Karen Pryor Academy has led to some interesting professional opportunities for Christina. She has a strong following of pot-bellied pig owners who have found her home videos featuring her pig, Tofu, to be helpful! Christina also writes a blog for pet owners called The Dexter Diaries. She has presented to schoolchildren on behalf of Doggone Safe, to the Central Oregon Donkey Association, and to various support groups interested in the application of pet dogs as part of rehabilitation.
Next up is ClickerExpo 2014! Christina’s first ClickerExpo was in Los Angeles years ago when she learned about KPA. Little did she know that she would lead two Sessions at the upcoming conference: Urban Mushing and Keeping It Real. She gave a brief presentation on Urban Mushing in 2013 at ClickerExpo in San Francisco and was thrilled to be invited to speak again at ClickerExpo. Naturally a bit shy, Christina says that she has discovered another side of herself when she speaks about a subject she is passionate about. Christina’s two Expo presentations are largely drawn from a lifetime of living with impossibly energetic dogs (mostly Siberian huskies). Urban Mushing-Taming Your Wild Beast is all about fun. Christina says that mushing is an easy way to exercise an active breed in any climate, not just somewhere like Alaska! Keeping It Real is about client requests to eliminate problem behaviors that actually serve a normal biological or social function for dogs; digging, barking, chewing, and jumping are some very common examples. Christina aims to explain how to balance what are very natural impulses for one species (dogs) that clash with the culture and needs of another species (humans).
Christina continues to learn all she can about dogs and, especially, behavior. She says that “we have only touched the surface” of knowledge in those areas. Books, seminars, workshops are all part of Christina’s life; recent sources of continuing educations have included a trip to Shedd Aquarium for Ken Ramirez' week-long ? seminar on teaching groups of animals in a zoo setting, and Dr. Susan Friedman's online course Living & Learning with Animals: The Fundamental Principles and Procedures of Teaching and Learning.? As the mother of an autistic child, Christina is very interested in TAGteach. Level 1 TAGteach-certified herself, she would love to see TAGteaching implemented in every classroom and home.
As she works with children, veterans, KPA students, pet owners, and, of course, dogs, Christina Waggoner grabs every opportunity to learn and to teach. She is quick to point out that one of the advantages to her work with KPA is getting to know international students who are interested in KPA courses. She learns about the people, their culture, and the culture of dogs in other countries. “In Switzerland, for example, dog owners must take classes in dog ownership before even bringing a dog into their home,” Christina reports. Mandatory pet ownership classes conducted by Christina Waggoner, KPA CTP, would be lessons in positivity and pleasure.