My interest in working with dogs and their owners started in 1999 when I learned to groom our Standard Poodle, Shadow. Admiring comments about Shadow’s haircut quickly grew into a grooming business, which led to my boarding the occasional dog.
When Shadow presented some challenging problems when off-leash in Prospect Park, my interest in training was born. I read everything I could get my hands on and worked with two talented local trainers and Shadow’s behavior turned around; that’s when my obsession with dog training started in earnest.
My (ever continuing) Education:
Soon I was attending seminars and workshops around the country, soaking up knowledge. While dogs have been some of my best teachers, formal learning from experienced canine professionals has been and continues to be an extremely important part of my development into a skilled trainer of both dogs and humans. I've taken advantage of several intensive learning experiences including: five separate week-long internships working with shelter dogs with Pat Miller at Peaceable Paws, LLC, and two semester-long online courses through the Harvard Extension School. These were the Cognitive Dog (the evolution of the domesticated dog from wolves and how dogs perceive and operate in the world) and The Learned Dog (an in-depth study of learning theory). Most recently completed Grisha Stewart's Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor's course, which confirmed much of what I have already learned and gave me valuable additional tools for working with fearful and fear aggressive dogs.
The current canine members of our household are:
Toby, our Silky Terrier, joined the household in May 2006, because he had too many “issues” to live anywhere else….read this last statement as: every behavior problem I was likely to see in any of my clients’ dogs wrapped up in one, very cute (luckily for him), 14 lb. package. They do say practice makes perfect….well Toby isn’t perfect…but he keeps me in practice every single day.
The Willow, a Heinz 57, small German Shepard mix, who arrived on January 18th 2011, through Sean Casey Animal Rescue as a pregnant foster dog. Willow delivered 7 healthy puppies on January 19th. We adopted Willow when the puppies were 4 weeks old, and then when her daughter Greta, was returned because she wasn't a good match for her adoptive family we decided to keep her. She has grown to be bigger than her mother.
My Volunteer work: In the fall of 2007, I was enlisted as a volunteer trainer by what is now Pet Help Partners, a program of the HSUS. The program helps pet owners keep their pets by providing reduced cost vet care, foster arrangements, and training assistance.
Our beloved dogs in memorium are:
Taki, a Beagle mix 1970 - 1987
Shadow, a black Standard Poodle, 1999 - 2010
Pasha, a Silver Standard Poodle, a rescue, 2006 - 2011
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