About Us

 
 
dr. colleen quinn veterinarian and owner of pet pals country club in columbia city, indiana

Colleen Quinn, DVM

Dr. Quinn graduated from The Purdue University Veterinary School and has been training dogs for over 20 years. She specializes in dog behavior, with an extensive education from the Purdue Behavior School and the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior. Her entire veterinary staff is Fear-Free certified, a guarantee that patients in her care will be handled with gentle, non-stressful methods. She also has a special interest in helping families adjust with their newly adopted pets, keeping kids and dogs safe together (through certification with Family Paws), and working with puppies and kittens to prevent behavior problems.

A Little History

Dr. Quinn’s two favorite “Life Stories” she likes to tell are that as a young child before second grade she actually was developing a fear of dogs (stemming from a mother who coincidentally is not an animal lover at all), but thankfully her father brought home a little beagle mix named Peanuts one day and she was hooked! In third grade when her teacher (her aunt, by the way) gave her a “C” in handwriting she was devastated because she was sure that would ruin her chances to get into veterinary school.  After much practice to bring that grade up she continued on to successfully graduate from The Purdue University Veterinary School in 1991. She is proud of her degree and her continued good penmanship!

Crossing Over From Punishment to Positive Training

Learning about behavior in animals and treating their emotional as well as physical needs has always been a priority with Dr. Quinn. She began teaching puppy classes at C.C. Veterinary Hospital within a few years of joining the practice in 1992. As time went on and she purchased the practice in 2003 she began to delve deeper into behavior and start dreaming of some day having a training center and working with behavior full-time. She became what is known as a crossover trainer which means she left all forms of punishment based training behind (choke collars, forced commands) and became all positive based. Continuing education through the Purdue Behavior School, Midwest Veterinary Conference and others soon led her to The Karen Pryor Academy where she graduated from a 6 month Professional Dog Training Program to become one of their Certified Training Partners. Being able to open a training/boarding/behavior consulting business is a dream come true for Dr. Quinn. She hopes to spend many years expanding her services and helping the people and pets in Northeastern Indiana. Educating people about their pet’s body language and how to be more respectful and humane to our animals are her goals through Pet Pals.

Dr. Quinn’s Pet & Human Family

Dr. Quinn has had many of her own pets over the years but currently only has seven dogs, five cats, two birds, four mini horses and a mini donkey! She has competed with one of her dogs in CPE agility as well. She does actually spend time with some human family too including her wonderful husband who tolerates all of her critters and projects, her daughter and son, and the cutest ever grandson!


 
katy bickford pet pals country club staff in columbia city Indiana

Katy Bickford

Katy is a North East Indiana native, Graduating from Concordia Lutheran High School in 2014. Her passion for animals prompted her to attend Purdue University. There she received a Bachelor's Degree in Animal Science, concentrating in Animal Behavior and Well-Being in May 2018. Katy cares for dogs being boarded in our facility, and also assists in our puppy and adult training classes. She’s a KPA Dog Trainer Foundations graduate with a farm background, working with sheep, goats, cattle, and chickens, and also dogs.

Katy’s Interests and Pet Family

When she isn’t caring for dogs, she enjoys reading, writing short stories, and painting. She has had many pets over the years, but currently owns only one dog, her beautiful red lab named Rosie, who has dealt with her own behavioral “issues.” Katy has taken to working with her using clicker training. Katy’s passion for both animals and people gave her the interest in animal behavior, and she looks forward to putting positive training into practice. She hopes to someday work with service animals.

Training Philosophy

We at Pet Pals Country Club are passionate about caring for, training and improving the lives of animals. We are committed to only using Fear Free, Positive Reinforcement, Non-Aversive methods of training to support and strengthen the human animal bond and create a more humane world for both pets and people.

positive reinforcement dog training in columbia city indiana

Fear Free

What is Fear-Free? It is an initiative that began in the veterinary community in 2016 to educate the veterinary, pet professional, and pet owning population on emotional well-being, enrichment, and the reduction of fear, anxiety and stress (FAS) in pets. It involves learning to identify stress in animals and providing a variety of ways to help alleviate that stress. Here at Pet Pals Country Club we know that pets may be stressed while away from home so we have set up our entire facility to maintain their comfort. We will inquire about your pet’s specific needs, anxieties, and preferences so we can make their visit comfortable and Fear Free. We can also help deal with any FAS your pet has in other environments such as the veterinary clinic, groomers, or in your own home through behavior consulting and training services. For further information go to fearfreepets.com.  

Positive Reinforcement

A lot of trainers will throw around the words “positive reinforcement” but what exactly does it mean? In the science of training it is one of four types of reinforcement which involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus (ie:a piece of cheese) following a behavior (ie: sit) that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. It is a very specific way to teach behaviors and is not just about giving cookies or never telling a dog no. A trainer must be well educated in what is called operant conditioning to correctly apply and teach it. One of the most common tools in positive reinforcement is the clicker. We at Pet Pals are well educated in operant conditioning training methods and utilize clicker training extensively.

Non-Aversive

This is a term used to indicate that all of our methods, training tools, and techniques are geared towards increasing desirable behaviors through pleasant and motivating rewards to the animal. This is proven to be much more successful and humane over focusing on  decreasing undesirable behaviors through unpleasant or punishing stimulus (choke, prong, shock collars). Just as we would repeat a task that earns us a pleasant reward much quicker than if we learned to do it in order to avoid a punishment so too will our pets learn faster, better and stronger through our non-aversive methods such as clicker training. In wanting to build a stronger bond with our pets we must build the relationship up with trust, enthusiasm, and joy.

LIMA Guidelines

”Least Intrusive, Minimally Invasive”- The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants has put forth a set of guidelines for trainers and pet professionals regarding techniques used for training animals that Pet Pals strictly adheres to and supports. Force and Fear based methods should never be used as we work towards a more humane world for our animals.

https://m.iaabc.org/about/position-statements/lima/

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