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 Katerina Andritsopoulou of Athens, Greece. At the time of this posting, Katerina is studying Phase F of Basics Pro, and she is doing a wonderful job with her studies!
A Word from Katerina
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
I have enjoyed every part of the course so far and have found the study material interesting, concise and enlightening. Although it is difficult to set one thing apart from all the rest, I would say my favorite topic was Understanding Behavior, Body Language and Vocalization for the impact it had on me. The first time I realized that dogs have a language of their own and started to understand it, I began enthusiastically observing and learning about how dogs communicate calming signals using every part of their body to express their feelings. I admire Turid Rugaas’ work and found [Patricia McConnell’s book] The Other End of the Leash extremely interesting; from the research on tones of voice to communicating with dogs to the important differences in canine and primate species that affect our communication on all levels (from love to aggression).
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
It follows that my favorite hands-on activity was the one that left the first, great imprint; “Become Aware of How Your Body Language Affects Dogs” in Phase B. I became intrigued by yawns, turning heads, wagging tails, ear movements and eye whites (!) coupled with my own breathing, hand signals, voice tones and body movements (!) and how all this creates a new world! I realized how important space is to dogs and how subtly one needs to respect and appreciate this space while teaching dogs to acknowledge and respect one’s own space in return. Furthermore, I found it challenging and rewarding to practice the dog training method developed by Jean Donaldson (drop-stick-push). Training recall was an amazing experience with Miranda. The feeling of relief and happiness when I call her and she comes running is invaluable.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
The way I look and behave towards Miranda and all other dogs has been deeply affected by my learning experience. I understand their intentions, read their signals and enjoy contact with them more consciously. I appreciate the importance of the first socialization period for well-adapted dogs and love to see them mature and learn. There is an amazing capacity for communication. It is amazing that with consistency, patience, treats, play and praise you can teach dogs what you want them to do (or not do) and most importantly, without any aggression or violence.
What I’m Most Excited About:
I am very grateful to CATCH for offering me this wonderful opportunity that has enriched my life, and to my study director Marcela, who is an inspiring tutor, making me think before answering my questions and guiding me along the way to becoming a successful and fulfilled dog trainer. Thank you!!!
Way to go, Katerina, we’re so proud of you!