Sue Sternberg is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has over 35 years of canine behavior experience, including: animal control officer, kennel and animal care technician at various shelters, veterinary assistant, a behavior consultant at the ASPCA, a temperament evaluator, a kennel and animal shelter owner, a shelter dog expert and advocate, a successful competitor in a variety of dog sports, a skilled teacher of dog trainers/professionals and internationally recognized speaker. Sue founded, and was the director of, Rondout Valley Animals for Adoption for over a decade. RVAA is an open admission, private shelter dedicated to pet owner outreach, safe animal adoptions, and quality of life.
Sue is a dog behavior expert and an innovator in the field of shelter dog welfare. Sue’s two main goals in life are: to make the shelter world a better place for dogs and the community, and to make public dog parks a safer and more fun experience for the dogs who must use them. To do this, Sue spends a lot of time on the road traveling to and educating people on canine communication, body language, and aggression thresholds.
Sue developed programs to prevent pet relinquishment and overpopulation, to match families with safe pets, and to help shelters attend to the mental health of the animals in their care. Training Wheels, a mobile community outreach program, Train to Adopt, a shelter training program to increase adoption and protect the mental health of dogs waiting for adoption, and Assess-a-Pet, a method to evaluate animal temperament, are three popular programs developed by Sue that have impacted shelters around the world. Lug-Nuts, a weight pulling competition to showcase canine prowess, without violence, is another innovative program for urban dogs and owners. Lug-Nuts was featured on ESPN.com in the fall of 2007.
She is the author of Successful Dog Adoption (Howell Book House) and numerous other books and DVDs, which can all be found at Dogwise.com. Sue’s iPhone app, The Dog Park Assistant, is a video repository of dog play and aggressive behaviors to help ensure that when dogs get together, they are truly having fun and not going to hurt each other.
Sue lives with two wonderful, adopted heeler mixes. She is an accomplished fiddle player, an amateur paleontologist, loves Earl Grey tea, and is a major Star Trek fan. Sue has been on staff with the Instructor Training Courses since the inception in 1999. Her contribution to bringing dog trainers and shelters together through ITC’s curriculum has been invaluable to our graduates. Her unique style, sense of humor, and frank, open approach create a fun, motivating, learning environment.
You can keep up with Sue on Facebook.