I started my journey with dog training and dog care in 1987 as a vet assistant at Northbrook Animal Clinic. I learned about the care, treatment and handling of cats and dogs and enjoyed working their for 4 years.
I had a crazy border collie, named Crystal, who needed some way to focus her energy into something besides driving me bonkers. That started my decades old love affair with canine performance sports. Agility and Flyball were her games and they made Crystal, and me, happy girls.
I studied canine behavior and training techniques with Chris Bach, founder of a method called “The Third Way” . It is a method that is considered a balanced method of training that prioritizes engagement and positive reinforcement to shape preferred canine behaviors.
I am a volunteer for the Illinois Bird Dog Rescue and have fostered dogs and transported adopted dogs to their new homes. I have also volunteered at the Homeward Bound Dog Rescue near South Bend, Indiana, from where I adopted my current dog, Sunny.
Sunny has earned several obedience titles since I adopted him, and I continue with his education working toward the next level. We also do agility for fun and exercise and hope to do a bit of competing next Spring.
I have also worked with day care dogs in a group environment, and, besides encouraging friendly interaction between them, I incorporate the development of focus, and the maintenance of appropriate behaviors. I endeavor to make learning a game. I love watching dogs think.
Learning new methods of training and relating to dogs is a continuing passion of mine and I always strive to find new solutions to make the dog-human relationship more compatible.
I am also certified in pet CPR and first aid.
- Active member – IACP
- Active member & board member of SJVAC & ECHO Kennel Club in Buchanan, MI – 2008 – 2014
- Volunteered to steward and host AKC and UKC competitive conformation, obedience, and agility trials.
- Taught agility classes at the kennel club.
- Trained and competed with my three dogs in obedience and agility to support the club.
- Member of the German Shorthair Pointer Club of Illinois – 2009 – 2013.
- Participated in hunt training clinics.
- Trialed my English Setter in Hunt Tests and Field Trials sponsored by the club.
- Trained and earned AKC and UKC titles in Novice Companion Dog (CD), Open Companion Dog (CDX), AKC and UKC titles in Novice , Open & Excellent Agility, and Junior Hunter and Senior Hunter titles with my English Setter, Trudy.
- Trained and earned AKC and UKC Novice Companion Dog (CD) titles, AKC and UKC titles in Novice and Open Agility, and Therapy Dog Certificate with my English Pointer, Grace.
- Grace and I visited many venues to assist and comfort peoples in veteran facilities, hospice facilities, libraries to read with kids, and senior care facilities.
- Trained and earned AKC Beginner Novice Companion Dog (BN) and AKC and UKC titles in Novice Companion Dog (CD), Open Companion Dog (CDX) with my ChowX, Sunny.
- I volunteered to foster and transport dogs for the Illinois Bird Dog Rescue.
- I volunteered to assist in adoptions for Homeward Bound Dog Rescue in South Bend, Indiana.
- I trained with Chris Bach, who originated the “Third Way” technique, a balanced method with emphasis on engagement, and shaping a dog to choose a correct behavior. I also trained with Jennifer Bosnos who continues this method locally.
- I have worked as an attendant in a daycare facility, using ways to incorporate focused and obedient behavior in a group setting.
- I have since continued to attend classes in agility, obedience and nosework to learn new and better techniques to engage and shape dogs.