Training Matters Dog Trainer – Sara Matters
A former zookeeper who worked with species spanning the entire zoo collection, Sara Matters is a certified dog trainer and animal behavior consultant with 25 years’ experience handling everything from llamas to Labradors. She is formally trained in how animals learn, how to achieve desired behaviors, and how to condition dogs to respond to the typical challenges of daily life. She continues her education in animal learning today through attending animal training workshops with some of the best trainers in the country.
Contemporary life is not an easy situation for all dogs. We ask a lot when we bring them into our households with little understanding of their behaviors and without strategies for addressing their needs. Sara lends her expertise in animal behavior to help people train and live better with their dogs. Training Matters uses force-free techniques to teach dogs the manners necessary to be a good family member and to address behavior problems.
This means reward-based training, using analysis of problem behavior and motivation rather than punishment to achieve essential behaviors–and a happier dog. Sara tailors her dog training plan to meet your schedule and individual animal. She also assesses your dog’s home environment and routine, and how they may be simply altered to everyone’s benefit.
Reach Sara now at 802-689-0707 to set up your first session
Education & Experience
- Florida Institute of Technology – Currently pursuing the BCBA course sequence in applied behavior analysis
- Master’s degree – Animal Behavior & Conservation, Hunter College, New York, NY (2016)
- Living and Learning with Animals course, Dr. Susan Friedman (2010)
- Animal Behavior College certification in dog training (2009)
- Zookeeper, Turtle Back Zoo, West Orange, New Jersey (2006-2008); Newark Museum mini-zoo (2008-2009)
- Operant conditioning chicken workshops, clinicians Bob Bailey and Parvene Farhoody, Columbia, MD (2013)
- Wildlife training workshop for zoo professionals, Natural Encounters, Winter Haven, FL (2008)
- Seminars at Wolf Park, trainer Ken McCort and others, Battle Ground, IN
- Seminars at St. Hubert’s of Giralda, trainer Dr. Patricia McConnell and others, Madison, N.J.
- Parrot training workshop, with parrot expert Barbara Heidenreich
- Dogs of Course seminars, including intensive workshop on separation anxiety in pet dogs
- Zoo Animal Welfare conference, Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, IL (2013)
- Association of Zoos and Aquariums conference, Philadelphia, PA (2007)
- Assessing Fearful Dogs: An Examination of Intra-rater and Inter-rater Reliability of the ASPCA’s Behavior Evaluation of Fearful Dogs (2016)
- Dolphin behavior study, Hunter College (2012)
- Chimpanzee enrichment study, Earthwatch Expeditions (2000)
- ASPCA’s Behavior Rehabilitation Center, assisting with rehabilitation protocols for dogs from hoarding situations and puppy mills, St. Hubert’s of Giralda, Madison, N.J.
- Farming Connections, training farm animals that provide animal-assisted therapy to children with emotional and behavioral challenges, Guilford, VT
- Woodbridge Animal Shelter, training and evaluating shelter dogs, Woodbridge, N.J.