Bio and credentials

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Contact Char: dogsontheball@gmail.com

My dogs>

My introduction to competitive dog sports was in the 1970’s, when I trained and competed with our family pet at the time, a Great Pyrenees named Heidi. These were what I call “the dark ages”, when a happy dog and a positive relationship were not the priority of mainstream dog training. As I continued working with dogs and other animals through the years, I learned better ways to communicate and train. I owned and operated a dog grooming business, worked for 15 years in practice as a licensed veterinary technician, trained horses, and managed our flock of purebred sheep and cattle with my husband. And of course, trained all of our farm dogs.

In 2003 it was Abby, our little terrier mix, who brought me back to competitive dog sports when I decided to try what was then the “new” sport of APDT Rally (now Cynosport Rally). Wow, the dog sport world had changed so much since the ’70’s! Abby was an exceptional bright light and my best teacher in the “new age” of dog training (for those of us that are old enough to remember the “dark ages”). Haley joined us later that same year as we took to the new paths of evolving training methods, education and opportunities.  I will always treasure those years with Abby and Haley as my time of enlightenment and growth in dog training via the boom in dog sports. More about my current dogs here: https://dogsontheball.com/about/trainerinstructor-bio-and-credentials/abby-and-haley-my-girls/

Resume

Education and work history: Education includes A.A.S. degree in Animal Husbandry, A.A.S. in  Veterinary Technology with a B.S. in Health Sciences, and C.C.S. in Biotechnology. Work experience includes owner/operator of a dog grooming business, 15+ years as a practicing licensed veterinary technician in mixed animal practice, parasitology research project manager, and college laboratory specialist. At home on our farm with my husband Keith we have raised livestock for over 40 years,  including sheep, beef cattle and currently dairy heifers. These days you will often see Holstein heifers in the background of my training videos:) Positive reward-based training also carries over to managing the livestock, as Keith practices humane and low stress livestock handling methods.

Credentials, affiliations:

  • AKC CGC/Trick Dog Evaluator
  • AKC Farm Dog Certified Judge
  • CTDI, Certified Trick Dog Instructor
  • Stunt Dog Judge (Do More With Your Dog)
  • Pet Professional Guild member, advocates for force free training
  • NATE, National Association of Treibball Enthusiasts, Charter Member, past board member, served on the Rules and Competition Standards Committee 2013-2016.
  • Licensed Veterinary Technician since 1988 (LVT, State of Virginia)

Continuing education, since 1991:

  • Continuing in 2019, ongoing since 2013, regular student of the Fenzi Dog Sport Academy, continually taking online courses in concepts of relationship-based training for all dog sports and enrichment.
  • 2019-March 21-24 Clicker Expo, Washington D.C. 
  • 2018-Sept. 23- Stunt Dog Judge Certification with Kyra Sundance (Do More With Your Dog), All Dog Adventures, Richmond, VA
  • 2018- April 14-15. 2 day seminar with Michele Pouliot, Wholistic Hound, Alexandria, VA.
  • 2017: July 15-16. 2 day seminar with Michele Pouliot, at Wholistic Hound, Alexandria, VA.
  • 2016: November 13-14. 2 day Seminar and workshop in Mebane, N.C. with Shade Whitesel, trainer and Fenzi Academy faculty in Competition Obedience and IPO.
  • 2014: Clicker Expo, March 29-31, Norfolk VA. (Instructors Ken Ramirez, Kay Laurence, Michele Pouliot, Kathy Sdao, Hannah Branigan)
  • 2013: Trick Dog Instructor Certification Workshop  (Do More with Your Dog, Kyra Sundance), Richmond, VA
    Pat Miller 2 day Shaping Camp (Peaceable Paws, Fairplay, Maryland)
  • 2012-2017: World Treibball League, participant
  • 2010-11: Treibball workshops (4), by Pat Miller, Peaceable Paws
  • 2010: Clicker Expo Lexington, Ky. Instructors: Ken Ramirez, Joan Orr, Helix Fairweather, Kathy Sdao, Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D., Jenn and Steve White, Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh.
  • 2009: Guiding your Dog to Greatness, Virginia Broitman Clicker Workshop (Glen Allen, VA) 2 days- clicker, shaping and targeting.
    Michele Pouliot (Red Lion, PA) 2 days-clicker training for performance and competition.
  • 2008: Stuart Mah (2 days agility). Jane Killion (clicker/shaping for agility).
  • 2007: Canine Freestyle Festival (VA)- 3 days, clicker seminars by Kay Laurence, Julie Flanery, Diane (Kowalski) Balkavich, and Nancy Von Koehnnen.
  • 2006: John Rogerson (Richmond, VA) (3 days-training for performance and competition obedience)
  • 2005: APDT Rally Judges and training seminar
  • 1991-2004
    Veterinary Technicians C.E. conferences -1991, 1993, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004;
    National and Regional Veterinary C.E.: American Veterinary Medical Association Conference 1992 (Pittsburgh, PA), North American Veterinary Conference 1994; Mid Atlantic Veterinary Conference (York, PA.) 1995

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