Sharon Besco, KPA CTP, CSAT
Sharon has been an avid training enthusiast since 1990—teaching business skills to people and teaching tricks and life skills to dogs. Fifteen years ago she was introduced to the concept of force-free training while reading Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. Unable to connect with skilled clicker trainers during her five years of living in Switzerland, Sharon finally picked up the clicker with focused attention in early 2011.
Her clicker training “moment of truth” came after watching half of the Clicker Puppy DVD, offered by Doggone Crazy, with her young daughters. The three of them immediately picked up their clickers, grabbed some kibble, and taught their 4-month-old German shepherd puppy to lie down on a mat in five minutes — without speaking a word!
Sharon knew there was really something special about this method of training. From that point on she began attending dog training and behavior seminars and educational conferences to enhance her expertise. After completing the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Foundations course, Sharon when on to complete the intensive Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Program (graduating with “Distinction”), as well as the specialized Karen Pryor Academy Puppy Start Right for Instructors course.
In 2022 Sharon also became a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) under the schooling of world-renowned separation anxiety specialist and author, Malena DeMartini.
Brianna McInally, Assistant Trainer
My daughter, Brianna, has grown up with clicker training. She has worked with our dog, Luna, perfecting “play dead”, “go to your mat”, and “speak”. She has assisted in countless group lessons, and has a keen sense on how to work with puppies and dogs of all ages. Brianna handles most of the Premium Potty Break, and dog walks. She also designs and creates “Clicker Bling” accessories for clicker training.
Check us out!
While we are constantly learning and reading about dog training, here are some stand-out activities.
Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, Malena DeMartini (2022)
Clicker Expo 2022 (Virtual) – 3-day conference and learning labs focussing on trends, techniques and tools for positive-reinforcement training and animal behaviour. Presenters/instructors included: Kathy Sdao, Ken Ramirez, Susan Freidman, Leslie McDevitt, Michael Shikashio, Melissa Millett, Eva Bertilsson, Emelie Johnson Vegh, etc.). March 2022
Puppy Start Right Online Preschool for Instructor (Karen Pryor Academy) – Specialized course for instructing effective puppy socialization classes virtually. March 2022
TAGteach, Level 1 (TAGteach International) – 2-day teaching workshop to obtain Level 1 in TAGTeach (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance). TAGteach is revolutionary new way of teaching using a “tag point”. The tag point is the specific learning goal that the teacher will mark with a tag that highlights success for the learner. www.TAGteach.com. May 2016
Puppy Start Right for Instructor (Karen Pryor Academy) – Specialized course for instructing effective puppy socialization classes. June 2015
Clicker Expo 2015 (Dearborn, Michigan) – 3-day conference and learning labs focussing on trends, techniques and tools for positive-reinforcement training and animal behaviour. Presenters/instructors included: Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, Ken Ramirez, Susan Freidman, Kay Laurence, Michele Pouliot, Emily Larlham, etc.). March 2015
Professional Animal Behavior Associates (PABA) Conference (Guelph, Ontario) – 2-day conference “How to Reach Excellence in Dog Training”. Presenters/instructors included: Ken Ramirez, Kathy Sdao, and Dr. Andrew Leuscher). May 2014
Clicker Expo 2013 (Stamford, Connecticut) – 3-day conference centered around the latest advances in positive-reinforcement training and animal behaviour. Presenters/instructors included: Karen Pryor, Kathy Sdao, Ken Ramirez, Susan Freidman, Kay Laurence, etc.). March 2013
Dog Trainer Professional — Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. Professional Certification Course. Graduated with Distinction. Binghamton, New York. September 2012 (KPA CTP Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner accreditation)
Dog Training Foundations – Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. Professional Development Course. Graduated March 2012
Dog Reactivity/Aggression — The Toronto Centre for Canine Education. Information seminar. December 2012
Practical Training Applications — Yvette Van Veen. 1-day information seminar. September 2011
Nature vs. Nurture — Yvette Van Veen. 1-day information seminar. September 2011
Exploring the Dog’s Mind — Professional Animal Behaviour Associates. 3-day symposium featuring lectures by Karen Pryor, Meghan Herron, Pat Miller, Kathy Sdao, Dr. Andre Luescher, Alexandra Horrowitz, etc.) May 2011
Understanding Canine Behaviour — Kerry Vinson. October 2010
At Smart Paws, we use positive reinforcement training techniques to teach you and your dog the skills needed for a happy, co-operative life together.