Education Seminars

GRCC 2014 National Specialty Education Seminars
To register for any of the below seminars, please click here
Friday Evening August 1
Cancer in Dogs and Cancer in Golden Retrievers Seminar
Dr. Paul Woods, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM

Dr. Paul Woods, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Internal Medicine, Oncology), is Professor of Internal Medicine and Oncology in the Department of Clinical Studies at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) and Co-Director of the University of Guelph's Institute for Comparative Cancer Investigation (ICCI). He received his veterinary degree from the Ontario Veterinary College and his Master of Science in Veterinary Science, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Woods completed a residency in Small Animal Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Medical Oncology Fellowship at Colorado State University. He is dual Board certified in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (ACVIM) in Internal Medicine and Oncology.

Dr. Woods' research focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of translationally relevant spontaneously arising cancer in dogs and cats. He facilitates clinical trials, both as a Primary Investigator (PI) and as co-investigator, with other clinical researchers, for example, the National Institute of Health Comparative Oncology Trials Consortium (NIH COTC). Further, Dr. Woods clinically coordinates the Companion Animal Tumour Sample Bank (CATSB), which collects biologic specimens for future cancer research, using companion animals cancers. Dr. Woods says, "the families of pets with cancer and their veterinarians are encouraged by the possibility of the tumour bank helping future pets and perhaps people."

Formerly, Dr. Woods was in private practice in Owen Sound, Ontario, and was on the faculty at the Centre for Veterinary Health Sciences at Oklahoma State University.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Seminar August 2
Royal Canin Seminar: Recent Advances in Canine Reproduction

Dr. Emmanuel Fontaine graduated from the Toulouse Veterinary School in 2004 and continued his studies at the Alfort Veterinary School (Paris) in the department of small animal reproduction. From 2005 to  2011, he worked at the Centre d’Etude en Reproduction des Carnivores (CERCA) [Research Centre for Reproduction in Carnivores], a unit specializing in pet breeding assistance. Emmanuel Fontaine is also qualified at the European College for Animal Reproduction (ECAR) and did his PhD thesis on the use of GnRH agonists implants in small carnivores . He joined Royal Canin Canada ‘s PRO team in September 2011.

Saturday Afternoon August 2
The Benefits of Early Proactive Training and Early Development in Puppies
Presented by Windy Willows Pet Services

Our genetics, environment and experiences shape us into who we become.  Interestingly enough those same factors shape dogs into who they become.  My early experiences with dog ownership were not positive ones. Although I loved dogs and tried my best with what was available to me, I ended up owning dogs with very serious behavioural issues.  My life was busy at the time, working and raising children (just like the majority of today’s puppy owners) and my attempts at rehabilitation were met with negativity, hostility and suggestions of finality.  I felt pretty defeated, sad and lost. When the 2nd of my dogs was nearing the end of her natural life, I tearfully decided I would no longer own dogs as I was under the impression that owning a good one was luck of the draw.

So what happened to change my mind?  I saw something very impactful that opened my eyes to dogs.  I realized they have an extensive language and code of ethics which they live by and yes, many could be rehabilitated.  I dove into the study of dogs on that very same day many years ago and have not stopped since.  Today I am very grateful that I don`t take defeat lightly because I have now raised the dog of my dreams and somewhere along the way, have helped thousands to do the same.

My studies included:

  • Thousands of hours immersed in books, visual recordings, and seminars;
  • Observing many training instructors with various techniques;
  • Working hands on with dogs at rescues and shelters, exposing me to many breeds   with varied backgrounds and issues;
  • Working at grooming salons, washing and drying dogs, as I had read that it`s the 2nd most stressful place for dogs (2nd to the vet`s office);
  • Joining our local kennel club, observing and eventually assisting in class;
  • Assisting and training obedience classes in a private facility;
  • Running off-leash adolescent socializing classes for over 2 years now.  This is my favourite class as owners learn about body language, etiquette, re-direction, de-arousal and the dogs have an incredible time learning to socialize properly;
  • I continue to read, attend seminars and am currently enrolled in a dog behaviour program in order to remain current on the latest research and controversies.
  • Being a Ring Steward in Obedience and Rally-O for 3 consecutive years now.

Something very impactful happened along the way which allowed me to put a lifetime of experiences to make a difference and that`s when I created the Happy Puppy Training Kit.

Now my assistant, Elaine Johnston (who is also a breeder of Golden Retrievers) and I, travel and promote the benefits of early proactive training and the Kit.  It helps puppies in the transition to their new homes and owners to raise their puppies proactively the moment they come through the door. 

The Kit will never be stagnant.  As we continue to learn more about dogs, it will flourish.  We also work hand in hand with our breeders across Canada and the US to make it the best that it can be and will continue to do so.  We are forever grateful to our breeders for their faith, support and participation.


The following will be covered during my presentation:

  • My history and experiences;
  • How this unregulated industry affects us all from trainers, groomers, pet sitters, etc…;
  • How understanding the social and collaborative efforts within a pack mentality helps us to raise well balanced dogs;
  • Benefits of early proactive training and the effect it has on puppies during their social stage of development;
  • How genetics, environment and personal experiences shapes a dog;
  • Behavioural issues and how puppy owners can avoid them;
  • Enhancing the working / obedience intelligence in dogs;
  • Understanding the instinctual intelligence in dogs and desensitizing techniques;
  • Harnessing and shaping the adaptive intelligence in dogs;
  • Principles of learning for puppies and owners;
  • Breeder input which allows us to satisfy the needs of everyone involved;
  • Our offer for continued on-line support;
  • And so much more…

We have incorporated all of the above into our program. It goes far beyond simple exercises.  It taps into the very every essence of canine ownership and canine development. 

Sunday August 3
9am - 10:30am
Presentation on Golden Retriever Pigmentary Uveitis

Please note that for this presentation, application has been made for one and one half (1.5) hours of credit for the OVMA Continuing Education Recognition Program.

Pigmentary uveitis, also known as Golden Retriever uveitis, is an important cause of blindness in Golden Retrievers.  Unlike other forms of uveitis, pigmentary uveitis is not associated with any known systemic disease or underlying cause.  It is typically a disease of middle-aged and older Goldens, with most diagnosed starting at five years of age. (ACVO, 2007).  Approximately 10% of older Golden Retrievers are affected.  Pigmentary uveitis causes them to lose vision due to glaucoma or formation of cataracts.  Current therapies can slow progression of the disease, but there is, as yet, no cure or prevention for the condition.
Many ophthalmologists believe that early detection provides the best opportunity for effective treatment.  However, signs of PU are often subtle and may be confused with less serious conditions such as conjunctivitis.  Therefore, many now feel that every Golden Retriever should have a yearly eye examination by an ophthalmologist, even in the absence of symptoms.  These exams should begin prior to breeding for breeding dogs, but pet owners may wish to begin these yearly exams at about 3-5 years of age.

Dr. Wendy Townsend, DVM, MS, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine is the leading researcher into golden retriever pigmentary uveitis.  She is currently working to identify the gene that causes PU so that breeders can make informed decisions, at risk dogs can be identified, and better therapies can be developed.

Dr. Townsend’s presentation will focus on the unique clinical presentation that differentiates Golden Retriever Pigmentary Uveitis from other causes of uveitis in dogs.  In addition, risk factors for the disease, complications of the disease, therapeutic options, breeding advice, and on-going research efforts will all be discussed in this comprehensive presentation.
For more detail on pigmentary uveitis, go to

Dr. Townsend will also be examining dogs and collecting DNA samples for her research at the Kemptville College site on August 2nd and 3rd and at the GRCGT Regional Specialty at Milton on August 8th and 9th. This is a unique opportunity to learn more about this awful disease and to contribute to Dr. Townsend’s vital research towards finding a cause.  Please join us!!!

To register for any of the above seminars, please click here