About Me & the Blog

My name is Alisa. First things first, I’m very into dogs and training, and downright addicted to agility. With that out of the way, I’ll give a little context to my ever-evolving journey with dogs and what the Kindred Canine is all about.

I have been a lifelong animal lover. I was most definitely a horse girl and my favorite after-school activity was catching lizards. Some of us are just this way from the start, there’s no stopping it.

When I was four years old I talked my parents into getting me my first dog – a fluffy Maltese named Cricket. Back then, my training techniques involved bribing her through hula hoops with milk-bones and gently pushing her butt down to make her sit. Not the most sophisticated stuff, but I adored that little dog.

In high school, I adopted Meisha, a rescue Papillon, and learned about clicker training. The concept of a tool that enabled me to communicate in a way my dog understood was completely fascinating.

As an adult, I have been lucky to share my life with a couple Rhodesian Ridgebacks. My first, Samson, developed reactivity issues around people and dogs, which compelled me to learn more about dog behavior and broadened my understanding of the power of positive reinforcement training.

Ruby, my second Ridgeback, became my first performance dog, pushing me to further sharpen my training capabilities. In my pursuit of becoming a better agility teammate, I realized that there was something even more interesting and magnetic underneath all the skill and knowledge: a relationship with a dog.

Trust. Communication. Play. Understanding. Joy. Connection.

Experiencing and growing these things in my relationship with my dogs has become more deeply rewarding than reaching any performance goal. While training does not equal relationship, I’ve come to understand how we train our dogs does have an effect on it. I strive to filter my training and interactions through the question of “How will this impact my relationship with my dog?” Seeing my dog as her own complex, emotional being who is also able to connect with me is powerful. 

Figuring out this intersection of training, competition and relationship has been more fun and fulfilling than I could have imagined. I love thinking about it. I love talking about it. It’s the reason I started this blog. A space to share my learnings, mistakes, progress and general dog nerdery.

I currently live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband and Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ruby. We are originally from California, but spent a few years living in Malawi, Africa, which is where we got hooked on Ridgebacks. Beyond training and agility, I love being outdoors – walking, hiking, scouting for wildlife (usually accompanied by a dog). I also like to write, cook and travel.,

About Me & the Blog

My name is Alisa. First things first, I’m very into dogs and training, and downright addicted to agility. With that out of the way, I’ll give a little context to my ever-evolving journey with dogs and what the Kindred Canine is all about.

I have been a lifelong animal lover. I was most definitely a horse girl and my favorite after-school activity was catching lizards. Some of us are just this way from the start, there’s no stopping it.

When I was four years old I talked my parents into getting me my first dog – a fluffy Maltese. Back then, my training techniques involved bribing her through hula hoops with milk-bones and gently pushing her butt down to make her sit. Not the most sophisticated stuff, but I adored that little dog.

A very delighted 4 year old me with my first puppy.

In high school, I adopted a rescue Papillon and learned about clicker training. The concept of a tool that enabled me to communicate in a way my dog understood was completely fascinating.

A very awkward 15 year old me with my rescue Papillon.

As an adult, I have been lucky to share my life with a couple Rhodesian Ridgebacks. My first, Samson, developed reactivity issues around people and dogs, which compelled me to learn more about dog behavior and broadened my understanding of the power of positive reinforcement training.

Ruby, my second Ridgeback, became my first performance dog, pushing me to further sharpen my training capabilities. In my pursuit of becoming a better agility teammate, I realized that there was something even more interesting and magnetic underneath all the skill and knowledge: a relationship with a dog.

Trust. Communication. Play. Understanding. Joy. Connection.

Experiencing and growing these things in my relationship with my dogs has become more deeply rewarding than reaching any performance goal. While training does not equal relationship, I’ve come to understand how we train our dogs does have an effect on it. I strive to filter my training and interactions through the question of “How will this impact my relationship with my dog?” Seeing my dog as her own complex, emotional being who is also able to connect with me is powerful. 

A very content adult me hiking with my Ridgebacks.

Figuring out this intersection of training, competition and relationship has been more fun and fulfilling than I could have imagined. I love thinking about it. I love talking about it. It’s the reason I started this blog. A space to share my learnings, mistakes, progress and general dog nerdery.

I currently live in the Chicago suburbs with my husband and Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ruby. We are originally from California, but spent a few years living in Malawi, Africa, which is where we got hooked on Ridgebacks. Beyond training and agility, I love being outdoors – walking, hiking, scouting for wildlife (usually accompanied by a dog). I also like to write, cook and travel.

A very delighted 4 year old me with my first puppy.
A very awkward 15 year old me with my rescue Papillon.
A very content adult me hiking with my Ridgebacks.
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