MEET LIZ DIVER, ANIMAL
Growing up, my family always had a
multitude of dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and small mammals.
I realized at a very early age, that not only did each animal
have a distinct personality, but that each animal responded very
differently to different people. Such as our Saint
Bernard, who was completely obedient for my sister, but would
totally ignore the same commands from my brother. Or, our
cat that was as sweet as could be with our family, but would
climb on top of a corner cupboard and "launch" on to the head of
strangers, (yes, with claws outstretched!)
I was amazed and fascinated by an
animal's ability to differentiate between human moods, attitudes
and intentions. This, coupled with my love for all
animals, led me to my first job, as a veterinary assistant at
age 16. Through that job and subsequent veterinary
assistant positions, working in a pet shop and working in
several capacities at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, I gained
more experience and insight into the world of animal behavior.
One of the aspects of this that
struck me most intently, was, just how many pet owners didn't
really understand how to read their pets and how to handle them
correctly. I was constantly exposed to people who
complained about their pet's bad behavior, then, inadvertently,
reinforced it. For example, one dog owner was complaining
about how her dog barked at company. "From the minute they
ring the door bell, he starts barking. We can't even have
a cup of tea with a guest because Cuddles is sounding off the
entire time they are here." I asked her what she did when
Cuddles barked at guests. She said, "Well, I put him in my
lap and pet him to calm him down."
So, from the owner's point of view:
"I'm being a good, loving, owner." From the
dog's point of view: "When I bark at people I get
attention and loving - GREAT!
I'll do it more!"
I knew I wanted to, no NEEDED to,
help these owners understand their pets and better communicate
with them. With that in mind, I continued my "hands-on"
training, but wanted more formal education as well. I
wanted more than strictly "behavior training", but more
background on what shapes behaviors, characteristics and
personalities. Finally finding the right combination, I
attended, then graduated from, the University of California, San
Diego with a Bachelor Degree in Ecology, Behavior and Evolution.
A multi-faceted program that digs much deeper into "why", not
So, why settle for an okay
relationship with your pet? Why "put up" with the actions
and attitudes that get in the way of having a GREAT
relationship? Call me at 541-591-8123 or
E-Mail me, at
Liz at HappyPetsByLiz.com so we can get
you and your pet communicating better and having a wonderful