Trained With Kindness Trained with Kindness

Karin’s Bio

Karin Kirtner and Baby, her Malinois/Shepard mix.

I’ve always loved dogs. I remember when I was 12 we got our first family dog. She was a beagle-terrier mix from the Cleveland APL. Her name was Spanky. She was such a great little dog! I discovered what a wonderful pet a dog can be!

When my daughter was 12, we decided she was old enough to have her own dog. We went back to the APL and came home with Baby! Baby was a Malinois/Shepherd mix.  After a few days we took her to the vet, and found out that she had Parvo (a very serious virus that can kill dogs). Baby was at the vet’s for a week on antibiotics and IV fluids. We felt so sorry for her when she came home, we let her decide when we would do things- like play, walk or pet her. This turned out to be a bad idea!

Baby did what she wanted, and didn’t listen to us. She ignored us when we asked her to do something. We decided to sign up for some training classes in our neighborhood. Baby did well in the classes. She eventually earned her Canine Good Citizen certification.  However we still struggled with things like impulse control and loose leash walking.

My next goal was to get Baby certified as a therapy dog so we could participate in the Reading Education Assistance Dog (R.E.A.D.) program, so I began training with Michelle Blount of Pawsitive Dog/Human Training.  Once we started classes with Michelle, (Christy’s predecessor), my way of working with Baby changed dramatically! I was introduced to books by Jan Fennell and Patricia McConnell. Baby and I developed a new relationship. In 2004 we passed out Delta Pet Partners evaluation,  and got certified for the READ program!

Michelle moved out of state, and referred me to Christy Paxton to continue our training process. I realized how knowledgeable Christy was about dogs! She helped Baby and I have better communication skills. I signed up for every class Christy taught.

Karin socializing Kali at Wallace Lake.

Karin socializing Kali at Wallace Lake.

Baby and I accomplished many awesome things! We participated in the READ program in Bay Village Schools. Then I began a READ program in the Olmsted Falls school system.  Our program in Olmsted Falls was with elementary and kindergarten students. It lasted 8 years! We also had reading programs at Porter Public Library and a summer program at Rocky River Library for 2 years.

Sadly Baby passed over the Rainbow Bridge April 14, 2014. She was 12 years old. She was my heart dog.

On August 10 2014, I adopted 8 week old Kali!  Kali was one of 8 puppies that I met through The Rescue Inn.  She is a lab/shepherd mix.

Kali first day

Kali’s first day in her new home.

Wow–a puppy! Goodbye sleeping through the night for a little while! Our house looks so different now that it s been puppy-proofed again! I’ve begun socializing Kali to as many different things as I can. She was so afraid of everything in the beginning, but we are making progress!


Recommended Reading

Single-topic booklets

Single-topic problem solving booklets

DogLife Skills Guides give in-depth advice and solutions you probably have never heard before! Eleven to choose from, or buy the whole set!

Learn more.

Training ‘textbook’

Reverse Dog Training

"Reverse Dog Training: A Fresh Perspective for Solving Common Problems"

Start fixing those nagging problems today! Just $12.