Dogs have been an important part of my life since I was nine years old when my first dog – a tan and white beagle – joined the family. It didn’t take long before I had “gone to the dogs” and it has been that way ever since. Dogs quickly became a way of life for me and over the years I have had a number of dogs – all of them beagles. Today my canine companions are three lovely beagles.
For almost 40 years I have been engaged in many different activities with my own dogs – both for training and competitive purposes: competitive obedience, tracking, conformation shows, junior handling, agility, flyball, rally-obedience, freestyle (HTM).
For about 35 years I also bred beagles under the prefix Susquatch. I have always sincerely enjoyed the close relationship that comes with training my dogs – both as an important aspect of the human-canine bond that goes with living with dogs and when working towards competitive goals in different dog sports. In 1999 I learned about clicker training and it has been my preferred approach to training since then. Over the years my dogs have gained numerous titles and championships – primarily in competitive obedience, rally-obedience and conformations shows. My current three dogs hold a total of two Danish obedience championships, three rally-o championships, and five conformation championship titles (Danish and international).
In 1984 I became an obedience trainer with the Danish Beagle Club and worked as a volunteer trainer for the club for 18 years. In 1998 I enrolled at Etologisk Institut where I completed my training as an animal behaviorist in 2000. I stayed with the institute as a teacher, tutor for a large number of students, external lecturer, and behavior counselor until 2008. During those years I did extensive behavior modification work with dogs with behavioral problems.
In 2008 I joined Hund & Træning – a Danish company of dedicated dog people that offers a number of educational programs (dog trainer, clicker trainer, dog behaviorist) as well as behavior modification for dogs, lectures, regular dog training classes, and other courses. From 2003-2012 the company also put out a dog training magazine to which I have contributed numerous articles on training and behavioral topics over the years. Additionally, I was co-editor of the magazine during 2008-2012. Over the years I have also held courses and given lectures on dog training and behavioral topics for many different dog clubs.
In my “private” life I hold an MA from Odense University. From 1994-1998 I taught at Odense University and several high schools. Upon completing my training as a dog behaviorist in 2000, I made “the final leap” (of faith) and made work with dogs a full-time commitment. Today my work primarily consists of teaching in the various educational programs and courses offered by Hund & Træning, working as a behavior counselor for dogs with behavioral problems, teaching courses and giving lectures in other dog clubs, and working on a book project with a colleague.
Karen S. Ulrich
Karen will be talking about Calming Signals at the Judges’ Conference.