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Let Me Introduce Myself

Cindy Benson KPA CTP

Trainer - Author - Rancher

I am a positive reinforcement training professional certified through the Karen Pryor Academy. I use training methods dogs do not fear or work to avoid. My extensive knowledge and experience with livestock guardian dogs and my significant behavioral science and training education make me the right person to teach these courses.

Here Is a Little More Information About Who I Am and Why I Do What I Do

I live with my husband of 30 years on our secluded 360-acre ranch in Gold Hill, Oregon. I have lived a ranch life since I was a child, and most of my life has been spent managing large populations of livestock, and a few less common creatures including ostriches, emus, and parrots. I raised Miniature Donkeys for almost 30 years; at one time my herd consisted of 120 donkeys. Maremma livestock guardian dogs came into my life initially to protect my donkey herd but have since captivated all my attention.

As a new LGD owner in 2014, it quickly became clear that I had a lot to learn about this very different sort of working dog. I encountered the frustration of finding trustworthy, science-based LGD training resources, so I began my formal behavioral science education as I continued to learn from my growing population of working Maremmas. 

I was a breeder of registered, hip-tested Maremmas for several years producing over 100 pups. Because training is my passion, and because I wanted to ensure that my pups would be successful, I placed most of my pups at 6 -12 months of age, complete with PennHIP testing. Creating my breeding program, raising pups, managing my population of 20-40 working LGDs, and then training LGDs professionally, has allowed me to learn from easily 300 LGDs - so far!

 In 2021, I became a certified professional dog trainer through the completion of the rigorous Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professionals Course. I have stepped down as a breeder of Maremmas and now devote myself full-time to training livestock guardian dogs of all breeds, teaching through the use of Zoom sessions or in person, blog posts, and my online LGD training courses. I published an LGD training manual on Amazon in 2021; stay tuned for the second LGD training book! 

I am an avid student of animal behavioral science. Honing my education has made me hungry for more so I am usually participating in formal coursework of some sort! To learn more about the courses I have taken, please go to:

Why do I do what I do? Because I love these dogs and choose to do all I can to protect them by paying forward what I have learned. I want others to be as successful with their dogs as I am with mine!

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