CPT’s Mark Spivak Performs as Keynote Speaker at the 2019 AKC US Detection Dog Conference

AKC US Detection Dog Conference Logo

The 3rd annual AKC US Detection Dog Conference brought together scientific researchers, veterinarians, military program managers, government officials, law enforcement officers, trainers, breeders, and other stakeholders pertinent to the national security goal of improving the procurement, identification, and training of optimal explosive and agriculture detection dogs.  From Aug 27 – 29, 2019, 200 attendees learned, shared, […]

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CPT Cat Training Featured in Simply Buckhead Magazine

Cat training. Aggressive Cat

CPT’s cat training and behavior modification program was recently featured in the July/August edition of Simply Buckhead magazine.  CPT’s cat training most frequently addresses littler box; anxiety; general socialization; environmental conditioning; new pet integration; and cat-human, cat-dog, and cat-cat aggression issues.  However, sometimes clients request obedience behaviors, such as coming when called, which can be […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Named a Top 100 Author

Top 100 Author

CPT’s Mark Spivak, along with his colleagues from the Emory Canine Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Ashley Prichard, Raveena Chhibber, Kate Athanassiades, and Greg Berns, were name Top 100 Authors by the academic journal Scientific Reports.  Their paper, Fast Neural Learning in Dogs: A Multimodal Sensory fMRI Study, was one of the Top 100 read neuroscience papers in […]

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The Multifarious Benefits of Dog Agility- Nikos: A Case Example

dog agility

Nikos’s Obedience and Agility History with CPT: Nikos, a 4.25-year old English Cream Retriever, first came to CPT in July 2015 to resolve leash walking and recall problems.  CPT’s in-home private lesson and board train programs promptly achieved lesson plan obedience goals both on and off-leash.  However, his owner still sought a way to improve […]

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Caroline Joe and Dash During Advanced Agility Class

CPT Advanced Agility Class

Caroline Joe and Dash completed Beginner Obedience, Intermediate Obedience, Beginner Agility, Intermediate Agility, and Intermediate Agility-2 classes with CPT.  Now, they are in their second 8-week session of Advanced Agility class. Agility class has helped to improve the bond between Caroline and Dash.  Just as importantly, agility has done wonders to improve Dash’s off-leash attentiveness, […]

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Would You Help Us To Better Understand Dog Behavior?

Scared Submissive Dog- Dog Behavior- Canine Behavior

Comprehensive Pet Therapy (CPT) is supporting Dog Star Technologies in an exciting and potentially groundbreaking research project.  The project aims to develop a genetic test to predict key behavior traits of service dog candidates and shelter animals. During 2018, Dog Star Technologies, LLC completed a government-funded genetic research study that produced promising results in a population […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Completes Legal Course on Police K9 Searches

K9- Expert Witness- Motion to Suppress

On January, 18, 2019, CPT’s Mark Spivak, a noted expert witness on canine behavior completed a course entitled, “K9 Handler Intensive Training,” held at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, GA.  The course, sponsored by Animal Law Source and the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia, focused on specialized legal issues related to the […]

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CPT Trainer Seminar- Canine Olfaction

CPT Seminar on Canine Olfaction

On Saturday, December 15, CPT Trainer Alexandra “Alex” Collier delivered an outstanding seminar on canine olfaction to CPT Atlanta’s trainers. Alex is a member of Central Georgia K-9 Search and Rescue. Alex and her Boxers, Angie and Darwin, are certified by the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), North American Police Working Dog Association (NAPWDA), and Georgia Emergency Management Administration (GEMA). Her dogs are certified both in human search and rescue/trailing and cadaver search/human remains detection.

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CPT Visits Los Angeles

Santa Monica Beach

Although CPT already services dog training clients from throughout the country in our Board Train Service Dog Program, our pet board train program, via FaceTime consultations, and via one-time fly-in consultations, over the past few years CPT has explored physical business expansion within various national and international locales.  During January through October 2018 we investigated Philadelphia, PA; Eugene, OR; Portland, OR; Mount Hood, OR; Montreal, Canada; Toronto, Canada; Panama City, Panama; Coronado, Panama; and El Valle de Anton, Panama and in June opened our first satellite location in Eugene, Oregon.  In November 2018 we continued our examination of prospective future satellite locations by taking a trip to Los Angeles, CA and the surrounding LA County area.

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Mark Spivak Featured Panelist at Major Scientific Conference


CPT founder and Dog Star Technologies co-founder Mark Spivak was a featured panelist at the 5thAnnual International Animal-Computer Interaction Conference, entitled “ACI 2018.”  The Conference, held on the campus of Georgia Tech University, included speakers and participants from the USA, Australia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. Workshops and presentations […]

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The Top 5 Dog Trainers in Atlanta

Mark Spivak- CPT Dog Trainer Atlanta

Nobody else in Atlanta matches Mark’s background of competition training, pet dog training, behavior modification experience, education, and canine neuroscience research.  

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Mark Spivak Speaks At The State Bar Of GA


CPT founder and Head Trainer, Dog Star Technologies co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, and noted expert witness in the field of canine behavior Mark Spivak presented at the 20thannual “Animal Law, Enforcement, Veterinary, and Shelter Symposium” hosted by Animal Law Source.  The Symposium was held at the Georgia Bar Association building in Atlanta on October 3 and […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Co-Authors Paper Published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science

Awake MRI

The paper presented 4 case examples of canine patients, where without anesthesia and without exposure to ionizing radiation in less than 5 minutes awake MRI effectively diagnosed: 1) nasal carcinoma, 2) brain tumor, 3) abdominal lipoma, and 4) idiopathic epilepsy.

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Co-Authors Article in Animal Sentience

Canine Jealousy

The study used noninvasive fMRI brain imaging to measure activity in the amygdala of dogs upon exposure to a human-dog social situation where the dog’s caregiver provided attention to another dog.  No previous study neuroscientifically showed the exhibition of canine jealousy.

Jealousy progresses beyond envy.  Whereas envy is a desire to obtain resources in the possession of another, jealousy is identified by a set of negative emotional and behavioral responses when a rival receives something one wants for oneself.  Although several brain regions, including the hypothalamus and insula, may activate upon the onset of jealousy, the amygdala is the most relevant brain region.

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CPT Opens Eugene, Oregon Satellite Location

CPT recently opened the first of what we hope are multiple satellite locations.  The location we selected is Eugene, Oregon.  We selected Eugene for multiple reasons.  First, an outstanding trainer who formerly worked for CPT in Atlanta moved with her husband to Eugene and later expressed interest in renewing a business relationship.  Thus, the trainer […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Attends The 2018 PennVet Working Dog Conference

PennVet Working Dog Conference

CPT founder and Head Trainer and Dog Star Technologies Chief Operating Officer Mark Spivak attended the 2018 PennVet Working Dog Conference proximal to the campus of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine.  The 4-day conference featured nationally and internationally recognized speakers in the multidisciplinary fields of canine genetics, breeding, scent dog training, service dog training, evaluation, nutrition, fitness, behavior, and veterinary health. 

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CPT Expert Witness Services Prove Vital in Two Recent Cases

CPT’s Mark Spivak is an experienced and talented expert witness in criminal and civil legal cases that involve animal behavior, animal training, animal handling, or animal husbandry practices. Mark represents either the plaintiff or defense. His one rule before accepting an assignment is that he must have passion for the case and for the attainment […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Attends the 2017 Canine Science Conference

From October 6 – 8, CPT founder and Head Trainer and Dog Star Technologies Chief Operating Officer Mark Spivak attended the 2017 Canine Science Conference on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The 3-day Canine Science Conference featured nationally and internationally renowned speakers in the field of canine genetics, canine behavior, and […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Speaks to the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses

CPT’s founder and Head Trainer Mark Spivak presented at the September 23 meeting of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses (NAON) held on the education campus of Egleston Children’s Hospital. The NAON is a 7,000 plus member nonprofit professional association whose primary mission is to advance the highest standards of musculoskeletal […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Speaks at the State Bar of GA Animal Law Symposium

CPT’s founder and Head Trainer Mark Spivak presented at the Fall 2017 Animal Law Symposium held at the Georgia Bar Association building in Atlanta. The symposium, “Uniting Legal, Law Enforcement, Veterinary, and Shelter Professionals,” was hosted by Animal Law Source. Animal Law Source’s mission is to provide education, awareness, legislative action, and professional action that […]

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CPT Travel Blog- CPT Visits Barcelona- Days 10 – 12

Day 10- F Aug 4: Girona- Episcopalian Cathedrals, Jewish Museum, Game of Thrones Locations I skipped my morning run to accommodate an early departure for the city of Girona. Travel from Barcelona to Girona is almost identical to the trip to Figueres, except I exit the TGV one stop earlier. I walked to the Barceloneta […]

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CPT Travel Blog- CPT Visits Barcelona- Days 7 – 9

Day 7- T Aug 1: La Sagrada Familia The next morning I completed another 5.3 mile run along the beach. The run was hot, but I was acclimating better each day to the heat and humidity. Once returning I took a cold shower, ate my breakfast falafel, answered CPT emails, and then began my walk […]

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CPT Travel Blog- CPT Visits Barcelona- Days 4 – 6

Day 4- SA July 29: Picasso Museum, Museum of Modern European Art, Museo de Cerna, Maritime Museum, The Farmacia, and Sun Poisoning When I woke up in the morning I was hungry after eating only 2 meals the prior day. Therefore, I immediately searched for a restaurant that served el desayuno (breakfast). I found a […]

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CPT Travel Blog- CPT Visits Barcelona- Days 1 – 3

Day 1- W July 26: Leaving Atlanta for Barcelona My journey started with Delta flight #114 departing Atlanta at 5:45 pm EDT heading nonstop toward Barcelona. Unfortunately, because the flight was nearly full when I purchased my ticket, I was in the middle of the middle row. In simple language- I didn’t have an aisle […]

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Karen Smalley and Bodhi Atop the Pedestal

CPT Trainer Karen Smalley and her 6.5-year old, male Border Collie, Bodhi, have worked hard to become one of the top human-canine competition tandems in Georgia, if not the entire Southeast. Since Bodhi arrived at Karen’s home as an 8-week puppy, Karen and Bodhi have acquired a lofty resume, including AKC titles, UKC titles, ASCA titles, […]

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New MRI Dog

Meet Emily Chapman and her Australian Shepherd, Will. Emily and Will are members of The Dog Project’s Foxtrot group. More importantly, Will is also our newest MRI Dog! Emily worked diligently for several months to condition Will to the MRI variables of the steps, enclosure, noise, and vibrations. Concurrently, Emily shaped Will to perform a […]

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Mico Demonstrates His Intermediate Agility Skills

If you compare the Intermediate Agility video below to the Oct 18 Beginner Agility post, you will immediately see that Mico has made great progress in his agility skills.  Similarly, Bill has improved tremendously in his handling skills. Upon graduation from Beginner Agility we expect dogs to achieve proficiency in all obstacles, except the teeter […]

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A Happy Trainer Leads to a Happy Well-Trained Dog

CPT Trainer Karen Smalley poses with Luci, owned by Randy and Tami Arrowood.  Luci is enrolled in a Beginner Obedience class taught by Karen at CPT’s spacious Sandy Springs Training Center.   (Sandy Springs, GA)   (Atlanta, GA)

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Tiki Learning

Our upcoming canine fMRI study, nicknamed “Tiki Learning,” evaluates the canine cognitive process upon exposure to visual stimuli. In the Tiki Learning experiment, while in the scanner the dogs are randomly exposed to two objects that they have not previously observed. After one object the dog receives a treat, whereas nothing noteworthy occurs subsequent to […]

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The Dog Project Prepares a New Class of MRI Dogs

The Dog Project, the first research team to successfully train any non-human animal to take an MRI without sedation or restraints, is now preparing its Echo Team of MRI Dogs.  After graduating the Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta teams in Atlanta; scanning 50 dogs on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley; receiving funding […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Attends ICLE Seminar on Animal Law

On Thursday, November 3, CPT’s Mark Spivak attended the Institute for Continuing Legal Education (ICLE) seminar on Animal Law held at the State Bar of Georgia building in Atlanta.   The seminar featured multiple speakers and materials relevant to Mark’s respected work as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases containing issues related to animal […]

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Franchesca and Nissa Join the CPT Hands-On Service Dog Program

Meet Franchesca and Nissa, two recent clients of CPT’s Hands-On Service Dog Program.  CPT’s Service Dog Program offers the benefits of flexible customization, where the dog learns behaviors and tasks optimally suited to each disabled client’s unique needs.  Moreover, CPT can locate and evaluate a puppy or adult dog optimal for the program or train […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Appears on WSB News

CPT’s Mark Spivak appeared on a 2-part WSB news feature broadcast on Thursday, October 27 during both the 5 pm and 6 pm newscasts. The feature discussed concerns about the increasing trend of “fake service animals.” Mark was interviewed by WSB for his expertise in service dog training and legislation. During the lengthy interview with […]

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Beginner Agility Graduation

Beginner Agility teaches dogs to confidently and competently navigate the sanctioned agility obstacles, including: • single, double, and triple bar jumps, • panel jumps, • winged and wingless jumps, • broad jumps, • the tire jump, • the open tunnel, • the closed tunnel (chute), • the pause table, • the a-frame, • the dog […]

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CPT Volunteers at DogFest

CPT Office Representative Brittny Nutt and CPT Trainer Patricia King volunteered at the Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) fundraising event DogFest. Brittny operated the “Paw Art” booth and Patricia and her CCI release dog, Kady, participated in the Pet Parade. CPT has operated the CCI Atlanta Chapter Puppy Raiser Classes for the last 14 years […]

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Teaching Holland to Walk on Leash

Holland’s owners communicated that while walked in the neighborhood Holland was regularly pulling on leash. In addition, when walked amidst trucks or congested car traffic on busier collector streets Holland exhibited fearful behavior, whereby she would retreat opposite the vehicular traffic or stiffen and stubbornly refuse to move. The clients wanted the problem solved quickly […]

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It Takes Strong Legs to Train Strong Dogs

CPT Trainer Mark Spivak Leg Pressing 1170 pounds for 8 reps. Strong dogs become cooperative dogs in Mark’s hands. Let’s see our competitors match that! (Alpharetta, GA) (Johns Creek, GA)

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Annabelle Feeding Her Puppies

Below is an excellent video of Annabelle feeding her litter of 12 puppies. What an incredible mother! The puppies are nearly 8 weeks old. However, Annabelle remains patient as all 12, plus one from another litter, strive to obtain access. The average litter size for all breeds of domestic dog is 5.5 puppies. However, the […]

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Grace- Dog Reactive No Longer

Grace is a 4.5 year old, spayed, female German Shepherd Dog that Brenda has owned since Grace was a 7-week old puppy. When Brenda first contacted CPT, she stated that when on-leash Grace was reactively lunging at 75% of the neighborhood dogs she visually encountered while on a walk and when off-leash Grace bit her […]

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CPT and Emory University Want You!

The CPT-Emory Dog Project is Getting Set for Another Round of Tryouts! The CPT-Emory Dog Project Team has appeared on 60 Minutes, Nova, ABC World News Tonight, and CBS This Morning, been covered by the LA Times, Washington Post, and Atlanta Journal Constitution, and been featured in the websites of Time Magazine, Psychology Today, and […]

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CPT Trainer Patricia King Appears In National Interview for Sharecare.com

Sharecare.com is a national health and wellness resource and information website that includes platforms for both personalized and general health programs and information.  The company was founded in 2010 by Jeff Arnold, the creator of WebMD and television’s Dr. Oz (Mehmet Oz) in collaboration with several large corporate investors:  Harpo Studios, Sony Pictures Television, and […]

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The Importance of Dog and Litter Evaluations

Evaluations for Service Dog Programs When CPT designs a client’s service dog program the first step is a Phase I- Introductory Meeting. During the Meeting, we: a) obtain medical details regarding the recipient’s disability, b) discuss the limitations and effects posed by the disability, c) outline the overall goals and objectives of the program, d) […]

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The Music of Quebec City

Quebec City is a great place to live or visit during the summer months.  Quebecois become festive while relishing the warm weather months.  Festivals abound that feature street entertainers, comedians, and/or live bands.  Moreover, as in Montreal, the entertainers are highly talented and the music covers multiple genres.  We saw jazz, reggae, rock, and African […]

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CPT Visits Quebec City, Canada

During late July CPT traveled to the province of Quebec, Canada. CPT Head Trainer Mark Spivak, in a quest to expand CPT and to find multiple locations to reside and work, scheduled a 10-day visit that included both Montreal and Quebec City. A previous CPT article described our business interest in Montreal and the sites […]

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The Festivals and Music of Montreal

Montreal is a happening city during the summer months.  Festivals abound that feature street entertainers, comedians, hypnotists, and live bands every night of the week.  Moreover, the entertainers are highly talented and the music covers multiple genres.  We saw jazz, reggae, rock, African, and disco bands that excited packed outdoor crowds on outstanding stages that […]

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CPT Visits Montreal

During late July CPT traveled to Montreal, Canada. CPT Chief Executive and Head Trainer Mark Spivak, in a quest to expand CPT and to find multiple locations to reside and work so that he can experience optimal weather throughout the year, scheduled a 10-day jaunt that included both Montreal and Quebec City. Montreal quickly became […]

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Clarice The Great Pyrenees Therapy Dog

Dr. Ellis Dixon is benefiting from CPT’s private lesson program in preparing his rescue Great Pyrenees, Clarice, to become a full-time therapy dog at Egleston Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Dixon is a sedation physician.  Unfortunately, the application of sedatives, as well as the forthcoming medical procedure, often causes noticeable anxiety to Egleston’s pediatric patients.  Therefore, Dr. […]

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Sarah Ann Using Play Training to Teach Kona Heeling

Sarah Ann requested an outdoor private lesson with CPT Head Trainer Mark Spivak. Sarah’s objectives were teaching her 12-month old, female Doberman, Kona, how to: 1) attention heel, 2) stay more reliably in either the sit or down position, 3) come more responsively from a distance amidst distractions, and 4) drop her toy on command. […]

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Jenna and Yoshi

Jenna loves her 8-week old Labradoodle Yoshi. However, she would also love him to quickly become housebroken and to learn proper household manners. Therefore, she contacted CPT for an in-home private lesson on housebreaking, chewing, mouthing, jumping, socialization with the older household dogs, general socialization, and imprint obedience. We covered a lot in our 2-hour […]

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Puppies Galore- A Nighttime Litter Evaluation

Litter evaluations are best when puppies are approximately 7.5 weeks of age. However, with a packed schedule we couldn’t visit during the day. No problem. We evaluated the puppies at night, which ended up much better, as they were much more active during the cool evening temperatures than during the daytime heat. We started at […]

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