Dog training is an unregulated industry. Anyone can say that they are a dog trainer. To become a better dog trainer, Lucy became a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) because their motto is “Building Better Trainers Through Education.” Years of extensive reading and practical experience paid off when, in 2003, Lucy passed the exam to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). The exam is independently administered by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). “The CPDT-KA designation indicates that a dog trainer has demonstrated the excellence necessary to earn the certification, including an experiential requirement of 300 hours; provision of references from a client, veterinarian, and colleague; and passing a written examination covering the science of dog training.”

In 2008, Lucy passed the written and practical exams to become a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP). “Candidates for Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner participate in an extensive educational program culminating in a detailed assessment of their technical knowledge and hands-on skill teaching pet owners and training pet dogs. Successful candidates must complete the program, earn the equivalent of an A on each component of the assessment process, and pledge to uphold Karen Pryor Academy standards and practices.”

In 2009, Lucy became certified by TAGteach International at the primary level. She uses TAGteach methods to help coach people as they train their dogs. “TAGteach is a revolutionary science-based system that enables educators and coaches to teach more effectively and helps students to learn more quickly and more confidently.”

Meet us in person on Ask the Trainer Mondays at Kingsbury Animal Hospital. There you can get a feel for our training style.
We use “clicker training” which involves using a metallic click or similar sound to “mark” the moment when a puppy or dog gives us the behavior we want – then we reward and build on that behavior. This method does not involve force, punishment, or the use of choke chains on dogs. When working to change unwanted behavior, we explore what opportunity the dog has to perform the behavior and what might be reinforcing it. We identify a new behavior to teach the dog to take the place of the unwanted one.
We trust the science behind the methods we use and we are quite skilled in the art of applying them. The basic skills are easy to learn. Success always requires consistency from the owner and often a new way of relating to the dog. We cannot guarantee that everyone will have enough time or interest to follow through, no matter how much they care about their dog.
All dog breeds, all mixes, all ages, all sizes. We evaluate each dog as an individual. We will refuse to work with individual dogs of any breed or mix if they appear to have dangerous tendencies, body language, or behavior.
Training classes work very well for many people, but not for every dog or every owner. Some puppies are too young to attend puppy class. Some dogs’ behavior – barking, lunging, pulling on lead, excessive shyness, aggressive displays – is too disruptive for a class setting. Extreme behavior issues need to be addressed privately before those dogs are ready to attend a training class. Many training classes do not address behavior issues. We can work on a wide variety of them in your home, where they occur. It can help us assess a problem to see where the problem behavior occurs. Sometimes a management solution is all that is needed. Some individuals find it difficult to come to a class, whether they have mobility issues, young children they would like to include in the training process, another pet who needs to be factored into training, a work schedule that does not allow them to attend class, or any number of other reasons. And some people just prefer to train their dogs at home.
Absolutely! Adult dogs are open to training and can change their behavior. The trick is to make the behaviors you find desirable rewarding to the dog as well. That said, some dogs have emotional issues that must be addressed before they will be open to learning. Their world view may be based on early experiences which are the foundation for their belief system. Teaching an old dog without issues new tricks is similar to teaching a tennis player how to play golf. Changing the world view of a dog with issues can be more like getting a person to change to a different political party or religion. It may not be as easy!
Yes, we offer single-visit introductory programs and on-going classes in Dog Training Skills. We also recommend classes given by Greater St. Louis Training Club. We train for GSLTC as volunteers and help design their classes. We believe that the club is unique in the Saint Louis area in its history and training philosophy. Check out their class offerings and monthly training schedules at the Greater St. Louis Training Club.
Karen Pryor
 – www.clickertraining.com

Ken Ramirez – www.kenramireztraining.com

Steve White – www.proactivek9.com

Jesus Rosales-Ruiz – https://orgs.unt.edu/orca/