Maddie's Fund® Speaker Series

We are committed to offering exceptional dog training resources to the community, and our free webinars help us simultaneously reach many people with the support they need. We have been lucky to have such amazing local and national speakers grace us with their wisdom, and continue to be humbled by the generosity of their time.

In 2022, we are excited to announce an addition to our webinar program: the Maddie’s Fund Speaker Series! This grant-funded Series focuses on highlighting voices that are often underrepresented in dog behavior, including voices of color. We strive to make dog training a more inclusive space, and representation among trainers (and students!) is incredibly important to us. We are so thrilled to hear more from amazing Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) trainers and behavior experts!

Stay tuned for more of our Maddie’s Fund Speakers throughout 2022, and check out our other free webinars, too!

Dog training is for everyone. #ThanksToMaddie

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Dr. Linlin Cao

Linlin (she/her) has always been passionate about science. When she was working on her PhD dissertation in Material Science and Nano Engineering, she fostered and later adopted her reactive dog Niko, and Niko has opened her eyes to the wonderful world of positive reinforcement and animal behavior. She believes effective training should be based on two-way communication between the trainer and the dog, and she is passionate about giving control back to the dog. She is fascinated by building strong human/dog communication and trust through learning together.


Linlin grew up in a small town in China and came to Rice University in Houston, TX for graduate school. Now she lives in the Washington DC area and owns Dogtor Training. Linlin competes in nosework with her reactive dog Niko and field Labrador Sunny, and competes in Rally/Obedience with Niko. She also enjoys learning tricks and Control Unleashed exercises with her cat Simon. Linlin is currently training to become a Certified Professional Canine Fitness Trainer (CPCFT) to help dogs’ mind and body.

Topic: Cooperative Care Unleashed (Jun 8)


Dr. Moira Hechenleitner

Dr. Moira Hechenleitner (she/her) graduated from Mayor University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, in Santiago, Chile. She is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT), with a postgraduate in Animal-Assisted Therapy.


Dr. Hechenleitner is a founding board member of the Chilean Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT Chile) and has spent the last 14 years offering consultation services for pet owners and teaching courses to dog trainers. She is a speaker on the topic of Separation Anxiety, giving seminars internationally in English and Spanish.


Moira currently resides in Mystic, Connecticut and helps dogs and their families from all over the world overcome separation anxiety. You can find her at

Topic: Is It Really Separation Anxiety? (May 18)


Curtis Kelley

Curtis (he/him) is the founder and trainer for Pet Parent Allies. He has been training for nine years in Baltimore and now in Philadelphia. He is a certified CPDT-KA, and primarily works with reactivity, aggression, and fear in dogs. 


As a dog trainer, his favorite moments are when a new understanding passes between dog and human. At that moment, everyone is on the same page about the objectives and the pathway to success. He has found that training and succeeding together helps to root the bond that people and dogs share more deeply. He strives to make training an ingredient to connecting relationships between people and their dogs more profoundly and powerfully. 


When not at work, he enjoys spending his time hiking, gardening, and reading. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Karen and their Doberman, Vista. 

Topic: Self-Control for the Modern Dog (April 19)


Adam Skandarani

Adam Skandarani,  CCUI (they/them) has been working with dogs professionally for over 6 years as a pet care professional and behavior consultant. They are a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor, a USCSS judge, and a member of the IAABC, APDT, and PPG. Adam actively competes in scent work, obedience and agility with their 5-year-old Boxer, Flash Gordon.

Adam is dedicated to helping both companion & performance dogs live their best lives by providing a holistic training approach, with an emphasis on building trust & communication.

Adam's experience training cats & parrots adds depth to their understanding and application of positive reinforcement based methods.

Topic: Your Dog's Love Language (March 15)

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Karishma Warr

Karishma Warr, MA, CPDT-KA, FFCP, CSAT (she/them) is the Co-Founder and Head of Training at Calm Canine Academy, and is an industry leader in treating complex behaviors concerning fear, anxiety and aggression, in an urban environment.

Topic: Managed Walking for Every Dog (July 16)

*P.S.- we know there are lots of folks who identify with the term "BIPOC" and many who don't. Some prefer People of Color (and others don't). We know there's no perfect word or term that feels right to a huge group of individual humans! So you'll probably see us use a mix of terms in our site and social media, and we acknowledge that one or more of them might feel right for you (or might not). If there are terms that feel most comfortable for you, we'd love to hear more!

®About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to an inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $255 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.


Maddie’s Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.