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 Gloria Austin of WestCliffe, Colorado. At the time of this posting, Gloria is in Phase 6 of the Master Class!
A Word from Gloria
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
“How Dogs Learn”: the entire book is informational and educational but Part Two, The Basic Principles of Behavior, has helped me grow to understand how operant conditioning works for dogs and humans. The “Mine” book: I never realized all the steps required when working a dog with resource guarding. I am thrilled to have this book as a tool, it has helped me understand safety and that not skipping steps is critical to rehabilitation. The book, “I’ll Be Home soon!”, is very educational and has helped me apply principles to one of my four dogs. My older dog is 8 and when I moved to Colorado a year ago, his anxiety was extreme, which I didn’t realize until I installed cameras. When we moved from city life to mountain life, I was concerned about wildlife. I wanted to be able to check in on my dogs while I was away from home for several hours. This is how I figured out he had anxiety. I have applied principles from the book and he has improved so much.
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
My favorite hands-on activity when teaching any new behavior or maintenance work is the push, stick, and drop method. I use this a lot when teaching clients. It gives most of them a better understanding of when to push forward, or stick where they are, or to drop back to steps previously used in training new behaviors.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
Positive reinforcement is better when building a relationship with your dog. I have seen people, and myself, use tools like prong and e-collars. After studying more about positive reinforcement, I decided it is better in training and building a better relationship with my dogs. I have learned to work at my dog’s level. I have more patience and a better relationship with my dogs.
What I’m Most Excited About:
I am excited to have Arminda as my Program Director, she is very understanding and patient with me. She is always available when I have questions and I feel like she is more than a mentor, but a true friend. Times when I have been discouraged, she has encouraged me so much to push on. What an angel she is!
Way to go, Gloria, we’re so proud of you!