Mick has a long history of working with dogs. His interest in training goes back over four decades to obedience training his male Samoyed, Mukluk. The training instructor used traditional training methods that were common at that time. The dogs were “forced” to learn and punished for “disobeying.” Muk did learn some this way, but he definitely did not enjoy the experience, and neither did Mick.
Next came the training of three of Mick’s golden retrievers, Tuke (1983-1993), Deacon (1993-2005), and Scout (2004-2013). Tuke was trained to hunt and was subjected to some fairly harsh training under a traditional field trial trainer. Although it was effective training, it was hard on Tuke and Mick. The light that was positive training had begun to come on for Mick. Thinking that there had to be a more user-friendly way of getting desired behavior from his dogs, he began to use a combination of traditional techniques and some positive methods. This mix made things a little more comfortable in the training area, but it still lacked the results that could be achieved more quickly and humanely using 100% positive reinforcement methods. Deacon and Scout were the beneficiaries of Mick's awakening interest in the scientifically proven applications of positive reinforcement training.
Upon his retirement from the corporate world, Mick completed accredited training courses and attended international conferences and workshops recognized for positive reinforcement, such as ones sponsored by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) and Karen Pryor Academy (ClickerExpo). Mick completed the KPA Foundations course before attending ClickerExpo in San Francisco. He was amazed at the quality of the KPA faculty and the results that they were achieving with the application of clicker training. Next, Mick enrolled in the KPA Dog Trainer Professional Program and became a KPA CTP. Mick and his current dog, Polly, a Border Collie/American Bulldog rescue, are both beneficiaries and graduates of that program. Mick recently completed the Karen Pryor Academy - Puppy Start Right course.
Mick has lived in a myriad of places throughout Canada. He was born in Saskatchewan and has lived and worked there as well as in the North West Territories, northern British Columbia, Vancouver Island, and in Winnipeg for 25 years until August 15, 2015, when he moved back to the town of Parksville on Vancouver Island. Mick began as an apprentice and then a tradesman in mines and pulp mills. An injury prompted him to take a two-year diploma program in renewable resources. He worked as a conservation officer, a wildlife project manager, and a fundraiser for an international not-for-profit conservation organization. Mick was the Marketing Director at a financial institution for 11 years prior to his formal retirement.
Currently, Mick resides in Parksville with his wife and partner, Karin, who is also a certified dog training professional, and with Miss Polly, Mick's KPA CTP graduate.