Along with teaching families how best to lead, communicate, train, and live in harmony with their canine friends, I serve as Instructor/Trainer/ Consultant for Glencoe Animal Hospital and behavior consultant on the Columbus Dog Connection Rescue and Golden Retriever Rescue.  I work with other Veterinarians from other Hospitals and am available for training and behavior consulting to anyone needing it. I gained Professional Certification with CCPDT and am a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine (CCBC-KA) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA).  Along with those I am an approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator (#14204), Professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (#67358), a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a Professional member (#264) of The Association of Animal Behavior Professionals. All of these associations bring Animal Care Professionals together giving us a forum for discussion on many behavior topics. I recently earned a Certificate of Excellence in a class on Applied Behavior Analysis given through LLA (Living and Learning with Animals) by Susan G. Friedman, PhDI am currently continuing with these studies learning how to better change unwanted behavior in companion animals.

 

I have loved and felt a strong connection with our canine friends throughout my life. As a young girl I started looking for stray dogs, bringing them into my home, washing them, training them, and finding them good homes. In addition to the dogs, I cared for my many other pets including cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters and fish.  My formal work career started at a local store that had a pet department.  Subsequently I went on to work at The Green Road Animal Hospital in Cleveland Heights, Ohio as a kennel helper and Veterinary Assistant.  I also worked with Thoroughbred horses at Thistledown Racetrack.  I acquired my Veterinary Technician license and became registered with the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association in 1975.

 

After moving to Columbus, I adopted a homeless dog from the Shelter and took him through the basic obedience class with Columbus All-Breed Training Club.  We did well and received first place in the class.  I decided I wanted to formally learn how to train, instruct and go further in that field. I received an apprenticeship after completing the training/instruction classes and went on to instruct formal obedience classes for two years with Columbus All-Breed Training Club.  During that same time I competed heavily in Obedience Trials, winning a “High in Trial”, CD, CDX, UD, Dog World Awards, and putting many titles on my own dogs as well as numerous dogs owned by other people.  I also trained and competed in Field work earning “Working Certificates” on my retrievers.  I was accepted for a job at The Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital and worked there in many capacities from 1975-1980.  I was in the first group who tested for and passed (which “Grandfathered” me in) as a Registered Animal Health Technician.  I also took numerous classes at Columbus State related to the field.  In 1980 I was hired by Dr. J.M. Cornwell at Glencoe Animal Hospital in Clintonville (Columbus, Ohio).  I assisted in surgeries and treatments and served as Office Manager. While employed there I conducted group training classes for clients at two different veterinary hospitals.

 Sheila on a bench with three dogsDog Friendly Logo

I married in 1983 and we have three sons.  While raising my children I recognized that there was a real need for a professional to help individuals raise and train their pets with “dog friendly” and behaviorally sound methods in their homes.  Since dogs are situational and environmental learners it is very hard to transfer training from a class situation to the home, so I decided to make in home training my first priority because training should start in the home and work out to more distractive situations.  If the relationship between owner and dog is weak in the home chances for success with sound behavior outside the home are questionable.  Along with this philosophy I focused on Canine Behavior while incorporating the training into everyday life.  I researched, read and absorbed all the behavior information I could get my hands on.  Since 1989 I have continued to further my education and keep current on all the latest developments in the field of Canine training and behavior by attending yearly Continuing Education seminars offered through the Ohio Veterinary Medical Association, taking telecourses and online courses with nationally known Behaviorists and Veterinarians and studying the many publications available through the organizations to which I belong.  All of this study, along with my many years of experience in the field, has given me a wealth of knowledge and information to draw from. I have completed an in depth course study on Animal Behavior Technology through Companion Animal Sciences Institute. This course study included  Principles of Learning and Behavior, Functional Assessment, Behavior Change Programming and Professional Ethics.   This study earned me the designation of DipABT.

 

 

 

 

 

WWW.DOGTRAININGANDBEHAVIOR.COM

SHEILA HEIL FERGUSON, CBCC-KA, DipABT, CPDT-KA

DOG TRAINING, OBEDIENCE INSTRUCTION, AND BEHAVIOR CONSULTING

banner with dog logo