Greetings Lab Lovers!

I am honored to be a new contributing author to It’s A Lab Thing! Through my column, Conversations With Dog, I will share with you everything from training tips, to information about all things service dog related, to emerging research in the burgeoning field of Anthrozoology — the study of human-animal relationships.

Perceptions

There are as many perceptions about dog training as there are trainers. Each of us has an individual style shaped by a combination of personal and professional influences, and knowledge from experience. Dog training means so much more to me than achieving commands on cue. It is a teaching and learning feedback loop where a person and dog each act as both student and teacher. Like a business leader, professor, or parent my job is to be a consistent source of loving direction and guidance for the dogs I train. By providing structure, and communicating clearly what I want and don’t want, I am able to guide a dog’s behavior in a desired direction, and also help her learn to manage her energy productively.

Problem-Solvers

Dogs are complex problem-solvers that love to work, and will rise to meet great expectations. My role is to recognize the unique potential in every dog, and empower dogs to present their best selves to the world. Every dog, like every person, is completely unique. So I treat each new training relationship as a wide open playing field for expanding my awareness and knowledge base, and helping my trainees do the same.
Thanks to my incredible parents, I know that the highest form of motivation is a Teacher’s genuine understanding and appreciation of his or her Student. In other words Love – when delivered with constructive principles ingrained — is the ultimate form of positive reinforcement training. And that – in a nutshell – is what I do!

I welcome questions and comments, which you can send to liz.kover@marleysmutts.com. If you’d like to follow Betty’s progress to becoming a service dog for a child with autism, like my Facebook page, Life is For Service, here:https://www.facebook.com/FredTheServicePup.

Dog Speed,

Liz

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