In case you didn't notice, I have some fancy new letters after my name and there's a new logo at the bottom of our site from Dognostics, certifying me as a Collaborative Care Partner! This yet another exciting day in Cat Lady history, and we're running out of real estate on which to display our many awards!
Seriously, though, a major shout out goes to Watson, Bucky, and my own Mr. Miyagi-Myers for helping me complete this certification. I don't have a dog at home so it was a group effort to get our homework done.
What is Dognostics Collaborative Care?
The Dognostics Career Center offers many training programs to professionals online. Despite the name, their training philosophies can be applied to cats as well. The Fostering Collaborative Care program "offers animals a choice and a voice" in their training.
I learned how to facilitate behaviors such as "shake hands" and crate training 100% force free by first asking the animal if s/he was ready to begin. If the animal wasn't focused, walked away, or didn't give eye contact, I did not have consent to continue and we would stop. The animals then learned their behaviors through positive reinforcement, i.e. yummy treats! They looked forward to an even reminded me to do our training every day, while learning skills with very practical applications. For example, the shake hands behavior can be done at the groomer so the animal consents to nail trimming with full participation.
Below are the assessment videos I submitted to qualify, in addition to an online written exam:
If you would like more information on this specific program, or on clicker training in general, please feel free to reach out to me!