Did you know that there was just a scientific study from Emory University that shows that dogs have the same brain response to their owners that humans have towards a person they love? We KNOW this now from MRI’s preformed on dogs that were trained with force-free, positive reinforcement methods, to voluntarily walk in and relax in an MRI machine. This is a fascinating study because of findings about canine cognition but also because, without the science of dog training, we would have never known how to train these dogs to voluntarily walk in and rest in an MRI machine for hours of MRIs with no sedatives or harsh methods.
Did you know that Canine Assistance is developing amazing new technology that is aiding in the training of service dogs? Through the science of force-free, positive reinforcement methods, Canine Assistance has achieved a 97% success rate with service dogs they train. Compare this to the 35% success rate of organizations using “balanced” training methods that use both positive reinforcement and punishment/punitive methods of training. Did you know that with this amazing success rate they are now able to research new technology for odor detection in service dogs that is aiding people suffering from complex seizure disorders and all types of physical and emotional episodes? Imagine the change in quality of life you would have if you had a debilitating seizure disorder but now had a companion who could give you 2, 5, or even 15 minutes of warning prior to your seizure. This can give an individual time to take medication or get to a private place prior to seizure activity. All of this is made possible through the study and implementation of scientific research and education on canine cognition and behavior.
I feel very fortunate to have such an amazing support system, both personally and professionally, that allows me the time and encouragement to achieve some the highest certifications and titles in my field. I am so excited for the opportunity to be on the cutting edge of the science of canine behavior and modification. I hope that I never reach the point in my profession when I no longer feel education is the key pillar to my responsibility as a dog professional. I hope I never become complacent in my learning. There are some amazing things happening the field of animal cognition and behavior. My industry will not look the same in two years as is does now. I am excited and encouraged by the changes I see on the horizon. I love my dogs, I love my client’s dogs, at the end of the day, I can’t imagine a better way to spend my time than to better their lives through my education.