Working with Megan and Jody of Train With Trust has opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking about animals in general and my equine patients in particular. Learning theory and practice from TWT taught me very quickly, for example, that if a zoo rhinoceros can be taught to stand relaxed for a blood draw, then our domesticated horses can certainly learn to cooperate with this and other veterinary procedures with greater comfort and confidence that the equine profession has previously believed.
It’s rare to find an animal behaviorist (scientist) who can train; and rare to find an animal trainer who can teach the science of learned behavior. Megan and Jody are experts are doing both.
As the loving parents of a Pit Bull, we feel extremely responsible for making sure our dog behaves well at all times, and we worry that one wrong move in public can have serious consequences. Jody helped us understand that barking and growling that seemed like “aggression” when we were out walking on leash was really just fear, combined with over-excitement.
It took awhile to build confidence and relaxation (in all of us!) but Jody was patient, knowledgeable, and constantly reassuring. Throughout the training process, we always knew we were on the right track and had the support we needed when setbacks inevitably happened.
Now we know what to look out for and how to respond before a problem happens, and walks bring us joy instead of anxiety!
After combing two fur families, including a high energy Border Collie dog and two lazy house cats, our home became a stressful place when the dog’s herding instinct kicked in she relentlessly stalked and chased the cats. Understandably, the cats were upset and began marking and urinating outside the box. As a veterinarian myself, I frequently work to solve urinary issues with pets but was at a loss after not having a resolution with standard medical, behavioral, and environmental interventions.
Thankfully, Megan came to the rescue with clever and innovative solutions that quickly resolved our household dilemmas. I am happy to report that since working with Megan we are free of urinary accidents and the cats and dogs have developed a friendly respect for each other.
I frequently recommended Megan as a fellow professional in the field and now I can recommend her from personal experience as well.
Jody from Train with Trust is the first person I’ve come across using cooperative veterinary training, and it has made providing care for the young and feral horses in my practice easier, safer and much less stressful for everyone involved.
I wish all my clients would use their methods to prepare horses for veterinary procedures!
As a horse person for the past 40 years, I have worked with MANY different training modalities and was THRILLED to finally find the tools to put in my toolbox that TRULY help the animal be a willing participant in our work together, from receiving medical care to simply playing games.
We have a mule named Agnes who came here nearly 2 years ago. She had been traumatized deeply in her life and is incredibly sensitive and highly reactive to human presence. We have struggled to help her enough to administer basic care, and each time we needed to handle her it resulted in month-long setbacks in trust. We had not been able to find a way to help her relax around people – until now. We held a Train with Trust clinic here, and in the course of a 3-hour positive reinforcement session with Agnes, I watched her begin her shift to finding comfort in humans – on her own terms. WOW!
During that training we were also given numerous tools to help the home herd and our fosters through constructing and providing enrichment, like food puzzles and fun toys. To watch our elder herd (median age 25) get giddy to solve problems and enjoy their play time is so exciting!
We are 2 months into our work with Agnes, and she is now an inquisitive and willing partner in her training and is VERY willing to work with us at liberty. We have also extended this work to the rest of the sanctuary herd, and are thrilled with the results of having willing partners in care.
When my 3rd cat passed away, there was a challenge for territory and I was worried it would escalate into marking and war. Megan helped me understand why this was happening, the stages my animals were in now and how the behavior was normal and would not escalate.
My cats are becoming more accustomed to sharing space, and there have been no incidents of spraying or fighting. They can coexist in the same room without incident. Now I am very confident that I can blend our new two kittens into our family of cats, understand and effectively manage their behaviors.
After my 5mo old puppy had to repeat “puppy class,” I realized I needed more than a “one-size-fits-all” training experience. Fortunately, my neighbor recommended Megan at Train with Trust.
Her excellent one-on-one training sessions were always followed with appropriate written handouts. She also suggested online videos which reinforced the skills we were learning.
An additional bonus was her assuring me that my dog could learn to walk one way with my husband and another way with me. Three years later, I am still the only “loose leash” walker in the family.