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 Gabrielle Vannini of Ferndale, Michigan. At the time of this posting, Gabi is currently in Phase J, and she is doing a fantastic job with her studies!
A Word from Gabi
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
The phase working with shelter dogs has definitely been my favorite! I actually work for a humane society, but I work in the marketing department, so I do not spend as much hands on time with the dogs as I might like. It has been fun to make a point to get out and train and work with the different dogs that I help “market” on a day to day basis. I also really benefited from the phases regarding how to teach group classes and work with people. I came into the program with some dog training skills already, but working with people and hosting classes was a foreign concept to me! The lessons did a great job of teaching me skills that will assist when working with the owners of dogs I train.
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
I really enjoyed the project “become aware of how your body language affects dogs.” It is kind of a simple exercise but it was lots of fun to practice “speaking dog” especially with the variety of dogs I have available to work with. It is fascinating to theorize about the background of a dog and their experience and socialization based on how they respond to certain body language signals, in addition to forming better observation skills to use in the future.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
I compete in obedience and agility with my dogs, and through CATCH I have been able to really analyze why I do what I do, and really pay attention to my dogs, and why they are doing what they are doing, even more. I’ve also increased my observation skills, I love to “dog watch” when I am at dog shows. There is so much a dog can “tell you” just from body language!
Working at a humane society, I also realize even more how important training is for dogs! Just a little bit of training knowledge and manners work can make the difference between a dog staying in their home or being surrendered.
What I’m Most Excited About:
I have really enjoyed all the hands on activities and getting to work with dogs, and really think about the process as I’m doing it. The CATCH program has been a great way to really analyze and improve my dog training skills, and I have learned a lot about working with dog owners and teaching classes. Being a dog trainer is as much about the people as it is the dogs, so learning these skills has been vital!
Way to go, Gabi, keep up the great work!