About Sherry and Brainy Dog
Training dogs over 20 years
Certified - Animal Behavior College
Specialize in challenging behaviors.
Train by helping dogs "understand".
Member of Association of Professional Dog Trainers
Member of American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
Member of International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
Brainy Dog opened 2001 in Missouri
Brainy Dog is a private company
Brainy Dog is trade marked
Sherry's Journey with Brainy Dog
Started Training at Age Nine
Sherry started training dogs at age 9 by teaching her Dachshund, Dixie, to sit for an ice cream cone. Her "ice cream" method continued for years with all of her dogs, and neighborhood dogs, while living in Missouri.
Dog Training and Behavior Education
Canine Specialty Training
The first Training school Sherry attended was Canine Specialty Training, by a Service Dog and Search and Rescue Dog Trainer in Kansas City, MO, 2001. This course was hands-on with strong emphasis on turning shelter dogs into service dogs for people with disabilities.
Sherry's first client project, was to train a fearful, German Shepherd Dog, into a confident pet dog. Luke, eventually became a wonderful service dog.
In 2001, Sherry worked and trained through PetSmart also in Kansas City, MO. The course focused on "Positive Reinforcement" (reward training) for family dog issues.
Wolf Park - Wolf and Dog Behavior Camp
In 2003 she spent one week with wolves at Wolf Park in Indiana led by Ray Coppinger, author of Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution.
Erich Klinghammer (founder of Wolf Park), spoke about starting Wolf Park.
Sherry was able to interact one-on-one with captive-bred wolves. Wolves, like all other animals, can be trained using positive reinforcement.
Seminars in 2003 and 2004,
Sherry traveled across the country to learn in person through seminars from world-renowned professionals, such as Ian Dunbar of Sirius, Myrna Milani of MMilani.com, Kelly Gorman Dunbar of Open Paw, Patricia McConnell Ph.D., Sue Sternberg of Train to Adopt and Pat Miller of Peaceable Paws to name a few.
Animal Behavior College
In 2009, Sherry became certified through the Animal Behavior College, a one-year Positive Reinforcement dog training school including comprehensive coursework, hands-on dog training, and group class training.
Sherry trained to teach children through Easter Seals Bay Area (ESBA) using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Easter Seals Bay Area has programs to help a large population of people who learn best by using a systematic step-by-step approach. The same ABA techniques can be used by all of us, including non-human animals.
Sherry hired skilled service dog trainers and took on-line courses to learn a variety of Service Dog skills including training from:
author of Lend me an ear Martha Hoffman; Temperament, Selection and Training of the Hearing Ear Dog.
Other courses and coaching were in Diabetic Alert Dogs, Mobility Dogs and Dogs for PTSD.
In 2016 she attended Mock Client training at Bergin University, a Service Dog Training School in Rohnert Park, CA. Mock Client Training helps students prepare to train "real" clients who will receive Bergin Trained Service Dogs.
Search and Rescue
In 2001 Sherry and her German Shepherd Dog, Moose, trained one-on-one with a Missouri Search and Rescue (MOSAR) unit leader.
Absaroka Search Dogs
Also in 2001, Sherry and Moose attended the Absaroka Search Dogs yearly conference training weekend. Training and competition covered Human Tracking, Ropes work, air scenting and problem solving. Her team did win some games.
Inland Empire bloodhounds Search and Rescue
In 2003 and 2004 Sherry trained at least once a month with Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search in North Idaho. Sherry and Moose practiced wilderness scent work to find unit members posing as lost humans.
K-9 Specialty Search Associates
In 2005 Sherry learned to train Cadaver Dogs, with a Black Labrador Retriever named Spirit. Cadaver dogs are trained specifically to locate human remains.
Animals in Disaster
Sherry joined the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG) in 2007. Training took place at the Butte County Police Department Training Center and included in incident Management, animal handling and other emergency training.
In 2008, the Butte Lightning Complex was made up of 37 fires and burned 60,000 acres. Emergency workers crossed fire lines to save animals left behind in evacuated homes.
Sherry was one of three leaders for round-the-clock emergency small animal shelters, caring for animals, managing personnel, and setting up emergency kennels.
Animal Shelter Volunteer
In 2001, as much time as possible was spent volunteering at the Independence Animal Control, assessing and training dogs to help them find permanent homes.
Kootnai County Animal Shelter
From 2002 to 2004, Sherry volunteered with the Kootnai County, Idaho, Animal Shelter working with long-term dog residents of the facility.
Training methods were systematic step-by-step desensitization and counter-conditioning, she was able to assist these dogs in finding homes.
Butte Humane Society (BHS)
From 2005 to 2009, Sherry volunteered with the Butte Humane Society (BHS) in Chico CA. At BHS. Sherry evaluated dogs, wrote training plans and taught dogs good manners to replace unwanted behaviors.
Sherry then contracted with BHS
She designed and conducted a training program for shelter staff to teach dogs to be quiet, stop jumping, walk on leash and to make eye contact with prospective owners.
Sherry also brought a few dogs home to Camp Brainy Dog for individualized training for problematic behaviors.
From 2010 to 2014, she volunteered with the Second Chance Pet Rescue in Corning California. Some dogs went home with Sherry to Camp Brainy Dog in Corning, for individulized behavior training.
In 2014, Sherry volunteered training services for dogs in the shelter.
At Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, Sherry trained staff and volunteers on how to help dogs put their best paw forward with her "Color me Adoptable" program.
Brainy Dog Camps
Brainy Dog Camp - Idaho
In 2002, Brainy Dog Camp-Idaho, opened. This camp served as a small boarding and training facility north of Coeur d'Alene. All dogs slept in the house on toddler beds, by a flickering wood stove, and trained during hikes through the Ponderosa Pines and Aspen trees among the rugged mountain ranges just south of the Canadian border.
Brainy Dog also provided private, in-home training and volunteer services to local shelters, plus a reading-with-dogs program for Borders Book Store.
Brainy Dog Camp - Forest Ranch California
In 2005, Brainy Dog Camp-Forest Ranch, opened in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, in Northern California. This camp opened to serve the communities in Butte County, including Chico, Paradise, Oroville, and surrounding areas. This camp was at 2500' elevation, on 5 acres, snuggled in on a mountainside in a forest of tall Douglas fir trees. It was a welcome getaway for dogs and humans to escape the heat of summer months in the flatlands of Butte County.
Six to twelve dogs stayed for a few days to a few weeks, working directly with Sherry and her helper, Hippy Dave to learn how to live successfully in human society. All dogs slept in the house, socialized in the 1-acre fenced yard, and frolicked on off-leash hikes, downhill to the creek.
Sherry also provided in-home private sessions, train-by-phone, out-on-the-town training, and volunteer services for shelters and animal emergency organizations.
Brainy Dog Camp - Tehama County, California
In 2010, Brainy Dog Camp - Corning, opened to continue serving Butte County clients plus Corning, RedBluff, Orland, and Tehama County communities.
As usual, all dogs slept in the house, played and trained on an acre, and showed off their new skills in town. Clients came to learn and practice during their dog's stay at camp. Train-by-phone became an effective communication method for on-going training.
Brainy Dog Camp - Sonoma County, California
In 2014, Brainy Dog Camp-Sonoma County served Santa Rosa and the many communities in Sonoma county.
Rolling vineyards, towering redwoods, and oceanside trails were backgrounds for training field trips.
Private training, Camp-and-train, Your-dogs-big-day-out, and Train-by-phone, helped dogs become true family members and welcomed guests in public settings.
Train-by-phone delights clients by allowing them to train dogs, in the comfort of their own homes. For dogs, being home is the place they're most likely to learn and retain new skills.
This is an efficient way for dogs and humans to absorb lots of information in only 30 minutes. Plus, at home, families can, on the spot, modify existing routines to include the needs of the dog. It's just easier to think about at home.
The best part is dogs bond with family, instead of a trainer. From your dog's point of view, his or her family are the most brainy humans on the planet... not an outside professional dog trainer. Dogs sometimes associate Sherry's voice, on speaker phone, as being time for family fun, but you are the ones providing the enrichment to your dogs.
Another benefit is, you can have some creativity in training your own dog at home. You don't have to do it exactly like the trainer. You set the criteria. I share the pros and cons of each option based on a number of factors. Decisions are yours to make. If your dog is doing what you want with a smile and a tail wag, then it's working.