I met Sharon several years ago, when I brought home a puppy from the shelter and realized I had a lot to learn about socializing puppies. I have worked with many dogs and trainers over the years, and hoped to refine my knowledge of training with Sharon. What struck me right away about Sharon is her honesty and the depth of her training skills. I had hoped to train my pup to be a therapy dog, and Sharon saw right away that this was not the right fit for her. So instead I began to train the dog in front of me. (Thank goodness for both of us!)
In doing so, I was able to see what mattered to me, as well, and what kind of relationship I hoped to develop with Tillie. Thanks to Sharon’s patience, and thoroughness, I’ve been able to do the kind of training with Tillie that she needed, and as a result, I am so lucky to have the best hiking partner ever! Ironically, I’m pretty sure Tillie did become a therapy dog.
I later interned with Sharon and was able to observe the layers of knowledge and skills she brought to both human and canine client. She helped people to clarify their expectations of their dog and then helped them to to create attainable goals which sustained and then enriched their relationship with the dog they lived with. I learned so much about training, of course- but also about teaching people! She leaves room for people to decide what training they do or don’t want to accept without judging them. Sharon’s dedication to evidence based, positive training, coupled with her understanding of the canine/human relationship has without a doubt enhanced the quality of life for both many many times.
I am a much better trainer as a result- and frequently return to Sharon now with questions or new goals as they arise. Each time I return, I learn something new, and my confidence in my ability to set and achieve attainable goals for Tillie and I grows.