Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

Canine and Feline Educational Workshops

At Companion Veterinary Clinic, our mission is to inspire, educate and empower people with the tools to build healthy relationships and safe environments for the animals in their care. Whether you’re looking to teach young children about safe interactions with animals, an organization that works with animals and seeking a greater understanding of Canine and Feline behaviour, or a Veterinary Clinic looking to reduce fear, anxiety and stress in your patients, we’re happy to present on these or any topics that will promote compassionate care and handling.

Animal Behaviour Basics for Animal Trainers, Animal Rescues, and Veterinary Professionals

Feline Behaviour Basics: How to Better Understand Your Cat’s Behaviour and Meet their Needs (1.5 hrs)

  • Feline body language,
  • Environmental enrichment,
  • Learning theory,
  • Positive reinforcement training techniques,
  • Prevention and management for common behaviour concerns.

Canine Behaviour Basics: How to Better Understand Your Dog’s Behaviour and Meet their Needs (1.5 hrs)

  • Canine body language,
  • What motivates dogs?
  • Myths about Dominance Theory,
  • Environmental Enrichment,
  • Learning Theory,
  • Positive reinforcement training techniques,
  • Prevention and management for common behaviour concerns.

Cooperative Veterinary Visits: Incorporating Choice and Consent into Training (1 hr)

This presentation will give trainers the confidence to train client’s and their pets to participate in their veterinary care.

  • Learn what cooperative care means,
  • How we can train consent
  • Different aspects of a veterinary exam that can be positively conditioned
  • Transferring your cooperative care training to the veterinary team

Fear Free Veterinary Care for Your Pet (1 hr)

Taking your pet to the vet shouldn’t be stressful! In this one-hour session, you will learn how to set your pet up to succeed for veterinary visits.

  • A brief overview of canine and feline body language
  • Preparing your pets for travel to the vet
  • How to teach your pet to be comfortable with veterinary handling
  • Tips and tricks for husbandry procedures and medication administration that can be done at home




Animal Behaviour and Safety Education For Children


Doggone Safe: Dog Bite Prevention Seminar for Children

Doggone Safe promotes education initiatives for the purpose of dog bite prevention and increased child safety around dogs. This seminar is ideal for preschool and elementary aged children. (30-45 mins)

Canine and Feline Body Language: Bite Prevention in Canines and Felines

Recognize Canine and Feline body language in your pets and how to stay safe around cats and dogs. This seminar is appropriate for Elementary and Junior High aged students. (1 hour)

Fear Free and Animal Behaviour Education for Veterinary Practices and Veterinary Schools

These presentations can be submitted for continuing education credits to the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association. Presentation duration can be modified upon request.

Compassionate Veterinary Care: An Introduction to Fear Free (1 hr)

  • What is Fear Free?
  • What is fear, anxiety and stress?
  • Canine and feline body language
Compassionate Veterinary Care: A Fear Free Clinic Environment (1 hr)
  • Tools to set your clients and patients up for a successful visit prior to their appointments
  • The importance of emotional medical records
  • Fear Free reception, exam room and treatment room considerations to decrease patient stress.

Compassionate Veterinary Care: Fear Free in Action (1 hr)

Teaching patients to cooperate in their care doesn’t always mean training consent behaviours. Animals can learn to make positive associations with veterinary procedures and care using food and non-food distraction. In this presentation attendees will learn the importance of observing body language, use our own body language in a manner that prevents and alleviates fear, anxiety, and stress and how to practically apply distraction techniques.

Learning Objectives:

  • What is Fear Free?
  • Handling techniques: Considerate approach, gentle control and touch gradient
  • What are food and non-food distractions?
  • Recognizing patients that can benefit from distraction techniques
  • How to utilize both food and non-food distraction

Start Off on the Right Paw: Behavioural Prevention for our Canine Patients  (1 hr):

  • Puppy development,
  • Setting our puppy patients up for success,
  • Identifying “Red Flag” puppies,
  • Prevention and management for common puppy behaviour concerns.

Start Off on the Right Paw: Behavioural Prevention for our Feline Patients  (1 hr):

  • Kitten development,
  • Setting our kitten patients up for success,
  • Identifying “Red Flag” kittens,
  • Prevention and management for common kitten behaviour concerns.

Calm, Confident and Compassionate Handling and Restraint: Distraction and Towel Wrap Techniques (3 hrs)

Part one (1.5 hr):
  • Canine and Feline Body Language
  • Setting Patients up for Success
  • Client communication

Part two (1.5 hrs):

  • Considerations for handling and restraint
  •  Towel Wrap Techniques (Hands-on Lab)

Fear Free Feline Experience

We know cats are taken to the vet much less frequently than dogs. What can we do to change that? This session will highlight how to set up the veterinary clinic environment through the eyes of our feline patients and how to perform an optimal Fear Free examination using Fear Free techniques that are both effective and gentle. Learn how to prevent stress during travel to the veterinary practice and how to communicate this information to clients, as travel is often the tipping point of the fear cascade for our feline patients. Attendees will also learn how to utilize food and non-food distraction techniques to promote successful feline veterinary visits.

  • Body language,
  • Considerate approach,
  • Gentle control and touch gradient,
  • Feline friendly environment,
  • Distraction techniques,
  • Needs vs. Wants
  • When to stop
Canine Aggression In-Clinic: Steps for Success (1 hour)
Aggression in dogs during veterinary procedures poses not only a safety risk to the veterinary team but a physical and emotional risk to the patient. This presentation will focus on how to set up the clinic environment to reduce stress and will include:
  • Setting up the physical environment
  • Tools for safety and handling such as treats, basket muzzles, towels and cone collars
  • Considerate approach and gentle control
  • When to stop
  • When medication is warranted

Animal Behaviour in Veterinary Practice (1-2 hours): Incorporating Fear Free techniques and animal behaviour into your veterinary practice. This presentation is geared toward Veterinary Technology students or Registered Veterinary Technologists.

Implementing Puppy Class Into Your Veterinary Practice (1 hour):
The veterinary team play an integral role in client education and guidance for understanding and setting up clients and puppies up for success.

Proper socialization is critical to a puppy’s emotional well-being and development. Puppy classes help create more cooperative patients, confident puppies, will bond clients to your practice, provide an added revenue stream and more!

In this presentation attendees will:

  • learn about different class styles, including the benefits and disadvantages of each,
  • explore the business side of running puppy classes,
  • learn how to set up a puppy class for puppies 8-16 weeks of age based on Companion Veterinary Clinic’s puppy class curriculum and additional recommendations to set up your clients and their puppies for success.

“Probably the single most important thing you can do to help your puppy grow up to be a friendly, confident, reliable and happy family member is to socialize your puppy now.”

– Patricia McConnell, PhD

Trimming The Fear Out Of Nail Trims (1.5 hrs)

Nail trims can be stressful for patients, clients and the veterinary team. In this webinar we will discuss why nails trims can be challenging and how we can improve this experience through prevention, distraction techniques and behaviour modification.

Outcomes for participants of this session include:
  • Factors that contribute to fear during nail trims,
  • Distraction and handling techniques,
  • When to stop: the importance of reading body language,
  • Implementing prevention for long-term success,
  • How to desensitize and counter-condition patients to nail trims.
Prevention and Management for Common Behaviour Concerns (1 hr)
  • Learning Theory
  • Tips for exam room consultations
  • Solutions for common behaviour concerns

Jessica Benoit RVT, VTS (Behaviour), KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Jessica Benoit is a Registered Veterinary Technologist, Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behaviour, Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Karen Pryor Certified Training partner. In addition, she is also Fear Free Certified as a veterinary professional, trainer and speaker. She provides continuing education opportunities for veterinary professionals, animal-related organizations and clients. Jessica has delivered presentations and workshops for the University of Alberta, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Grande Prairie Regional College, Alberta Veterinary Technologist Association, Vetoquinol Continuing Education Event, the City of Edmonton, several Alberta veterinary clinics, a Fear Free Town Hall virtual event and a special presentation for the Edmonton Police Service, “Animal Investigations Training for Frontline Officers”.

If you are interested in giving your veterinary team more continuing education in animal behaviour, want to begin implementing Fear Free into your practice or have a rescue or animal related organization that wants to ensure you are able to provide the best animal welfare please contact for more details. Fear Free™ presentations can be booked privately with Jessica, or you can visit Fear Free Pets to book a speaker in your area.

Previous Seminars & Educational Workshops

University of Alberta
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Grande Prairie Regional College
Alberta Veterinary Technologist Association
Vetoquinol Continuing Education Event
City of Edmonton
San Diego Humane Society
Fear Free Pet Behavior Symposium
Fear Free Town Hall virtual event
Edmonton Police Service, “Animal Investigations Training for Frontline Officers”
Association of Pet Dog Trainers-New Zealand
Society of Veterinary Behaviour Technicians
Canadian Virtual Veterinary Symposium (2021/2022)
Students of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Symposium (January 2022)
EveryCat Health Foundation (May 2023)


“We recently had Jessica Benoit speak to veterinary professionals on behaviour prevention for canine and feline patients.  From the very beginning, Jessica was wonderful to collaborate with, accommodating, hardworking and her seminar went beyond our expectations.  Her passion for the wellbeing of animals is very evident and inspiring!  The content she presented was relevant, relatable and practical for the audience. Jessica kept the audience engaged throughout the session and was able to deliver a lot of information in a positive and motivating manner.  The anonymous feedback from seminar attendees was overwhelmingly positive with phrases such as “Amazing speaker”, “Entertaining and very knowledgeable”, “Topic very relevant”.  We would use Jessica again for a speaking engagement if the opportunity arose and would certainly recommend her.”

Alana Gomez, RVT
Territory Manager, Companion Animals – Alberta

Companion Veterinary Clinic Is Your Source for Your Pet’s Healthcare Information