CARAT will help the overpopulation problem from the front end. Picking the correct dog will keep that dog out of the shelters and keep re-homed dogs with their new people.
CARAT is a novel assessment system that categorizes behavior traits in multiple components that are intuitive and practical. It is the assessment system currently in use at Guiding Eyes for the Blind, one of the world's largest guide dog schools, and is used to evaluate puppies, breeding stock and dogs coming in for training.
CARAT takes a detailed view of the individual dog as a unique combination of many factors working together to influence, exacerbate, mitigate and enhance each other. In the profile created by the nuances and specifics of this complex interaction of multiple traits, an accurate picture is created of the individual, regardless of breed or age. It is unique in its recognition that a response to any given stimulus can either inhibit or activate the animal, attract the animal or create avoidant behavior, and that the distinction between the two is critical in understanding the individual. Preliminary results from
ongoing longitudinal studies are validating CARAT's use in predicting the success of guide dogs and in the selection of guide dog breeding stock. The results of a small study of 83 breeding animals using CARAT assessment demonstrated the possible value of the CARAT profile as a phenotypical predictor of genotypical success as guide dog producers [presented by Dr. Rudy de Meester, veterinary behaviorist, at the European Society of Veterinary Clinical Ethology conference, Barcelona, 2008]. A current study by Hobbes et al (to be published) shows CARAT traits to form a statistically significant model for predicting success in guide dogs, and identifying the CARAT traits that have significant heritability.
Involved professionally with dogs since 1977, Suzanne's background is widely varied, with experience in breeding, kennel management, grooming, showing, training, canine midwifery, puppy aptitude testing, instructing, behavior consultations, in-home training, K-9 Search & Rescue, holistic health care and various club memberships & activities. She served as a committee member for the
American Humane Association's Task Force for the Development of Humane Standards for Dog Training, and as a member of the AKC's Agility Advisory Board. She has taught seminars on a wide variety of topics in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Belgium, Holland, and Italy, and spoken for groups as diverse as FEMA Northeast Region Disaster Dog Teams, Alaskan Dog Mushers Association and Wolf Park. She is a frequent & popular speaker at the Association for Pet Dog Trainers' annual conference.
From 2006-2009, she served as a consultant for Guiding Eyes for the Blind's Canine Development Center in Patterson, NY, developing a new approach for the Guiding Eyes puppy raising program, based on her Relationship Centered Training techniques and philosophy. She also created new puppy and adult temperament tests along with a behavior assessment tool, CARAT. These new tests and CARAT are proving to be valuable tools for serious trainers and breeders. CARAT trainings are being introduced in the US, Belgium and Italy in 2011.
Suzanne continues to teach seminars in the US and internationally, and is developing new educational materials. Her book, Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs (Warner, 2002) has received widespread acclaim, and has been published in German, Italian and soon in Croatian. "BONES" was twice voted a top dog book by The Wall Street Journal, and appears on many professional training organizations' top 10 list.
At For Your K9 our focus is on developing and strengthening the bond between people and their dogs. Our approach is based on Suzanne Clothier’s unique Relationship Centered Training (RCT). The RCT philosophy matches our goals to promote a relationship of harmony and mutual respect between humans and dogs. Our vision is humans and dogs truly enjoying their relationship with understanding, caring and love.
For more information please contact us at (847) 671-6844.
# # #
For Your Canine offers a wide variety of classes and activities that will help your dog become a well trained and enjoyable companion. From puppy-hood to serious dog sport competitor, we are here to help you enjoy every step of a life shared with dogs.