Board certified in veterinary behavior (ACVB Diplomate) with a practice focused solely on behavior issues, Jill sees cases on a referral basis. Her referrals originate with “general-practice veterinarians and trainers.” Clients often refer themselves as well. Jill collaborates and shares office space with a trainer friend. “We work collaboratively to help fearful, reactive, and aggressive dogs and their families.” Jill has always valued work as part of a collaborative team. Her current team members are positive reinforcement trainers and veterinarians, as well as pet families. “It takes a village to help many of my fearful patients.” Jill describes her practice and the services that she offers as integrative. “I use medicine, environmental and safety management, and behavior modification with marker/clicker training every day!”
In addition to her behavior referral practice, Jill is a consultant for a sanctuary and for a humane society. Using clicker training, “I work with both organizations training fearful and reactive dogs so that they can cope better with their surroundings.” Horses also receive attention and guidance from Jill. “I have shared my entire life with horses; they are amazing animals.” Again using marker/clicker training, Jill works with horses, teaching ground manners, offering veterinary medication/treatment, and partnering with farriers. “I believe that positive training not only is an important way to train, but that it totally changes the relationships people have with horses. When your horse looks at you to say, ‘You mean I have a choice in this?’ it is a total game-changer.”
On top of her positive interactions with animals in her care and in her life, Jill sees how her KPA background has expanded how she looks at “interactions between people.” She says, “It has 100% opened my eyes to how punitive humans can be.”
Jill uses analogies to interpersonal relationships and communication to help her clients see how problematic it is when they expect animals to do something just because they say so, never thinking about motivation. “I think the analogies help clients see things through their pets’ eyes.” In response to questions about “when are food/ bribes going to stop,” Jill turns the question to the client: “When will you stop expecting to go to work and receiving a paycheck?” Continuing the analogy, Jill asks her clients to reflect on “a boss who was always about the things you did wrong versus the things you did right. Who would you prefer to work for?”
Now that she has completed the KPA Dog Trainer Foundations and Professional courses, finished her veterinary behavior residency, and passed those certifying board exams, Jill is not slowing down! “I continue to attend lectures on training and am always looking for better and easier ways to help my clients help their pets.” She says that she is also eager to train with her own dogs more. Considering the tremendous value of the knowledge gleaned from KPA and how it has enhanced her veterinary practice experience, Jill would like to see future veterinary behavior residents complete skills training from KPA as part of their residency.