Why I became a Dog Trainer

I was out of options. My regular dog sitter was not available and I didn’t have a back-up.  I had a pit bull at the time so I couldn’t leave her with just anyone even though she was extremely friendly.

I decided to take her to a local board and train. I thought I might as well do a little training if she’s going to be in a boarding place.

It wasn’t very long after I got home that realized I made a mistake.

My dog just wasn’t happy.  She would just glare at me. A glare I had never seen from her before.  And it got worse anytime I did something the trainer had told me to do.

Within a few hours, I quickly threw out all of the advice the trainer gave me and showered my dog with just love and fun.  I needed my happy go lucky dog back!

Things started to get better at home and I was able to go back to how I was training her before the board and train.  But something was still off. Out in public, she started barking at golden retrievers. It took a couple of times before I realized it golden retriever specific.  She had never had a problem with dogs before. She loved playing with everyone!

It got to point where one time she went as far as pulling me off my feet because a golden was near her. I was able to hold on to her and got her out of that situation very quickly.

Then I frantically went to work looking for information about what happened and how I could fix it.

I was about to give up.  There was so much contradicting information out there that I just couldn’t figure out who was right or what I should do.

Then, I found a book called, “Click to Calm” by Emma Parsons.  The introduction talked about her struggles with her dog Ben, oddly enough, a Golden Retriever.  I related to every word she wrote.  And when I read she had a solution, I couldn’t help but look into it further.

Then I learned about Clicker Training.  Specifically taught by Karen Pryor Academy.  Once I found Emma, it seemed like everything I read afterward keep leading me back to Karen Pryor Academy.

I couldn’t trust anyone else to train my dog after what happened the first time, so I decided to train her myself.

And so, I enrolled in the Karen Pryor Professional Dog Trainer program.

I’m happy to report that my dog, Bella, successfully completed the course with me and since starting clicker training, has not reacted to golden retrievers.  Even so, I ensure she is only put in situations she can handle and proper dog introductions are made when she meets a new dog.

She walks nicely on a leash, doesn’t jump on company, gives me her attention when I ask, and even licks her lips when I say yummy!  

Even more importantly, Bella actually enjoys training now!

The angry glare has been replaced with a tail wagging full of excitement.  That makes for a happy dog and a happy you!

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