare etc.

Sarah qualified from Bristol University and spent four years in mixed general practice before setting up a behaviour medicine referral practice in 1992. She is an Honorary Lecturer in small animal behavioural medicine at Liverpool University and a Certified Clinical Animal Behaviourist under the ASAB accreditation scheme. In 2002 Sarah became a Founding Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine (formerly the ECVBM-CA) and served as President from 2002 to 2008. Sarah has a special interest in the interplay between behaviour and physical illness in dogs and cats and particularly in the role of pain. Her interests in the field of feline medicine include the role of behavioural factors in feline obesity, lower urinary tract disease, cognitive dysfunction and infectious disease. Sarah lectures extensively at home and abroad on behavioural topics

Tamsin Durston

The benefits of play when included in training classes to learning, memory and the human-dog relationship, and how to provide play as an outlet for natural but not necessarily socially acceptable behaviour such as dog boxes, flirt poles, tuggy, problem solving play etc

Tamsin is a Qualified, Registered Veterinary Nurse and have been working in small animal practice for 18 years. For the past 13 years she has worked for animal welfare charity Blue Cross in the role of Nurse Manager of Blue Cross Animal Hospital, Merton, South London. As well as nursing Tamsin also provides behavioural advice and support to Blue Cross clients. Having gained an FdSc in Animal Management: Training and Behaviour Counselling, Tamsin completed a BSc in Canine Behaviour and Training and is especially interested in applying behavioural knowledge within the veterinary environment in order to improve and optimise the experience of animals within our care. Tamsin also volunteers within her local community to help dog owners with training, again using behavioural understanding to improve the human-animal bond and teaching life skills to enable the partnerships to live happy, healthy lives together.

Sarah Whitehead: when dogs play: talk on observing behaviour and body language, what is play and what isn’t

Morag Heirs: playing with dogs with disabilities/physical and sensory impairments

Craig Ogilvie

The I.N.T.E.R.A.C.T.I.V.E Play Guide

Interactive Play, using your dogs toy as a bridge to create a unique, special and fun packed experience to share with your dog which can benefit your lives in so many ways. Building a better relationship with your dog Confidence building Motivation Stimulation and impulse control Gaining your dogs focus Creating a high value reward experience for training Creating an interactive experience that you can share with your dog that will stimulate their body and mind. Most of all having lots of fun

Craig is uniquely qualified in the U.K as the only person to achieve a Mondioring decoys license and has travelled all over Europe with his sport testing and training dogs from all over the world. It was on this journey that he discovered the Interactive Gold Dust and used motivation, stimulation and focus to create the Interactive Play Experience and has been helping dogs and people ever since. He instructs and delivers training for a wide variety of organization’s including the U.K Police, U.K Military, pet dog societies, and Dog sport societies, he is also the author of the Interactive Play Guide and completely in love with helping dogs and people. Travelling all over the country delivering seminars, workshops, and speaking engagements helping to motivate dog lovers and their dogs from all background to achieve their goals and create their own in amazing Interactive Play Experience.

Nitty Gritty

Non-member early bird price: £60 (up to 18 March 2018)
Members early bird price: £45 (up to 18 March 2018)
Standard non-member price: £75
Members standard price: £60

Please make sure you register at the correct rate as mistakes cannot be rectified afterwards.

FEES INCLUDE REFRESHMENTS AND A PACKED LUNCH (please ensure any dietary requirements are requested at time of booking)

A group discount is available for animal welfare and assistance dogs charities if sending four or more attendees. Please email events [at] apbc [dot] org [dot] uk to request details.

Please note that other than assistance dogs, the venue does not permit dogs on the site. No refunds for cancellations can be given after 29 March 2018. Cancellations prior to 29 March 2018 are subject to an £8 cancellation fee. The organisers reserve the right to replace speakers in necessary.