Ten years ago, Shelby came into my life. My wife found him at the local SPCA. He was an abused dog. He had scars on his head. He would flinch a lot. The training I was given was based on dominance and negative reinforcement. This did not work for Shelby or me. I had to ask myself: “Why am I doing this to my friend?” I knew there had to be a better a way. Fortunately, the Bay Area is ripe with the fruits of Positive Training. I have taken these methods to heart. I feel it is better for me and the animals that are entrusted to my care.
I had one special dog when growing up-Lance-and to this day his special place in my heart is untouched. He taught me the “magic” of dog companions. He wouldn’t do as he was told, but would gladly participate in any game- gleefully following requests to play a certain role like goalie in our mock hockey games. So, without my knowing it, he taught me to make interactions fun and positive well before R+ based training was an established method.
Later in life, I became the supporter then guardian then partner of two very scared sister dogs. Over the years, they taught me the benefits of patience and structure and consistency and acceptance. They started out completely shut down and were able to eventually come camping with us and be off leash -choosing to stay with us. This experience began my journey to investigate canine behavior. I am awed by the uniqueness of each dog, their capacity for understanding and working with us humans on our level and look for the special lesson each one offers.
Both David and Anna are graduates of the Canine Behavior Academy Level 1, a twelve week intensive, accredited course taught by renowned behaviorist: Trish King. They also both took the Dog-Tec Dog walking course which focused on Group Dynamics and included Dog First Aid and CPR. David and Anna both attended a four day workshop in Oregon that focused on operating a safe and fun dog day care and boarding facility. Both are member of the APDT(Association of Pet Dog Trainers) and have attended numerous trade shows to gain more insight into dog behavior.
Anna went on to volunteer for TVAR (Tri-Vally Animal Rescue) working out of the Dublin Animal Shelter. Specializing in walking the Big Guys. She spent some time in Texas at Susan Briggs Dog Day Care learning operations and group play. She has also attended many seminars and workshops in the bay area taught by some of the most noted Trainers and Behaviorists in the nation IE: Dr. Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson and Sue Sternberg.