March 2013 Certified Training Partner of the Month: Ariana Kincaid

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Ariana Kincaid, Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) Certified Training Partner (CTP), moved from a career in higher-education administration to explore the many facets of dog training. A self-described lifetime dog geek, Ariana says, "The truth is I'm obsessed with dog training."

Running a doggy daycare, boarding, and training facility for several years gave Ariana valuable experience and invaluable insight. She saw up-close the myriad of canine issues that can result from a lack of early socialization, and was inspired to found Operation Socialization. Operation Socialization is a membership organization of professional dog trainers and dog-friendly businesses that provide dog owners with the resources they need to raise a behaviorally healthy puppy.

In addition to her work with Operation Socialization, Ariana is the Private Training Director at WOOFS! Dog Training Center in Arlington, VA. She offers in-home private training and private training onsite at WOOFS! Ariana is also a Certified Pet Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Canine Good Citizen Evaluator, and a Licensed Be a Tree Presenter.

As Ariana indulged her dog-training obsession and grew her professional businesses, she saw more and more the impact of positive training methods, and learned about the Dog Trainer Program at Karen Pryor Academy. Her decision to attend KPA was based on rave reviews from other trainers, the emphasis on positive-reinforcement training, and the opportunity to refine her skills in a supportive environment. Ariana knew the Dog Trainer Program was challenging, but she was determined to be associated with an organization that is recognized and respected on an international level. Most of all, she knew that "…learning from a program designed by Karen Pryor would be like learning music from Mozart."

Graduating from KPA and becoming a CTP gave Ariana increased confidence to take on more challenging cases in her private lessons. She believes that she is much better equipped to help dog owners tackle big problems in creative, compassionate, and easy-to-implement ways thanks to Karen Pryor Academy.

As the president of Operation Socialization, an organization promoting safe, early, and effective puppy socialization on a national scale, it's beneficial for Ariana to be credentialed as a KPA CTP, a credential that is recognized on the national level. Ariana feels that KPA and Operation Socialization have a common goal—to help families raise dogs that remain lifetime companions. As a KPA CTP, Ariana networks with other like-minded people who speak the same language and share the same training philosophy. She is extremely proud that many KPA CTPs are also, like her, Operation Socialization Certified Trainer (OSCT).

Ariana says that her dog-training education will never stop—because the field of dog training never stops evolving. Her philosophy is that a good trainer isn't someone who has all the answers, but someone who keeps looking for new and innovative answers. Ariana continues to learn from the countless conversations and interactions she has with KPA alumni. She declares, "If Karen Pryor ever creates another advanced training program, I'll be the first one in line."