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PTSA Research Findings. Shaping Canine Training: Insights from Professional Dog Trainers with Jamie DeLeeuw from Community Research

PTSA Research Findings. Shaping Canine Training: Insights from Professional Dog Trainers with Jamie DeLeeuw from Community Research


June 11, 2024 - June 29, 2027    
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm (ET)


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Event Type

The Pet Training Science Alliance – Research Project

Do You Have a Seat at The Table – Shaping Canine Training: Insights from Professional Dog Trainers

These findings will better inform our collective communication and marketing strategy.  This will make us all more effective in reaching pet owners and pet professionals and ensure our message is more impactful.

Last year we were delighted to announce that the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) supported an ambitious research project by Dr. Jamie Deleeuw of Community Research+.

Research Description
Despite the public’s increasing demand for dog training, there remains a notable lack of research dedicated to the professional pet dog training community. The studies included in this breakthrough project will provide an in-depth investigation into why dog trainers use specific training techniques and the prevalence and predictors of change in training method usage over time. The findings will be submitted to a peer-reviewed journal and be shared with the key stakeholders, which could include you!

The research findings will help inform our communication and strategy to influence pet professionals and pet owners on the benefits and rationale for employing Positive Reinforcement strategies.

To fund this important research, industry experts generously volunteered their time and expertise to give a special series of educational webinars for PPG through its new program, the Pet Training Science Alliance (PTSA), which supports and helps fund scientific research to advance the pet training industry.

Anyone registering for a PTSA webinar was guaranteed a seat around the table, where Jamie DeLeeuw will present the research summary and findings and moderate a group discussion on what’s next!

If you participated in a PTSA webinar, then you are entitled to join this webinar for FREE.

To find the code to register for this webinar for FREE – Go to the Google Drive folder of the PTSA webinar you watched. The code will be put in the folder by May 21, 2024.  

All the sponsored PTSA webinars can be found here. 


Webinar Description

Thirty-five in-depth interviews were conducted with professional dog trainers who have either transitioned away from or currently use aversive training techniques. This presentation will summarize the results, covering interviewees’ training rationales, the evolution of their methods, and other experiences and challenges they face as trainers. We will discuss these findings and persuasion techniques within the context of promoting greater utilization of positive reinforcement while reducing reliance on positive punishment and negative reinforcement among trainers. Attendees will be encouraged to apply these insights and develop resources to promote shared values and humane training techniques, particularly in challenging situations. This research was funded by the Pet Training Science Alliance.


Your Presenter – Jamie DeLeeuw

Jamie established Community Research Plus (CR+) in early 2023. She focuses on projects that enhance the quality of life for non-human animals through research, evaluation, and community empowerment. As a community psychologist, she focuses on understanding and addressing the social, environmental, and systemic factors that influence the well-being of individuals and communities.
Jamies research journey began in 2004 when she studied predictors of attitudes towards animals, belief systems, and cognitive frameworks (i.e., schemas) as a political science and psychology major. In 2010 Jamie earned a doctorate in community psychology from Wichita State University, specializing in human-animal relationships and research methods. Jamie taught undergraduate courses in psychology and research methods. Jamie’s doctoral dissertation explored factors influencing dog relinquishment and the physical traits predicting adoption versus euthanasia at animal shelters.

Following graduate school, Jamie served as a Visiting Professor of Psychology at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), where she instructed undergraduate courses in lifespan development and research methods. Jamie also evaluated the effectiveness of existing animal welfare and One Health messages on participants’ attitudes and behaviors regarding meat consumption.

From 2012-2017, Jamie led an institutional research office at Monroe County Community College, where I evaluated initiatives to promote student success, built a statistical model to predict enrollment, and engaged in federal reporting. I also laid the groundwork for establishing an Institutional Review Board. During this time I collaborated with Jean Donaldson from The Academy for Dog Trainers to examine the psychosocial predictors of aversive training method usage by dog trainers.

From 2017 to 2021, Jamie served as Research Manager at GVSU’s Johnson Center for Philanthropy, where she evaluated clients’ community-based research and collective impact initiatives to promote equitable community outcomes.

In 2021 Jamie assumed the role of Director of Evaluation and Impact at Austin/American Pets Alive. Jamie led a team of eight data analysts and coordinators as part of the Human Animal Support Services initiative, a national effort to transform the American animal shelter system and preserve the bonds between pets and their caregivers. Together, they supported 22 animal shelters through pilot engagement and data tracking. Jamie’s responsibilities included designing, managing, and presenting surveys, projects, and programs. Presentations were tailored to meet the diverse needs of stakeholders nationwide, including policymakers. Additionally, Jamie conducted literature reviews on the benefits/costs of pet ownership, collaborated with survey panel companies to administer the pet-related needs assessment she developed, and created key performance indicators (KPIs) and an evaluation plan to measure the initiative’s effectiveness.


Community Research +

At Community Research+, we leverage evidence-based best practices in our research, evaluation, and organizational improvement services to help our clients achieve their objectives and make a meaningful difference. Our mission is to foster strong and empowered communities by working collaboratively with our clients and community members. We believe that by working together, we can create lasting positive change in the communities we partner with.





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