Welcome to the "Perk Your Ears" Blog!
Hi everyone, welcome to my new blog. Here I will be discussing topics about dog training, companion animals, Humane Education, and combinations of all of the above.
I want to start by discussing how I ended up here, and what the heck Humane Education has to do with dog training.
We can start at the beginning. I was always one of those kids who loved animals and hated people. Growing up, I always knew I would work with animals, specifically dogs, and always tried to avoid people. I wanted a career where I could work with animals, and not have to work with people. So I went with dog training.
Once I started training dogs, I quickly realized how wrong I was. I learned that dog training is ALL about working with people. I learned that even if I have a job where I train the dogs all by myself, I will still need to teach the people connected to the dog what I did and how to maintain the dog’s behavior.
At this point, I was pretty nervous that I was going to have to learn how to work with people no matter what job I had. I was working at an animal shelter at the time in the behavior department. I saw sad things every day--- like people relinquishing animals, animals coming into the shelter in terrible condition due to neglect, and animals getting returned for all different kinds of reasons. You would think that this type of work would make me even more resistant to work with people, but the opposite happened for me. I actually started to feel more compassion for people.
I realized that if I want to help animals, I have to involve people. People are the caretakers of animals. People are the ones who can make an animals' lives better. It does not matter how many animals I can physically get my hands on to help by myself because I can help infinitely more animals if I learn how to help people.
Then I found Humane Education. Humane Education combines the fields of environmental advocacy, human rights, and animal protection and focuses on solutionary ideas that result in the most good and least harm for all.
Seeing that I was already an environmentally conscious vegetarian and a dog trainer who was passionate about animal welfare, I was instantly drawn to this field. It felt like it was exactly what I was looking for to help me strengthen my skills in helping and working with people.
I am now almost finished with my MA program in Humane Ed, and I have to admit that the “people” side of my job is one of my favorite parts. I love helping and connecting with people through the animals they live with. The more I can try to understand and empathize with the situation that my human clients are in, the easier it is for me to effectively help them with their relationship with their animal. And that makes for happier humans, happier dogs, and better relationships overall between people and companion animals.
For more information about Human Education, check out their website here.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to stay tuned for my next Perk Your Ears blog post!