Each year, the Academy hosts our own version of The Academy Awards. These awards serve as an outlet for fun, and to help us counteract the hard work of fighting the war on aversives and to celebrate the contributions of Academy members to the force-free community and the industry.
In the past, we’ve celebrated smiles, like Valentino’s below. We’ve celebrated interspecies and conspecific friendships, we’ve celebrated great tricks and pictures of dogs snoozing in funny positions, and we’ve celebrated meaningful contributions from our members and beyond, like hard-hitting, popular blogs and fantastic campaigns designed to educate and improve welfare for dogs.
We are fortunate to have among our members writers like Zazie Todd of Companion Animal Psychology and Lisa Skavienski of Your Pit Bull and You, both of whom have won in the Best Blog category and whose contributions to the field are immeasurable. There’s no shortage of ideas within the Academy, and projects such as Harness the Love have been honored for their contribution to the larger community.
The Academy is a strong proponent for science-based literacy, and we presented Eileen Anderson with a special award that we call The Academy Applauds for her contributions to the field through her blog and her book. Bob Bailey was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award in 2016 for his body of work, which has changed and expanded the definitions of “Think, Plan, Do” for so many of us.
Dog training can be an isolating endeavor and within the Academy, we have members all over the world, from Singapore to rural America, from Hong Kong to Sydney. Living in the digital era has allowed us all to connect in ways that we simply were not able to in the past. Since its inception in 2011, the Academy has helped build friendships between dog trainers who would likely never have had the chance to meet, otherwise. Fostering these relationships and helping students grow are the cornerstone of our ethos.
The Academy has created a culture of collaboration, mutual respect and personal and professional growth. Bonds have been created, minds engaged and careers started. We are proud of our students and their commitment to force-free training and the Academy Awards is a way for all of us to show off some more of our personalities and get to know each other….and everyone’s dogs a little bit better!
This year’s winners included Tracy Krulik and I Speak Dog for Idea of the Year, Casey McGee of Upward Hound for Best Blog for her piece entitled “Tell Me What You Want” and we presented the Kim Monteith and Emilia Gordon with The Academy Applauds award for their incredible work at the BC SPCA.
We’re incredibly proud of our students and their commitment to learning and raising the standard in the dog training industry. We’re also proud of their spirit of competition and fun, because no one gets into dogs to add more drudgery to their lives!