Today we’d like to introduce you to Robin Ashman-Terrell.
Robin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In 2003, I was fostering for the SPCA of Texas and a litter of Australian Shepherd puppies were dumped there without their mom. I fostered four of the litter. They were so young, they had to be bottle fed. At the time, I had no dogs of my own and one day, one of the little boys, whom I had named Charlie, gave me the “look” and I was smitten. He was a foster failure and I adopted him to be my forever buddy. When he was old enough, I started looking for training classes for us to attend and I found there were virtually no positive reinforcement classes in the city of Dallas. I was not going to use aversion or compulsion techniques to train my furball. This started my quest of learning force free, positive training techniques.
This has been such a passion for me, that I started sharing the techniques with friends and their dogs and this grew into a passion of owning my own force free, positive rewards training business.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It’s been a hard road as there are so many well marketed trainers out there that teach, it is faster and easier to make your dog submit to you or to be afraid of you hurting them, that they do what you want. TV shows do not show you what it really takes to train a dog. Days of shooting gets cut into an hour and you see the end result. For good or bad.
For myself, I do not want to work with a dog that fears I will hurt it or make them submit to me. I want the dogs I work with to enjoy using their brains, learning new things and most of all, enjoy being with me.
Yes, I work with treats or toys, whatever motivates the dog the most. I hear a lot of, “I don’t want to give my dog treats for the rest of their life whenever I just want them to sit”. To which I say, “we only use a reinforcer to get a behavior to become habit. Then we start to wean the reinforcer/reward so that it becomes a random reward.” I don’t know about anyone else but, I would much rather work for praise or something that is high value to me, then to be yelled at or hit.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with Good Dog Fetch – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My business is all about the dogs. To help them achieve their fullest potential and then teach their humans how to communicate with them. My goal is to be able to help dogs become so well mannered, they can go lots of places with their humans.
I offer all types of training, multiple week classes, one hour workshops and private training sessions in someone’s home. I am one of the few trainers I know that will allow reactive dogs in my classes. Since I train outside, I have enough space to allow the reactive dog some space so they can learn how to become neutral to seeing other dogs. They do not have to like other dogs, but being able to look at another dog and move on, is really healthy for the dog and the person at the other end of the leash.
I am known for doing my out and about classes. I take human/dog teams out into public settings to teach them appropriate behavior for them and their dogs. Not everyone likes dogs and that is okay. I show people how to be considerate of other people as well as other dog teams. I also love providing the canine enrichment workshops I offer. It could be a game of hunt or making toys for the dogs. Or something social to get folks out with like minded people.
Folks also come to me as I am known for working with kids. I always allow and encourage whole families to come to class to learn together. I think it is very important for the children in a home to learn how to communicate with their dog and learn the rules of owning a dog. Kids are some of the best trainers. It’s hard for the parents to give up some of that control and I think it surprises them at how well their kids can do if they allow them, too.
I am proudest of earning my CPDT-KA, which is my professional dog training certification. It was not an easy task and there are not a lot of certified trainers in the Dallas area. I am continuing to study, take workshops and seminars as well as read all I can to continue to grow as a trainer. And, to continue my growth with my next level of certification.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am working really hard at making this my full time work. Working with dogs and their people is the work of my heart and I want to do it on a daily basis. I am keeping my eyes open for a facility to use where I could offer canine activities and not have to worry about Mother Nature.
I am also expanding my canine enrichment classes for the dogs and their humans. Owning a dog can open so many doors for folks with new activities and new friendships.
- Private training in your home – $90.00 for an hour session
- Hour workshops – $20.00-25.00 per workshop
- Classes average – $120.00 for a 5 week course
- Website: www.gooddogfetch.com
- Phone: 214-253-9016
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gooddogfetch
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/gooddogfetch
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/good-dog-fetch-dallas
Teresa Berg Photography