Sheri Gintner, MS, CDBC
The company of animals and animal training is something I have enjoyed since I was a child. Not having a dog but wanting a companion, I trained my rabbit to ride in my youngest sister’s baby carriage. Rabbits are not particularly brave so I took it slow, fed her lots of carrots and eventually Slippers would ride everywhere in the neighborhood. When I got older, I turned my training interest to the family goat. Goats are not easily forced to do anything! I learned very quickly, however, that Billy would work endlessly to earn dog biscuits. He learned to walk on a leash, and jump over, climb up and walk on wooden obstacles that I had built for him. My parents were always proudly amused and would ask me to show family and friends my animals’ “tricks.” They had no idea where my strange hobby would lead me.
How animals learn and what motivates them has fascinated me for decades. I studied Psychology at Penn State and completed a Master’s of Science in Psychology degree at Tufts University to increase my understanding of learning and perception. I certified with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants to work on the dog-human partnership.
During my 15 years of dog training in Western Pennsylvania I taught staff and volunteers in animal shelters to use canine behavioral assessments for better adoptions and placements. Dogs are like people, put them in the right environment and they will thrive! I also created training plans and enrichment programs to help dogs get ready for their next homes. These years of working with people and rescue dogs gave me hands on experience with solving behavioral problems and helped me develop curriculum and training practices for problematic puppies, fearful dogs, dog-dog reactive dogs and free-shaping exercises for well-trained but overly energetic dogs.
Since 2013, Good Dog! Behavior Training has provided all positive force-free dog training in Northern Colorado. Armed with scientifically based training tools and an understanding of dog behavior I have helped families teach their dogs to behaved better. Through Train a Dog Save a Warrior (TADSAW) I have selected shelter dogs for wounded veterans and have been teaching them to train their own emotional support dogs. Interns from the Animal Behavior College, our next generation of dog trainers, learn to use positive reinforcement techniques in the classroom, during in-home private training, and in animal shelters during their internships with me.