When: July 25 – 26, 2020 (9-5 each day)

Where: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (17555 108 Avenue NW)

Amy Cook Professional Development Dog Training Seminar

Is your dog brilliant at home and class but shuts down in competition? Does she bark at people or dogs? Is he afraid of the teeter? Does she disengage from you when she makes a mistake in training? Does she seem generally stressed? For a competition dog, dealing with behaviour challenges is a must! The​ ​Play​ ​Way​ is Dr. Amy Cook’s method of helping shy and stressed dogs overcome these issues to live a happier life and reach their full potential.

Rather than teaching you the behaviors that are required for success in the ring of any specific sport, this seminar will address how to assess and increase your dog’s comfort level, confidence, and connection to you in novel and challenging environments. Instead of focusing mainly on the use of food, Amy has established a more nuanced rehabilitation process that revolves around personal, social play, to both gauge the dog’s emotional state and help them relax and learn new responses to what stresses them. Dr. Cook will emphasize the importance of emotions in training and explain the hidden signs of stress. This can support your in-ring performances and increase the joy you and your dog share every day! Whether your pup is being reactive on leash, fearful in the world, or you are struggling with a dog who performs great during training but shuts down at trials, this seminar can provide unique skills and a different approach to traditional food-driven counter conditioning protocols.

This is a two-day seminar with both working and auditing spots available. This seminar is suitable for:

  • Students/competitors in any sport
  • Professional trainers, or instructors in any sport, looking for tools to support their students
  • Pet professionals working with shy, fearful, or reactive dogs in any capacity (shelter/rescue staff, veterinary staff, groomers, kennel staff, dog walkers/sitters, etc.)
  • Keen dog owners looking to grow their understanding of their dog’s behaviour and improve their relationship

Please fully review the details in each tab below before registering.

About Amy

Dr. Cook is an International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, a longstanding professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation. Dr. Cook received her Ph.D. in Psychology from UC Berkeley, with her research focusing on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ. Dr. Cook is the founder and creator of the Play Way and a popular instructor for the online school, The Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. She has been training dogs for nearly 30 years, and has specialized in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for over 20 years.


In this seminar you will learn:

  • How to assess preparedness to work. 
  • How to identify and mitigate low level stress.
  • About threshold management
  • About relaxed play, and its important role in the rehabilitation of stress & anxiety
  • Personal play, food or toys: which one should you use and when?
  • How to help a dog “Look and Dismiss” and take challenges in stride.

This is a 2-day seminar. Saturday is lecture only. Sunday is lecture and working dog teams. If you are considering a working spot, please see the tab below.

Continuing Education Units are pending approval and will be posted as soon as possible.

Working Spot Information

There are a maximum of 10 working spots available. This seminar is appropriate for dogs with general anxiety, performance/ring stress, fear of strange people or dogs, and over-arousal. All working teams must be approved in advance and be “seminar ready.”

Working dogs will get two individual sessions on Sunday with Dr. Cook, and everyone will get to watch and learn from each dog. Since there is not a ton of working time for each team, the cost of a working spot is only marginally higher than an auditing spot. Please consider your dog’s comfort level before registering for a working spot. The aim of a working spot is to teach the human learner the skills of social play for rehabilitation, not to “fix” stressed or reactive dogs, who likely cannot learn well in a seminar environment. You are there to help your dog to learn to play socially, so she must be able to function well in this setting. We encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to audit if your dog won’t be comfortable; auditing this seminar is incredibly valuable, and provides a great opportunity to really observe dog body language and human body language throughout the play process to take away and work with other dogs.  Auditors will be involved in the analysis of the working spots.

To attend, dogs must:

  • not exhibit aggression toward people or dogs
  • not be overtly reactive or shut down
  • be comfortable in the presence of strangers and other dogs
  • be able to interact socially in a group environment with people looking at them
  • be able to tolerate lengthy down time in a crate in a separate room (with appropriate breaks)

That’s a high bar, but necessary in order to help you and your dog make progress in the seminar. 

There are no refunds for working teams if a dog finds this workshop environment too overwhelming to successfully wait their turn or work in front of the group. If your dog is seriously in distress and you are unable to help them settle, you will be asked to take your dog home for their own well-being and there are no refunds for missed time. We will have multiple crating spaces available and have several breaks throughout the day.

Pricing & Registration
Ticket Type Working (Limited to 10) Auditing
Early Bird (Deadline: April 30) $200
Regular $275 $225

Please click here to apply for a working spot.

Click here to register for an auditing spot.