Welcome to the Dog Division

The IAABC Dog Division welcomes both seasoned and aspiring professional Dog Behavior Consultants. Learn via discussion lists, guided studies, case study tutorials, mentoring, and networking. We work together to enhance the lives of dogs and their people.

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Sarah Fulcher, CDBC

Sarah Fulcher, CDBC on May 01, 2015

Sarah Fulcher, CDBC
Sarah Fulcher, CDBC

Sarah Fulcher is a dedicated and passionate dog trainer living in Trail, British Columbia, Canada. She first started working with dogs in 2001, taking in shelter animals that needed training. Volunteering as a foster home for rescue organizations for many years provided Sarah more valuable experience. She lived with and trained many different canine personalities, and has experience and success with many traditionally difficult to train breeds. Sarah is an open minded trainer who has experience with many different training methods, but discovered clicker training several years ago. She immediately found it to be a powerful training system and has enjoyed expanding her skills in marker training. She has trained several species of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, parrots, and horses.

Dedicated to continuing education, she has background in animal behaviour at university, a Certificate in Canine Behaviour Science and Technology through the Companion Animal Sciences Institute, and, most recently, completed the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program in 2013. She continues to grow and learn as a trainer.

Sarah is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant through the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants and a Certified Trick Dog Trainer. She is a member in good standing with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). She presents workshops throughout North America on various subjects and was selected to do a Shorts presentation at the 2014 APDT conference. Sarah also attends several educational conferences, seminars, and webinars each year.

With her dogs (Siberian huskies, Belgian shepherd, and new Australian Shepherd puppy), Sarah has trained, competed, or titled in many dog sports including obedience, rally obedience, skijorring, dog sledding, agility, musical freestyle, herding, tricks, and nose work.

Sarah specializes in behaviour problems, but most of all, she loves helping people build positive relationships with their pets. She runs her business, Barks and Recreation Pet Services Inc., at home in Trail, BC with her husband Cameron. She and Cameron are active volunteers in their community, particularly for the local BC SPCA.

Sue Alexander, CDBC

Sue Alexander, CDBC on April 21, 2015

Sue Alexander, CDBC
Sue Alexander, CDBC

Sue Alexander is a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant and was one of the early members of the IAABC. Sue owns and operates Dogs in the Park Inc. in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. From its earliest days as a club, Dogs in the Park has been a venue that supports families who wish to develop a deeper relationship with their dogs through a thorough understanding of the sciences of Applied Behaviour Analysis and Ethology. Sue provides a wide range of lectures on training and behaviour to her local community as well as developing and presenting webinars, blogs and articles for an international audience. Most recently, Sue has developed an in house internship program that prepares participants to pass the CPDT examination and continue on within Dogs in the Park as instructors. Sue was grandfathered into the IAABC as both a Certified Dog Behaviour Consultant and as a Service Animal Consultant, a designation granted during the inception of the organization which has since been retired. Sue delivered a presentation at the first IAABC conference on the then new field of psychiatric service dogs. She trained and placed the first recorded psychiatric service dog in Canada, and has since trained and placed many such dogs She also ran a Service Dog Conference in Guelph for 7 years, drawing attendees from all across North America. Sue was partnered for ten years with D’fer, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever, who assisted her with her own mental health issues. In 2012, Sue sustained a serious head injury which has significantly limited her ability to train service dogs for others. Although Sue is no longer training service dogs for others, she continues to participate in the conversation about the role of these important dogs in society. Her particular interest is in the rights of the disabled in Canada to choose whatever treatment modality might fit them best, including the use of a dog. Sue was recognized by the City of Guelph for her advocacy for those who use service dogs to mitigate their psychiatric symptoms with an Access Award in 2010.

Currently, Sue divides her time between Guelph’s busiest behaviour program, the Good Dog program. Sue developed and shared this program in the inaugural issue of the IAABC journal, and her own dogs and horse. She continues to study Applied Behaviour Analysis, hone her riding skills and teach her dogs new behaviours to keep them fluent and happy as they age. Outside of the world of animal behaviour, Sue is interested in reading, writing, natural history, jigsaw puzzles and gardening.

Scott Sheaffer, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Scott Sheaffer on March 27, 2015

Scott Sheaffer
Scott Sheaffer

Scott is the owner of USA Dog Behavior, LLC in Dallas, Texas and has been training dogs all of his life. His real joy and specialty is working with dogs who have behavioral issues including aggression and separation anxiety. He provides private consultations with clients at their location or at his location in the Dallas, Texas area. “It is not unusual for owners to be in tears when I first meet with them because they are so distraught over their dog. It’s great to turn those tears into smiles as I work with owners and their dogs and we see improvement. It’s why I do what I do.” “I am so fortunate to have my wife, Barbara, as a business partner. She fills the roles of multiple people at USA Dog Behavior, LLC. She screens and schedules new clients, acts as an expert handler during behavior modification exercises and does an incredible job of keeping USA Dog Behavior, LLC in touch with other animal professionals.”

In addition to private consultations, Scott provides seminars on behavioral issues to rescue organizations and veterinary professionals. He is the author of the Dog Aggression Online Assessment Tool that can be found at http://usadogbehavior.com/ and will soon be available on the Apple App Store.

He received his Bachelor of Science from Baylor University and then completed his education and internship at Animal Behavior College. He has received the CPDT-KA (Certified Professional Dog Trainer) designation from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and the CDBC (Certified Dog Behavior Consultant) designation from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Scott is a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a certified member of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers.

Krystal Ellingson CDBC CPDT-KSA

Eric Goebelbecker on November 09, 2014

Krystal is the founder of Speak Dog LLC, which is the first dedicated ‘positive’ dog training and behavior consulting company in the Tri-City and surrounding area where she lives in South-Eastern Washington. Krystal’s love for dogs and thirst for knowledge is also shared by the trainers she employs. Some of Krystal’s certifications and membership/affiliations include: Animal Behavior College Mentor Trainer, American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen/S.T.A.R. Puppy/Community Canine Evaluator, American Red Cross Pet First Aid Instructor, Association of Professional Dog Trainers C.L.A.S.S. Evaluator/Premium Member, CATCH Canine Trainers Academy Official Mentor Trainer, Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers CPDT-KSA, Delta Society Pet Partner, IAABC Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Love on a Leash (Foundation for Pet Provided Therapy) Member & Evaluator, SARA Service Animal Trainer, and a few more. Krystal has a passion for outreach and has designed, implemented, and managed several local dog related programs as well as offering support to local animal shelters. These programs include:

  • “Stress Less” a therapy dog program in partnership with a local public school - focusing on life skills classroom support and additionally using therapy dogs as tools for addressing special or difficult situations that students may be faced with under the guidance of the school counselor.
  • “Ridge Dogs” a prison dog training program in contract with Washington State Department of Corrections - involving taking dogs from shelters and transferring them to prison to live with and learn from their inmate dog handlers until the dogs are ready to be adopted.
  • “Story Time” a therapy dog reading program in partnership with a local library and also at a local private school - where children read to therapy dogs and can also participate in related activities and crafts. ‘Reflections’ a program in partnership with a local homeless teens shelter where residents are taught basic dog training and behavior concepts and are encouraged to interact in a positive and productive way with a ‘sweet, but less than perfect’ adolescent rescued resident dog.

Krystal has a strong desire to advance and actualize not only in her own career, but also to honor her own mentors by helping other behavior and training professionals along their own paths too. To learn more about her business, visit www.speakdogtricities.com

Renee Premaza, CDBC

Eric Goebelbecker on May 31, 2014

Renee with Hoffman
Renee with Hoffman

Renee Premaza is a graduate With Distinction from the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (formerly Cynology College). She is the owner of The Jersey Dog Trainer and has been professionally training dogs of all breeds and ages since 2001. She is a Certified Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants – Dog Division, a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and a Professional Member of the Pet Professional Guild. Renee provides private, in-home training and specializes in working with mild to moderate aggression cases, separation anxiety, shyness and fearfulness, as well as educating and teaching new puppy owners how to raise and train their puppies in a positive and well-structured environment. She works in many towns and cities in the southern New Jersey area, including Camden County, Gloucester County and Burlington County as well as Cumberland County and some sections of Atlantic County. She frequently trains in Hammonton, Mays Landing, Cherry Hill, Deptford, Woodbury, Haddonfield, Voorhees, Maple Shade, Marlton, Medford, Mt. Laurel, Moorestown, Palmyra, Collingswood, Sewell, Mullica Hill and Tabernacle - just to mention a few. For more information about Renee, her training philosophy as well as her many articles, please visit her website, and her Facebook page.

Jack Grever, ACDBC

Eric Goebelbecker on May 24, 2014

Jack and Ranger
Jack and Ranger

Jack Grever founded Longshot Farms Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in Clover, SC. At his 140 acre facility, he Rehabilitates dogs and trains people to better communicate with their dogs. By employing proven dog training & psychology methods of positive reinforcement and negative punishment. Jack uses the “LIMA” philosophy—least invasive, minimally aversive methods to modify and shape behaviors in family pets and rescued shelter dogs.

Specializing in aggression cases, Jack volunteers his time and expertise at the York County Animal Shelter and the Humane Society of York, SC. Where he can use his experience taming Feral dogs in island nations and third world countries. Jack also offers himself freely to those who adopt a rescue dog to help them learn, manage and train a new shelter dog in the home.

He is featured as a spokesman for animal rights and protection in several videos for tourism and airlines. Interviewed by print and television media regarding animal welfare. Jack understands what a distressed dog needs to become the loved and trusted pet for the family. He is constantly striving to learn more advanced training methods and has studied under some of the best in the business.

Don Hanson, ACCBC, BFRAP, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Eric Goebelbecker on May 17, 2014

Don and Muppy
Don and Muppy

Don Hanson, ACCBC, BFRAP, CDBC, CPDT-KA (member since 2005) left a 17 year career in the corporate world to move to Bangor, ME to purchase Green Acres Kennel Shop in 1995. Since then Don, his wife Paula, and their team of employees have been offering pet-friendly boarding, daycare, grooming, training classes, behavioral consultations and the sale of wholesome pet food and quality supplies to pet lovers in the greater Bangor community. Green Acres has been consistently voted the best kennel, best pet store, best dog trainer and best pet groomer in the region for several years. Green Acres offers a wide variety of group and private dog training classes as well as behavior consultations for dogs and cats. Don has been very active in the pet community, serving on the Bangor Humane Society Board of Directors from 1996-2011, including five years as its President. He was recruited to serve on the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) Education Committee in 1998. This group developed the first certification exam for professional dog trainers. He was elected to serve on the APDT Board of Trustees for nine years (2002-2007, & 2011-2013) and served three years as the Board Chair (2007, 2011, & 2012).

Don has a special interest in complementary and alternative medicine and became the first Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP) in the America’s in 2003.

In 2004 Don was asked to produce and host a weekly radio show on pets, The Woof Meow Show. Today the show is heard on three stations throughout the state of Maine and is also available as a podcast and on the Apple iTunes store.

Committed to continuing education, Don attends a variety of conferences and seminars every year. He has also presented seminars on pet behavior, dog training, pet nutrition and Bach Flower Remedies in Canada, the Caribbean, Japan, and throughout the US.

Pamela Dennison, Positive Motivation Dog Training

Eric Goebelbecker on May 11, 2014

Pamela Dennison
Pamela Dennison

Pamela Dennison, CWRI, CDBC (member since 2004) started her own business, Positive Motivation Dog Training, in 1996. Since then she has helped thousands of dogs and handlers build their relationships and solve problems, teaches basic obedience through competition and works with a myriad of behavioral problems, including aggression. Her 4800 sf facility is in Washington, NJ. Pam is the author of five books; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Positive Dog Training, 3rd ed (soon to be re-released as You Can Train Your Dog; Mastering the Art & Science of Modern Dog Training), Bringing Light to Shadow; A Dog Trainer’s Diary, Civilizing the City Dog, How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong and Click Your Way to Rally Obedience. Pam also has five online classes The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Positive Dog Training, 3rd ed (soon to be re-released as You Can Train Your Dog; Managing the Multiple Dog Household, Parts 1 and 2 and Cleaning up Your Act; the fussy & meticulous behaviors needed for competition obedience/rally, Parts 1 and 2.

In addition, Pam has five webinars: Finding a Reputable Rescue Group, Finding a Reputable Trainer, Helping to Create a Bombproof Dog, Setting up Your Own Aggressive Dog Classes and Tight Leash Pulling (aka Loose Leash Walking).

Pam is the author of three DVDs; Training the Whistle Recall (winner of a Maxwell for Best Training DVD) (and offers a curriculum and Certification for trainers), The Magic of Shaping; Explore the Possibilities and her NEWEST DVD: The R.E.W.A.R.D. Zone for aggressive & reactive dogs.

Pam presents seminars in the US and abroad on a myriad of topics.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Donna Gleason on October 21, 2013

Dogs dressed for Halloween

As a kid growing up, I had my favorite holidays. In my opinion, Christmas always had the top spot and Halloween came in a close second! As we approach Halloween, I am noticing a growing number of pet dog owners are not looking at this time of year with the same sentimental nostalgia that I have. Actually, some owners refer to Halloween as “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Here’s the good news: More and more people are asking for advice to help them understand why their dog exhibits unusual behaviors on Halloween and what they can do to make this evening a safe and less stressful time for everyone. Let’s begin by taking a look at Halloween from a canines perspective:

“Dinner time is over and my tummy is full. I know what happens next, we all go for a long walk. When we return, I chew on a bone, take a nap, go outside and then off to bed. Life is very predictable at this time of day.

Ding Dong! Better check out the front door. There is a stranger with a scary face and big hair in the hallway of my house. Not too comfortable with this stranger. GRR!

Will you look at this! My owners just put a big bowl of treats right by the front door - I’m sure they are just for me.

DING DONG! I wonder who’s on the other side of the front door. I really can’t see everything but I do know there is lots of shouting and from what I can see my owner keeps reaching his hand towards something unfamiliar and scary. Not too comfortable with all this activity at the front door. GRRR!

Will this ever be over? DING DONG! GRRRR! I can’t take it any more. I know how to stop this. Next time the doorbell rings, I’m not even going to wait and see who is on the other side. I’m going to growl, bark and scare them away. No one is getting past me.

It’s quiet now, but tomorrow if I hear DING DONG…at least I’ve learned how to make all that scary “stuff” go away.”

Although the above scenario may seem exaggerated, the concepts are not. Dogs love consistency and sometime disruptions in routines may cause stress. Dogs who do not seem comfortable with guests arriving at their home may become overly reactive when many guests arrive in costume on Halloween night. Dogs can make an association that when they are reactive, everything big and scary will go away. So what can we do as pet dog owners to help relieve some of the stress our dogs may experience on Halloween night?

Take your dog for a walk before the festivities begin. If you typically walk your dog in the evening try to get a walk in before the “trick or treaters” arrive. This walk will assist in keeping your routine as close to normal as possible and help to tire your dog out. Many times if a dog is tired they sometimes become less reactive to environmental stimuli.

Keep candy out of reach. Chocolate in candy is probably the number one Halloween hazard for dogs. According to Web MD - Chocolate can sicken and even kill dogs, and is one of the most common causes of canine poisoning, When placing the candy bowl near the front door, make sure it is inaccessible to your dog.

Watch for signs of stress. If your dog shows any signs of stress place him a separate room or in his crate (away from all the Halloween commotion). Offer your dog a new toy or bone, play soothing music or fill a “KONG” product with a tasty treat. Note: Sometimes freezing the contents of the “KONG” will make it even more enticing. Some owners will sit on their front porch to hand out the candy and turn out the light when they are done - this eliminates the stressful “Ding Dong - Trick or Treat”!!

Keep your dog safe at the front door. If you want your dog to greet guests there is a possibility that he might run out the front door and not want to return because it’s much more exciting outside. Consider keeping your dog on-leash, place a gate in the front door or take the top screen/window out of your screen door to eliminate the possibility of this happening. However, just in case he does get out - make sure he is wearing current identification information.

Bottom-Line: Halloween for some dogs (and their owners) can be extremely difficult. Be aware of any signs that indicates your dog is becoming over-stimulated and always take the necessary steps to keep him safe and stress-free all night long.

Teaching Dogs about children

Donna Gleason on July 01, 2013

teaching dogs about children

Several years ago, Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled. “All I Ever Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”. In his book, he speaks about how people can live a meaningful life by learning from experiences that occur while attending kindergarten. Share everything. Play fair. Don't take things that aren't yours. Don't hit people. If I was going to write a similar book (from a dog’s perspective), it might be titled: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in my Whelping Box. Some of my thoughts would be similar to Robert Fulgham’s, however “Don't hit people” would most likely be changed to “Don’t bite people”.

While in the whelping box, puppies begin to learn about limitations and boundaries from their mom and littermates. How to play appropriately with other dogs. How to send and receive appropriate canine social signals. How to use their teeth and mouth appropriately when engaging in play. Each one of these experiences will be part of a pup’s behavioral foundation for the rest of their life. So, how can we help our puppies and young dogs learn about children, using previous experiences they may have encountered while living in the whelping box with their mom and littermates?

Children are not puppies with two legs.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to grab the remote control on Super Bowl Sunday and watch the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet, you know that puppies engaging in unleashed play are close to the same height, project lots of energy, impulsive and may (at times) forget to be gentle when interacting with another dog. Many of these traits can also be observed when watching small children engage in free-play. Maybe that is why some puppies may view young children as a “buddy” on two legs.

However, your pup no longer has his mom and littermates to correct him, so it becomes the role of the adults (living in the home) to continue this role. Here is what you can do; Control the level of energy that occurs between your pup and child and try to keep their interactions positive and fun. “Mom, he’s biting me again!”...is not fun!!

When energy levels begin to rise and before interactions are no longer positive or fun, stop the play and redirect your pup with his favorite toy or perhaps ask him to perform a learned cue. This tactic will diffuse the energy and redirect your pup’s attention onto something else. It teaches your pup alternative and incompatible behaviors for those times when he needs to burn off a little steam and goes looking for the nearest child.

Children are not chew toys:

Puppies and maybe even most dogs love to chew. Chew on marrow bones, fancy chew toys from pet stores, furniture, shoes, books ...oh my, the list can become quite long!! But now let’s add movement from a young child into the equation. You can just see the pup thinking, “Oh boy! I’ve just been reunited with my littermates…I know I will be corrected when I’ve gone too far, but for now let the games begin!” Off your pup goes to chase, play and nip at your child. Puppies and young dogs sometimes don’t understand that showing good “bite inhibition” - playing with a “soft mouth” makes us humans VERY happy!

Young pups may occasionally bite a littermate to hard when interacting with each other in their whelping box. The recipient of the bite typically will let out a sudden and sharp "yelp" in response to their discomfort. The game suddenly ends and all interactions cease. We can also use those same techniques, when teaching a pup that children/humans are not chew toys. Over time your dog will realize that when he uses a soft mouth, the fun continues, but when he nips too hard…game over!

Final Note: Pups begin to learn the rules of appropriate canine interactions from the residents they shared a space with while in the whelping box. Now that those pups are living in our space, we become the residents who need to teach them the rules of appropriate human/canine interaction, especially when it comes to our children.

Donna GleasonCDBC, CPDT- KA is owner of TLC Dog Trainer (Time Love and Commitment) resides in Sherman, CT. and has a Masters in Behavior Modification. She offers professional in-home dog training (specializing in puppy education, basic obedience and behavior modification for unruly or reactive dogs) as well as group puppy/basic obedience classes. Donna is a member of APDT, Shelter Animal Reiki Association, Pet Partners, mentor/trainer for Animal Behavior College, CGC evaluator and consulting trainer for PawSafe Animal Rescue. Donna can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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