Our Canine Academic Staff are AKC Canine Good Citizens, have titles in Rally Obedience and been trained as service dogs. They assist in demonstrating obedience and service dog skills in the courses and webinars.
Mr. Sulu is a tenured professor at Cooperative Paws and his research area of interest is health benefits of constant cuddling. His publications include the best seller: Massaging Mr. Sulu. He is an experienced service dog and is titled in Rally as well.
AKC Canine Good Citizen, Puppy Rally, Rally Level 1 Title -both with Award of Excellence for high scores. Service dog.
Yoga, horticulture and exploring new frontiers
Firefly’s primary focus is on being admired for her Royal countenance. She enjoys demonstrating precision obedience skills – “there is no excuse for bad posture” is Firefly’s mantra – and you will never see her slouch.
AKC Canine Good Citizen, Rally Obedience RL1 (Award of Excellence)
Wearing a tiara, shopping, zoology, motivational speaking.
Nigel is completing a rigorous program of studies under Prof. Sulu on the benefits of sleep yoga. He participates in many training demonstrations as he works towards completing his training in service dog work.
Adorableness, poking everything with his nose.
Woodworking, massage, toy collecting
Let’s Hear it for the Boy
Our best educators have been our own dogs. Cooperative Paws’ former staff members, beloved family members and teachers. Pets and service dogs who have passed away but are never forgotten.
Louie had a special interest in working with dogs that were timid and anxious. His interest in psychology was paralleled in his passion for cuisine. Louie developed a curriculum for “tasting menu courses” so students could cultivate a refined palette.
AKC Canine Good Citizen, service dog (trained multi step service dog tasks)
Ballroom dancing, napping on piles of pillows
Monty was a large shepherd mix adopted from a Washington DC area shelter. Monty was a “canine genious.” He earned an AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate and learned a number of complex behaviors- some trained and others that he taught himself.
Monty was an intelligent and devoted companion, family member and teacher. Monty was also a behavior modification success story, while he was comfortable with family members, he was sometimes stressed by unfamiliar people. The lessons we learned from managing, training and living with Monty for 13 1/2 years we share with each of our clients every day.
Phaser was one of Cooperative Paws most highly trained and hardest working assistants. Phaser earned an AKC Canine Good Citizen Certificate, an AKC CD obedience title (in 3 trials with placements each time), he earned many ribbons in canine frisbee and worked as a therapy dog in local nursing homes for Fairfax County Pets on Wheels and as a service dog for Veronica.
Phaser was noted and pictured in Collie Expressions magazine for his many accomplishments and nominated for the AKC ACE award and Collie Club Shining Star Award (both recognitions for service and therapy dogs). Phaser is pictured on the cover as well as seen demonstrating various assistance dog skills in the DVD, “Clicker Train Your Own Assistance Dog.”
Phaser’s accomplishments as a competitor and working dog were surpassed by his role as a beloved companion and member of the family. He was a friendly, happy dog who greeted our canine and human clients with exuberant joy, even well into his senior years.
Independent Breed Specialist
Nacho demonstrated that even challenging breeds like siberian huskies can be trained to high levels with consistent use of reward based methods. Nacho earned an AKC Canine Good Citizen certificate and worked as a therapy dog in area nursing homes for Fairfax County Pets on Wheels.
Nacho also was a behavior modification success story. He had severe separation anxiety and was unable to be confined or left alone. With hard work Veronica and Ken successfully resolved Nacho’s separation anxiety. Nacho could be left alone and also confined to a crate (which made taking him to the beach much easier). The lessons Veronica learned from working through Nacho’s separation anxiety continue to be put into use regularly with our many clients who face this challenging behavior problem.
Cupid was Veronica’s first dog and her motivation to become a dog trainer. He was a siberian husky/akita mix who developed dog aggressive behavior Veronica worked with a number of different trainers in the late 1980’s to try to address this problem where she learned how to implement training techniques that emphasize corrections. While Cupid’s obedience improved, his behavior problem with other dogs worsened. Finally in the early 90’s Veronica discovered a gentle, positive approach at a local training school and she learned how to work with Cupid effectively. With extensive practice and training, Cupid passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test as well as 2 different therapy dog program tests including the challenging Delta Pet Partners program. Cupid ended up working as a therapy dog at 4 different nursing homes for several years and doing demonstrations for school children.
Veronica was later hired by the training school that used reward-based methods where she had taken classes with Cupid, thus starting her career in animal behavior.
Not to be outshown by a canine, Clyde was a beloved and brilliant cat adopted from a local rescue group. He lived with four dogs safely and confidently – and was especially fond of using Louie as his own pillow. Clyde enjoyed learning new skills and tricks, he jumped through a hoop and responded to training cues as reliably as any well trained canine – but with his own special feline flair. He was always friendly to everyone he encountered and greeted all visitors happily at the door.