Team Down Dog: Our Fantastic Coaches & Assistants

Christine Fedje- Certified Fear Free Veterinary ProfessionalMy favorite part about force free training is the bond it creates between human and animal. Working together with a dog to achieve a goal is very fulfilling, especially when both parties are enjoying every step of the way! I'm especially interested in cooperative care as I also work at a veterinary clinic and see so many animals who hate it there, and they don't have to! In my spare time my other passion is fostering kittens and cats with kittens. I'm kind of a cat lady moonlighting as a dog lady!

Peri Lapp- Certified Fear Free Veterinary Professional:
It’s safe to say I love animals! Besides assisting in classes, I work full time at a veterinary clinic and volunteer with a local rescue. While I don’t have a dog of my own, my cat and I welcome our home to foster dogs.

I love that positive reinforcement training allows for  the human / dog teams to bond and build a relationship. The teams want to work together because they are having fun while still learning skills. I’ve had opportunities to practice positive reinforcement training with my foster dogs and it has been a great tool to build trust and basic skills. Heck, I even got my cat to sit using a clicker! It’s a wonderful method and I can’t wait to learn more!

Kendra Bixby, LVT, Certified Fear Free Veterinary Professional:
I have loved all animals since I was a kid but once I started working in the veterinary field I started my interest in behavior. I felt sad when animals couldn’t  understand what was going on and wanted to create an environment that lessened that stress.
My favorite part of working force free with animals is getting a connection built on trust. I feel like it really helps with creating a positive and less stressful environment for the animals, even in areas that might be scarier for them. One day I think it would be amazing to work on behavior with bigger animals like wolves or wild cats.

Kendra's dog Kenai has his own important accomplishments: Kenai has novice trick title and CGC. He helps with training assistants and interns at a Veterinary Clinic and is in the blood donor program too.