Dogged Pursuits: One on One
Building a training reputation
Dogs are incredible. They snuggle in our laps, work alongside law enforcement, run long distances while we exercise, protect us when we are scared, and always seem to know just what we need right when we need it. While the possibilities for the four-legged best friends are endless, proper training is crucial to making sure the relationship is positive and beneficial for all involved to make sure a forever home is indeed forever. Meet some of the area women specializing in the dog training field.
- Lessons Learned: Click here to read about Jenny Klamm and AvidDog
- One on One: Read more about Beth Shepherd and Salty Dogs Obedience below
- Decades-Long Approach: Click here to learn about Diane Gallagher and Dogtrain
BETH SHEPHERD owns Salty Dogs Obedience Training. She has been professionally training for almost twenty-five years and believes positive reinforcement is the way to go. “I trained with a local behaviorist for several years as well as a service dog organization working alongside many fabulous trainers,” Shepherd says. “From there, I helped write a few training manuals and started Salty Dogs.”
Shepherd says that she believes all methods have their place, but positive reinforcement is her first go-to.
“I feel pups need to understand what we are asking, and we need to make sure we reinforce what behavior we want before we correct them for an incorrect guess,” she says. “Positive reinforcement gives me the opportunity to be able to reinforce those behaviors I want to see more of and evaluate what is really going on. If we reward a behavior that we like, we are more likely to see it occur again!”
Shepherd trains each dog personally – no team of trainers.
“Being a woman and mom has helped me connect with my clients and understand where they are with trying to balance training a pup while getting their kiddos to all the places they need to be,” Shepherd says. “Finding time for this can be trying, and because I live it every day, I get it! The kiddo-dog relationship can be trying at times, and we have lived through every stage personally, so there are things that I would have recommended before kids that I wouldn’t recommend now.”
The ability to learn and adapt to changing needs is a necessary trait to have as a trainer.
“We are a family friendly training center and love working with families to help their pup become the family member they are looking for,” Shepherd says. “I love the opportunity to go into someone’s house or meet them out and about and to be able to really dig into the problem and watch the light go on as it clicks with both the owner and the dog.”
To view more of photographer Allison Joyce’s work, go to allisonjoyce.com
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