For Casey Biederman, communicating with dogs might be easier than communicating with some people at times. That’s why creating Calm Dog Project was so important to her.
“I was working in Cleveland at a dog day care and learning more about dog play and body language and that really got me interested in behaviors. We had just gotten a puppy, and we also had a small senior dog in the house,” said Biederman. “I wanted to figure out the best way for them to exist together, so I started doing research and taking classes.”
After acquiring some certifications, Casey moved back to Crawford County and went to work in a local vet office based upon her desire to be close to animals.
“Being in a vet setting was definitely not for me,” she said. Biederman then worked in a grooming salon for a year and continued to observe dog behavior and tendencies.
“Watching what happens at a grooming facility got me interested in cooperative care on how you can encourage a dog to like the grooming process,” said Biederman.
Biederman has joined multiple mentorship programs with well-known dog trainers as well to learn some positive reinforcement tactics.
“To me, that’s really the only way you can go,” she said. “With the actual science behind everything, using shock collars or choke chains, we want to keep them under threshold and have them get an emotional response instead of an emotional reaction. When it is done in that way, there is less ‘blowout,’ and the dog has a more positive response.
“When you are trying to correct the dog but it is being done in the wrong way, it just confuses the dog.”
Calm Dog Project is the result of Biederman’s research and training. Her goal is to not only train the dog, but to “train” the human as well.
Biederman’s classes are offered in-home for the benefit of the dog and its owner. In her experience, no problem is “unfixable.”
“Some problems may take a little more time than others,” Biederman said. “One of the biggest challenges we face is that we don’t see dogs as individuals. A lot of times we don’t understand that a dog might be stressed or struggling in ways that we aren’t able to see.”
Contact Erin Miller at [email protected].