I previously had gone through the Fear Free (FF) training course for Shelters a year ago. I learned a lot of practical skills to help eliminate and alleviate Fear, Anxiety and Stress (FAS) when volunteering with the dogs at the SPCA Cincinnati. My favorite takeaway from that program was the expression “the power of cookies” and how valuable it is to use treats whenever possible in various situations.
Since obtaining my Certified Training Partner designation through the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA CTP), I qualified for this next FF program. After taking the entrance exam (based on my previous in-depth science-based positive reinforcement knowledge), I completed numerous learning modules based upon work I do as a trainer in partnership with veterinary teams. Specifically, in preventing and alleviating FAS and improving a dog’s emotional wellbeing during veterinary care and home care.
The best part about this program is many of the skills taught are transferrable to so many situations pet owners have with their beloved dogs. For example, proactively getting a puppy prepared for the aspects of vet care that they will undergo in the years ahead or aiding in the support of FAS for adolescent and senior dogs who simply struggle with veterinarian-based experiences. I know the magic of pairing management solutions with training techniques (for example, the use pheromones sprayed on a dog bed with classical counter conditioning or desensitization of a needle for a blood draw).
In the end, why I am most excited about this certification is that through a trainer/vet collaboration, I can better provide preventive services and partner to address training and behavior concerns, working from a whole health concept with the oversight of the dog’s vet. In doing so, my client and their dog has a higher quality, unified team providing quality, complete care. How cool is that?