I've Never Introduced Myself!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by srdogtrainer, Mar 26, 2014.

  1. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Okay so I joined DTA several years ago, Aug 28, 2009 to be exact, but I don't think I have ever officially introduced myself. So here goes.... I'm Sharon. I have a golden retriever named River, he is probably more commonly known around here, he has an intro page already.
    I studied Animal Training, Behavior and Enrichment at Delaware Valley college and then I transferred to Bergin University of Canine Studies (in California) to study Service Dog Education.
    I did a short internship at Canine Partners for Life (PA) and then moved to MA and interned with American Poodles At Work (APAW). I moved to Ma around the time I joined DTA. River was born around that time as well Aug. 22, 2009. I didn't meet him until 6 months later. He is from a breeder and is an amazing dog. I wanted to rescue a dog but was turned down for reasons they didn't care to mention so I finally gave up and went with a breeder and searched for a really nice dog and have not been disappointed. River is my very first dog and he has taught me a lot! Training is my hobby, my life and my passion. We enjoy trick training and advanced training. I currently teach dog training classes at PetSmart as well. I would love to get into Service dog training as a career some day.

    Other then training I enjoy juggling, swimming, painting and drawing, being outside (with my dog) and photography.

    You can find us on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/SullivanOlssen
    There are videos of River, dogs I trained at APAW and BUCS.

  2. brody_smom Experienced Member

    Thanks for the intro! It's interesting that you had all that education before you got your first dog. Did your family have dogs when you were growing up?
    MaryK and running_dog like this.
  3. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    No, I never got a dog growing up. I begged for one, my parents aren't really dog people (they grew up with dogs that lived outside) and my sisters claim to not like dogs at all. I was lucky to get cats, but still not quite the same.

    I was very interested in dog training though even before I got a dog and read tons of dog training books from the library.
    MaryK, brodys_mom and running_dog like this.
  4. Evie Experienced Member

    Ooooo, very knowledgeable canine person indeed! good to know that even with all of that training that you still think it worth while to a) train using positive reinforcement and b) come and share that knowledge with us and maybe even vise versa :D
    Ripleygirl, MaryK and srdogtrainer like this.
  5. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    Yes at Bergin we used pretty much all positive training methods. Any corrections were generally verbal. This is because people with disabilities would have a very hard time forcing their dog to do things when they need it. So the idea was to make all the tasks a really fun game so the dogs wanted to do them. We didn't use the clicker much but used a verbal 'yes' as a marker so a very similar idea. We also used a social training style. I don't think this is an official term but it's the best way I can describe it. Playing games with them, using body language and just making everything really fun. I am now learning a lot more about clicker training and shaping. I don't use it all the time because I like the very interactive training we did at BUCS but I do see the benefits of it and am definitely incorporating it into my training.

    Oh and I am always trying to learn more about training from where ever I can. Youtube, forums, DVDs, websites, books, other dog trainers, seminars...

    I just really love training and enjoy the variety of methods to draw from and all the possibilities.
    MaryK, Evie and brodys_mom like this.
  6. MaryK Honored Member

    Lovely to have the opportunity to learn training at such a high level, wish the same was available here, we have to do it all on-line.

    Rivers is an amazing dog, well worth the wait I'm sure!:D
    srdogtrainer and brodys_mom like this.
  7. srdogtrainer Experienced Member

    When I was young I couldn't stand the wait, but it worked out well. I am glad my introduction to dogs/ training was very advanced and positive. I'm not sure what would have happened with me getting a dog, living with non- dog people, and having to figure out training on my own and mostly learning from books. Maybe it would have worked, I'll never know.
    It was really good that when I started training all the dogs at the school were trained to a really high level. So when most people would see a very well trained dog, for me and everyone at the school it was the standard that all the dogs were trained to. So high standards were the norm.
    brodys_mom and MaryK like this.
  8. MaryK Honored Member

    I can well imagine how hard it was waiting, but as you say, it worked out really well. Just goes to show that when we 'go with the flow' the Universe works with us.

    Trying to live, train and love a dog in a household where others are not of the same mind must be ghastly. I have a friend who adores her dogs sadly her husband, who claims to be an animal lover, will not allow dogs inside and his 'training' method is to SHOUT very LOUDLY at the dogs!!!!!! My blood boils and afraid I haven't always kept my big mouth shut!

    I think your life has worked for the best, for you and River and all dogs fortunate enough to be trained by you.:D
    srdogtrainer and brodys_mom like this.

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