Hi there, my name is Mary Thompson and I am the owner of Happy Hound University. As cliche as this is going to sound, I have always loved and had a passion for animals. As a little girl I had a habit of spending the majority of my time at family parties with the pets, and once created a powerpoint presentation to convince my mom we should get another dog. In college I would go to the animal shelter before my 8:00 am classes to walk dogs. For as long as I can remember, the dogs in my family have always been my best friends, and my desire to enrich their lives and improve the quality of our relationships were the spark for my passion in positive dog training.
My own dog, Regis the beagle mix, was the dog that truly sparked my interest in behavior. I adopted him when he was 5 months old, from a rescue that found him during a puppymill bust. Little did I know, Regis would teach me a lot about patience, empathy, and understanding dogs. He was your typical puppy when I adopted him, but at a year old he started barking and lunging at people and dogs on leash, and snapping at me when I approached him if he had a valued item. It was Regis who taught me the importance of understanding what a dog is thinking, how to read their postures, and how to go about modifying their behavior.
Through several years of mentoring, studying under the wonderful Pat Miller at her facility in Maryland, graduating with Honors from the prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, self-education and rescue work, I have come to understand that dogs do not misbehave to spite, and rarely can their behaviors be attributed to dominance. Dogs are visitors in our strange and alien human world, and it is my goal to breach the communcation barrier between dogs and their people, to create a peaceful and enjoyable relationship for all parties involved.