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 Kayla Wade of Charlotte, NC. At the time of this posting, Kayla has already graduated the Master Class with Distinction and is a CATCH Certified Dog Trainer (CCDT)!
A Word from Kayla
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
My favorite topics of study were learning about the development and socialization period of puppies as well as behavior modification. I used to believe that you could “socialize” a dog for life, it was very interesting to learn that puppies have such a short window that has such a large impact on the rest of their lives. I also love learning about behavior modification as everyone’s dog is a little bit different and you have to constantly adjust and make changes to your training plans for individuals. It keeps me on my toes and makes me feel like a detective, having to figure out the necessary pieces of the puzzle to learn the why behind that dog’s behavior.
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
My favorite hands-on activity was teaching my student dog the Basic Obedience and Advanced Training cues. To be able to communicate to my own dog in a way I was never able to was very eye opening and incredible to see how learning applies to dogs. One of my favorite parts of being a dog trainer is seeing the look on people’s faces when they’ve successfully taught their dog a cue and realize that they can effectively communicate with them for the first time.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
My learning experiences through CATCH has changed my idea that dogs “act out” or are “spiteful”. In reality, they have inherent needs, motivations, and learn through the consequences (good or bad) of their actions. Their behaviors are a result of their past experiences or genetics and they’re doing the best they can to understand what we ask of them, so I’ve learned to offer a lot more patience and grace when training dogs. Especially with my own student dog, I could see and understand when stressors or more powerful motivators had his attention and to not take it personally or feel like it is an attack on my dog training skills. I’ve realized that dogs are not robots and behavior cannot be controlled with 100% certainty, which is okay.
What I’m Most Excited About:
I have nothing but positive things to say about CATCH! CATCH was my first experience with dog training and behavior, so I owe all my foundational knowledge to them. And although the curriculum is top notch, the true value of CATCH lies within the staff and community. They’ve been nothing short of extraordinary, helping me along every step I took even past graduation. Even when a global pandemic came during the middle of my studies, CATCH was there to help everyone adjust and offer their support when needed. I will forever be grateful to be a part of this community.
Way to go, Kayla, we’re so proud of you!