Since this is my first blog on this site, I thought I’d start with an introduction. My name is Susan Smith and I am the owner of Raising Canine, LLC, which provides education and services to dog professionals. As a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant, I look at the places where dog behavior and human lifestyle, love of dogs and conducting business meet most often:
Through my emphasis on professionalism and fascination with behavior, I provide professional dog trainers with a comprehensive but incisive review of contemporary dog training, its foundations, current state, and future trends – and strategies for applying theoretical knowledge in the field.
I am the co-author of Positive Gun Dogs: Clicker Training for Sporting Breeds, the first book published in the United States advocating positive methods for training bird dogs. I am also the author of many articles including Starting Your Own Dog Training Business and When to Ask for Help, which were published in the Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ The Dog Trainer’s Resource: The APDT Chronicle of the Dog Collection. I am a contributing author to the book “Top Tips From Top Trainers.” I have authored many other articles and book reviews, and am also the author of a column on learning and behavior for the APDT Chronicle of the Dog.
Affiliations & Honorarium
Susan’s Journey and Raising Canine’s Start
Susan Smith was born and raised in Alaska. At age 29, she decided it was time to experience the rest of the U.S., so she moved to Texas and opened a Mail Boxes Etc., USA franchise in Austin, Texas. The MBE store gave Susan a good, practical education in running a business.
In the early ‘90s, Susan decided it was time to do something else, so she began exploring her options. She had three criteria: ability to make a comfortable income, flexibility of scheduling and a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment within her work. She was able to eliminate most of the list she came up with through the “enjoyment” factor; however, dog training met all her criteria, so she decided to become a professional dog trainer.
She began apprenticing, reading and training. By 1996 she had sold her Mail Boxes business and was building her dog consulting business.
In 2002 she moved to upstate New York to start a sanctuary for unadoptable dogs for the Animal Haven shelter in Queens. Animal Haven had purchased a 30 acre farm and the goal was for the dogs to live in the house with a lifestyle as close to normal as possible with aggressive dogs.
Susan spent 3 years running the sanctuary for unadoptable dogs. All the dogs at the Sanctuary were aggressive except one which had extreme fear issues. The sanctuary was limited to 15 dogs and the dogs lived in the house with Susan. This was a most enlightening experience, and provided an intense crash course in understanding what clients experience when living with an aggressive dog!
After three years of getting the sanctuary up and running, Susan decided to return to Austin and started thinking about what she wanted to do when she returned. She began consulting with a business coach, defined her criteria and began thinking about what she wanted to accomplish. She came to the conclusion that she wanted to maintain her original three criteria (comfortable income, flexibility and enjoyment), and added the criteria of helping her chosen field become a viable and respected profession.
This led Susan to provide remote, science-based training, coaching and business education to trainers, as well as providing a variety of products to help trainers more efficiently run their business.
Raising Canine’s Growing Reputation
Raising Canine was the first business to provide a wide variety of remote educational courses and seminars to the professional dog training field. These courses provide high-quality, science-based information for training and consulting, as well as established principles for running a business.
Raising Canine has been able to attract quality speakers who, through remote media, are able to reach a wider audience for a very reasonable price. The remote courses are available live, recorded and on-line. Some courses are simply a lecture format, some are interactive, some require homework, and some are a combination of several media.
Raising Canine also has an on-line dog trainer school. This school is designed for those who wish to become a professional dog trainer, yet cannot spare the time to attend an in-person school. The professional dog trainer course provides in-depth education in the principles of learning and behavior, as well as the practical areas of training and running a dog consulting business. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to become a professional dog trainer from teaching a sit to working with noise sensitivity in dogs to calculating rate of reinforcement!
Raising Canine Today
Raising Canine’s goal has always been to provide quality education, products and services. We have solidified that goal through the creation of a dog training mission statement that keeps our goals in the forefront of our minds, at all times.
Today, Raising Canine is still the largest and best known remote education service within the animal community. We continue to provide cutting edge information to trainers and consultants, as well as dog owners.
Even today, with our vast understanding of behavior and learning, there is still much misunderstanding of this subject within the training world. Raising Canine feels that all animals should be treated humanely and with the most advanced techniques now available that is a viable option; it is our goal to disseminate that information to animal professionals.
Susan currently lives in Austin, Texas with her dog, Jimmy Joe, where she runs her Internet-based education and consulting business.