I've been away too long! But I got lots of good news while I was traveling (for business). My first stop was Orlando, Florida for the North American Veterinary Conference. I was with the Karen Pryor Academy and we talked to lots of vets and veterinary technicians interested in positive reinforcement training. I got to see several Behavior lectures presented by both veterinarians and veterinary technicians — they were fabulous. All of us — vets, techs, and Karen Pryor Academy faculty and students — are on the same page when it comes to teaching dogs and modifying behavior: positive reinforcement is the only way to go. It was refreshing and helped re-charge my batteries.
My next stops were local and both in Columbia, MD. On Friday, a group of positive trainers got together at Ruth Chase's Coventry School for Dogs for some socializing and training. Many of us brought our dogs, but none of us brought our camera, so there aren't any pictures. Nemo went with me and had a rollicking good time. His favorite playmate was a spunky 8-month old husky. They were fast friends and when it came time to leave, they didn't want playtime to end!
I was back at Coventry all day Saturday and Sunday teaching for the Karen Pryor Academy. I held my first workshop and had a terrific time with the three positive reinforcement trainers in my class. They brought their dogs and worked hard for two days. We were all exhausted (dogs included), but I think everyone learned a lot and had fun, too.
It's impressive how much interest there is in positive training. Just five years ago, people rolled their eyes at us "treat slingers," and spoke down to us as if we knew nothing. Stand by the science and the science will stand by you — I'm a believer in that, and it's really paid off for dog-friendly training. But most of all, it's paid off for the dogs who are taught with positive reinforcement. And that's why I'm in this business, after all.