Catherine Collignon is engaged in the pet dog training profession in France with a specialization in behavioral rehabilitation.

In 1993, she studied psychology at the CERFPA (Center of Study, Research and Formation in Applied Psychology, Nice -France) with a special interest for canine social behavior and aggression.

She is the founder and owner of ANIMALIN, the School of Clicker Training, Dog Training, and Animal Behavior. A vocational training center with courses dedicated to anyone who wishes to practice pet dog training following ANIMALIN’s philosophy. ANIMALIN was the first training school in France with a specialization in clicker training.

In 1999, she attended the Association of Pet Dog Training (APDT) conference in San Diego and became an APDT member.

In 2000, she studied at the Northern Centre for Canine Behaviour (Durham - England) with John Rogerson.

Since October 2001, she teaches dog training methods and clicker training to the Toulouse National Vet School students.

In 2003, she started her collaboration with the Toulouse Guiding Dogs School, and she advises as a teacher in the further education cycle of the French Federation of the Guiding Dogs Associations.

In 2004, she produced her first DVD, “The Clicker Upside Down” a 120 minute-film about clicker training.

In March 2006, she was acknowledged by the Edward Bach Foundation (Mount Vermont - England) as a Bach Flower Remedies Counselor.

May 2006, she founded the MFEC (French Pet Dog Trainers Movement) with Ian Dunbar. This association takes its goals from the APDT. With the support of the MFEC, Catherine organizes an annual congress with French and international speakers. The first two editions of this event took place in Paris (France) in May 2006 and May 2007 with Ian Dunbar as a special guest.

Currently she is the manager of a new-born publishing company, Les éditions du Génie Canin, whose first publication is the French version of the now famous Ian Dunbar’s book “How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks”.

She is also the French adapter of Sarah Hodgson’s book “Puppies For Dummies” (First Publishers).

She writes articles for the following French magazines: Rottweiler News, Molosses News and Cyno Mag.

In 2007, Catherine will also introduce, as a dog-training teacher, one of the first French high schools preparing future professional dog trainers with government certification (Department of Agriculture).

“Along all these years, my education has been mostly built close to dogs, and I would like to thank all the dogs I have met, they will remain my Masters as far as animal behavior is concerned. And I won’t forget my own dogs, who taught me that this whole story is just about communication.”
- Catherine Collignon


Our Holiday in Corsica… Sea, sun, rest, and of course, dogs!

The entire family agreed about our destination: Corsica. « Whaou, this is the Beauty Island. You’ll see, so beautiful overthere. You’ll love it. »  

The people there were so enthusiastic and wonderful that we even thought for a while that maybe it would be nice to share our life between Corsica and Toulouse. But as soon as we said it  people reply: « Oh no, not for you, Corsicans don’t like dogs, they poisoned them».  So we went there happy but little aware about the everyday life of dogs over there.

So I do confirm, this is a beautiful island, marvelous! The Corsicans are very nice people, always welcoming you nicely whenever you meet them.


Must We Punish Our Dog?

We humans have to admit that we ask a lot of our dogs. Not that they cannot to adapt to our environment – they are certainly able to, and get much out of doing so – but in exchange for the comforts of living with us we often ask them to inhibit, forget or redirect most of their spontaneous and instinctive behaviors.

Why? Because who is the owner who wishes to hear his dog bark for a yes or no, who wants his dog not to come when called even if he’s on a rabbit track, who wants his dog to growl or snap when disturbed by somebody, who wishes to be welcomed by a jumper, to constantly refill holes in the garden, and to hear his dog growling to keep his bone or food?

Most of the behaviors we want our dogs to adopt (or stop) in order to make them good companions, are behaviors that simply aren’t natural to dogs, and would never occur spontaneously.

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The K9 GAMES in France – May 2009

It’s very difficult to get back to routine life when you have just spent 3 days at a K9 Games workshop with Ian Dunbar.

I had the idea to bring the event to Toulouse, in the south of France so I could have the pleasure of participating with my dog. But I never imagined that it would be so funny, so exciting and so relaxing!

Since the event we have emails from attendees everyday who say « Thank you to have given us the opportunity to be part of such an event. When does Ian come back? »

These are only games, but oh my, we are training and having fun at the same time and dogs can at last experience their owners having fun in training.
I really do think that the K9 Games should be much more popular all over the world.



My Teacher, My Friend

I could tell you about his life with us, about the first time his eyes met mines behind the shelter bars.

I could tell you how these 17 years shared with him were made of good memories and connections. Connections between a dog and  a family of human beings. And how his presence by our side during all these years let us think he was in his element.

God knows how strong was my love for him, and how I was aware of that moment that would eventually come and separate us.

That day arrived, it was a Friday in October in the year 2008.


How To Teach A Dog To Stop Pulling On Leash

It’s as easy as it is to train a dog to pull! If we consider that the dog understands that the easiest way to reach what he wants is to pull as hard as he can and, when this is not working, to pull when the owner starts to relax or stops paying attention, or when the children or women of the family walk him.  
We all know strong, young dogs that fit this profile, right?

(Editor's Note: Catherine is Dog Star Daily's French correspondent and English is her second language and she does a great job explaining regardless! For the most part I've left her work in it's original form to embrace the essence of her sentiments and thoughts because I believe the meaning and lessons come through as well.)


Third Annual French Congress of Pet Dog Trainers

I will start with Roger Abrantes’ favorite sentence: “Life is great”.
And yes, our congress was great.

The MFEC, French Professional Movement of Pet Dog Trainers, just completed our third annual congress for pet dog trainers in France.

I do remember our first congress, in 2006, I was so happy to welcome and introduce Ian Dunbar to the French trainers for a 3-day conference at the Paris National Vet School. It was a success, every single person present liked him. Since then, we translated into French “How To Teach A New Dog Old Tricks” and the “Sirius Puppy Training” video.


What Is the Dog/Human Relationship All About?

Who among us dog-lovers does not remember the fantastic dogs of their childhood? I do remember! I could say everything to these dogs and do whatever I liked to them. These dogs who loved to follow us kids on our bike rides, to lie down next to us, to wait patiently for our return from school. Dogs who knew how to protect us, or at least made us think they were able to if called upon.


Where Do French Dogs Spend Their Summer Holidays?

The game is over. Animalin’s delicious 4th Annual Summer Camp in Aurimont, France came to an end on August 3rd. What is left? A lot. Dogs in my memory, around 60: males, females, big, small, all different but all happy to be here and to be trained. Dogs’ owners, happy to find a place to train their dogs in a different way… and friends, professional dog trainers and competitors happy to meet each other once a year to share their passion: teaching/sharing with others how to build a strong relationship and how to partner with their dog on a daily basis.

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