Welcome to the Blog!

Now, who am I and what on earth are we doing here?

Welcome to the very first post for the Quest Companion Dog Training blog! I’ll admit, I am both excited and nervous to be writing this.

Nercited? Exervous? I don’t know.

I’m excited because, as a dog trainer, I want to tackle lots of fun topics. These are things that I am passionate to share with you, a dog owner! I’m excited because I love introducing others to the crazy nerdom of animal behavior. There’s going to be a theme to a lot of the topics I post about:

No big deal, really. Science is awesome, and learning more about it can make our lives better. Pretty basic.

So why am I nervous? I’m nervous because there are a lot of big, heavy societal misunderstandings around what it means to be a dog, and what it means to be a dog’s guardian. Many long-held and widely shared beliefs don’t actually fit what we’ve since learned from scientific inquiry, and these relics can make life…well, shall we say, unpleasant…on both ends of the leash. I want to help brush away some of that noise, and take the unrealistic pressures off of you and your pup. It’s a big order, but I hope to rise to the challenge.

And who, exactly, am I? Oh, glad you asked! I probably should have introduced myself before sharing my intimate desires for this little project with you…

I’m Ellen Schmidt, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP and Atlas CT, and owner here at Quest Companion Dog Training. I’m a multi-certified professional dog trainer, and I’ve been actively training dogs since 2011. I’ve also been actively obsessed with all things dog and the dog world since…um…let’s say somewhere around 1989. I’m a hardcore dog girl and always have been.

It all started pretty simply: as a kid I spent most of my free time with our family dog, Sammy, and read every book about dogs I could get my hands on, fiction and non. That bloomed into an obsession in learning everything I could about the different breeds—where they came from, what jobs they did—then curiosity about how you could breed and train a dog to do a job. How did hunting dogs hunt? What about herding? And how do you train a service dog? In between my curious wonderings I daydreamed about my ideal dog, and about working with and helping animals as a job. When I was old enough, I brought home the first dog of my own, a beautiful Irish Wolfhound named Darcy. With her, I plunged into the worlds of conformation showing, obedience training, and therapy dog work.

I was also super fortunate that my dog obsession and career interests worked well together. As soon as I was 18, I started professionally working with animals, first as an assistant in veterinary clinics, then working for a groomer, followed by some time at a doggie day care, and finally landing the job that changed my life at a non-profit animal shelter. I stayed at that shelter for over 12 years, moving through various roles. I helped families connect with pets for adoption, and later helped families connect with information about their pets as a humane educator and professional trainer.

So, that’s my background. As you can probably tell, teaching others about animals is kind of my jam. I love doing it, and I hope to be of some service to you.

Now that you know a bit more about me, let’s dive in, shall we!

If you ever want to chat about what I’ve shared, have questions or comments, remember you can reach out using the CONTACT ME page!


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