I began training dogs 25 years ago, back then positive training methods were just coming into vogue and were often viewed with skepticism. The trainer I learned from was what we call a cross over trainer, using positive motivation in some cases, but relying mainly on older punishment based methods for many of the behaviors she trained. Over time I began to realize that while punishment methods did work, they took a huge toll on the relationship between owner and dog and often resulted in dogs that were fearful, or fear aggressive toward people and other dogs. I wanted a better way, one that left my dog happy to do the things I was asking of her.
I began to utilize purely positive training with my last dog, a Golden Retriever who went on to attain her Utility Dog Title. The relationship that developed between us was based on trust and mutual understanding and was truly one of the most special relationships I've ever had with a dog.
My current dog has been a Therapy dog for 10 years and was trained only with positive reinforcement. Despite her age (12 years) she continues to love to work and train!
I am committed to continually studying to understand behavior modification methods and how to use them effectively to develop new behaviors and modify problem behaviors and am a firm believer that positive motivation is far more effective than punishment.
As a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, and Associate Member of the IAABC and a member of the PPG, I have had the opportunity to attend professional education seminars each year to further my understanding of dogs, behavior and training techniques. In the past several years I have attended several multi-day seminars and explored many topics including; BAT training for reactive dogs, TACT - Touch Associated Clicker Training for fearful and reactive dogs, The Dog Baby Connections, Adolescent Dogs, Remedial Socialization for the Adolescent Dog and TAG Teach. Attending profession seminars regularly allows me to stay abreast of the most recent and up to date research and training methods, as well as keeping in touch with some of the best trainers in the country.
I have attended workshops and seminars led by Karen Prior, Trish King, Gail Fischer, Victoria Stillwell, Dr. Ian Dunbar, Dr. Pamela Reid, Suzanne Clothier, Pia Silvani, Grisha Stewart, Terry Ryan, Sue Sternberg, Kathy Sdao, Dr. Sophia Yin and Nicole Wilde.