Last week was the annual conference for the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). I, along with some of my colleagues from AnimalSense, attended the five day conference. This was my second year attending and just like last year, I felt I got a lot out of it. Not only did I get to meet one of my idols, Victoria Stilwell (Here’s my photo with her and I was completely geeking out), but I got to hear some amazing speakers.
I actually heard her speak twice at the conference. The first time I heard her speak, she was talking about her program she created for shelters called, “Sue Sternberg’s Train to Adopt”. The second time I heard her speak was about resource guarding and how to recognize it more quickly, especially in shelter dogs. I left both of her seminars energized and excited.
Another speaker I enjoyed immensely was Rebecca Rodriguez. She talked about her experience of founding the Humane Society in Guam and her experience working in shelters in the United States. After working in shelters for years, she decided to change careers and work in film. She is now working on a pilot for a TV show about shelter animals. By the end of her seminar, I think just about everyone in the room was in tears. She showed the trailer for her TV show and it was moving, to say the least. It made me want to get up out of my chair and do something. I left that seminar feeling energized.
You might have caught on that I used the word “energized” a few times. I left APDT with a great deal, but the thing I left with the most was the feeling of being energized. Dog trainers, just like anybody else, can get run down. Our job can be stressful and no matter how much you love it, sometimes you need a change of pace. APDT provided exactly what I needed.
Every speaker I heard, I took at least one thing away. I have a lot to think about and practice, but I look forward to putting everything to use.
I hope you recognize my renewed energy in class. I feel refreshed and even more excited to get back to work!