team member since November 2016
I like big Mutts and I cannot lie... that’s why I work for clevercanines. I’ve always had a passion for dogs, but after getting my own I realized that it’s not as easy as it seems to own the “good dog” that everyone wants. The vision I had in my head of what it would be like was very different from reality. My beloved Boston Terrier/ Pomeranian cross, named Rorschach, had a lot of anxiety and reactivity problems. We tried a variety of different training classes but it just seemed to be getting worse. I was close, a few times, to giving my best little friend up for adoption. In 2015 I found clevercanines and that was the turning point for Rorschach and I’s relationship. What used to feel like a frustrating burden now felt the way I had first hoped it would. Instead of constantly being worried about, “what's my dog doing?” I now have freedom with my dog. I became an instructor because I see so many people in the same boat I was in, a huge amount of love and passion for their dogs but not a great understanding of them. I want to help people build strong relationships with their dogs, and bring the reality of dog ownership closer to what the initial vision was like.
My words of wisdom are as follows. Petting, touching, holding, picking up your dog etc. are all rewards to your dog … so what are you rewarding them for? A big eyeopener for me was how much I was actually fuelling Rorschach’s reactivity by unintentionally rewarding his behaviour.