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 Lisa Deo of Warren, New Jersey. At the time of this posting, Lisa has just wrapped up Phase 9 of the Master Class!
A Word from Lisa
My Favorite Recent Study Topics:
Phase 3: How Dogs Think And Learn. I found this to be the most challenging but informative section to absorb. This phase really lays out the behavioral science aspects of canine learning.
Phase 9: Shelter Externship – Helping and Training Dogs in Need. This phase taught me so much about assessing dogs from a variety of backgrounds while understanding how shelter and rescue dogs may have unique needs and how to meet them for better adoption prospects. Trainers are especially positioned to help dogs who are in-need live successful lives, and CATCH showed me how I can be an asset in that endeavor.
Phase 10: Business and Career Building. Nothing is missed in this phase. It covers the more laborious aspect of the business side of dog training and immersed me in all the tools I need to successfully practice training, and maximize my skillset to serve clients in the most professional way possible.
My Favorite Recent Hands-On Activity:
Phase 4: Train Your Dog Like A Pro DVD. I really felt things click for me during this phase. It was a lot to take in but I especially enjoyed the accompanying video. The “how to” of basic obedience training methods and handling challenges were very clear and thorough and can be applied to almost any behavior I want to train. I really enjoyed Jean Donaldson’s instruction, precision and clarity.
Phase 5: Training and using a head-halter. I followed through on the slow and steady method with my training dog, mainly to see how the equipment works. This activity helped me tremendously to understand how to best assess which equipment to use appropriately, and how to proceed using any new equipment with a dog and their handler.
Phase 7: Desensitization and Counterconditioning. I have practiced these methods with my training dog. I learned that it takes time and patience to allow the training to work and to understand what progress looks like. The accompanying book The Cautious Canine was very useful as a breakdown of how to apply these techniques.
How My Studies Have Changed the Way I See Dogs:
Through my CATCH studies and hands-on activities, I have expanded my understanding of how dogs think, learn and naturally behave; including their needs, drives and rewards. CATCH has taught me the essential steps involved with developing this relationship with dogs by understanding them and authentically communicating with each as unique individuals. Most of all, I have learned that our dogs relate and interact with us best when we are relaxed, happy and reciprocal to what they are communicating and how much the subtle changes in our body language affects that. Not only has CATCH improved my communication with dogs, but with all of the animals and people in my life too! CATCH training has thoroughly prepared me to help dog owners create better relationships with their beloved pets and share a happy co-existence; including me with my training dog, Freya.
What I’m Most Excited About:
My Program Director, Megan Esala, and my Mentor, Laura Gutjahr, have been integral connections for me moving through the material. Their guidance and support was outstanding and shaped my focus throughout. I feel blessed to be advised by some of the best Trainers in the field. Megan has been invaluable to my progress and perspective, and has helped me beyond the coursework; she has navigated me through the job market and business options in the dog training world. Laura has been instrumental in fine-tuning my knowledge and skill-set. Observing and assisting her in person and getting immediate feedback was a most wonderful part of the learning process for me, and put everything together and into immediate practice. All the pieces of this program came together brilliantly as a whole to develop me as a dog professional and help me reach my career goals while making each step very accessible and accomplishable. Each lesson seamlessly built upon the next to develop my knowledge and skills in a sensible way. I have had a wonderful experience and can look back and see how much I have learned and how all the pieces of the program and its supporting trainers have led me through the extensive material almost effortlessly.
Way to go, Lisa, we’re so proud of you!