Tails From Alaska: Canine nose work, shelter dogs, and building a successful reward based dog training business

Using canine nose work with shelter dogs to help them get adopted and other reward based dog training stories from Alaska

Metis Riley, CPDT-KA, discusses her personal growth from a dog walker to a reward based dog trainer in Alaska. Reactivity is her focus, working not only with clients but also with dogs in shelters, helping them to get adopted. Metis created a unique program that uses canine nose work in shelter dogs to help them de-stress and use their natural scent abilities to modify behavior. She talks about nose work and the benefits it offers to all types of dogs as a way to gain self-control, focus, and to release stress. She talks about the success of partnering with a local vet and a veterinary behaviorist, when to use these resources, and what it has done for her business. Located in Alaska and being a self-admitted “gear nerd,” Metis offers her recommendations for the best outdoor dog gear for your pup. Metis is also the co-founder of STRAW for Dogs, a non-profit based in Alaska that helps dogs living outdoors.

Metis Riley, CPDT-KA, is a certified professional dog trainer and animal advocate in Anchorage, Alaska. She started a dog walking business, Downtown Dogwalker, in 2008, and transitioned into reward based dog training in 2016, when she opened Positive Effects Training. She currently offers classes, workshops, and private sessions in Anchorage and on the Kenai Peninsula. She has fostered and volunteered with numerous shelters and rescues since 20017. In 2010, she co-founded a non-profit that helps pets with outdoor living and harsh weather conditions in Alaska, StrawForDogs.org. She is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG).

Kim Merritt is a serial entrepreneur who started her first company, Kim’s Khocolate, at eleven years of age. As a teenager, she was discovered by Guy Kawasaki who invited her to make custom Khocolate for Apple. Kim went on to do business with The Rolling Stones, AT&T, MCI, Becton Dickinson, Bausch & Lomb, and Range Rover. Her second company, an e-commerce play, sold brand name dinnerware and home decor items across North America. She founded Good Dog in a Box with her sister, professional dog trainer Jenn Merritt, CPDT-KA. Her love of dogs and kids has pushed her to develop and co-develop a number of products, online training courses, and curriculums revolving around dog bite prevention and dog safety. Her latest endeavor, Good Dog Pro, is a subscription based online education system and community for dog professionals.

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