Hello – I’m Kathy Shumway Lawton and I am the owner of K-10 Dog Training in Mexico NY. I really cannot remember a time in my life without dogs. My first recollection of a family dog was Fritz, a hound mix that hunted with my Dad and brothers. She was often borrowed by other hunters because of her game-scenting ability. When my brothers went off to college, subsequent “hunting” dogs became family pets for my sister and me. We had a Springer Spaniel named Corky who was more interested in chasing butterflies than flushing game birds. Later we had two Beagles, Punch and Judy, whose “jobs” was to sit pretty, beg for treats and sleep on the couch.
My Canine Family
The picture on the home page was my rather eclectic canine family five years ago. Unfortunately, several of those pups have now crossed the Rainbow Bridge leaving me with Strut who is now 8. But below is the history of my canine family shown in that picture:
- In the Fall of 2007, I fostered Ellie, a lab mix, from the Humane Society. After three months of foster care, Ellie was officially adopted. She and I were Pet Partners – her job is to make people in hospitals and nursing homes happy.
- In 2009, I adopted Truman, a 5 ½ year old Shar Pei/American bulldog mix whose owner could no longer keep him. He was initially more comfortable with men until he and I together completed the Karen Pryor Academy. He then turned into my bestt friend forever.
- In 2010, I fostered Karmen, a three-year-old puppy mill cocker spaniel. Like many puppy mill dogs, Karmen did not bond with people. However, she soon developed a strong attachment to my former boxer mix Brandie who sadly passed away in May, 2016. Realizing that I could not separate Karmen from her newfound companion I officially adopted her into the family.
- In 2012, Bonnie Belle – now known as Bonnie Belle Barker for obvious reasons – a unique little dog who could be a Corgi / Beagle mix, joined the family. I had to adopt her because “she just fit in.”
- The final addition to my canine family is Strut (or Strutter-Butter) who is reportedly a hound / lab /terrier mix. He joined the family in 2015.
My Training and Experience
My current journey started in 2007 after being laid off and needing something to fill my time. I first took an online dog training class through the Animal Behavior College. I started teaching classes at a local pet grooming shop and found I really like it. However, with the adoption of Karmen, I realized I needed more knowledge and that subsequently prompted me to apply to the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA) in 2011.
KPA spurred a true desire to learn more about our canine friends and how they really learn. I needed to know more of the science behind it. Since I was working full-time at that time, I could only train and study part time. But I eventually build up my hours and applied to take the CPDT-KA test. I proudly passed that in March 2017. My current course of study is canine behavior so I can focus more on behavior modification.
I became an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator and I hold prep-classes and evaluation on an as-needed basis.
In November, 2019, I successfully completed my Service Dog Coach Certification. If you are looking to train your dog to be either a Therapy Dog, Emotional Support Animal (ESA) or a Service Dog, please contact K-10 Dog Training.
In 2022, I completed the Aggression in Dogs course that focuses on working with dogs with reactivity issue. Each year since then I have attended the yearly Aggression in Dogs Conference where topics on dog aggression are discussed by the leading professionals.
I am currently taking a class to teach my dog Strut scenting while getting a major refresher in my Clicker training. Strut and I are learning so much and having so much fun in the process. Video taping yourself and having that critiqued is a humbling and rewarding processes. It’s also building a super bond between Strut and me.
What’s next? Dog training is an ever evolving industry. As more is learned about how we and dogs can live in harmony where we all grow and prosper, there is more that I must learn. I have a few ideas for my next learning endeavor, but will wait until Strut and I complete our current course. One thing at a time. I want to enjoy every moment of learning.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and an MBA, both through SUNY Oswego. In March, 2023, I retired from Laboratory Alliance of CNY, LLC where I was the Manager of Business Applications for 15 years.