THE HEART & MIND BEHIND H&M K9
Trainer Audra is a lifelong animal enthusiast. She grew up on a small farm in the southern United States surrounded by animals including chickens, ducks, goats, horses, and MANY dogs and cats. From rehabilitating & rehoming rescue dogs in her teens, to training and selling Off-the-track Racehorses, to being a professional dog trainer for nearly 5 years; Audra is devoted to animals and their care.
Audra spends her free time training and competing in dog sports with her personal dogs. She has great interest in the dog sport of Schutzhund (now called IGP) as well as AKC Tracking and Scentwork. A lover of all animals, Audra is also a reptile enthusiast and loves her pet chameleons.
Balanced Training from the Heart, For the Mind.
Here at Heart & Mind K9, I believe in a L.I.M.A based approach to all training methods. LIMA stands for "Least Invasive, Minimally Aversive" and describes a trainer that develops strategies for achieving behavior changes by prioritizing humane tactics and education of the dog and does not justify punishment in lieu of other effective interventions.
As a Balanced trainer, I utilize Classical conditioning as well as all 4 quadrants of Operant Conditioning with a strong emphasis on positive reinforcement. "Balanced" does not mean I use all quadrants equally. Instead, I get to know every dog as an individual and employ the best course of action to educate each dog.
When considering what tools to use in training, it is necessary to evaluate the needs and behavior of each dog AND their owners. When it is beneficial to a dogs training, learning and handling I will use slip leads, martingale collars, prongs, ecollars, and harnesses. Misusing any tool can have ramifications. As a professional, I am familiar with proper use of and introduction to such tools so that they are a communication tool as opposed to a punishment.