Sue Alexander, CDBC on April 21, 2015
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.