At the suggestion of a friend from Fidelco Guide Dogs, Claudia attended ClickerExpo Stamford in 2013. Experiencing the positivity of Expo for the first time, Claudia says, “I appreciated the emphasis on being positive to all animals, including our human learners.” She met Karen Pryor and was able to observe other KPA faculty members “in action.” Claudia liked Emma Parsons' style, in particular. These experiences and impressions led Claudia to complete the KPA Dog Trainer Professional (DTP) program in February 2014, with Emma Parsons in Franklin, Massachusetts. She completed the program with distinction.
Claudia found the DTP program final exam her biggest challenge of the course. “Teaching ten behaviors to fluency and working through transitions were both illuminating,” reports Claudia. “My training really improved after thinking through the ten-part behavior chain.”
Since completing her course, Claudia has seen the many benefits of KPA’s positive, force-free approach. “This philosophy makes training a much happier experience for everyone involved.” She cites “plenty of positive feedback from both group-class participants and private clients” as additional evidence to her own experience.
Another lesson from KPA that Claudia has been able to employ in her training is the value of the clicker. “When done properly, using a clicker as an event marker is such an important means of communication with a dog,” she says. Claudia had been using a clicker for many years, but the DTP course helped hone her skills. Learning more about the clicker “made it possible for me to train humans and dogs more effectively, achieving better results more quickly.” She especially values the clicker in the reactive-dog classes that she teaches.