Clearly, JavaDawgs is more than your average dog training group. "This is not a top down training group," explains group founder Lisa Clifton-Bumpass from her home in Hayward, CA. "We function as a team, working for the betterment of each dog-owner team and as a larger team of people focused on bettering themselves as dog enthusiasts. Not all members are on the field at once. Some members work their dogs, others act as training coaches, and others are observing dog body language, timing-criteria setting, and handling skills. All voices and observations are of value in this process as we are all developing our skills as a team."
Helix Fairweather became interested in the skills dogs need—and too often do not have—to play happily with other dogs. She decided to launch a series of Dog Park play sessions to allow skilled dogs to teach other dogs the art of playing and to teach handlers the observation skills necessary to understand canine communication.
Debi Davis, service-dog trainer and ClickerExpo presenter (Minneapolis, November 2005), writes training articles for national and international magazines and is an Internet mentor for service-dog teams in training. In 1998, she co-founded OC-Assist-Dogs, a Yahoo Group Internet discussion list for those clicker training service dogs, now the largest service-dog discussion list on the web. In 1999, her papillon, Peek, became the first toy breed and first clicker trained dog to earn the Delta Society's National Service Dog of the Year award. In 2003, Peek was among the Pedigree Paws to Recognize Canine World Hero nominees. Peek and Debi were also profiled on a segment of the international television program Dogs with Jobs. A member of the APDT, IAADP, IABC, and the Delta Society, Debi lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, with her husband and five clicker trained dogs. Recently, we spoke to her about clicker training assistance dogs and her experiences attending ClickerExpo San Diego.
Sheri Soltes is the Founder and President of Texas Hearing and Service Dogs. She pioneered positive training in the assistance dog industry. Recently, we spoke to her about her new training facility and her plans for the future.