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MEMBER PROFILE

Even poorly socialized dogs can learn to tolerate many situations - with the right training

people food. A: Teach him how to beg. Dogs do what works for them. Use a mat next to the table and when he is lying on the mat, give him a treat. He will learn that being on the mat equals begging and he will get what he is trying to get. Over time, put the mat farther away from the table. It will not take long before the dog is in a down/stay on the mat wait ing for his piece of pork roast!

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

A: I actually love running big group classes! The camaraderie and laughter that can be generated during a wellrun group class contributes to maximum learning. When people have a good time, they remember that and they remember what they learned. We have a lot of techniques for getting people involved – we ask the group questions, reward their participation, inspire them to share their training stories and so on. Games and activities inserted into an obedience class make it fun too.

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BARKS from the Guild/July 2014

Q: What is the funniest or craziest situation you have been in with a pet and their owner?

A: There have been so many but as recently as last night in group class our pouting pointer finally showed his personality after six weeks. He was a little shy and sensitive and was velcroed to his mom. During graduation we were working on some tricks, teaching spin, peek-a-boo and play bow. All of a sudden he put his own spin on spin and jumped about 2 ft. in the air and did his spin mid air. He landed, play bowed and did his airborne spin again. He was having so much fun and the entire class laughed. The more we laughed the happier this dog was. He has an awesome handler and it was nice to see him finally feel comfortable enough in the group class environment to be silly and add his own style and flair to the tricks.

Q: What advice would you give to a new trainer starting out?

A: Don't be judgmental. The pet owner is reaching out for help because he is not the expert. Being positive with the human end of the leash is crucial. Give the human feedback and find a reason to say "good job." Listen to the client and do not formulate your answer before they have finished speaking. Listening to the client is a learned skill and a very important skill to hone. n

Pack of Paws Dog Training is based in Southbridge, MA

Profile for The Pet Professional Guild

BARKS from the Guild Summer 2014  

Your BARKS summer edition. The quarterly publication from The Pet Professional Guild

BARKS from the Guild Summer 2014  

Your BARKS summer edition. The quarterly publication from The Pet Professional Guild