For as long as I can remember, I have loved animals and have had a passion for them to share my life. When I was growing up, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, and even a skunk! My mother always said that the most important lessons she learned in life were taught to her by her dogs.
It was my mother who showed me the love and special bonds that can be shared with dogs, and how important it is to meet their needs and not just ours. She showed me that dogs need so much more than food, water, and a safe and warm place to sleep. Dogs need to be able to learn, grow, and gain confidence—just like us—and to have safe, loving relationships with humans. Humans are to be trusted and not feared! I have taken these early lessons to heart and have made it a life mission to protect, serve, and enhance the lives of dogs. Thanks, Mom!
Later in my life, when I set out to become a professional dog trainer, the only type of training available was traditional (punishent-based) training. I learned how to train with chain and prong collars as well as the use of correction. By the late 1980s I became a traditional dog trainer. (Sorry, Mom!) I realized quickly that this was not the way to train dogs. I saw the harm that was done while training and the lasting, negative effect it had on the dogs. I continued my search for better and more humane training methods. In the early 1990s, thankfully , I found positive reinforcement training and I switched!
I continued to utilize positive reinforcement training methods (lure/reward) until I discovered clicker training in 2003. Once I understood the amazing science behind clicker training, I was hooked! I saw how clear, concise information gives dogs the ability to learn new things quickly and reliably. I also saw how fun and exciting it is for dogs to learn. I have been a dedicated clicker-trainer ever since! I’m delighted to be a part of the great clicker training tradition of excellence as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP).
Over the years other aspects of my life have led me to live, work, and study on four different continents. All the while, loving dogs, meeting the needs of dogs, and training dogs have been the continuous passions of my life.
I have proudly served dogs in the areas of training service/therapy dogs and creating healthy, quiet, low stress kennels (kennel management), and have provided many years of training and behavior modification for rescued dogs in the great world of dog rescue!