Over thirty years ago I attended dog shows as a reluctant participant. I went only
to watch my wife show. When I attended, I read the paper or propped open my
briefcase and worked, paying attention to the ring only when my wife was
exhibiting. It was a very unlikely that I would ever develop into a dog show judge.
In 1985 I earned a Master of Science in Organizational Behavior and Development
Degree. Requiring several years of hard work, including writing a thesis, and
exposure to learning principles I enjoyed, such as Operant Conditioning and Social
Learning Theory, etc. Three years later, in an attempt to get better control of a
Golden Retriever puppy, I made a fateful offer, “if you are not able to train the
puppy, I will”. Soon after that, I found myself enrolled in an eight hour, Terry
Arnold dog obedience seminar, where she lectured in the morning on valuable topics
including Operant Conditioning, Social Learning Theory and other valuable
principles….I was hooked. Since that time, I have titled dogs in obedience, rally,
agility and tracking. I started with dogs we raised from puppies, moved to
adopting rescues, then fostering dogs, many with issues developing after a
disadvantaged start in life. The combined experience has taught me much about
dogs and people. The issues, unique to each dog, make training and earning
performance titles both challenging and interesting.
Professionally I have worked in the orthotic and prosthetic industry for over 25
years. The dog training experience has allowed me to expand professionally, led me
to develop business related presentations and publish articles with such titles:
“How to Treat You Customers like a Dog”, “Who Moved my Dog Dish?”, “Selling like
a Dog”, “Overhead Projectors and Golden Retrievers”. My recent endeavor has
been publishing a book, “How to Treat Your Employees like a Dog”.
Who would have anticipated that the guy sitting ring side with his head buried in
the newspaper would eventually become an AKC obedience and rally judge?
Best wishes to all exhibitors.