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All Seminars are conducted in private conference rooms, restricted to Dog Lovers Cruise members only.

International Dog Trainer

Recognised Leader in Scent Detection

Passionate About Dogs for Conservation

Professional Mentor





Steve’s accomplishments over 40 years are numerous and wide ranging.  From winning the Sydney Royal Easter Show Dog Obedience section (Utility Dog Class); gaining Australian Obedience Champion title, Field Trial Champion titles and Australian (breed) Championship title; to being a part of the historical rabbit eradication programme on world-heritage, Macquarie Island.  To get a picture of just how successful he has been, have a look at the following list of some of his many achievements.

Steve is often invited to lecture and help law enforcement agencies, conservation organisations, canine welfare organisations, dog training groups and zoos around the world. 

He is in high demand for consultations, presentations both in Australia and overseas, provision of fully trained detection dogs on a huge range of target odours and so much more.


  • CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed)

  • CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, New York, USA) Board Member 

  • Certificate IV in Workplace Learning and Assessment

  • Certificate III Dog Behaviour

  • Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services

  • Licensed Judge under the Australian National Kennel Control (ANKC) in both Field Trials and Gun Dog Obedience Tests

  • Holds A & B class NSW Gun License.

  • Firearms Safety Trainer (Department of Primary Industries NSW)

  • Canine Temperament Assessor (Department of Local Government, NSW)

  • Canine Certifying Official (California Narcotic and Explosive Detector Dog Association)

Steve Austin CPDT-KA

Vicki Austin CPDT-KA

Dog Training and Behaviour

Industry Educator

Passionate About Understanding Dogs

Better Puppy Raising








Vicki’s experience ranges from achieving the title of Australian Obedience Champion (AOC) when it included tracking titles; being a full-panel Obedience Judge; training birds and presenting the Free-Flight Bird Show at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo; training dogs and handlers in various scent detection applications; obedience and trick training classes; success in canine behaviour modification consultations; and perhaps most importantly, Puppy Class Instructing.

During her extensive experience in providing behavioural consultations, Vicki became concerned that many behavioural issues in her clients’ dogs could be traced back to poor experiences or advice provided in puppy classes. It was this concern that motivated Vicki to provide specific education in instructing puppy classes with the aim of reducing the numbers of pet dogs being surrendered. It is during the critical or sensitive developmental phases of puppies that the greatest effects can be achieved in improving the quality of life of the dog and its family. The Puppy Class Instructors’ Course (PCI) is a must for anyone involved with puppies, whether or not you’ll be actually instructing puppy classes.


  • CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed) - CCPDT (Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, New York, USA)

  • Certificate IV in Workplace Learning and Assessment

  • Certificate III Dog Behaviour

  • Certificate IV Substance Detection

  • Certificate IV in Companion Animal Services

Ryan & Jen Tate

Published authors

Dog Training and Animal Behaviour

Canines for Conservation & Biosecurity

Zoo keepers

Puppy Raising

Ryan is a highly accomplished animal trainer who has worked professionally with species from leopard seals to zebra finches. The majority of Ryan’s time is spent training biosecurity and conservation dogs to preserve our environment. Ryan is also an animal behaviour consultant to various zoos and agencies around Australia. Ryan holds qualifications in dog training, zoo keeping and marine science and has accomplished several world firsts and a world record with his dogs.

Jen worked for over a decade as an animal trainer and a zookeeper with a particular passion for Australian native animals, carnivores and ungulates. Jen is a published author and has qualifications in dog training and zoo keeping. Jen is particularly passionate about Puppy raising and preventing common problems in dogs before they develop.

Dr. Xavier Schneider

BIT BLM(dist)


MANZCVS (Animal Reproduction) Dip ACT 

Registered Specialist in Theriogenology

(Reproduction) Canine,

Equine and Bovine reproduction,

medicine and surgery.

Xavier graduated as a veterinarian from the University of Queensland and began his veterinary career working in mixed practice in Northern Australia focusing on Equine and Bovine Reproduction. On returning to Brisbane, he completed a rotating internship in Equine surgery, medicine and reproduction at The University of Queensland Equine Specialist Hospital. Xavier completed a residency in Theriogenology and is a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists, a Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and a Registered Specialist in Reproduction at Queensland Veterinary Specialists. Xavier is also a lecturer with the Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland.

Xavier has a clinical interest in canine, equine and bovine reproduction,

Kaye McGhie

(B.Bus) National Breeder Services Manager

with Mars Petcare.

International Conformation Judge

Breeder & Exhibitor

Lecturer: Companion Animal Nutrition

Certificates in Animal Behaviour & Welfare

Dog Cognition & Emotion

Kaye is the National Breeder Services Manager with Mars Petcare.
She holds a Bachelor of Business (B.Bus) through QUT and also holds Certificates in Animal Behaviour & Welfare through University of Edinburgh, and Dog Cognition and Emotion through Duke University in the USA.
Kaye worked in the Veterinary channel for Mars Petcare as Veterinary Business Development Manager for 12 years and took up the national Breeder Services role with Mars in early 2022. This role allows her to interact and advise breeders all across Australia, and to really make a difference to the health and wellbeing of dogs throughout the country.
She is a passionate dog lover, breeder and exhibitor. An International All Breeds Championship Judge, her own breed specialties are English Springer Spaniels and Papillons, however she also has a Jack Russell Terrier. She has handled to over 150 BIS awards and judged in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Japan, Singapore, China, South Africa, Taiwan & The Philippines.
A firm believer that education is invaluable, she is a Guest Lecturer on canine & feline nutrition at the University of QLD Veterinary School and across several TAFE facilities in QLD. Kaye frequently lectures at conferences and canine events across a range of topics, and was for many years a co-ordinator in the Dogs Queensland Judges Training Scheme.

Sandra Sharpe

(B.Phty, B. Ex Sc, M.Sc, Vet Phty)

Animal Physiotherapist

Animal Conditioning & Rehabilitation







Sandy graduated with a dual degree in Physiotherapy and Exercise Science and started her career as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist in private practice. A yearning to specialise in animals meant relocation to the UK to complete a Masters in Veterinary Physiotherapy at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). Sandy received several awards for her academic success at RVC and graduated in 2008. She then relocated to Dublin to continue to hone her skills on animals and to take up position alongside the head physiotherapist for the Irish Olympic Team. She is accustomed to working with elite athletes of the 2 and 4 leg variety. She returned to Australia to start work as an animal physiotherapist at the Brisbane Veterinary Specialist Centre (BVSC) in 2010. She currently divides her time between BVSC, Veterinary Specialist Services and The Pet Wellness Centre on the Gold Coast. She is also a clinical educator for the MSc/ PG Dip Animal Physiotherapy course run through the University of Liverpool (UK).  Sandy is a function focused physiotherapist who has a particular interest in the biomechanics of movement and correction of movement dysfunction. 

There are 32 x 90 minute presentations, presented by the above speakers on their topics of expertise.  

During the 4 days of cruising you will be able to choose up to 16 presentations you wish to attend. 

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