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APDT NSW - Making Dogs Happy symposium


Join us for a day of presentations & workshops inspired to help you better understand your canine companion.
Topics covered will include:
  • Recognizing normal dog behaviour
  • Optimism in dogs
  • Oxytocin in dogs and humans
  • Effects of age-at-castration on dog behaviour
  • Expectations of dog adopters
  • Factors that influence working dog success
  • Working breeds as happy pets
  • How arousal and affective state affect training
  • How does good dogmanship make dogs happy?

Professor Paul McGreevy is a veterinarian, ethologist and author. He is Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science and a leading member of the Dog Ownership and Human Health node. His work focuses on understanding the behavioural biology and the needs of dogs and horses. The author of over 250 peer-reviewed scientific publications and eight books, Paul has received numerous Australian and international awards for his research and teaching innovations, most recently the International Lifetime Achievement Award from the UK’s Kennel Club. Some of his noteworthy titles are Carrots and Sticks: Principles of Animal Training, The Modern Dog and co-author of Making Dogs Happy. 

Dr. Melissa Starling - Melissa Starling holds a BSc (Hons) in zoology and a PhD on dog behaviour, personality, emotions and cognition. She has long had a passion for animal behaviour and animal training that has only intensified the more she learns. She has experience training flighty prey animals as well as bold, opportunistic dogs. Melissa understands that sometimes our animal companions behave in ways that are upsetting and make us feel responsible, frustrated, or unhappy even as we simultaneously feel helpless to change their behaviour. Melissa likes human psychology almost as much as animal psychology. She is the co-author of 'Making Dogs Happy'.

Professor Manos Stamatakis - Prof Stamatakis is the leader of the Charles Perkins Centre project nodes on Incidental Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour; and Dog Ownership and Human Health. He leads numerous international collaborations involving major epidemiologic cohorts such as the 1970 British Birth Cohort, the Health Survey for England, and the UK Biobank. He has received funding from numerous major UK, Australian and international funders. His work is regularly featured in Australian and international TV, radio, and print and online media.

Dr Elizabeth Arnott - Liz graduated from the University of Sydney in 2003. She began her veterinary career as a mixed animal practitioner on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Following a year of practice in the United Kingdom, she took a veterinary position in Tamworth focusing on small animal medicine. Liz was awarded a Masters in Small Animal Practice from Murdoch University and achieved membership to the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 2011. Working in rural New South Wales for many years has given her an appreciation of the working partnership between farmers and their dogs and she is looking forward to further exploring this relationship throughout her research. Liz is currently completing her PhD on Australian herding dogs.

Dr. Elyssa Payne - Elyssa Payne holds a B. Animal and Veterinary Bioscience (Hons.) and a PhD dogmanship. She is interested in helping people acquire the skills that allow them to become the best of friends to their dogs and addressing the issues that all too often lead to dogs being surrendered, relinquished and euthanased. Her research has shown how our own personality can influence the way we train dogs. Elyssa is now using her knowledge to help educate dog owners to be reflective practitioners of dogmanship and consequently achieve the best possible relationships with their dogs.

Sophie Masters - Sophie is the project manager for our team’s flagship app, doglogbook. She has many years’ experience in managing  projects and programmes. She has experience in rolling-out new software systems, has conducted training and has written various  documents and manuals to support these processes. Sophie is also currently working on VetCompass, a related national veterinary research project that will increase our understanding of the diseases, conditions and treatments of dogs, cats and horses. It meshes neatly
with the data on dogs from doglogbook. 

Lauren Powell - Lauren Powell is a PhD candidate with the Dog Ownership and Human Health research node at the University of Sydney.  She holds a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience with First Class honours. Her Honours research focused on canine behavioural  genetics. Through her years of experience at the RSPCA, Lauren developed a strong interest in the human-dog bond and its influence on human and canine health outcomes associated with dog adoption. This interest is reflected in her current research that focuses on the  biological mechanisms of interspecies bonding, specifically the possible role of oxytocin. 


Dr. Melissa Starling and Prof. Paul McGreevy will be signing copies of their latest book, Making Dogs Happy. Copies will be available for purchase ($35) during the symposium. 



Saturday 2 June 2018


9:00 - 4:15pm
Registration opens at 8am and coffee/tea will be available on arrival. The symposium will begin promptly at 9am. Lunch (vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available) will be provided along with morning/afternoon tea. 


CPC Lecture Theatre - Sydney University
Camperdown, NSW 2006

The CPC Lecture Theatre is located opposite the Charles Perkins Centre. It resides in the same building as Taste Cafe. If you do a search for Taste Cafe (Camperdown) it will be easy to find. The lecture theatre is on the level beneath the Taste Cafe.



Lunch and morning/afternoon tea will be provided on the day.
If you have special dietary needs - please fill out your dietary preference via the google form or contact Faith at

Meal preference form -


General Public - $120 
APDT members - $90  
Sydney University staff/students - $90

parking - public transport 

Paid parking and street parking are limited at the University and carpooling might be a viable option for some attendees.  I have been advised by venue management that public transport may be a better option, where possible. Sydney University is centrally location between Central station (37 min. walk or 23 min. bus ride) and Redfern station (24 min. bus ride or 26 min. walk). There are also the option of grabbing an uber or taxi from either station or you could get a little creative and book a bike using the ReddyGo phone app and ride to the University - be sure to bring a helmet.

I highly recommend the public transport phone app Trip View since it gives you up-to-date information on transport routes & times. 


This event has been approved for 1.0 CPDT-KA, 1.0 CPDT-KSA, 4.0 CBCC-KA, 6.5 IAABC Continuing Education Units. 


Just a quick word about dogs. We love them. You love them. Hey, we are devoting an entire day discussing them. However, this particular venue is not suitable for dogs, so the organizers kindly request that you leave your beloved canines at home.

*Obviously, this rule does not apply for our attendees who will be joining us with their service dogs. 

Contact Details

Faith Hynoski - APDT Australia Regional Rep Coordinator

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