for Dog Breeders and Owners
And if you are a competitor, working dog handler or dog enthusiast, our seminars will enable you to understand how a puppy’s first four months sets the stage for its lifetime!
Looking for a Distinguished Speaker?
We offer single and multi-day seminars on topics including raising puppies to be healthy and stable, puppy temperament testing and matching so pups end up in the right homes, and creating a dog breeding strategy to enable breeders to meet their goals. We also waive our speaking fees for shorter keynote presentations at national breed specialties.
Hosting an Avidog Seminar
- Prompt, professional replies to your phone calls and email messages.
- A personal phone consultation with us prior to your event, so we can better understand how we can best serve you and your audience.
- An announcement about your event on our blog and social media channels. (This assumes that your event is open to the public and you want additional visibility for it.)
- A professionally prepared, dynamically delivered presentation focused on achieving the outcomes you want with your audience.
- A custom resource page, exclusively created for your attendees. It will include the slides we used in the presentation, along with links to books, articles, and other resources we believe will be helpful.
- A quick follow-up communication after the event, to make sure we met your expectations. (We also want to know how you think we can improve.)
If you have questions or to inquire about hosting a seminar, please contact us!
Avidog Seminar Topics
Transformational Puppy Rearing: Raising Healthy, Stable Dogs!
Day 1 (Early Puppy Rearing)
Will focus on puppy development from before conception, through pregnancy, up to three weeks of age. During this session, we will cover key activities during the prenatal, neonatal and transition periods that give pups the best chance to become healthy, stable, long-lived dogs. We will address everything from epigenetics to potty training litters.
Day 2 (Sensitive Period Puppy Rearing)
Covers a puppy’s Sensitive Period, from four to 16 weeks, the most critical time in a dog’s life. Topics include nutrition, socialization, sport and work development, housebreaking, recalls, and much more. All are focused on optimizing every pup’s temperament, health and talents so it will thrive.
Who Should Attend Transformational Puppy Rearing?
The seminar has something to offer any serious dog person but will have particular appeal to:
- Present and future dog breeders of competition, working and pet dogs
- Working dog owners and handlers
- Performance dog owners
- Dog trainers
- Veterinarians and vet techs
What past TPR seminar participants have said
The Transformational Puppy Rearing seminar was incredible. Gayle’s intelligence, passion, and commitment, along with her dynamic delivery and wonderful sense of humor, made the two information-packed days fly by and left me wanting more. – Kelly
Transformational Puppy Evaluation and Matching: Connecting Dogs and Owners So All Thrive
This two-day seminar will focus on the why, what and how of Avidog’s scientifically based, ground-breaking puppy evaluation and matching system that enables us to match pups to homes. If a litter is available, we will temperament test two puppies during the seminar.
Day 1 (Puppy Eval 1)
Begins with determining why we need to evaluate and match puppies, how to evaluate prospective owners and homes, and evaluating health, structure, and natural working ability. We will end the day with an introduction to temperament and the components that make dogs more or less successful in their homes.
Day 2 (Puppy Eval 2)
Continues with an in-depth look into temperament, identifying those traits that do not change over a dog’s lifetime and those that can be influenced by breeders and owners. We will then watch and score an Avidog Puppy Evaluation Test (APET). From there we will try our hand at matching puppies to homes and developing individualized training plans for each pup.
Who Should Attend Transformational Puppy Evaluation and Matching?
The seminar has something to offer any serious dog person but will have particular appeal to:
- present and future dog breeders of competition, working and pet dogs
- working dog owners and handlers
- performance dog owners
- dog trainers
What past TPE seminar participants have said
Gayle Watkins is a first-class presenter who is able to explain complex topics in a straight-forward manner while still being very entertaining. Her methodology on puppy testing is revolutionary and will change the way we place our puppies. Her method of testing is not only easy to implement, but it is intuitive and repeatable. Her seminar will teach even the most experienced breeders something new. – Debra
Transformational Dog Breeding: Ensuring Success in Your Breeding Program
Day 1 (Trans Dog Breeding 1)
Introduces the eight components of the Avidog® breeding system, from setting and measuring goals to analyzing progress toward them. We then dig into goal setting, weighting and measuring. With goals in place, we will discuss applying epigenetics to breeding programs. Although a very young science, epigenetics should play a role in how dog breeders and owners select, raise and breed dogs for future breedings.
In addition to epigenetics, population genetics should influence breeders’ breeding stock selection. Sires and dams contribute differently and play different roles in a breeding’s success but each plays a critical role in their puppies’ future.
Day 2 (Trans Dog Breeding 2)
Continues the creation of your breeding strategy by developing plans for puppy rearing, evaluation and placement. We will determine the kinds of homes that fit best with our pups and develop a plan to find them. Finally, we will analyze how we are doing in our breeding. What is working? What isn’t? How can we improve?
Who Should Attend Transformational Dog Breeding?
This seminar has something to offer any serious dog person but will have particular appeal to present and future dog breeders of competition, working and pet dogs, and national breed club board members and officers. Attendees will create their own individual breeding strategy during the seminar, leaving with a plan they can immediately implement.
Transformational Puppy Rearing Seminar for National Specialties
Avidog has a special seminar for National Specialties!
We do not charge national clubs a speaking fee for this popular, three-hour keynote seminar. It is perfect for the education component of your national! During the seminar, Gayle will introduce participants to the why, what and how of a scientifically based, ground-breaking puppy-rearing system that enables us to bring out the best in puppies. It will focus on early puppy development including epigenetics, nutrition, and unique aspects of canine development that we can use to best develop our pup.
The seminar has something to offer any serious dog person but will have particular appeal to dog breeders and competitors.
What past National Specialty seminar participants have said
A great eye-opener! I wish I had all of this information years ago!
From Research to Real Life: Combining Art and Science to Raise Great Dogs
We will explore issues around mating and whelping, paying close attention to nutrition, conditioning, and how to optimize your breeding success. We will then turn to the critical early period that sets each dog’s life-course trajectory for lifetime health and temperament, discussing what makes up under-, over-, and optimal rearing. We will progress through each stage in your dog’s early development, highlighting the action steps that you should take in each to enable your puppy to develop fully. You will leave with hundreds of simple yet scientifically sound ideas for creating an optimal breeding and rearing program, regardless of breed or background.
Who Should Attend From Research to Reality?
This seminar has broad appeal to breeders, owners, competitors and trainers, and veteran Avidog seminar attendees!
Fit to Be Tied: Conditioning Breeding Dogs
In this 3-hour seminar, Gayle will present the Fit to Be Tied program, including what exercises should be done each step of the breeding process, from before the first tie until the pups go home. Using lecture, videos and demonstrations, you’ll learn how easy it is to teach the exercises to your dogs. Infrequently, Chris and Gayle will offer Fit to Be Tied together. Drop us a note, if you are interested.
Although this seminar is focused on breeding dogs, the analyses and exercises are also appropriate for performance and working dogs.
The seminar has something to offer any serious dog person but will have particular appeal to present and future dog breeders of competition, working and pet dogs, veterinarians and techs, and rehab specialists.
Gayle is the co-founder of Avidog International, where she works with dog breeders around the world to design breeding programs that produce healthy, stable, long-lived dogs of all types. She has bred golden retrievers for over 40 years, is a Gold Breeder of Merit, and is one of the few dog breeders to have thrice been selected by the American Kennel Club as “Breeder of the Year.”
Gayle’s professional life included 22 years of service as a US Army officer (retiring as a Colonel), teaching, speaking and publishing, and conducting research for the Department of the Army as well as many corporate and non-profit organizations. Her education includes biology, business and sociology degrees from Harvard, Stanford and Gettysburg College.
Gayle has bred and/or shown over 130 American and Canadian Conformation, Tracking, Obedience and Agility champions, plus Qualified-All Age and Master Hunter golden retrievers. These dogs include the only two-time AKC National Agility Champion, the AKC Rally National Champion, and the youngest Champion Tracker golden.