As you can see from this picture, my love for dogs started early. I always seemed happiest when in their company. I lived on a farm with 5 Rough Coated Collies that would keep me and my friends ‘herded’ in the yard. I would dress them up, brush them, and go on long walks in the countryside with them. I never had a training ‘agenda’ – it was all fun and games. I never saw any of my dogs get a correction from anyone. They weren’t ‘trained’ so how could they do anything wrong? But they came when they were called, sat when asked, didn’t run away, were not aggressive toward people or other dogs. So how did all that happen with no corrections???
As I grew, I wanted to learn more about dogs. I was introduced to structured activities such as obedience, agility, field trials with my labs, and more. Friends and family wanted me to train their dogs and that was it. I wanted to train dogs. I wanted to have fun with my dogs and be with others who felt the same way. I learned all I could. I read, watched and listened to other respected trainers and behaviorist in the field of dog behavior. I got as much hands on experience as I could and then I joined and got certified in organizations such as ADPT, IAABC, KPA , and K9 Nose Work.
But the learning never ends. I know that in order to be in this business, I need to stay on top of the latest behavior training developments. Dogs may not have changed but what we know about them and how they learn has progressed dramatically over the years. Relying on old, outdated training methods would be limiting. I have been across the country to schools, workshops and conferences. I have had the good fortune to work with and learn from some of the top dog trainers in the industry. But even more important is what I have learned from the literally hundreds of dogs and their families that I have had the opportunity to help train.
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