DOG TRAINING QUALIFICATIONS:I am a cross-over trainer who has been training dogs for over thirteen years. I am an Association of Professional Dog Trainers Foundation Board of Trustee member; the Chair of Outreach and the Co-Chair of Research. I am involved in Search and Rescue as a member (probationary status) of Massachusetts Rescue and Recovery K9 Unit; I am a human remains K-9 handler working towards certification. My live find Logan Haus Kennel puppy should arrive this August.
I am a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI) with the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). Currently, I teach K9 Nose Work® classes as well as conduct scientific research in animal behavior. Additionally, I am currently finishing up my Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) qualification. I hold a Primary certification in TAGteach (teaching with acoustical guidance) instruction and I am working toward my full certification in Behavior Adjustment Training (CBATI). See Professional Development Here: http://www.k9sniffworks.com/professionaldevelopment/
K9 Nose Work Trials: I believe it is important for those who teach a sport compete in that sport as well as volunteer to help out that sport themselves. I am currently competing at the Nose Work 2 (NW2) level with my Australian JRT Possum and at the NW1 level with my US JRT Zacharey (14.5 yrs young) ; and my Chihuahua Jasper, a rescue from North Central LA. We have a 17 yr old Shiba x Chi who doesn’t compete but enjoys K9NW fun and to be honest is one of the best sniffers in the house!
We received, what is to me and many others, the highest honor in the K9 Nose Work® world when we were awarded the Harry Award in Nov 2012 upon titling at the NW1 level.
K9 NOSE WORK® BACKGROUND: I have I have been working diligently to further my knowledge of scent work, dog-handler team dynamics, and odor characteristics and dispersal in varied environments. I have spent hundreds of hours of observing hundreds of dog-handler teams train and compete in scent work. The multitude of hours spent observing behavior changes and handler pressure on dogs working a task has made me a keen observer of handler teams. I have over 600 hours of volunteer time at K9 Nose Work® trials on the east coast, west coast, and down south.
I have taken, assisted, taught, competed, or audited K9 Nose Work® classes in over 19 US states and 3 countries. Most recently:
- I spent 2 months in LA taking and auditing 10+ nose work classes a week with NACSW Founders, Faculty, and CNWIs.
- This past summer upon approval from the NACSW Founders, I spent 5 weeks in Australia teaching K9 Nose Work® classes as well as doing 3 working clinics in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide (the first official K9 Nose Work® offerings overseas)
- Spent 2 weeks in Chengdu, China teaching K9 Nose Work® classes and clicker training as an invited Instructor.
ACADEMIC BACKGROUND: I have a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Veterinary and Animal Science from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a Master’s Qualifying (Hons) in Bioethics from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. I am currently completing my thesis for a Master in Bioethics by Research at Monash. Currently, I take classes at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA when I have the time. I spent most of 2008 in Geneva at the World Health Organization in the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights (IER/ETH), though I did spent that summer at Yale University’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics working and interning.
CURRENT RESEARCH: My current research interests focus on bioethics, animal welfare, animal behavior (ethology), environmental enrichment, cognitive and evolutionary links between humans and domestic dogs, K9 Nose Work® in the shelter environment, and least invasive methods of animal training. I am finishing up my Masters in Bioethics, completing course work and practicum work to become a Certified Training Partner (KPA-CTP) with the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior. I currently focus on training and animal welfare in the following locations: New England (Western Mass); Phuket, Thailand; Melbourne, AU; and Chengdu, China.
RESEARCH STUDIES: While in Thailand I conduct environmental enrichment study research and volunteer at the not-for-profit Soi Dog Foundation. My study ‘The Efficacy of Toy Introduction as an Environmental Enrichment Tool for long-term communally housed Canis familiaris’ has been granted ethical clearance and I will begin gathering data early next year. While at Terry Ryan’s I undertook a study to examine whether or not early growth stage table-top behaviors adequate predictors of later growth stage performance outcomes for smaller breed chickens engaged in operant conditioning. My most recent undertaking is K9 Nose Work® in the Shelter Environment and Effect on Stereotypy Presentation.
TERRY RYAN’S (Internship and dog training): While at Terry’s I undertook an internship projects with her, observed behavior modification consults, worked on my training skills, attended chicken camp, prepared chickens for chicken camp attendees, undertook the practical portion of my KPA-CTP certification, assisted with Terry Ryan brand merchandise design and purchasing, and began work on a booklet for former street-dog adoptions. Importantly, I was introduced to K9 Nose Work® while at Terry’s by Elaine Dietrich, who studied under Dorothy Turley, an exceptionally talented CNWI.
KEEN INTERESTS: Other than my keen interest in detection work and odor characteristics within varied environments, I have developed a keen interest in the World’s so-called ‘Pariah’ dogs; the niche they inhabit; the communities of people who live alongside these semi-feral free-ranging community dogs in least economically developed and emerging economy countries; the ethical considerations surrounding animal welfare; and the direct, though often seemingly neglected, link between animal health and human health and welfare in the settings mentioned above.
Jennifer Porth has been clicker training her own dogs since 2001 and has jumped into K9 Nose Work® with both feet without looking back. She is an NACSW Score Room Lead and does K9 Nose Work in the Shelter® 2 days a week at Thomas J O’Connor Animal Control & Adoption Center in Springfield, MA. She competes with her Dutch Shepherd Daphne, a rescue from TJO, and with her Chi-Weenie-Russell Lily, who is a rescue from South Central LA. She and her Dutchie are so dedicated to K9 Nose Work® that they moved across the country for 2 months to learn about nose work from the NACSW Founders, Faculty, and CNWI’s in Los Angeles CA! Plus, she has spent over 400 hours volunteering at K9 Nose Work® trials on the east coast, west coast, and down south.When she is not traveling to learn everything there is to know about nose work she takes K9 Nose Work® classes with Carolyn Barney in Hudson, holds sniff-n-go classes in Western MA, as well as being an assistant instructor with Jennifer Brown. As if that is doesn’t keep her busy enough she is a full time accounting student and freelances as K9 Sniff Works book-keeper.