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Dog Training and Behavior Modification

ABOUT TRAINER

Aleksa and grey wolf, Tristen, at Wolf Park, Indiana. Photo by Monty Sloan and Aleksa and her dog, Ranger

About Aleksa Kosinski, CDT-IACP

Aleksa Kosinski is the owner of What A Dog! LLC and a Certified Dog Trainer through the International Association of Canine Professionals (www.canineprofessionals.com). Aleksa has been training dogs in Palatine and throughout Chicagoland since 1998 when she attended the Volhards’ Dog Training Conference and Obedience Instructor School in New York. There, she had the opportunity to study under Jack and Wendy Volhard, internationally recognized dog training experts and authors of twelve books, including Dog Training for Dummies (Wiley Publications, 2001 & 2005). In April 2008, Aleksa completed six graduate level courses in Canine behavior and a two week long residency in dog training and behavior modification through the American College of Applied Sciences. Aleksa is continually furthering her education by attending seminars and workshops. A recent favorite has been the five day Intensive Wolf Behavior and Management Seminar at Wolf Park in Indiana. There she was able to study wolf pack behavior and interact with the wolves first hand in order to gain insight into dog behavior. She was privately mentored by Marc Goldberg, past president of the International Association of Canine Professionals and owner of ChicagoDogTrainer.com, and certified as a ForceFree Method™ Trainer. Aleksa holds a BA in Biology from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with her husband, two children and 3 rescue dogs.

 

The Mission of What A Dog!

The mission of What A DOG! is to provide a better bond between your dog and your family and to enhance the lines of communication between humans and their dogs. With my care, compassion and expertise I can make your dog a happier functioning member of your household. Every dog has the right to understand what its owner asks of them. My mission is to teach each owner how to communicate with his/her dog in a loving, non-abusive manner. Essentially I act as the interpreter for dog language. A well trained dog is a happier dog that has more freedom! If people understood the needs of their dogs fully, there would be fewer dogs relinquished to shelters each year.

 

Kyra the DogAbout Kyra (1995-2008)

Aleksa adopted Kyra from the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago in July of 1995. She was 3 months old and was the only puppy curled up in the back of her cage. Her little tail was tucked underneath her as far as it could be. Aleksa felt sorry for Kyra and adopted her that day. She brought her into her home, showered her lots of love, toys and treats. Kyra quickly became an unruly puppy that would bully other dogs at the dog park and even nip at Aleksa to get her way. Aleksa didn’t understand how this dog that I had given all these wonderful things to could turn on her. She began to dig deeper and study canine behavior. She quickly learned that she provided these great resources to Kyra without her really working for them and Kyra had become her leader. As soon as she stopped using human psychology on her and started using pack behavior, Kyra began to change. The dog that used to nip at her arm, began listening to her and looking to her for direction. Aleksa tapped into Kyra’s pack drive to motivate her and reward her with resources such as affection. Aleksa took Kyra with her to New York for the Volhard’s Obedience instructor school and learned so much from her. Kyra was the dog that helped her discover her passion for dog training. At age 9, Kyra was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to have her front leg amputated and undergo chemotherapy. Within 5 days of losing her limb, she was back to chasing squirrels and helping Aleksa train other dogs. Kyra truly as an inspiration to Aleksa in so many ways.

 

dog named JackAbout Jack (1998-2005)

Jack followed Aleksa home one day in Wicker Park while she was out on a pack walk with her dogs. He was a severely emaciated (35 lbs) 5-7 yr old shepherd who was covered with mange, open cuts, and scabs. Aleksa cut his collar off that was embedded in his neck and from that point Jack was a member of her pack. Although Jack had a rough past, it was all behind him once proper leadership, exercise, obedience training and affection were regimented. Jack was quite a character and he was never seen without a kong in his mouth. He had an incredibly strong work ethic and would do anything for a game of fetch with his kong. Jack developed degenerative myelopathy, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system rendering his back legs useless. Aleksa had a wheel chair made for Jack (www.eddieswheels.com) and he was able to run and play fetch just as he did before. Jack showed Aleksa that no matter what lies in a dogs past(neglect, abuse, sickness), they are willing to move beyond it with the right leadership.