Dog Obedience Instruction Program
Canadian Student of the Month
Soon to be Animal Behavior Graduate Laura Rosati lives in St. Catherine’s, Ontario, Canada. She decided to become a Certified Dog Trainer for the additional experience and knowledge it will provide for her dog training career. Laura discovered ABC through a Google search. For the past year, she has been training part time at a Petsmart in St. Catherine’s and will become a full time trainer at a Niagara Falls Petsmart location in June. Laura is ecstatic that she will be the Head Trainer and also to have the opportunity to help pet parents, their dogs, puppies and rescues.
What prompted you to become a dog trainer? Was there a specific event, circumstance or person who inspired you to pursue this career?
After graduating Brock University, I decided to take a year off of school and give back to the community. Part of that was volunteering at my local humane society. While there, I fell in love with one of the dogs who had been there for almost a year. I wanted to help her really, really badly. Her name was Maya and it felt like almost everybody had given up hope on her. She was a hyper, rambunctious crazy girl. It seemed as though she was hard-pressed to find anybody who she could genuinely connect with on a positive level. However, it seemed like I had made an impression on her, so I made the decision to go to all of those with authority at the Humane Society to get approval to work with Maya. I had no previous training other than experience with other humane society dogs. They let me work with Maya, so I was allowed to take her off compound and try to socialize her to regular everyday life occurrences. Maya and I connected on a very social and positive level. I firmly believe that our month together played a big role in her rehabilitation, so much so that someone came into the humane society, fell in love with her, adopted her, and now she has her forever home. Maya was my push to make rehabilitation and dog obedience my career goal.
What was/is the biggest challenge you faced during your externship and how did you overcome it?
I have no major complaints about my externship in terms of difficulties to overcome.
My trainer, Jessica Adams, was an excellent source of information and helped me through everything along the way. My externship felt like smooth sailing. The material was fun to learn and teaching was always a blast. My dog Kramer loved every moment of it as well.
What has been your most rewarding moment during your externship?
My top rewarding moment was when Kramer completed a series of commands without any preparation. Jessica Adams asked us to demonstrate before for the rest of the class a series of commands in the chain formation that we have never done. I had to ask Kramer to sit and wait on one end of an aisle, walk to the other end of the aisle, call him to me and without touching his leash, get him to go beside me and heel in multiple different directions. Still, without touching his leash, ask him to sit and go to his bed on the floor a little ways away from me. Kramer completed everything perfectly. This really was a testament, not only to how hard we have trained, but also to the bond Kramer and I have built since adopting him last summer from Guelph Humane Society.
What has your experience been like in the ABC Dog Obedience Program?
Nothing but positive; the course work has added to my knowledge while working with customers at Petsmart. I literally hear people saying, “Wow. You really know your stuff.” Once I was called an encyclopedia. Plus, clients whose dogs I train feel more comfortable with me because I can provide them with sound information.
What are your plans for dog training? Do you want specialize in particular type of training (e.g., aggression, PTSD, therapy or guide dogs) or in training a particular breed of dog?
My long-term goal is to be a very versatile pet trainer, with knowledge in all regards. However, if there is one thing my rescue dog Kramer, and all other dogs I have built strong bonds with have taught me, it’s that I have a natural gift with hyperactive, eager, looking-to-please-and-learn types of dogs. Those dogs you look at and think “Wow, they have so much energy I could never handle that,” those are the dogs I gravitate most toward. My experience is that these types of dogs can go one of two directions: they either become a dog who falls into the hands of someone who can teach them all the right commands and behaviors; or one who falls into incapable hands, learns incorrect behaviors and winds up in a humane society to be euthanized.
I see so much potential in these dogs that I want to give them the opportunity to become the best they can be in the right hands. And this is why, along with basic, intermediate obedience and obedience, I want to offer courses that provide outlets for these dogs, such as agility and trick training that can be used in everyday life. My main focus will always be to strengthen the communication between dog and pet parent so both parties can have their needs understood and met.