For Robin MacFarlane, effective dog training is combination of science and art. Robin believes it is critical to understand the science of learning and the techniques behind each tool. But, she also believe that without an ability to read the dog and adapt to the moment, a dog and owner can never develop a deep relationship based on mutual respect and communication.
Early in her animal career, Robin worked as a veterinary technician. During that time, she often witnessed pet owners seeking help for behavioral issues rather than medical ones. Too often, those situations lead to euthanasia because the dog had become too dangerous or the owner too overwhelmed. Those experiences left a profound impact and ignited her desire to help pet owners better understand their canine companion.
In 1994 Robin made the decision to help create change in the lives of dogs and their owners. She started a puppy preschool program and offered training part-time as she continued working in the animal hospital. It was in that fall of 1997, while recovering from an auto accident, that Robin decided she wanted to pursue her training passion full time. She left her position in the veterinary hospital and founded That’s My Dog, Inc., in May of 1998.
Over the course of her career, Robin has attended a variety of training schools, seminars, and workshops. She continually expands her knowledge and hones her skills so she can better assist others in connecting with their canine companion. The commitment to finding what works for each dog-owner team sets her apart. Robin has helped thousands of pet owners manage or resolve dog behavior problems and move on to more fully enjoy their life together.
“Dog training is more than a method or particular technique. It is a lifetime journey of building a relationship based on mutual respect and successful communication” ~ Robin MacFarlane
Robin improves the human-canine bond through tailor-made solutions that address the needs of both the owner and the dog. Her abilities as a trainer and instructor are unmatched and every owner/dog team she works with benefits from her skill, level of patience, and a bit of humor that is part of her teaching approach. And Robin isn’t shy about admitting she will challenge her clients to make the changes necessary for success. The benefits of being both supported and challenged became clear to Robin after being in a severe auto accident that left her recovering and told she may need to walk with assistance for the rest of her life.
“ during recovery, while working with physical therapists that pushed me to learn how to walk again, I discovered the value of going outside my comfort zone in order to improve and heal. With the right leadership, dogs can change and improve too” ~ Robin MacFarlane
Robin MacFarlane is now a sought-after expert in the dog training industry. Her work led to travels across North America and abroad teaching pet professionals, K9 handlers, and private pet owners. Her expertise in electronic training collars has helped thousands of people increase their dog’s performance and off-leash reliability while decreasing behavior problems ranging from OCD to aggression issues.
Robin is dedicated to finding strategies that work for both the dogs and their owners to help them work as a team and build a better relationship. If you know what you want from the relationship with your dog, it is highly likely Robin can help you achieve it!
Credentials and Accomplishments
In early 2011 Robin was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service by the Department of the Army for her work with military dogs in North Afghanistan.
Since 1998 Robin has trained and handled tens of thousands of dogs, from puppies to pets and working dogs. She has taught 100’s of workshops and has been hired by several police agencies to assist with their K9 Units. She has also served as a consultant for product development with several manufacturers. In addition, MacFarlane is a published author in trade periodicals, has produced multiple training DVDs, and is a content and blog contributor for Dogtra and Gun Dog Supply. See below to view a partial list of Robin’s accomplishments:
- Founder/Owner, That’s My Dog! Inc. 1998 – December 2021
- 2020 Founder Aware Pet Owner, Inc
- 2015 University Wisconsin Platteville, Distinguished Alumni Award
- 2011 Certificate of Appreciation for Patriot Civilian Service
- 2003 Dubuque Rising Star Award
- 2001 – 2005 Director, IACP (International Association of Canine Professionals)
- 2003 – 2005 Secretary IACP
- 2002 – 2004 IACP Conference Chair
- 2002 Recipient IACP Member of the Year Award
- American Kennel Club, Canine Good Citizen Evaluator #9431
- American Red Cross Animal First Aid Instructor
- Professional Member IACP (P#1046) & IACP CDT (Certified Dog Trainer)
- Professional Member, National K9 Dog Trainers Association
- Dogtra Company ProStaff Trainer & Consultant