I am a certified, professional dog trainer with over a decade of experience. My expertise with dogs comes from a variety of experiences. The first dog I worked with was terrified of men and lacked many basic obedience skills. We worked together to build enough confidence and skills to become a therapy dog team. (Therapy dogs visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Dogs and handlers must pass a rigorous test.)
Since 2005, I have worked with dogs in their own homes. I have trained a variety of dogs, including several rare breeds. My work with dogs also includes training dogs at a local shelter and working with Adopt A Husky Ohio, Inc. From 2005 to 2015, I volunteered off and on for a local shelter as a dog trainer. While I would work with all the dogs in the shelter, most of the dogs I dealt with were in the back. The dogs in the back were the ones that weren’t safe to have on the floor for adoption. These dogs were fearful, aggressive, and/or boisterous. We worked together toward confidence and manners. My goal was to make those dogs adoptable or able to be pulled by rescues.
From 2011 to 2016, I volunteered with Adopt-a-Husky Ohio, Inc. I also served as a training consultant and as president of the club. In 2016, I started volunteering with a local rescue as a training consultant.
I keep up with the latest dog training and behavior studies through blogs, books, other trainers, and a variety of courses. While I advocate for and train with positive methods, I read articles and books that cover a variety of methods. Being well-rounded and well-versed is important as it gives me a basis for addressing the variety of problems and dogs I encounter.
I use clicker training and typical positive reinforcement. I prefer the clicker method as it generates quick learning. Once a dog understands the how the clicker method works, they can learn a new trick in as little as one day. It takes a little work for the dog to understand how the game works. And it takes some practice on the human end as well. However, once the human gets the timing right and the dog understands, tricks (like no barking or jumping on guests) can be quickly accumulated. These methods have been successfully used with cats, rabbits, and even fish (click here). You have heard the old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” With my methods, any dog can learn new tricks, from puppies to seniors!
Diane Petroski, CPDT-KA
Member of APDT