SMART DOGS is owned and operated by Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Mary A. Gilbreth, PhD. Also on the SMART DOGS Team is Assistant Trainer Stacy Smith.
SMART DOGS' Owner & Professional Trainer - Mary A. Gilbreth, PhD, CPDT, CSMC, OSCT, CAP1
Dogs are fascinating animals capable of learning a vast number of simple to complex behaviors. I appreciate their intelligence, athleticism, love of life, their ability to stay "in the moment", and the fact they provide us with therapy and companionship. Living with and working with Dogs is an enriching and magical experience.
Working as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, a Certified Stress Management Coach, and an Operation Socialization Certified Trainer allows me to combine my Love of Dogs and Dog Training, my Passion for Learning & Teaching, and my Interest in Helping Others.
I am commited to Helping You Bring out the Best in Your Puppies and Dogs! And Yourself!
I enjoy and recognize the importance of Continuing Education, and attend a variety of Training and Behavior seminars, workshops, classes and camps taught by highly respected and internationally acclaimed Dog and Animal Trainers/Behaviorists/Authors (see Resume page).
I am an Operation Socialization Certified Trainer, (aka "Puppy Expert"), the first OSCT in the state of Arkansas, as well as the first Certified Professional Dog Trainer in the Van Buren/Ft Smith area. I also hold Primary Level TAGteach Certification, and a Competencey Assessment Program Level 1 (CAP 1) which was earned with Distinction and a perfect score. In addition, I am a Certified Stress Management Coach helping People create a more fulfilling and healthy lifestyle.
I love everything dog and am active in a variety of Dog-Friendly Organizations for Professional Dog Trainers and for Dog Owners including:
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals,
Association of Pet Dog Trainers, where I volunteer as APDT Greeter for Arkansas,
Truly Dog-Friendly (TDF-approved, dog-friendly Trainer),
Cyber Rally-O (Judge for CRO's Dance Divison),
VALOR Agility (SDTC is an approved VALOR Facility),
Los Alamos Dog Obedience Club,
Doggone Safe Dog Bite Prevention, and
Dog Scouts of America where I volunteer as a Troop Leader.
I am an Approved Therapy Dog Evaluator for K9 to 5 National Therapy Dog Registry, and am also an Approved Evaluator for the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen and S.T.A.R. Puppy Programs.
Although I have learned and used a wide variety of different methods through the years, I use and teach Pain/Force-Free, Dog-Friendly, Positive Reinforcement-based methods. I am an avid Clicker Trainer!
"Positive training", "Reward-based Training", and "Positive Reinforcement" are buzz words in dog training because the methods work. When correctly applied, the methods not only produce a well-trained dog, but they enrich the relationship between Owner and Dog. The result is a Happy, Obedient Companion, a Happy, Proud Owner and a Harmonious Household.
I have been training dogs for over 16 years (does not include dogs from my childhood) and my Hands-on, Dog Training Experience includes:
Clicker Training (this is different from "using a clicker while training"),
Teaching Group Classes,
Teaching Private Lessons,
Modification of Aggressive Behavior,
Modification of Shy Behavior,
Managing a Multi-Dog Household (I've lived with 3 or more dogs since 2002, 5 or more since 2004),
Basic Manners for Family/Pet Dogs,
Puppy Development and Socialization,
Rally Obedience (for "backyard fun" as well as AKC and other Competitons),
Formal Obedience (for "backyard fun" as well as AKC and other Competitons),
Tracking and Scent Work,
Amazing Tricks, and
an Abundance of Fun and Games.
My dogs and I enjoy a variety of training and activities. I share my home with 6 wonderful rescue dogs, the "Plumwood Posse". Geronimo and GingerPeach each hold Certification from the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Program and Ginger Peach is also a Certified Therapy Dog (retired due to her epilepsy) with Therapy Dogs International. Rocky holds an AKC Companion Dog (CD) Title in Obedience (1st, 2nd and 3rd place scores) and also an AKC Rally Advanced Title (three consecutive runs and a 4th place score - 95 points) and an AKC Rally Novice Title earned in three consecutive runs, all 1st place scores - 100, 99 and 97 points). Chibi-chan holds an AKC Rally Novice Title (three consecutive runs, 2nd and 3rd place, scores of 99, 98 and 93 points), and Agility and Obedience Trials are in his future. Piglet, Geronimo and GingerPeach hold Level 1 Cyber Rally O Level 1 (CRO-1) Titles, and Piglet also holds CRO Titles in Levels 2, 3 and 4 Performance Division, and GingerPeach holds CRO Titles in Levels 2 and 3 Traditional Division. Piglet and Chibi-chan also hold VALOR Beginner Standard (VBS) Agility Trials. Freestyle and Treiball are next on our list!
I have over 15 years experience in the area of Canine Aggression/Reactivity and have a special interest in dogs who exhibit Aggressive behaviors and/or Shy behaviors. Living with and working with these Fiesty Fidos, Reactive Rovers and Cautious Canines has taught me which methods are worthwhile, and which methods make things worse.
Along those lines, I am familiar with the mistakes dog owners all too frequently make which cause an otherwise "good-natured" dog to exhibit undesired behavior - avoidance, anxiety, aggression, shutting down - and want to help you avoid making these mistakes with Your Dog.
Prior to my career as a Professional Dog Trainer, I spent over 19 years in the fields of BioMedical Research and Intellectual Property Law. I have a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics with emphasis on Signal Transduction and Cancer, and am also a Registered Patent Agent with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. My Analytical Skills, Problem Solving Skills, Teaching Skills and Communication Skills necessary for success in BioMedical Research and for prosecuting Patent Applications are equally important in my career as a Professional Dog Trainer.
My Canine Family, "the Plumwood Posse", currently consists of 5 dogs, all rescues: Piglet P-CRO-III (a fun-loving, spunky Carolina Dog, a.k.a. the American Dingo, 11 yo), GingerPeach CRO-I CGC TDI (a sweet, gentle Golden who is a Certified Therapy Dog and who also has Canine Epilepsy, ~10 yo), Rocky CD, RA (a joyful, enthusiastic Golden mix, ~10 yo, who competes in Rally and Formal Obedience - perhaps you've seen us around town training), Chibi-chan RN (a happy toy-breed mix who competes in Rally and soon in Agility and Formal Obedience, 12 yo), and our newest addition Penelope (a sweet and always-on-the-go Rat Terrier, 3 yo, I helped rescue in October 2010 along with her 5 pups, all of whom have been adopted to loving homes thanks to friends Teena H. and Carole H.)
Sadly, Angel Geronimo CRO-I CGC (a clever, sometimes shy, Australian Cattle Dog mix) was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and passed away on June 03, 2013, he was 11.5. He is missed.
Also in my Family is an 11 year old Northern Diamondback Terrapin named Lefty who was given to me by a friend and eagerly awaits his first clicker training lesson.
My beautiful dog Fox who introduced me to the field of Behavior and the world of Canine Reactivity over 15 years ago), and my 16 year old cat Ethyl both passed away in the summer of 2007. After being a part of my family for nine months, foster Aussie Casey moved to her new Home in October 2008. With the exception of a German Shepherd given to me by a friend in 1990, each of my dogs (and cats) came to me from a situation of homelessness and neglect.
Click! ~ Rally ~ Obedience ~ Tricks ~ Agility ~ Therapy Dogs ~ Canine Good Citizens ~ Tracking ~