Kym Iffert lives in the suburbs of Chicago and currently has three companion dogs that work with her. Dino who is a registered therapy dog and all-around people pleaser, Sugar, a border collie mix from a rescue and a young adopted Rottweiler named Chopper. They are a fun-loving part of the family which also includes her supportive husband and three daughters. Forever in her heart is Diamond, the rescued Rottweiler who was the inspiration that prompted her life-changing move to teach others how to improve the relationships people can have with their pets and helping dogs in and from shelters through education and training. She has been consulting with families and their dogs since 2005.
Kym received her dog training certification through Animal Behavior College. ABC is approved by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education and is an internationally recognized school. The education consists of a ten-stage research based learning program covering animal behavior and training principals that concludes with an externship under an experienced, trained mentor. Kym has since become a mentor trainer through the school and works to teach other potential dog trainers the science and methods of successful force-free training.
Her use of positive reinforcement based force-free methods helps ensure success in working with animals of all breeds, ages and backgrounds which led to her becoming a behavior consultant and the Obedience Instructor as well as Director of Humane Education for Hinsdale Humane Society where she is often involved in public speaking engagements about animal behavior and teaching respect, responsibility and compassion to a variety of audiences.
In 2011, Kym joined the Family Paws Parent Education program, adding a specialty to support new and expecting families with dogs. The ultimate goal of the organization is to increase the safety of children, the success of dogs in homes with children and decrease the number of dogs surrendered to shelters due to easily preventable problems and conflicts.
In 2012 she became a licensed therapy animal team workshop trainer and evaluator for the Pet Partners. Pet Partners' Therapy Animal Program trains volunteers and screens volunteers and their pets for visiting animal programs in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, schools and other facilities. The program was established in 1990 to ensure that "both ends of the leash" people as well as animals are well-prepared to participate in therapy programs. Pet Partners' is the only national registry that requires volunteer training and screening of animal-handler teams.
My best bud! Dino and I spend his work days as a therapy dog partner team teaching children the importance of safety around animals, bite prevention, caring for a pet and how animals can change our lives for the better. He is certified as a R.E.A.D dog and goes to libraries and schools to work with children. Dino also visits nursing homes, hospitals and works in a rehabilitation and physical therapy center for children with disabilites.
He is a registered to work with:
Delta Society - Pet Partners
Rocky Mountain Therapy Dogs
Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D)
Canine Assisted Rehabilitation (CARe)
Pet-A-Pet Therapy program
Sugar is a Border Collie/Golden Retriever mix and is smarter than the average dog. This one is a real challenge to train but has taught me to be patient and to persevere in my job and my life. Sugar is the type of dog that really benefits from a strong leader and works "because she wants to". She inspires me to live a "dogosophical" life every day.
Forever in our hearts
We found Diamond in a shelter, sick with advanced heartworm disease, 30 pounds underweight and showing signs of years of abuse and neglect at the probable hands of a "backyard breeder". We took her home, healed her illnesses, showed her love and began the long journey of learning what makes a dog tick and how to re-build a trusting relationship between dog/owner. Unfortunately, time ran out with Diamond. It has become my goal to educate others to save dogs like her from being misunderstood and help them live long, happy (dogosphical) lives with the people that love them.
Chopper was picked up by a broker from a puppy mill. He became a puppy store reject because of some dental issues and illness at 9 weeks old (typical puppy mill - illness and poor breeding). Thankfully, the broker decided to pawn him off on a shelter and where Kym happened upon him at the Hinsdale Humane Society. After putting him through her typical puppy temprament assessment. 10 weeks old, sweet, smart and beautiful. How could one resist? She adopted Chopper in honor of her beloved Diamond. He is her "second chance Rottweiler" and is already making her proud in obedience, behavior and will hopefully soon be changing people's minds about Bully Breeds by joining the therapy programs with Dino.
Dogosophy can be summed up as "Training with a Brain".
"Working with many different breeds and personalities is what keeps me on my toes and helps me be a better teacher for my clients.
Learning what makes each individual dog tick and working with thier own natural behaviors is what helps to ensure success."
(Please read to learn about my continuing education and specialties)