CPT’s Cat Behavior Program Brings Harmony to Oliver and Kitty

Oliver and Kitty- Cat Behavior Modification

Oliver’s Cat Behavior History: Oliver, an 8-year old, neutered, male, jet black, Domestic Long-haired and Maine Coon Cat mix was born outdoors with a stray mother and littermates.  In 2015, when first observed by Solomon, the mother and her 6 solid-black kittens appeared highly anxious in general and with Solomon’s approach.  Nevertheless, concerned for their […]

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CPT’s Ellie Dunn and Mark Spivak Featured in Simply Buckhead

CPT Trainers Ellie Dunn and Mark Spivak discuss how to treat canine PTSD.

CPT Trainer Ellie Dunn and CPT Head Trainer/Owner Mark Spivak were featured in the June 2023 print and online issues of Simply Buckhead magazine.  The article, entitled “Rehab for Pets,” discusses CPT’s approach when treating canine and feline PTSD. Simply Buckhead author Chelsie Butler interviewed Ellie and Mark to learn about the origins of pet […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Featured in the Atlanta Jewish Times

The Atlanta Jewish Times featured CPT's Mark Spivak, who discussed modifying canine and feline anxiety.

CPT Head Trainer/Owner Mark Spivak was featured in the July 15, 2023 print and online issues of the Atlanta Jewish Times.  The article, entitled “Pet Trainer Spivak Sets Up Success,” provides an overview of Mark’s history and accomplishments and discusses methods for modifying canine and feline anxiety. Atlanta Jewish Times author Marcia Caller Jaffe interviewed […]

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Therapy Dog Class

Alan Towles and Gracie- Therapy Dog

Alan Towles and his Golden Retriever, Gracie, recently graduated from CPT’s Therapy Dog Class taught by Melissa Nelson.  They are now a working therapy team for Happy Tails. CPT’s Therapy Dog Class provides a unique curriculum that rapidly prepares human and canine students to excel in practical therapy environments.  The class teaches multiple task behaviors that […]

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Agility Titlist!

Meghan Toler and Lincoln- CPT Agility graduates and AKC titlists!

CPT agility student Meghan Toler and her Miniature Schnauzer/Yorkshire Terrier mix, Lincoln, recently achieved 2 qualifying scores with 2 first place finishes in AKC competition.  Congratulations Meghan!! Regardless of whether you wish to participate solely for fun or have competition aspirations, CPT has an outstanding agility program.  Our group class and private lesson programs build human-dog […]

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Tricks Class Graduates and AKC Tricks Titlists!

Tricks Class Grads

Trick or treat?  What about tricks for treats?  You can get that with CPT’s Tricks Class! Congratulations to Sarah Boone and Millie, Marian Scopa and Zealand, and Chris Griswold and LouLou, our recent CPT Tricks graduates!  In the process, each handler-dog team earned the title of AKC Tricks Dog.  Outstanding! Tricks improves human-dog team building. […]

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CPT Visits Montana

Cobalt Lake Trail- Glacier National Park- Montana

CPT has periodically explored purchasing a large tract of land in Montana to construct and operate a service dog facility that would educate animals for domestic clients residing throughout the USA and Canada.  Since the Western USA in the Mountain time zone contains more economical land purchase opportunities than in the Eastern time zone or […]

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Nat Geo Author Interviews CPT’s Alex Collier and Mark Spivak

(l - r) Mark Spivak, Jenny Holland, Mark Leamer, Reghan Fraley, K9 Officer Brandon DeCosse, John Bobo, and K9 Officer Will Treadwell.

National Geographic author Jenny Holland recently visited CPT to interview CPT’s Alex Collier and Mark Spivak for an upcoming book Jenny is writing about canine cognition.   Day 1: Jenny Holland’s visit commenced on Monday, August 16, 2021.  The day began by Alex discussing olfactory and cognitive processing pertinent to search and rescue and cadaver […]

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Listed as Expert by Redfin


Redfin, the Seattle-based, discount real estate brokerage, listed CPT’s Mark Spivak as an expert in a recent article entitled, “Moving with Pets:  Expert Tips for a Successful Move.”  Relocating residences can be a harrowing experience for pets, especially those who are neophobes, where they strongly prefer familiarity and routine. Moreover, moving is stressful for humans.  […]

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CPT Trainer Karen Smalley Wins Obedience Competitions

Obedience- CPT Trainer Karen Smalley Wins Obedience Competition

CPT Trainer Karen Smalley again proved she is one of the top competition obedience dog trainers in Atlanta and the Southeast by winning both the Utility class and High Combined award at the Peach Blossom Cluster dog show. The Peach Blossom Cluster, hailed as the “largest dog show in the southeast,” was held October 14 – […]

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CPT Featured on PBS’s Your Fantastic Mind

Your Fantastic Mind

CPT was recently featured in the PBS documentary series “Your Fantastic Mind.”  The episode, “Dogs,” premiered on Wednesday, September 14, 2020 and is currently available via online streaming. Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB) produced, directed, and edited “Dogs,” which was filmed at CPT and at Emory University.  The episode discusses scientific discoveries related to dog cognition […]

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CPT Featured in CNN.com Article on Virtual Dog Training

CNN.com author Ryan Bergeron featured CPT in an April 26, 2020 article about virtual dog training.  The article, entitled “Tips for Training Your Dog While You’re Stuck at Home,” discusses the benefits of virtual dog training versus allowing problems to fester, how to socialize a puppy or newly adopted adult dog while maintaining social distancing, […]

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CPT Service Dog Program Featured in NY Times Bestseller

Doctor Dogs

The CPT Service Dog Program earned significant coverage in the recent New York Times bestselling book “Doctor Dogs,” authored by Maria Goodavage.  Doctor Dogs communicates heartwarming stories of how highly trained dogs provide medical benefit to humans.

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CPT Service Dog Program Featured Nationally in People Magazine

People Magazine Jan 13 2020

We are proud to announce that the CPT Service Dog Program has been acknowledged nationally in the January 13, 2020 issue of People Magazine and the January 16, 2020 publication of People.com.

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CPT Trainer Karen Smalley Earns Rare UDX Title

Karen Smalley and Bodhi Dog Trainer Atlanta Dog Training Atlanta

CPT Trainer Karen Smalley and her 9-year old Border Collie, Bodhi, recently added another accolade to their litany of achievements. Karen and Bodhi’s resume includes AKC titles, UKC titles, ASCA titles, Flyball titles, and appearances in television commercials, print advertisements, and magazine covers. Now, we include the title of Utility Dog Excellent (UDX ) on their curriculum vitae.

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CPT’s Mark Spivak Presents at 2019 International Canine Science Conference

CPT’s Mark Spivak Presents at 2019 International Canine Science Conference

CPT and Dog Star Technologies founder and CEO Mark Spivak was an invited speaker during the 2019 International Canine Science Conference held from October 18 – 20 in Phoenix, Arizona. The 3-day Canine Science Conference featured nationally and internationally renowned speakers in the fields of canine genetics, canine anthropology, canine neuroscience, canine behavior, canine training, […]

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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

Karen Smalley and Bodhi Dog Trainer Atlanta Dog Training Atlanta

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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