New update: Lilian is now teaching classes for the Western Pa. Humane Society out of their Crafton facility. She is teaching puppy pre-school and adult basic 1. To learn more and to sign up, please go to the website: http://www.wpahumane.com/obedience.html”
Lilian Akin got her start training dogs by volunteering at Animal Friends, a no-kill shelter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She started out by working with shelter dogs under the guidance of volunteer trainers. She later interned with local behavior counselors and began teaching public classes at the shelter.
She longed to learn methods that did not involve force. The methods used when she started training were traditional: choke chains and no treats. She then attended a week long APDT Conference and later, an Instructor Training Course through Dogs Of Course where she learned about using positive reinforcement in the manner of treats, toys and clickers.
Using positive reinforcement is something everyone can do. It is fun for the dog and fun for the human. It makes training fun for everyone involved and helps create a relationship based upon trust between the handler and the dog.
Lilian continues to volunteer at Animal Friends teaching classes, working on the behavior team to help rehabilitate shelter dogs, doing private consultations and assisting adopters in keeping their shelter dog in their home and just having fun at the shelter, as well as during special events.
Since 2004, she has been in business for herself doing in-home dog training and behavioral consultations. She assists clients in picking out the right dog for their home, in preparing families for the arrival of a baby, in general manners training, and in assisting with behavioral problems from aggression to anxiety.