Martha Windisch's Dog Training Biography and Philosophy
Martha Windisch CPDT-KA, owner of Personalized Dog Training LLC enjoys teaching pet owners how to better communicate with their dogs. She has worked with hundreds of clients and their canine companions and has experience with a wide variety of dog breeds and mixes.
Before Personalized Dog Training LLC was started, Martha worked for American Dog Training; she was hired due to her experience training her golden retrievers for obedience competition. Martha personalizes lessons for each dog and owner, thus the name “Personalized Dog Training.” Martha has many satisfied clients who have taken her personalized lessons. She gets referrals from former clients, pet supply stores, veterinarians and other dog-related businesses.
Martha believes that continuing education is important for dog trainers. She enjoys learning and keeping up with new developments in the dog training and behavior field. To maintain her certification with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers she earns continuing education units by attending seminars, reading books and volunteering with homeless pets. The professional organizations she is a member of also encourage continuing education. They sponsor dog training and behavior seminars and conferences. Martha has attended Volhard’s Instructor Training Course, an Advanced Instructor Training Course, several of APDT’s dog training conferences and many one day dog training and behavior seminars.
Martha teaches in-home lessons and obedience classes. Many dog behavior professionals and canines have had an influence on her training style. The professionals who have had an influence through either books, seminars, or personal instruction, include John Fisher, Suzanne Clothier, John Rice, Judie Howard, Jack and Wendy Volhard, Terri Arnold, Betsy Scapicchio, Ann Scripko, Karen Pryor, Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell, Ian Dunbar, Brian Kilcommons, Linda Tellington Jones, Jane Savoie, Jean Donaldson, and Turid Rugaas.
Martha has been training for AKC competition since 1988. She has earned obedience, rally, tracking, agility and retriever hunt test titles with her golden retrievers. She started in-home training to help people with their pets in 1992 and has been working with clients ever since.
She enjoys working with people and teaches in a patient and understanding way. She teaches people how to communicate with their dogs in everyday life. She teaches clients that training isn't only training sessions. It's not commands ordered to their dogs; it's relating to their dogs in a positive manner, it's teaching their dogs to play fun games and it's the structure of everyday life. As for training methods, Martha teaches new behaviors with positive reinforcement. Clicker training is a positive reinforcement method used to help her clients become in tune with their dogs. The clicker is used as a non-verbal marker to reward the dogs for paying attention and remaining calm and settled. Martha’s training philosophy is "do no harm".
Martha first became interested in training dogs when she was a child in Indiana. When she was in 4th grade her family adopted a cocker spaniel mix from a school teacher who felt she had no time for the dog. She taught Sho-Sho commands and tricks using treats. Sho-Sho was a sweet little dog with two big problems; she would dash out at the smallest opening of the door and chase cars. Martha became even more interested in learning how to teach dogs good manners after Sho-Sho got hit and killed on the road in front of her house.
Her family’s next two dogs were shepherd-collie mixes. Her Mom, who knew nothing about dog training or behavior, would rub the pup's nose in the mess as a "method" of housebreaking. As a kid, Martha could not make any sense out of this and wondered if maybe she just did not understand (turns out she was right all along, it does not make any sense!). She taught the dogs tricks and also enrolled in a 4-H obedience class where she watched her instructors teach their shelties to retrieve dumbbells and jump high jumps. She thought this was great, but the instructors did not encourage their students to do much other than jerk their dogs' necks. At home, Martha taught her dog to follow looping hotdog trails to where a piece of hotdog was hidden.
When Martha was in 9th grade, her Aunt Lois' friend Doris got a Seeing Eye Dog. He was a golden retriever named Teddy. Martha read every book she could find about the Seeing Eye and with some additional information from Doris, wrote a class paper about the Seeing Eye and the training of a Seeing Eye Dog. During her college years as a Biology/Environmental Science major at Taylor University, she had no dog. After graduation, she attended Rutgers University where she earned a Masters Degree in Ecology. In 1986, she married a cat lover; two years later she decided that it was time to get a dog to train and show in obedience. The classes she took her golden retriever Tawny to advocated harsh training with collar jerking and fear tactics. Tawny did not handle these methods well; she became scared and shut down. Tawny eventually earned advanced obedience titles, but only after Martha had learned to train using positive reinforcement.
To learn how to train your dog in a fair and positive manner, contact Martha at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-726-9054. She works with clients in various towns in Southern New Jersey.