Carla has owned dogs of all breeds, until she discovered the intelligence and creativity of Dalmatians. In 1978 she began showing in conformation and earned 3 AKC breed championships.
During her military career as an Army Warrant Officer, she taught flight and ground school and still uses those teaching skills to create effective instruction for people and the dogs who love them. During her last overseas tour Carla organized the first pet training program for military families in Augsburg, Germany. While there she finished 5 European championships on her Dalmatian, Evan. Since retirement Carla has immersed herself in dog training.
She learned clicker training from Karen Pryor and clicker obedience from Morgan Spector and Lana Mitchell. She learned clicker methods/strategies at a six day "chicken camp" with Marian and Bob Bailey. She completed Terry Ryan's week long Instructor Course and Grisha Stewart's Behavior Adjustment Training Instructor Course. Between 2015-16 she attended 9 tracking seminars with internationally renown William (Sil) Sanders. Carla pursues continuing education in nosework, RallyFrEe, tracking and parkour. Carla's early obedience efforts stalled when she started teaching retrieves. This is when she learned that Dalmatians don't thrive with traditional aversive training methods. She switched to reward based methods in 1995.
Carla believes every species prefers to live with and learn from someone who is consistent, clear, and compassionate, and who makes learning enjoyable. Her training philosophy relies on positive reinforcement and management, because "Dogs do what works for dogs." Using management lets you 1) shape your dog toward a choice you can reward and 2) it prevents the dog from practicing unwanted behavior. After all, practice doesn't make perfect - practice makes you perfect at what you practiced - good or bad.
Carla's early Dalmatians earned AKC and European breed championships and AKC obedience CDs. More recent Dalmatians succeeded in agility, earning MX and MXJ titles (master level). Gimme has earned nosework, rallyfree, barn hunt, parkour, weight pull and tracking titles. At just 6½, she has achieved 22 titles (with more to come) despite her dog-dog-reactivity disability.
"You have to be smarter than a dog to train one" and Carla is eager to share with you the building blocks to achieve success.