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About Sherry and Brainy Dog

Sherry Clark and dog friend Rex

Dogs
  talk

Sherry listens

Teaches dogs with kindness

Sets boundaries
Gets everyone on the same page
Changes behavior


A kids dream


...we all talk to animals.

 

The point?  Animals Think and Feel...

and I don't need scientific proof to believe it.

 

To a child not conditioned to our unnatural money driven society it was clear that animals, like us, have lives, personalities, ability to communicate to each other, and ability to communicate to us, when we take the time to listen.

 

Communicating to a species other than their own seems pretty incredible to me.  Especially since we "intelligent" humans have such a difficult time exchanging honest clear thoughts with each other, never the less to another species. 

A kid's dream.

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A dream come true


1st grade poem

In 2nd grade I declared to my cousin that I would someday have a yellow school bus full of animals. At 9 or 10 I taught our Dachshund Dixie to sit on her bum for ice cream and professed to be the neighborhood dog trainer, teaching dogs to do all sorts of tricks. Now? I work out of my yellow school bus with my animals teaching humans and dogs to understand each other better. I'm not sure what all that means; ending up doing what I said I would do as a kid. Whatever forces made that happen I'm having a blast doing it and love working every day. Here are some stories if you want to see why I'm so dedicated.​

Life happens

Organizations

  • Association of Professional Dog Trainers

    Professional Member

    2004 - Present

  • Delta Society

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  • Humane Society of the United States

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  • International Association of Assistance Dog Partners

    Provider Member

  • The American Kennel Club

Courses

  • Animal Behavior College Certification

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  • Applied Behavior Analyses

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  • Compulsive Hoarding (Including animal)

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  • Dog Aggression and the Law

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  • Dr. Dunbar's Ultimate S.S. Four-Day Instructors Workshop- Sex and Aggression, secrets and games

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  • Hearing Dog

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  • Introduction to Pet Behavior Theory

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  • Man Tracking Seminar

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  • Managing Safer Off-Leash Play

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  • Media Relation in Good times and Bad

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  • Open Paw Education Conference

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  • Pet Smart Dog Trainer Training

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  • Research and On-line Seminars

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  • Search Dog Training

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  • Search and Rescue Dog Training

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  • Service Dog Training

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  • Shelter Dog Training

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  • Shelter Sanitation

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  • Training Diabetic Alert Dogs

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  • Training and Shelter Dog Seminar

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  • Wolf and Dog Behavior

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.

 

Her project was to change lunging and barking behavior in a German shepherd. Luke, eventually became a wonderful service dog.

 

PetSmart

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 and Erich Klinghammer (founder of wolf park). She was able to be one-on-one with captive bred wolves. Wolves, like all other animals, can be trained using positive reinforcement.

Wolf Park 2003, Indiana

Sherry traveled the country in '03 and '04, to learn in person through seminars 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.

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.

Easter Seals

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.

Service dog education

Jake in Service Dog training at a restaurant

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:

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.

 

Bergin University

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 education

Missouri 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".

 

Absaroka Search Dogs in Montana

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.

Inland Empire bloodhounds Search and Rescue

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.

 

K-9 Specialty Search Associates

In 2005 she trained to train Cadaver Dogs with K-9 Specialty Search Associates.

Straight lines.

EPYPHONY - it's a moment of awareness.

Experience

  • Owner Trainer

    Brainy Dog

    Jan 2001 - Present 23 years 2 months

    Brainy Dog:
    Individualized, private training for serious behavior Issues. Reward based, fun, safe and effective.

    I'm so proud you are finding help for your dogs.

    No matter if you are searching for help because you are troubled by the way your dog feels, or if you're just a bit embarrassed by your dogs behavior, reward based training and behavior modification are extremely effective methods to create the type of relationship you want with your dogs.

    Although I do work with basic training, my specialty is to change behaviors that could potentially damage the relationship between you and your canine friends. I don't want that to happen and it doesn't have to.

    This process takes your dog's personality, likes and dislikes, history, recent events, medical evaluations and other factors to design a plan for the dog you love more than anyone else on the planet.

    Fear, separation phobia, anxiety, aggression, cat chasing, even difficult potty training can be treated.

    We work in your home, out on the town or the dog gets to come home with me for a while to work out his or her glitches. "House sit & train" is available when appropriate.

    A trained dog needs a trained human so you are involved in the training process. It doesn't count if only the trainer can get the dog to behave. We do follow ups until the family and and dogs can live in peace and harmony.

    How do you want your dog to act? Call or write to tell me about your dog and send some photos.

    Sherry Clark 707 922 6994

  • Engineering Industry

    Gereral Electric

    Apr 1982 - Oct 2001 19 years 7 months

    Managing Designers and Graphical Data in Engineering Environment
     

  • In Store Trainer

    PetSmart

    2001 - 2001 less than a year

    Kansas City, Missouri Area

Volunteer Experience

  • Trainer

    Rohnert Park Animal Shelter

    2016 - Present 8 years

    Animal Welfare

    Training Volunteer Dog Walkers to be Dog Trainers.

  • Behavior Trainer

    Sonoma County Animal Services

    2014 - 2015 1 year

    Animal Welfare

    Worked with dogs and staff to change dog behavior.

  • Dog Trainer

    Second Chance Pet Rescue

    2010 - 2013 3 years

    Animal Welfare

    Assisted shelter staff with dog behavior issues.
    Volunteered as trainer for dog classes.
    Shelter dogs came to Camp Brainy Dog for training and behavior modification to increase their adaptability.

  • Shelter leader

    North Valley Animal Disaster Group

    2006 - 2011 5 years

    Animal Welfare

    Set up emergency shelters.
    Served as Shelter Leader.
    Trained with Butte County Law Enforcement

  • Trainer for dogs, staff and volunteers

    Butte Humane Society

    2005 - 2010 5 years

    Animal Welfare

    Brought shelter dogs to Camp Brainy Dog for training.
    Contracted with Butte Humane Society to evaluate adopt ability of shelter dogs.
    Wrote behavior training plans to help dogs in need to be more adoptable.
    Provided training to staff and volunteers on improving adoptability by changing how they interact with dogs on a daily basis.

  • Volunteer tech support and behavior training.

    Kootenai Humane Society

    2003 - 2004 1 year

    Animal Welfare

    Set up computer database.
    Answer questions from adoptive families.
    Dog Behavior modification to dogs to raise adoptable status.

  • Dog handler

    Inland Empire Bloodhounds Search and Rescue

    2003 - 2005 2 years

    Animal Welfare

    Volunteered with and trained Search and Rescue dogs for wilderness searches.
    Worked with other SAR groups in Idaho and Washington.

  • Educator

    Brainy Dog Story Time- Borders Books

    2004 - Present 20 years

    Animal Welfare

    Visited store during reading time with a dog that can read to inspire kids to love books.
    Talked about how to care for dogs with kids.

  • Educator

    Independence Animal Shelter

    2001 - Present 23 years

    Animal Welfare

    Evaluated and trained Shelter Dogs to be adoptable.
    Selected dogs that may have Service Dog qualities.

Dog school

Shelter Dogs

Private Training

Search & Rescue

Service Dogs

Dog Camps

Sherry has almost always had a Dog Training Camp where hundreds of client dogs, have lived with her to learn new skills to change old habits.

Dog Training by Values

Spare time.

 

 

 

Ice-cream Dixie.

Then there was the ice-cream cone discovery.

I’ve mentioned it on my web page a few times about how Dixie my mini-Dachshund put her little butt on the drive way and raised her body straight up to enjoy her side of my ice-cream cone.  I thought I had discovered the meaning to life and the secret to training animals.  "Ice-cream" method of training went on for years.

Disney lunch box and my destiny.

It was second grade. My cousin and I had accidentally switched lunch boxes on the way to school. They were the same model with a rounded top. The design was a little yellow school bus with Disney characters looking out the windows. We both got out of class to switch.

Alone, in the hallway as we traded, I told my Annette that some day, I would have a real school bus and drive around with it full of animals.

Don't ask me how that prediction came true. Self-fulling prophecy, one mindedness? Pure passion? Destiny? I don't know but today, I have 4 dogs and a cat. We travel around in our little yellow bus helping dogs stay out of shelters... and we are very happy.

 

Sending Lucy Lu, to a trainer.

I’ve forgotten the reason why, but as a young adult, I decided to send my dog Lucy to a dog trainer.  It was a two week or so training situation where she stayed at the training facility.

I was to pick her up along with all the other dog owners who were full of anticipation to see what their dogs had learned.

 

I arrived first and when I saw my sweet Lucy she was clearly stressed.  She was panting, stepping back, her breathing was rapid and her eye shifting.  I became panicked.  “What’s is wrong with my dog?  Why is so she stressed?”, I demanded.

 

Their response was:

 

“Training is stressful”. 

 

I was outraged that my sweet, kind, loving dog was in such distress and it took a bit for them to convince me to get in line with others who had arrived and continue “hand-off” to complete the program.

 

Lucy did do everything they “taught” her to do, stay, sit, down, heel by my left side on a loose leash.  Still, she was stressed the whole time.  I very reluctantly paid the hundreds of dollars fee and took my Lucy home.

 

Lucy did always walk by my side on a loose leash, never pulling.  Lucy was always stressed on walks and her demeanor changed to a stressed state when I ask her to do the commands she was taught.  She never seemed to actually enjoy outings on leash and panted the entire time during walks.  Point is, the trainer used pain to train my dog.

 

I never sent another dog away to training, always used my “ice-cream” method as I had since Dixie and all of my other Dogs.  I did spend a great deal of time thinking there must be a better way to train dogs for people who needed a little help.  A nice way where dogs had fun and were not stressed.  By the way, “ice-cream method” was just the label. Dogs like food and using their own dog food worked just fine.

 

Quitting my real job

Years later I did save enough money to quit my engineering CADD management / process improvement / computer programming career. 

 

I learned a lot during these 20 years. The greatest skill I obtained was hundreds of ways to explain new complex technical information to long-time engineers. It helps me be patient and understanding with clients who are uncomfortable with dog training because they see no need for it or think it's too harsh on the dogs. My training is fun for humans and dogs.

 

I went to school to become a real professional dog trainer. 

I have trained dogs for people in their home and my own home.  I use "stress free", love, respect, treats, communication, understanding, step-by-step learning, brain building, clear communication and give the dogs ample time to figure out the best solution to the problems I design for them. 

 

The answer to the problems just happens to be what I want the dogs to do.  Dogs can learn and be happy at the same time.

A truism - Animals think

My chosen career may not save the world, but to me, it's important and it keeps a lot of dogs out of shelters.  Plus it helps humans communicate a little more effective with the dogs they live with.  It might even help humans be more comfortable with the thought or in my world, "the reality" that animals, think, feel, have friends and meaningful lives, just like the rest of us.

I know "you", most likely already know how much individuality and personality animals have.  Lets just call it a truism, that is, something so self evident, it's hardly worth mentioning.  So lets accept it and get on with helping your animals figure out how to live with us in peace and harmony.

It's a good thing I can laugh at myself.

As a kid, I told anyone who would listen what and why animals do were doing what they were doing. I couldn't understand why the adults didn't see what was obvious to me.

This poem I wrote in 1st grade.

I have a pony named Pogo.

I ride him every day.

I wish that he would learn to do,

everything I say.

We had a boat in the drive way.  In the tongue of the boat trailer, the hollow square metal connection to our truck, housed a nest of English Sparrows, I watched daily as birds flew in and out building their nest. I was ecstatic when I heard little bird peeps echoing through the metal frame.

 

One day, a baby bird fell out onto the concrete driveway. I flew into action, scooped up the baby and began to put it back into the square metal entryway to the nest.

 

A noise behind me got my attention. As I turned my little 8 year old body, panic struck.  I was surrounded. Best I can remember there were 8 to 12 of them.  Angry squawking sparrows on the ground with eyes narrowed and brows puffed up. They were about 4 feet away from me and moving closer, one little sparrow step at a time.  I could feel my heart pound and my face flush as I realized I was in violation Sparrow protocol and the peeping evidence was right in my little hands.

 

“I was just trying to help!!” I said to them, pleading for them to not hurt me.  By that time they were making little jumps toward me with their wings flapping at my shoes.  One flew over my head touching me with her wing. “Put our baby down and walk away, they said”.  So I did and ran into my house crying as I flung myself onto my bed, causing my 22 toy stuffed animals to bounce into the air.

 

Wow, just writing that story made my stomach tighten up and caused me to take a few deep breaths.  Emotion can stick with us for a long time.  If you've had real trauma that effects your quality of life talk to me about how dogs can help get you back on track.

 

 

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