2022 was a hard year for many, including my own family losing Mr. Barbo in August. I’ve had clients struggling with separation anxiety, and other fearful or aggressive situations: dogs biting children, resource guarders, dogs who don’t like to be touched, dogs who growl at or afraid of people who live in their home and people struggling with big decisions like rehoming or behavioral euthanasia. But with the clients I saw this year, I’ve also had the opportunity to help over 2250 clients and their dogs live happier, healthier lives and gain a greater understanding of each other since I became a professional trainer. That’s over 6600 hours of one-on-one training! Seeing the love and understanding from the humans and the sacrifices they’ve made to get the training their dogs need, so both the dog and human could live a happier life, was my greatest joy.
I also adding a new credential, after completing the Canine Arthritis Management Level 1 Advocate program. Inspired by Barbo’s mobility decline, I sought out learning more about the link between pain and anxiety or behavior issues. And I’m excited to implement some tools with clients and help them navigate what to communicate to their vet.
As I’ve talked about before, dog training is unregulated so continuing education and keeping up on the changing science and research about animal learning and related topics is one of my top priorities.
And one of the biggest takeaways from this course for me was that arthritis is not just a disease of old dogs. 80% of dogs over the age of 8 years have arthritis but 35% of dogs over the age of 1 year. And osteoarthritis is one of the leading causes of elective euthanasia. There are things that can be done from an early age to help mitigate pain and joint deterioration later on. There are SO many things I wish I knew 10 years ago. But now I do, and I can apply this new knowledge moving forward.
I also contributed to several press publications and articles, and did some webinar presentations for organizations including The Pet Professional Guild, Family Paws and The Pawsitive Post, part of Companion Animal Psychology. Those were wonderful highlights for me this year.
And this year, I celebrated 3 years of delivering quality content here on the blog and on social media. If you’d like to help me decide what topics to cover in 2023, fill out this one question, anonymous survey for me.
If you’re worried about fireworks scaring your dog, you can get a refresher on 9 Ways To Help YOur Dog’s Fear Of Noises.
I wish you and yours a very happy New Year and hope 2023 gives you an opportunity to do good things and more of what you love. Remember to check out my Separation Anxiety Training Foundations (SATF) course, or if you want one on one training, contact me and schedule a session! And sign up for my weekly newsletter so you never miss a post!
Happy training and happy New Year!