I am the founder of Mindful Behaviors. I started clicker training in 2002 while back at home in Finland. To learn this technique I attended several courses given by Clicker Trainers’ Club Finland. Through these courses I got to know other clicker trainers and together we started training search and rescue using positive reinforcement and operant conditioning. With my Hovawart Dea (now sadly passed away) we competed successfully in search rescue, tracking, obedience and Rally obedience trials both in Finland and in Canada.
My PhD degree in biochemistry and education as a research scientist have helped me in developing an analytical and systematical approach to dog training. What I am particularly attracted to in clicker training is that everything is based on scientific data on how animals learn. As a part-time job while still in Finland I worked for a couple of years in teaching clicker training to dog owners. In 2010 I decided to take my education as a dog trainer to the next level by attending the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Program from which I graduated with distinction in October 2010 as a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP).
Currently at home I have a young Australian shepherd Forbes from Oracle Aussies. Forbes has a future planned as a sire for Aussie puppies, meanwhile I am training him for tracking and obedience and possibly agility as well (this is Forbes’s request).
Salla is a dog trainer friend of mine from Finland, we trained search and rescue together while I was still in Finland. She has an excellent training blog but as it is all in Finnish, she has given me permission to translate her blogs into English. I will do my best! Salla is a clicker trainer and has a lot of experience in training search and rescue and tracking dogs. Salla is one of the most dedicated and skilled dog trainers that I know! Currently she has two hunting line labradors Vinha and Riemu as well as Finnish Spitz Voima. With 5-year-old Vinha Salla has already gathered a respectable number of search and rescue, tracking and obedience titles. When Salla is not training her dogs she is a geologist.