The best animal trainers never stop learning.  Ever.  It’s like when people ask me, “how long will it take to train my dog?”  I sometimes answer, “forver.”  We’re always learning, all of us, every waking hour of our lives.  Humans and dogs both are genetically programmed to learn – from beginning to end.

My 2011 was chock full of some powerful learning experiences.  This past Summer I hosted trainer educator Jean Donaldson for a one-day seminar in Houston.  A few weeks later I attended the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference in San Diego with my Rover Oaks colleague Andrea Walkoviak CPTD-KA.  And I was especially fortunate to participate in Dr. Susan Friedman’s online course, Living and Learning with Animals.  That last one is all about changing behavior (mostly problem behavior) in the real world – powerful stuff.

Dr. Sophia Yin with her dog Jonesy

I love dog people as much as I love dogs.  I’m also passionate about learning.  Next year I’m hosting two very cool educational events for trainers, veterinarians and vet staff as well as rescue group volunteers.  In May, veterinary behaviorist Dr. Sophia Yin will present a one-day seminar on Fear and Aggression Solutions.  Then in August, I’ll be hosting Dr. Susan Friedman for a one-day seminar on behavior change.

I’m most excited about getting rescue groups involved with these education events.  Rescue volunteers work on the front lines with the dogs who need behavior care the most.  My 2012 events are designed specifically with their good work in mind.


Houston Dog Trainer Michael Baugh CPDT-KA CDBC is director of training and behavior at Rover Oaks Pet Resort.