Emma Parsons, KPA CTP, APDT, CDBC has been training dogs for more than 20 years, and is currently the Canine Behavior Training Consultant for the VCA Rotherwood Animal Hospital in Newton, MA.
She specializes in managing and rehabilitating the reactive and aggressive dog.
Emma is a faculty member of Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior as well as of the Karen Pryor ClickerExpo conferences.
She gives "Click to Calm" seminars around the world, teaching others how to manage and rehabilitate reactive and aggressive dogs.
Emma holds a BA degree from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and shares her life with her husband, Greg, and their four clicker-trained dogs—three Goldens, Lizzie-Taylor, Kayden-Blue, Austyn-Roque, and a Papillion, Wylie-Rae.
The “Click to Calm” methodology teaches the handler how to communicate and interact with her dog safely in a formerly challenging environment. In turn, the dog learns how to keep himself safe by maintaining emotional self-control. Instead of the dog reacting at the end of his leash, he remains a thinking dog and gives his attention directly to the handler. Once this happens, the handler can then insert alternate or incompatible behaviors for him to perform. Eventually the cue of the aversive stimulus (commonly strangers and other dogs) becomes the cue, in and of itself, to give the handler voluntary eye contact.
The “Click to Calm” methodology utilizes the science of clicker training to effectively and creatively develop strategies that will help calm and manage the reactive/aggressive dog. This program is designed specifically for any dog that is uncomfortable around certain types of stimuli: the most common being people and other dogs. It is also a great program for newly adopted shelter dogs.
What I am going to present to you is my own case study about my golden retriever, Benjamin. It was through Ben that I met Karen Pryor and, thus, found some of the most effective ways to deal with aggression and fear-based behavior in dogs.I purchased Ben from a breeder at seven weeks of age with the intent of showing him in competition obedience. At the age of five months, we started working with a wonderful obedience competition coach by the name of Patty Ruzzo, who employs purely operant conditioning training techniques. Ben blossomed under her tutelage.