Tabetha has been training dogs professionally since 2011. In 2012, Tabetha’s passion for training and understanding canine behavior drove her to continue her postsecondary education. She graduated in 2015, with honors, Summa Cum Laude, from Drake University, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in both psychology and business administration. While acquiring her degrees, she studied extensively in animal behavior, including the principles of behavior and applied behavior analysis. This included research on clicker training, temperament testing in dogs, and the effects of behavioral interventions (applied behavior analysis) on problem behaviors in dogs.
In 2016, Tabetha served Des Moines’ Blank Park Zoo in the capacity of Animal Care Intern. In her role, she expanded her knowledge of animal behavior by completing a project on the effects of environmental enrichment with the pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) and observed their daily training sessions. Her favorite part was training with Ross, a resident Pacific Harbor Seal. Throughout her zoo experience she also observed training of the giraffes, otters, tigers, snow leopards and an opossum.
In 2016, after completion of her internship with the zoo, Tabetha was accepted to the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) for professional dog trainers. Along with the academic requirements, KPA students attend workshops to demonstrate skills with their dog and are required to work with another species. Having previously trained her betta fish, Frankfurter Peanut Butter (Frankie P.), to leap out of the water and target a ball on the end of a stick she chose Blue Poison Dart Frogs (named Kiwi, Kumquat and Carl) as her other species. She completed her certification in 2017.
Tabetha has applied the principles of learning to many species, including humans. She has experience as an applied behavior analysis (ABA) specialist working with children with autism. The children’s individualized programming focused on four domains: communication, cognitive, social and behavioral. Under the supervision of Certified Applied Behavior Analysts, Tabetha was privileged to work with a team of professionals that helped each child and family achieve their goals. Tabetha has continued working with children and currently provides respite care to the family of a child with autism. She provides transportation to therapy appointments and lessons, helps maintain and work on motor, communication, cognitive, and social skills, as well as engaging in fun social activities.
When Tabetha isn’t at Canine Craze, she is also running her own dog care and dog training business, Dog Daze. Tabetha’s favorite pastime is dog sports, in particular agility. She started training her oldest dog, Mayo, in agility when he was 8, proving that you can teach an old dog new tricks. Mayo is a medium sized mixed breed and at 12 years old he is still competing and is working toward his PACH. Gary, her three year old black Lab, was adopted as a re-careered service dog from Puppy Jake Foundation due to his high drive. Currently, he is preparing to trial in fall 2018 or spring 2019. Gary has also been dabbling in dock dogs and tracking. Not to be forgotten, Piper, a 9 year old Toy Fox Terrier, cannot play in agility because of several health issues. She is currently working toward competing in Noseworks competitions.
Mayostardmustardayonnaise AXP AJP OFP T2BP CGC TKI-Achiever Dog
Honorably Discharged Gary Monster CGC TKN