Oakland University & Teacher’s Pet
About this same time, I enrolled in an Animal Assisted Therapy certification course offered at Oakland University. The human animal bond has always interested me and it was great to find a course specifically designed around this topic.
While working through the modules of the course, I learned about a non-profit organization called Teacher’s Pet. I started volunteering there and began learning training techniques while helping with the kids and the shelter dogs. The reward based training in the program helped me so much with my dog, Balto, at home! I became hooked on this way of dog training and wanted to learn as much as I could about it. I began reading many different books and enrolled in courses to further my knowledge in this field.
About seven years ago, our family welcomed a new rescue puppy into our home. He was about eight weeks old and an adorable husky/lab type mix! We named him Balto. As time went by, I started noticing things about him that I had never experienced with a dog before. He was easily startled with noise. He was nervous to go outside sometimes. When I decided to take him to a basic obedience class, he was scared to walk in the automatic doors and I had to carry him. He also started having some resource guarding issues.
Training and Certifications
Along with my AAT certification, I have become a certified dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College Program and have also passed the CPDT-KA exam offered by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. I have worked with many shelter dogs in my role as program facilitator for Teacher’s Pet. I have seen how well gentle training can help any breed of dog become happier and more confident which in turn helps them become well behaved.
I’ve also had some incredible experiences as a dog trainer with Diane’s Dog Training. Once I was able to provide hands-on sessions for a young boy with an extreme fear of dogs which included lessons in dog body language and exposure to different dogs in the comfort of his home. On another occasion, I assisted a young, blind woman by helping her train her emotional support dog in basic manners using hand signals and touch training. I am excited about offering in-home training for people who want their dogs to learn new behaviors in a fun and innovative way!