The Best Academic Decision I’ve Ever Made!
After doing an undergraduate in Animal Biology, minoring in Psychology and realizing that my heart wasn’t in it enough to endure 4 years of vet school and a career that unfortunately involves a lot of heartache, you’d think it’d be an easy decision to go into dog training, right? Wrong. For months, I tried calling a number of trainers to get information on where they learned and gained experience, what methods they used and why. The result? Lots of discouragement, a number of unreturned phone-calls and e-mails, save for one woman who was retiring from the business and told me the best way to learn was to get hands on experience, which she could not provide me as she had sold her business. I went on to find a great paying job with no intrinsic value, and fostered dogs to make me happy. One foster (now my own dog) came along with fear-aggression leading me to call Norma Jeanne in a desperate plea for help, who referred me to Greg Ceci to do an in-home consultation and get me on the right track with him. After seeing the turn-around in my dog and reviewing Norma Jeanne’s website, I knew I had to take her course. Not just for my own dog and any future fosters, but for myself and to learn how to help anyone else dealing with dogs with fear-aggression.
While taking the course I found that the basis for the techniques that Norma Jeanne uses is bang on with everything I’ve learned in University Psychology – from types and schedules of reinforcement, to extinction and spontaneous recovery, habituation and desensitization, and counter-conditioning. She thoroughly explains (in her manuals) and demonstrates (in her videos) how to apply it to dog training in a way that is fun for the dogs and their owners alike, and works for *any* temperament of dog. In class, she is extremely encouraging to both her clients and students. It is evident in the way she instructs her classes and in the amount of information she passes on to her students and clients that she is very well-researched, and eager to pass on her expertise to trainers-to-be and clients for the benefit of any and every dog. She provides unlimited hands-on experience to students, allowing them to interact with her own clients in class and takes the time to offer feedback. I highly recommend anyone seeking a deeper understanding of dog training to take her course.
On the business side of things, she gives lots of tips for marketing, people-skills, and even opens up about how she deals with any unsatisfied customers to try to rectify the situation. She is very professional while being very down-to-earth, and she is a pleasure to learn from and work with.
As if it couldn’t get any better, once Norma Jeanne was confident that I knew the material well and was doing well with helping her clients in class, she began to refer people who called her for behaviour issues to me to give me hands on experience doing private consultations. The icing on the cake? I have her to thank for lining me up with a position teaching puppy classes for an already established business.
I will forever look up to Norma Jeanne as a mentor, and am thankful that by taking her course I have joined a network of professionals who truly care about training dogs in a humane way. As an added benefit, she continues to send me updated materials and information as she has completely re-written her course since I originally ordered it in 2011, and she is continually looking for ways to improve. If you are looking for a comprehensive course to give you a solid foundation in dog training and prepare you to embark upon starting a new career or adding to an existing one, you will not be disappointed in the CCS course.