Success Stories 4
At CATCH, some of our proudest moments are when our students and graduates start their own successful businesses, or get hired by the best in the business.
Deb Murray, CCDT, CPDT-KA
Owner, Pepper’s Paws, LLC, Exton, PA
Deb has extensive experience working with rescue and shelter dogs and has 4 rescue dogs of her own. Her specialties are helping dogs adjust to new homes, getting puppies started on the right training path with their new families, basic manners training, and resolving nuisance behaviors. Deb’s clients love to work with her because she makes training fun and she gets results too!
Agnes Kavalecz, CCDT
Owner, Let’s Get Pawsitive, Cameron, NC
After I earned my certification I focused on positive reinforcement training, a scientifically proven method to help problematic behavior. I do not believe in using fear, intimidation or any other aversive training methods, as these types of approaches can cause aggression and lots of side effects to your dog. My goal is to build a positive foundation for you and your dog. Redirecting an unwanted action with a behavior you approve of will decrease the frequency of the undesirable act.
Deborah Guelfi, Training & Behavior Combo Graduate
Owner, Hold My Leash, Lawrence & Methuen, MA
On teaching tricks:
I never thought in a million years I could actually get my dog to click a mouse but in order for me to write that plan, I had to do it myself! Now I’m trying so many new tricks with great success!
Change your dog’s motivation by offering different rewards. This is a good idea because you may not always have food or toys with you in everyday situations. The end result would be stronger behaviors.
Christopher Switky, CCDT
Owner, Positive Canine Concepts, Philadelphia, PA
Setting up for success:
At the beginning of a training process, set your dog up for success by presenting whatever situation is challenging for the dog at a very low intensity. For example, if your dog is afraid of tall men, start by exposing her to tall men at a distance where she can see them, but not feel threatened by their proximity.
Ending on a good note:
Dogs are more likely to look forward to training sessions if they end with a few successful trials. This may mean dropping the level of difficulty slightly at the end of a session, or ending with a different activity that the dog has solidly learned.
Pam Tuss, CCDT, CPDT-KA
Owner, Obedient Pups, Sacramento, CA
Pam believes in respecting owners and their beloved pets: this is why she supports the association for Force-free professionals and values reward-based training strategies and positive reinforcement techniques that have a great impact on the psyche of your dog and lasting good behaviors. The best thing about reward-based dog training is that it can be adapted for any behavior and any breed. But understand that the reward doesn’t have to always be food. It can be praise, a toy or just going outside to play. With a good understanding of how your dog is motivated you can do almost anything from basic training to agility training.
Kathy Wolff, CCDT
Owner, Mosaic Dog Training, Watertown, WI
Reading Body Language:
Going through the Masters program with CATCH has given me a very critical eye when it comes to reading dogs. I have 3 Alaskan Malamutes and love to watch them play. My studies have taught me to look for shifts in play styles and what body language to watch for that may signal pending trouble. I use the skills I have learned in my interactions with my clients by really listening to them and listening to their dogs too. I can then put together an effective training program that fits the personality, skill level, and knowledge base of both ends of the leash.
Emily Kane, Basics Pro Graduate
Assistant Trainer, Pets in Motion, Wayne, PA
Stay is a great impulse-control behavior. You can ask your dog to stay when you open the door for guests, or when you go to get the leash for a walk. A great way to practice and reinforce this behavior is to mix up your rewards: try different treats, or try “life rewards” and privileges like opening a door or playing a fun game. Before your dog gets to play tug with you, he has to stay while you fetch the toy!