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COVER STORY

The promotional tri-fold for veterinary clinics is just one of many free marketing collateral items available when PPG members sign up for Project Trade

dog was eager to continue working with me. Just a day later the wife contacted me to express how much better their dog was behaving, and how impressed her husband was. We scheduled a second appointment the next week. Once again I parked on the road and trekked my way to the house. This time the dog was happy to see me; his trained responses had grown stronger and they were well on the way to a forcefree life together. Another pet was freed from a life of fear and pain. As evidenced by the month-long negotiation process required to secure this client, they would not have engaged me without Project Trade. Sometimes the path to a force-free relationship between pet and owner comes without planning, such as I experienced in November last year. I awoke that day with planned activities and expectations, all of which changed with a phone call. The caller was a respected certified behavior consultant who had inspired me nine years ago to pursue my new career. She had a behavior consultation scheduled with a client who was traveling two hours from another state to determine the fate of their adolescent German shepherd. According to the owner, a local “trainer” had spent a few 24

BARKS from the Guild/March 2017

minutes with the dog, declared him dangerous, and suggested immediate euthanasia. The dog had never put his teeth on anyone and the owner was shocked and confused. My colleague had suffered a medical emergency. She was en route to a hospital and asked me to see the client. It was not how I usually conduct business but then again, emergencies seldom occur in an orderly fashion. When the client arrived I saw a choke collar around the dog’s neck and the fearful behavior display of a dog who wanted only to keep away from me. It took about 30 minutes to earn the dog’s trust. The owner listened attentively as I pointed out canine body language and began using force-free methods to work with the dog, who relaxed quickly and responded brilliantly. I looked up at the owner expecting to see a joyful expression at the quick progress, but sadness overcame him as he explained the relationship he had with all his dogs. “I am not a very emotional person, but I am on the verge of tears,” he began. “For 20 years I have been involved with a dog training group that uses dominance…and now I understand how I have been hurting my dogs.” It was one of those moments the non-judgmental approach

BARKS from the Guild March 2017  

The bi-monthly trade publication from the Pet Professional Guild covering all things animal behavior and training, canine, feline, equine, p...

BARKS from the Guild March 2017  

The bi-monthly trade publication from the Pet Professional Guild covering all things animal behavior and training, canine, feline, equine, p...