Meet the Author

I’m a twenty-something, animal enthusiast, in a transitional state of life.  And apparently an enigma!

In spring 2010, I lost my job as a community educator for Cornell University Cooperative Extension.  I loved my job dearly.  I love working with youth and teaching–I didn’t get my Master’s Degree in Education for nothing!  The area where I had been living was hit particularly hard in he economic down turn and, for three years, schools had been laying off teachers and not hiring them.  So, I pretty much failed to find work.

This frustrating situation, however, led me down a path I think I’ve always wanted to take.  While continuing to look for work, I’ve been able to really pursue and think about the other passion in my life, dog training.  I’ve worked with dogs in training situations since I was in my early teens, when I was able to “apprentice” (to an extent) under a few different trainers (some good.. some not).  Through the various trainers I learned from, I became firmly rooted in positive reinforcement training and clicker training.  I have been given amazing opportunities to work with shelter dogs, performance dogs, and typical household pets.  But perhaps the most rewarding, was simply the amazing opportunities I’ve had to work with and train my own personal dogs.  They rock my socks off and I’m continually impressed with their ability to learn and work… and equally as impressed with their ability to make me laugh so hard I crumple to the ground.

Success Just Clicks blog was born out of this love of training and the desire to share some of the thoughts, ideas and hilarious stories that are inspired by the dogs and cats in my life.  I really hope I can answer some questions, make people smile, get people to think differently, or just entertain folks with a mix of training information and stories of unfortunate events.

For a real trainer bio, check out this link to the temporary page of my professional bio (not my blogger bio, which, while fabulous, is not a very professional).

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15 Responses to Meet the Author

  1. I think it’s so great you’re researching your passion. I’m sorry to read that you lost a job you loved, but hope it turns into something even better!

  2. Just wondering why it is that you don’t share your name? You have some very interesting ideas, but you undermine yourself by not identify yourself.

    • Hey Sue! All will be revealed in the coming months. Initially when I started the blog it was just friends reading, people who obviously knew me and I never thought about it. I didn’t even HAVE an about the author page until recently because, well, I never thought about it until it was pointed out to me that I had pages about my dogs but not me LOL.

      The other reason is that I’ve been looking for work for a year and while I absolutely stand by everything I say, I do not want to be excluded from a job based on a blog post I’d written if my potential employer Google searched me (I also keep all social media things ‘off the grid’ and protect privacy of youtube account by utilizing a different email). That being said, employment may be just over the horizon and once I know, I will both confidently and proudly attach my name to all of my work 🙂

  3. Kate says:

    I wish you could help me with my dog and his separation anxiety! You’re great!

  4. Lee says:

    Hi, Tena.

    I enjoyed your blog/website a lot and really enjoyed the disc play with your dog on video.

    Since you work with the clicker, I have a question for you. Have you heard of the book, “Click to Calm”?
    It was recommended to me yesterday, by someone at a disc-dog event for the following issue.

    I have a Siberian Husky who was born in a shelter in Michigan and I got him at 16 weeks old. I brought him home to Long Island, NY on a greyhound bus (ironic note: I took the greyhound to pick up the hound!)

    I did all the tests for abuse and fear that I knew at the shelter and he seemed like a very happy pup.
    Then, when we got to NY, he was experiencing almost a terror-type of fear of humans (not anything else) for the first year or so. We have managed to work through most of it, but he is still a bit human-shy. (he is now 2yrs and 3months old)

    He is not aggressive, more avoidance than anything else. It does seem to be continually lessening, so I don’t want to do anything to reverse our progress.

    What are your thoughts?

  5. Jodi Stone says:

    Tena, I want to start clicker training with my dogs. Can you tell me a good book to start with or where I might find some classes in CT?

    Thanks!!

  6. Jacqueline Young says:

    I just read your entry on high arousal dogs and I was almost in tears because it addressed exactly what’s going on with my 17 month old Golden. I work in animal welfare and have never quite seen a dog like him – except our local police canine! He is extreemely highly motivated and easily aroused – fabulous tracking dog, but I fear going into public with him, even just outside the door while on leash because his arousal is so high that he has pretty much hit threshold as soon as he gets out the door – zoomies, leash biting, the whole bit. He is hardly ever greeted by anyone due to his thrashing and frantic displays of excitement. Clicker and food only make it worse. I’m working though Control Unleashed but having a difficult time finding practical advice in the book. Want to the relaxation protocol but don’t want to do it with a clicker and with food – any suggestions?

    • You can use food without the clicker. The thing about food is that the act of eating is a calming act (even if his body doesn’t show it right away). The act of licking/chewing is releasing calming chemicals into the body (which is why dogs lip lick when stressed). You can try using a food tube (or a kong filled with peanut butter/canned dog food)… so you reward with a few licks of peanut butter from the food tube.

      If he’s over threshold the minute he steps out of the door i would be working inside to start… reward calm behavior for being near the door. You could try putting on Through A Dog’s Ear music and giving your dog a kong in front of the door area for building this as a calm area to start–if you have a storm door open it and feed the kong w/ music with the solid door open so he can see the external stimuli but still be working on calmness. You can also just be patient.. on a day you have NOTHING else to do.. start the process of going outside. When your pup gets overly aroused just stop–no words, no ques, just wait. It may be 5 minutes, it may be 45 minutes but eventually your pup is going to lower his arousal level (if you just ignore him, do not engage him at all), when the arousal level goes down say a soft “good boy”, and take another step in your leaving routine (so keep walking to the door, or hooking up the leash where ever it was that your pup got too aroused). The goal of this is NOT going outside… once you are able to get the dog leashed up and calm at the closed door, reward with a 4 or 5 pieces of food and put the leash and stuff away. Repeat a little while later… we are building a history of calm behavior to go outside. When he can be leashed up and get to the door and stay calm, we are going to open the door, any escalation in arousal means the door shuts and the leash gets taken off and you wait for him to settle then start over again. He only gains access to the outside world through calm behavior.

      You may consider Ali Brown’s car work to build focus outside (but he may be too aroused to start this anywhere but in your garage or driveway. This will work on focusing on you and impulse control even though the pup is aroused.

      These are the first things i’d try…

  7. Anita says:

    Hi, Tena,
    I’d love to start lure coursing or nosework with our coonhound/lab mix, Ruby. However, I’m having a terrible time finding information on any classes (for nosework) or lurecoursing trials in our area (central Illinois). Are there websites or organizations I can contact to try to find more information on these types of events? How do you find out about all the doggie events in your area? I don’t really care about titles or who sponsors the events; I just want some fun activites to do with her.

    Thanks!
    Anita

    • For certified nosework trainers you can search this link: http://www.nacsw.net/certifiedinstructors.php BUT not all good trainers are certified nosework trainers but that is where I would start. Lure coursing is much more difficult because in the US the ‘official’ lure coursing world is very breed-ist. Non-purebred sighthounds are often not allowed to even practice (and are obviously not allowed to compete with the main coursing association). That being said the AKC is doing some coursing ability testing and if you register your dog as a canine partner through the AKC you can course at those venues… info on that here http://www.akc.org/events/lure_coursing/.

      For lure coursing it may be beneficial to contact local greyhound/whippet rescues to see if any of them know of lure coursing places/events and you can contact the sponsors to see if they allow non-sighthounds to participate (not necessarily compete/title).

      For nosework, I’d contact some clicker trainers/positive reinforcement trainers in your area and see if any of them know of nosework classes happening in the area. If something is happening other trainers may know about it and help you find a place.

      good luck

  8. Pingback: Clicker Training « Sherrianne's Site

  9. Doree says:

    Hey Tena!

    Awesome site. I just got around to exploring it and I think it looks great.

    I’ve been producing videos for eHow.com for a few months and recently realized that if you want to, we could make a pretty awesome series on dog training. The company that makes the videos (and that I work for) is called Demand Media. We’d have to get you in the system as an “expert/talent” and then we’d create a project for you. I can give you more details via email or phone if you want but if you want to check out the sites, they are DemandMedia.com and of course, eHow.com. The application requires a video to make sure that you are articulate and will come across as an “expert” in your series. I just briefly looked through the videos on your YouTube channel and they’re pretty perfect. Are there any where you talk to the camera at all? I think we’ll be ok with one of the training videos, but I have a feeling that the review board might ask for one where you talk to the camera too.

    eHow.com has a few series on dog training already, but there are a lot of different videos that we could do with you… here is the series that probably compares best to what we would make: http://www.ehow.com/video_4943000_preparing-dog-training.html. It’s pretty similar to what you’re already doing except that she talks to the camera a bit.

    In the series, you’ll be able to talk about your site and company, and also embed the videos on your blog, site, etc. if you want to. This could be an awesomeeee way to promote Success Just Clicks, so let me know if you’re interested! Either you or I can submit your talent application, so just let me know what you want to do.

    Talk to you soon, and I’ll see you on Christmas morning (if not before!).

    Doree

    **Edited By Moderator

  10. Doree says:

    Sounds good. It’s easier to explain in person, anyway!

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