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 Grace Gomez of Queens, New York. At the time of this posting, Grace is studying Phase F of Basics Pro and she is doing a fantastic job with her studies.
A Word from Grace
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
Phase B Understanding Behavior, Body Language, and Vocalization. All the new vocabulary and terms (orientation, reward, motivator, stimuli, observe and interpret) have become the foundation to the big picture of reading a dog’s body language. The breakdown of how each feature of a dog’s body is another piece of information that we can use towards understanding him better. From their eyes, ears, and tail we learned that a dog had many ways of expressing their feeling towards interaction with an object, sound or animal. I was able to put that to immediate use and see rapid results in better understanding temperament, fear, and playfulness. Overall this phase taught me how to read inter-dog socializing as well as dog/human interaction.
Phase D Hands-On Training Basic & Advanced Obedience Skills. This phase was putting our training into the real world! It was my first taste or glimpse of life as a dog trainer, and not just as a hobby. Still this was challenging for me, and it was the longest phase to complete so far because I had to get it 100% right. The commands and response with my dog was so amazing to witness, she really responded to the push drop and stick system. Practicing, and learning patience when not seeing immediate results, really showed me how dedicated I was. Seeing actual tangible results, like when Riley does her “sit-stay” or “touch” command in different environments is because of my understanding with the importance of high rewards, the “push 5 for 5” system, generalizing, etc. that are required to successfully train a dog!
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
Hands-on activity for Impulse Control, Training Techniques, and the 3 D’s. What I personally enjoyed so much about this activity was how it went beyond basic fundamental tricks (sit, down, paw). It as well helped me reinforce those tricks and commands in a real world application. The Impulse control by nature also reinforces basics and allowed me to use the “Ok” release command, which became a great asset in my style of training. Aided communication in all applications, including “leave it” until I tell you, sit-stay while people are entering the home, etc. This activity was special and very challenging to work with only because my dog was a skittish untrusting shelter dog, and so it was very rewarding to see her build that trust through solid communication. It was great to bond with my dog even further and build that trainer’s trust.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
I’m now watching dogs play/interact with a new perspective and insight. Just with my dog Riley, I am much better at understanding what she’s thinking at any time and reacting accordingly. I have a better understanding of her associations and motivations, and with that understanding, I have watched her come out of her shell more in a few months than the entire year prior. Whether I’m watching dogs on walks, socializing at parks, or watching online videos I’m always observing their body language and learning something new every day. It has made me feel much more confident in handling undesirable behaviors and reactions.
What I’m Most Excited About:
The entire experience has been amazing. I feel that CATCH is extremely supportive with how close they work with each student. Hillary my program director has been fantastic with our scheduled phone conversations, and assisting me with any material that needed my extra attention. I’m having a positive experience with CATCH and look forward to more of my studies!
Way to go, Grace, we’re so proud of you!