Stephanie says that the shaping plans and data-collection methods she learned during the DTP program have helped her organize training sessions and training goals. Thanks to clicker training, she has honed her observation skills and can problem-solve more easily and more quickly. “I communicate more clearly to volunteer handlers how they can set up their animals for success and train necessary behaviors to fluency, including loose-lead walking and polite greetings.”
After completing the DTP program, Stephanie joined the board of the International Association of Human Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO). “IAHAIO has developed best practices for working in human/animal interaction fields that include humane training methods. My experiences as both a volunteer and a trainer contribute significantly to this effort.”
As the Director of AT at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, works with pediatric patients at a pediatric outpatient rehab clinic. Her teams work directly with therapists and patients on individual treatment goals. ”We are routinely contacted to develop creative ways to incorporate therapy dogs into patients’ treatment plans. We use cueing and shaping exercises that ensure that patient goals are met.”
Reiterating her growth in patience and understanding, and crediting the positive training philosophy of KPA, Stephanie strives to demonstrate empathy toward people who make different choices than she does, including those who opt for different types of training. She considers herself a keen observer of human and animal behavior across all parts of her life. Stephanie notes that “what I’ve learned from the DTP program, and from ClickerExpo presenters, has given me the tools to help my own pets with reactivity and other challenging behaviors, too."
Since becoming a KPA CTP, Stephanie has successfully completed the KPA Puppy Start Right for Instructors course. “I attend ClickerExpo annually as well as many other workshops, seminars, and classes.” A self-described lifelong learner, her plan is to become a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor, “as I see many people and dogs struggling with reactivity.” Clicker training is sure to play a part in Stephanie’s future goals. “When I retire from my current dream job, I may open a facility that would provide clicker training to more people in our community and help new trainers find their way to clicker training!” More lightheartedly, Stephanie reports that another goal is to “clicker train my husband to do more chores, but that’s a work-in-progress, long-term shaping plan!”