Our students are the future of dog training and the heart of our school.
That’s why we regularly take a moment to recognize one of our top aspiring trainers here.
Our Featured Student this month is Cynthia Drinkwine of Marshfield, Vermont. At the time of this posting, Cynthia is taking her Master Class Final Exam, and she’s about to graduate as a CCDT. We’re so proud of her!
A Word from Cynthia
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
I learned an incredible amount from Phase 3: How Dogs Think and Learn. Understanding classical and operant conditioning has transformed my philosophy on dog training and has been an invaluable tool when working work with shelter dogs.
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
I love working with Dee, my mentor trainer. Dee knows dogs inside and out, she has high expectations for all students (human and canine) and she makes training fun. Last week, humans played croquet while canines practiced down stays with distraction.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
Through CATCH, I learned to make dog training fun. I work at a humane society where the dogs and I love to practice impulse control with a ball, Frisbee or flirt pole. It’s hard to get the attention of shelter dogs with treats, but their focus is awesome when I get the toys out. I’ve learned to enjoy rainy days with my own dog as we play “find it”, “hide and seek”, or scent games.
What I’m Most Excited About:
Before starting CATCH I attended a traditional canine academy for a month long immersion in training techniques. I left this academy, after three days, horrified at the treatment of the dogs who were routinely jerked with prong collars, shocked with e-collars and continuously treated without compassion. That experience led me to doubly appreciate CATCH’s scientific, compassionate, holistic approach to dog training. The best gift CATCH has given me is a newly formed philosophy about human/dog relationships. I now see my relationship with my dog as a partnership. It is her choice to work with me, and she does it because she wants to, not because she is “obeying” me. I teach with games as much as possible, and often (not always) let her decide when to start or stop training. The result is a canine who loves to train.
Way to go, Cynthia, we’re so proud of you!