I attended my first APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) Conference last month. I went to the conference excited and ready to learn. Since it was my first APDT, I didn’t really know what to expect, but the minute I arrived I could feel the energy from the crowd. It was wonderful being surrounded by such passionate, intelligent professionals. Every speaker I heard had something informative and unique to talk about.
I enjoyed every speaker I heard, but I particularly enjoyed listening to Suzanne Clothier. She had a way of speaking that was inspiring, but also added humor to keep the audience engaged and entertained. I got so much out of her presentations. One thing that stuck with me is to constantly be aware of the dog’s comfort level, asking the dog, “how is this for you?” Obviously, I can’t really ask a dog a question, but it is my job as a trainer to constantly be observing the dog and making sure they are comfortable.
I also got to see another one of my heroines in the industry, Victoria Stilwell from the TLC show, “It’s Me Or the Dog.” Actually, I stood across from her in the breakfast line. I was so star-struck, I couldn’t say anything. I just clumsily tried to get my fellow trainer’s attention, but wasn’t able to. So, even though I didn’t get to speak with her, at least I have a story to tell.
Needless to say I am very excited about attending more APDT Conferences. It was well worth it, not only for all the knowledge I gained, but I also because I loved hanging out with my fellow AnimalSense trainers.