A little about me!
I have always and will always love animals and I am a perpetual student. I am forever devouring books on ethology and behavior and picking the brains of the people around me. I’m always open to new ideas and discussion. I’ve been living in the Madison area since 2003 and I graduated from UW-Madison in 2007 with a degree in Biological Aspects of Conservation and Environmental Studies.
A little about my pets!
I love animals. Specifically dogs and cats – and I own two rescue cats and a rescue dog of my own.
Gimli, my dog, is an adorable little-old-man eskie-pom mix. I endearingly like to call him a pomimo. I got Gimli when we was – we think – 6 years old, in April of 2009. He’s great – his repertoire of tricks is ever growing (despite physical limitations), and I’m always super impressed by his ability to completely ignore small children that randomly dash up to pet him. Ahh, small children – it takes a good dog to tolerate the surprises they can incur.
Wanda is my DSH tabby cat. She is wonderful and ridiculously smart. She is, over all, a pretty typical cat. She likes to help if there’s a book or paper sitting on the ground by sitting directly on top of it. Though, her method of being a lap warmer in winter is pretty much completely awesome.
Bella is my basket case. She’s a DMH black kitty and she has more problems than you can shake a stick at, but I love her the most. I say “her” but Bella is my little hermaphrodite cat. Like Bob Barker said – I got my cat spayed AND neutered. She is also a wobbly cat. “Wobbly cat” is more technically referred to as cerebellar hypoplasia. Basically, she acts like she’s drunk all the time. She’s great 🙂
Dog Training Methodology:
I am a positive reinforcement dog trainer. Positive reinforcement is rewarding behavior you want and not what you don’t want. I do not use shock, prong or choke collars.
Though a lot of the time positive reinforcement gets labeled as treat-training, I see rewards as being anything your dog really likes. While most of the time high value treats like chicken work wonders, you can always use something else. A quick game of fetch or tug or even a laser pointer chase can be just as rewarding as any treat.
Dog Training Experience:
I’ve been working with Madison Mutts All-Breed Dog Rescue volunteering, assisting, and training classes since Feb of 2009. The classes that I’ve taught for them range from basic obedience and life skills to agility to therapy dog class.
I’ve trained some volunteer classes for Shelter from the Storm Rescue as well, and have been working with them just as long as I’ve been with Madison Mutts. Part of the original set of work that I was doing with SftS involved assisting with incoming dog evaluations, adoptions, and dog-dog introductions. The work that I’ve been able to do with SftS has been completely invaluable to me. As someone who was new to the rescue scene, I learned more working through those dog evaluations than I ever would have thought possible.
I’ve also been assisting training classes at Badger Kennel Club since the spring of 2009. The BKC has been an excellent resource for some really great teachers as well as exposure to show dogs and dog shows in general. It’s neat because I don’t get to work with pure bred dogs quite as much as I do there.
Besides my volunteer work, I’ve been working with Good Dog Home Obedience Training in DeForest, WI since early summer of 2010, assisting and then teaching their Pet Dog Manners classes which equate to what you would see in basic obedience classes.
I am a full member of the APDT.
I am an Animal Behavior College Certified Dog Trainer.
And I am a full member of the Badger Kennel Club.