Michele Pouliot began her animal-training career with horses. Acquiring her first dog was a move that changed Michele’s life; her career path changed to dog training, which progressed to guide dog training. When she joined Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB), Michele began her career as a licensed guide dog instructor. In addition to training 350+ guide dog teams over 20 years, Michele led the adoption of clicker training for guide dogs and for the development of puppies raised for guide dog work. Michele also developed the program for GDB’s clients learning to clicker train their own guide dogs. Michele has been a pioneer in the guide dog industry worldwide; she and GDB assist other guide dog schools crossing over from traditional training to positive reinforcement/clicker training. In 2016, the International Guide Dog Federation presented Michele with a Lifetime Achievement award. Michele retired from her 42-year career with GDB, but continues to lead workshops around the world.
Michele has been active and successful in canine sports. She was involved in competition obedience for 20 years, winning four Obedience Trial Championships. In 2005, Michele discovered the new sport of Canine Musical Freestyle. Michele and her dogs have attained more than 10 Championship/Grand Championship titles and are winners of national and international freestyle competitions. Michele and Listo made history in the World Canine Freestyle Organization: the first team to receive perfect “10” scores in both Artistic and Technical categories! They repeated this achievement 23 more times with six routines. Michele travels extensively giving seminars on clicker training, particularly for dog sports. A ClickerExpo faculty member since 2008, Michele created KPA’s popular Canine Freestyle course.
Kathy Sdao is an applied animal behaviorist. She has spent 30+ years as a fulltime animal trainer, first with marine mammals and now with dogs and their people. Kathy received a master’s degree from the University of Hawaii, after which the United States Navy hired her to train dolphins for open-ocean tasks. Kathy next worked as a marine-mammal trainer at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Later, Kathy co-created Tacoma’s first dog daycare facility, where she began teaching clicker training classes. Since 1998, Kathy has owned Bright Spot Dog Training. Services include consulting with families about their challenging dogs, teaching private lessons, and mentoring professional trainers. Kathy is proud to be an original ClickerExpo faculty member. Kathy has traveled across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and to Australia, Israel, Japan, and Mexico, educating students about the science of animal training. Her first book, Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace was published in 2012.
After 30+ years as a national-level gymnastics coach, Theresa McKeon was determined to find a way to speed up skill acquisition for her athletes while simultaneously decreasing stress and fear in the learning environment. Her search for behaviorally sound techniques, clean instructions, and the proper timing of feedback and reinforcement, led to the development of the TAGteach methodology and TAGteach International, LLC. TAGteach has since evolved into an entire teaching protocol benefiting an endless variety of human applications.Theresa now consults and designs TAGteach programs in business management, industrial safety, medical and surgical training, sport coaching, family communication, and, of course, training for those who teach people to train their companion animals. She is a sought-after speaker around the world, including in Europe, the U.K., Taiwan, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.