In fact, dogs trained with positive methods became more adoptable. “It was gratifying to know that I was able to make a difference in so many dogs’ lives,” says Cindy.
Despite her exposure to animals and methods at the various facilities where she volunteered, Cindy says, “I felt like I really was not learning enough.” Cindy did her research and discovered Karen Pryor Academy (KPA). Wanting, needing, to learn as much as possible, she began with the KPA Dog Trainer Foundations course. Cindy found the Foundation course “very educational” and decided to continue her KPA studies by enrolling in the KPA Dog Trainer Professional program.
In the already-challenging KPA Dog Trainer Professional program, Cindy was faced with an additional test midway through the course: the dog she partnered with at the start of the program became too stressed to continue. This dog began to show many displacement behaviors, so Cindy was forced to switch her dog partner in order to complete the course. One of the elements that Cindy most enjoyed learning about through the Dog Trainer Professional program was “… behavior chains, and how each behavior reinforces the next behavior.”
Now a KPA Certified Training Partner (CTP), Cindy feels the responsibility of representing Karen Pryor Academy. She is conscious that her work and communication be “… very professional in the way Karen Pryor Academy would want to be represented.” In her training with dogs in any and all situations—clients, volunteer, personal—Cindy incorporates her many KPA lessons.
Most of the volunteer work Cindy has done since she completed her KPA course has been for rescue groups and foster parents.