About Peaceful Pack Dog Training
Photo by Pat & David Buccello
Tracy Haskell, MSW is the owner of Peace Pack Dog Training. Her education includes:
Tracy Haskell is also a licensed clinical social worker with a private psychotherapy practice in Ellsworth, Maine.
- Working part-time with the dogs at our local SPCA
- Course work in Learning Theory at Raising Canine
- A semester length course at Harvard University. This was a wonderfully intense course taught by Bruce Blumberg and Carolyn Barney (who has recently written a nice book on clicker training for puppies & dogs)
- A seminar with Sarah Kalnajs on the language of dogs
- A seminar with Joel Walton on puppy training
- Completion of Gail Fisher’s All Dogs Academy Instructor’s School
- Self-directed study in all things ‘dog’
- Co-leader of The Downeast Dog Scouts troop
- Assist in distributing the Downeast Dog News
- BA In Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic
- MSW from University of Maine
More about Tracy..
I have had a lifelong love of animals and in particular dogs. As a child we had an array of animals from dogs, cats, pigs, geese and a steer! I grew up with collies and they always seemed to be with my sister and I as we explored our world. They were really my mother’s dogs and we had no real responsibility for them, but oh, how I loved them.
It was not until I was in my early 20s that I had my very own dog. He was a yellow Labrador retriever named Caleb. My father always wanted a lab, so I guess my choice partly came from his longing. Caleb was one of those dogs that just got on well in the human world. He was easy and after puppy class he had no further formal training. We added our second dog less than a year after Caleb came into our home (Something I would definitely NOT recommend doing). He was a chocolate Labrador named Pablo. Pablo and I began our training in a group class offered at by the local community center. We dropped out after only a few classes. We then began participating in a smaller class. All was well until the day the instructor told me that I needed to use a metal choke collar on Pablo. I tried using it for a brief time, but quickly knew that I could not stomach the process… and Pablo was very similar to Caleb in his uncanny ability to navigate our world with ease. So training ended and I enjoyed many wonderful years with my polite boys.
When Caleb was 14 ½ he passed away in his sleep lying next to me in bed. Pablo had died about a year or so earlier from kidney disease. The March following Caleb’s death we added a new yellow Labrador puppy to our family.
Simon was not like my previous labs. He was full of life and full of experiencing all life had to offer – puppy hood was a trip with him. We began training at the end of his first week at home with us and that was when the magic began. My colleague, Jean, came to our home and introduced us to clicker training. There was no use of choke collars or other punishing, hurtful techniques. There was lots of rewards and fun for both Simon and I. We continued with puppy class, more obedience classes and agility classes. He came to work with me as a young pup in hopes that someday he would become and official therapy dog. Even in his ‘unofficial therapy dog status’ he was deeply therapeutic with my clients.
Simon challenged me in ways that I had not imagined. It has been these challenges that brought me to my current work as a dog trainer. I find great joy in our time together whether we are playing, training (which is very much like play), hanging out or taking early morning walks. I feel blessed to have been allowed to pursue this path and greatly enjoy sharing my skills and experience with others.