Wednesday, February 19, 2014

TAGteacher Spotlight - Marissa Martino

For the past 7 years, Marissa Martino has been working with dogs and their human companions in a variety of settings.  She started her career working for the Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, CO. There she implemented a Behavior Modification Program for shelter dogs with various special needs: such as fear, separation anxiety, resource guarding and dog-dog aggression.  After two years in Colorado, she moved to San Francisco to expand her horizons. There she started her position at the East Bay SPCA as the Director of behavior and training. During this time, she attended a Clicker Expo in California. There she attended a TAGteach seminar taught by Theresa McKeon.

After listening to Theresa and observing a TAGteach demo, Marissa was hooked! She loved how the emphasis of the seminar was on the human learner instead of the dog. As a dog trainer it is very important that we know how to train dogs; however, training the owner is even more important! The owner is the one living with the dog and following through with the training plan. If he/she does not fully understand the concepts and how to implement them, the dog’s behavior may not change or may even get worse. This is both detrimental to the trainer as well as the relationship between the owner and the dog.

During her time at the East Bay SPCA, Marissa has developed nine volunteer programs where volunteers have hands on experience with dogs and cats of the shelter. The main purpose of these programs is to enrich and enhance the lives of all involved, the dogs and cats as well as the volunteers. Marissa’s main priorities were to articulate how to safely handle shelter animals and empower the volunteers to make smart decisions during their shifts. She decided what hands on skills they needed to know and used the TAGteach principles to educate the volunteers. The feedback she received from the volunteers was astounding. They were able to remember the skills they had learned during their shifts since their education experience was simple, easy and fun! Marissa not only uses TAGteach in her curriculum designs but also in her everyday life and with her loved ones. She believes in its powerful messaging of identifying what you want people and animals to do, reinforcing this behavior and ultimately empowering the learner!                          

Join us for a webinar presented by Marissa on the topic of Teaching Handling Skills to Animal Shelter Volunteers on Tues May 6, 2014 at 11 AM EDT


$9.97 for TAGteach Members

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