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About Me

Great dog trainers have:

  • a solid education in behaviour and dog training theory/principles

  • effective communication and teaching skills

  • hands-on experience teaching a variety of individuals in different settings

  • a commitment to continuing education 

  • empathy and caring towards their canine and human clients

This is what I constantly strive for! Below is why I am uniquely qualified to best support you and your dog.

Professional Experience

I have worked with animals of a variety of species (dogs, cats, pigeons, rats, humans) over the span of almost 20 years. 

With dogs specifically, my experience includes: 

  • boarding kennels

  • rescue (Dogwatch/Pound Paws Rescue)

  • sports (tricks, nosework, lure-coursing, straight racing)

  • teaching dogs and owners in:

    • puppy classes

    • group life skills and reactive dog classes

    • private training

    • behavioural consultations.

I have experience teaching, developing skills and relaying complex information in a variety of environments:

  • working as a phone support person and training high school students for Kidsline (child phone support line)

  • teaching and supervising university students in psychology,  statistics and research

  • speaking at national and international psychology conferences

  • learning about and facilitating a Non-Violent Communication group in Columbia River Correctional Institution in Portland, OR

Over the course of my career, I have conducted, published and presented scientific research in areas of animal behaviour both nationally and internationally in: 

  • abstract concept learning

  • choice and decision-making

  • behavioural economics

  • social behaviour


  • BSc (Hons. First Class), Canterbury University, 2005 - Double major in Psychology and Zoology

  • PhD in Psychology, Canterbury University, 2010

Recent Courses and Conferences


Aggression in Dogs Master course
Avoiding the Bitey End of the Dog - Defensive Handling and Leash Skills- Mike Shikashio (April)

Emotions, Learning and Animal Training - Karolina Westlund 
Dogs with Big Feelings FDSA conference

Aggression in Dogs Conference

Leslie McDevitt's Control Unleashed "Conference Unleashed" 
IAABC/FDSA Lemonade conference

Susan Garrett's Homeschool The Dog 
Nosey Barker's Wonderwalks program 

Previous member and conference attendee of:

  • Association of Behaviour Analysis International

  • Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behaviour

  • New Zealand Association of Behaviour Analysis

  • Comparative Cognition Society

Attended seminars including those of:

  • Sophia Yin (ABAI, 2010)

  • Clive Wynne (ABAI, 2014)

  • Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (ABAI, 2014)

  • Susan Friedman (ABAI, 2013)

  • Patricia McConnell (ABAI, 2013)

  • Ken Ramirez (ABAI, 2011)

Academic/Scientific Work

Selected scientific publications:

  • Tan, L., & Hackenberg, T. D. (2016). Functional analysis of mutual behavior in laboratory rats (Rattus norvegicus). Journal of Comparative Psychology, 130(1), 13.

  • Tan, L., Soza, F., Talbot, T., Berg, D., Eversz, D. & Hackenberg, T. (2014). Effects of predictability and competition on group and individual choice in a free-ranging foraging environment. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 101, 288-302

  • Tan, L. (2008). Effects of retention interval on performance in a numerical reproduction task. Behavioural Processes, 78, 279–284.

  • Tan, L., Grace, R., Holland, S., & McLean, A. (2007) Numerical reproduction in pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 33, 409-427.

Selected conference presentations:

  • Tan, L & Hackenberg, T. (2014, May). Paying to risk: Pigeon gambling in a token system. Paper presented at Association for Behavior Analysis International convention, Chicago, IL, USA.

  • Hackenberg, T & Tan, L. (2014, May). Working together: some conditions affecting mutual cooperation among rats. Paper presented at Association for Behavior Analysis International convention, Chicago, IL, USA.

  • Tan, L., Grace, R. & McLean, A. (2009, May). Number and language: Comparing human and nonhuman numerical discrimination performance. Paper presented at Association for Behavior Analysis International convention, Phoenix, AZ, USA.

  • Tan, L. (2006, October). One flash, two flash…An investigation into the numerical abilities of pigeons. Paper presented at University of Canterbury Postgraduate Showcase, Christchurch, NZ.

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