About Certified Dog Trainer Sherry Clark
Brainy Dog Staff and Guest Staff
Respect, Patience, Honesty, Commitment, Privacy
Respect for Dogs and Other Animals
I believe all dogs have the same right to talk, laugh, love, and complain as we do. Our job is to listen to their concerns and provide everything they need to be happy, healthy, well-balanced, tail wagging, and well educated.
All dogs, no matter what breed, are individuals and will not be judged by their genes. That goes for humans too by the way.
Brainy Dog adopts the "American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)" position on Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL).
Respect for Humans
No matter what your situation, no matter if you're starting late on training, you feel you’ve made mistakes, should have known better, or think you might have caused your dog's problems, I respectively start where you are right now and move forward. No blame, no guilt, no putting you down.
Young family members
I listen to kids and young adults.
Training with animals now provides many life lessons including how to resolve conflicts in a peaceful manner. Please include them.
No, I don't train spouses but I do respect everyone's point of view and help find common ground.
The more patience you have the faster dogs learn. Imagine teaching a child at just the right pace so he or she can absorb the most out of each lesson. Heck, same with adults. We have the greatest understanding when we learn bit by bit through association and success. So yes, presenting material in an easy to understand format (for dogs) and being patient enough to give them (and their humans) time to understand is the optimal way to teach in my world. I'm glad to say "patience" is a common compliment I receive, and it's greatly appreciated.
I may take honesty to an extreme. I don't wear makeup; what you see is the real me. If I realize I've made mistakes, I'll let you know right up front. If you catch a mistake, let me know. You're not going to offend me. I welcome feedback, comments, and suggestions, preferably directly to me; it's a lot more effective that way. And if you think I'm trying to trick you, manipulate you, or be less than honest, just ask to verify what my intention is. I assure you, my only concern is for the relationship between you and your dog, and my brain just doesn't work in a way that wants to hurt people or other animals. I quit a big job where money was the value. Now I have a job where the things I love is the main value. It makes me happy; there is no room for deceit.
I'm committed to training dogs, so they can remain peacefully in their homes. It's unlikely that I'll give up on you or your dogs.
Embarrassed about your dogs behavior? No worries, we don't have to tell anyone. I ask before posting your dogs successes on the internet. I also promise not to share your contact information unless you ask me to in order to serve you better.
Sherry and Jake at Goat Rock
Sherry Clark is a Positive Reinforcement Certified Dog Trainer specializing in Behavior Issues such as: Aggressive Behaviors, Separation Issues, Fear and "Difficult" Potty Training. She also trains Service Dogs for Mobility and PTS (Post Traumatic Stress).
She is from a small town near Kansas City Missouri, and has lived in North California since 2005. Sonoma County, California is her home.
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, while living in Missouri.
After a career in CADD (Computer Aided Design and Drafting) and Process Improvement for engineering companies, she went back to her childhood dreams and created Brainy Dog™.
She focused her education around Service Dogs, Search Dogs and Serious Behavior Issues in dogs. She has a passion for Rescued Dogs, which is evident in her volunteer work.
"Individualized Dog Training" is her tag line because she starts each client at their individual level of knowledge and experience.
"Brainy Dog" is a registered trademark and was first incorporated in Kansas City, Missouri. Brainy Dog is a private company.
About Sherry and Brainy Dog
Sherry's consulted with over 5000 clients. Many of these clients went on to enroll their dogs in Brainy Dog Camp for specific training or fun filled Dog Vacations. Previous Dog camps hosted 6-10 dogs a day, all living in the house with Sherry or more accurately described as Sherry living with dogs.
Sherry Moose and Camp 'n Train Students in Forest Ranch near Lasson Mountain in 2007
Forest Ranch Dog Lounge 2008
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 working dogs.
In 2001, Sherry worked and trained through PetSmart also in Kansas City, MO. The course promoted reward based training for all 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. She was able to be one-on-one with captive bred wolves. Wolves, like all other animals, can be trained using positive reinforcement.
Sherry traveled the country in '03 and '04, learning from world renown professionals, such as Ian Dunbar of Sirius, Myrna Milani of MMilani.com of, Kelly Gorman Dunbar of Open Paw, Patricia McConnell PhD , Sue Sternberg of Train to Adopt and Pat Miller of Peaceable Paws to name a few.
Wolf Park 2003, Indiana
Animal Behavior College
In 2009 Sherry became certified through the Animal Behavior College which is 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.
Positive Reinforcement Education continues
Sherry continues education through: Association of Professional Dog Trainers, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior and other organization's concentrating on Service Dogs, Aggression, Behavior and many other disciplines. Her interests in other disciplines are to create and add fresh new exercises to her curriculum for her pet dog clients.
To build on previous Training, Sherry hired existing trainers and took on-line courses to learn a variety of Service Dog skills including training from:
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.
Jake in Service Dog training at a restaurant
Search and Rescue
In 2001 Sherry took weeks of one-on-one training from a Missouri Search and Rescue (MOSAR) unit leader with her German Shepherd Dog "Moose".
She attended an Absaroka Search Dogs yearly conference training weekend in Montana end of '01. Training and competition in Human Tracking, Ropes work, air scenting and problem solving. Her team won some games.
In 2003 and 04 Sherry trained at least once a month with Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search and Rescue in North Idaho. Sherry and Moose practiced wilderness scent work finding unit members posing as lost humans.
In 2005 she trained to train Cadaver Dogs with K-9 Specialty Search Associates.
Sherry joined the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG) in 2007, training at the Butte County Police Department Training Center in Incident management, animal handling and other emergency training. In 2008 Butte County experienced fires. The Butte Lightning Complex was made up of 37 fires and burned 60,000 acres. Hundreds of families were evacuated. Emergency workers crossed fire lines to save animals left in homes. Sherry was one of three leaders for round the clock emergency dog and small animal shelters, caring for animals, managing personnel, and setting up emergency kennels in several locations for weeks during the fires.
Shelter Volunteer Work
In 2001, as much time as possible was spent volunteering at the Independence Animal Control, assessing and training dogs to be more adoptable.
From 2002 to 2004, Sherry volunteered with Kootnai County Animal Shelter setting up computer databases and modifying behavior in "UN-adoptable" dogs to raise their status to "adoptable" by using systematic step by step desensitization and counter conditioning.
From 2005 to 2009, Sherry had a relationship with Butte Humane Society (BHS) in Chico CA. At BHS. Sherry evaluated dogs, wrote training plans and taught dogs cute new tricks to replace unwanted behavior. She also designed and conducted a training program for shelter staff to teach dogs to be quiet, stop jumping and to make eye contact with prospective owners. Just a few changes in the way staff interact with dogs can save their lives. More dogs were adopted, which means fewer dogs were left behind.
Sherry also brought a few lucky dogs Home to Camp Brainy Dog for specific training to help get them back on the adoptable list.
Shelter Dogs in Training - Independence Mo 2001
From 2010 to 2014, she volunteered with the Second Chance Pet Rescue in Corning California.
Sherry volunteered with Sonoma County Animal Services to retrain dogs to become more adoptable.
At Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, Sherry trains staff and volunteers on how to help dogs put their best paw forward with her "Color me Adoptable" program.
Professionally training dogs since 2001