While volunteering at Austin Animal Center, I met dog-reactive dogs, human-reactive dogs, puppies of all kinds, pushy adolescents, fear-biters. I brought home a large foster dog (or a foster fail - we still have him!) & learned first-hand about fear-aggression. A difficult dog is a lot for owners to take on - I get it. If we are committed to a no-kill city, we need effective training and robust outcomes.
Working at a training center, I saw owners struggle. Often we don't recognize dogs' fear; to owners, a lunging, barking dog looks aggressive, but punishment makes fear worse - so lunging and barking get worse, too. Competent reward-based training can be a life-saver. I am an honors graduate of Jean Donaldson's Academy for Dog Trainers, a two-year program in evidence-based dog behavior, training, teaching and behavior counseling.
My poodle Maggie and I graduated as a Divine Canines therapy team in February 2022, and we're now working toward Maggie's 'Excellent' therapy dog title.
What's a Therapy Dog?