Ali Brown has been running reactive dog classes since 2002, helping to mitigate the lunging, pulling, barking, fearful behavior and aggressive displays that go along with having a reactive dog for hundreds of people.
She graduated from Ursinus College with a B.S. in Psychology, and earned her M.Ed. in Human Development / Behavioral Science from Lehigh University. Working earlier in her career as a behavior therapist/consultant with mentally challenged children and adults, she made a fulfilling switch to working with dogs in 1998.
In 2001, Ali became one of the first 100 trainers to receive her CPDT title (Certified Pet Dog Trainer) from Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). In May 2008, she became a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). Ali takes great pride in providing non-force training methods for dogs and their people.
She lives, trains and works with Bing, an 8-year-old Belgian Sheepdog whose antics qualify him for his own his own blog on Ali’s Great Companions website (click here). She also has two rescues, Tango and Harriet. Acacia, the Belgian sheepdog that started Ali on her mission to help owner’s of reactive dogs, crossed the rainbow bridge in April 2012.
Ali is a great believer in forever learning. She attends seminars, IAABC conferences and Clicker Expo conferences regularly. Recent continuing education events Ali has attended include two separate Nose Work seminars. The first was in April 2010: Intro to Nose Work and was presented by Jill-Marie O’Brien and Amy Herot. The second, Intro to Odor, took place in June 2011 and was attended by three Great Companions trainers. As a result, Great Companions has a VERY popular and full C-WAGS Scent Detective program.
Also in June 2010, Ali attended the 4-day CAPPDT conference (Canadian APDT), in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. There, Ali presented her 8-hour Scaredy Dog Seminar, complete with video examples from actual training exercises shot at Great Companions.
You can read about one of the more unusual training events Ali was involved in — a week-long Chicken Camp, run by behavior guru, Bob Bailey, and hosted by Terry Ryan in Washington State. Click here for the whole story.
Giving is as important as receiving, and Ali does just that. She has been traveling the nation, delivering her day-long seminar on fearful and reactive dogs; this seminar has taken her as far as Arizona and Florida. By the end of 2013 she’ll have given seminars in Pennsylvania (2), California and Alaska. Ali leaps at any invitation to share the information she has learned regarding this issue.
Another passion for her is Rally. Ali is an C-WAGS judge at all levels. What makes Rally unique is that it is competitive obedience for anyone and everyone, regardless of age, gender, breed, mix, handicap, or level of competitiveness. It’s more about the relationship between the owner and the dog and having fun, than it is about precision. Ali’s judging assignments are usually close to home, but they have taken her as far west as Arizona and California; she plans on repeating those assignments as often as possible. Ali was the Advisor to the Board of Directors of the APDT for Rally and was the Co-Chair of the Rally committee.
Agility has become a source of amazement for Ali. Agility is a real craze among dog-lovers, but what Ali finds most fascinating is how precise body movement and posture must be in order to communicate effectively with your canine partner. She’s always known that body language is important; agility makes that fact screamingly clear! Click here to see Ali and Bing in action in Agility.
Ali has traveled extensively, living for two years in London, England, and seven years in Ottawa, Canada, before coming back to the Lehigh Valley. More recently, Ali’s travels usually include her husband and at least two dogs and have taken them to Glacier National Park, Montana; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Arizona; Moab, Utah; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Austin, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Estes Park, Colorado; along with numerous other trips within 200 miles that include camping and hotel stays, big cities and little towns, state and national parks, and all with the dogs — and more recently her daughter, Cyan — coming along for the ride.
Ali’s second book, FOCUS NOT FEAR, TRAINING INSIGHTS FROM A REACTIVE DOG CLASS (2008) is available on this website and through Dogwise.
Her first book, SCAREDY DOG! UNDERSTANDING AND REHABILITATING YOUR REACTIVE DOG, was published in June 2004 and revised in 2009. The book can be purchased through Dogwise, Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble and other book sellers nationally and in the UK, downloadable from Kindle and Dogwise, and is available through this Web site. It includes training methods that are easy to implement, and comes from her experience with individual training sessions and group classes on the subject. For more information on the book please go to the Scaredy Dog! Web page. Ali’s Scaredy Dog seminar, which is based on her book, is also available on DVD.