Editor’s note: One of the most common, yet also most challenging, behavior problems that dog trainers are asked to address is reactivity.
A pioneer overseas
Carole Husein, one of the first graduates of the new KPA Shelter Training & Enrichment course, is putting to good use everything that she learned in the course recently. Not only is she integrating lessons and tips from the Shelter course in her dog training business, School for Dogs, but she is making tremendous improvements in the lives of rescue dogs. Working through CyDRA (Cyprus Dogs Rehoming Association), an organization that supports private rescue kennels (Carole is the group's education and training coordinator), she oversees a private rescue kennel herself. Carole's volunteer and professional work is in Cyprus, a tiny ancient island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, and northwest of Israel.
Click and create
One subject that crops up frequently in training circles is the side effects of various training techniques. We caution against the harmful fallout of punishment-based methods. We debate the relative merits of luring, shaping, and capturing. We examine studies that compare the rate of behavior acquisition using various marker signals. And, of course, we love to talk about the added benefits of clicker training—engaging the dog's mind, the respondent conditioning of a positive emotional state, the fostering of creativity in both trainer and trainee.
Many people are familiar with the heroic stories of the search and rescue dogs that have helped victims of disasters like 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy. However, few people know about the canines that are still helping victims and families long after disasters have left their devastating impact. These canine heroes are the specially trained canine crisis response teams of HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response (HOPE AACR).