KATONAH, N.Y. -- Katonah-based dog trainer Sarah Hodgson is an expert when it comes to demystifying the human-canine connection. Hodgson's 25-plus years of wisdom and experience earned yet another outlet when the Huffington Post picked up her dog blog in late January.
As a bestselling author, columnist, news contributor and a frequent TV show guest, Hodgson promotes her training philosophy of interspecies communication and training via positive reinforcement.
The owner of three dogs and mother of two young children, Hodgson blogged for the local Patch since 2010, and moved from South Salem over to Katonah this summer.
"Having two young kids is like trying to balance quite a few balls in the air," said Hodgson.
Now, she said, her to-do list includes a nonfiction piece and some children's stories in-the-works, and keeping up with her HuffPo blog and her dog training business "When Dogs Talk."
This fall, Hodgson rented a studio space in Greenwich, Conn.'s Glenville area for her group dog training classes, and continues to run classes at 25 Katonah Avenue in Katonah. For customers outside the tri-state area, Hodgson offers phone consultations and Skype sessions.
Hodgson has written 12 books on dogs and dog training, including three in the “For Dummies” series: “Puppies for Dummies,” “Agility and Dog Tricks for Dummies” and “Understanding Your Dog for Dummies," which she co-wrote. Nine of her books are still in publication, she said.
Of her Huffington success, Hodgson said it took a little "hounding" at first, but after a few months, "I got an email from one of the editors and she asked for a piece," she said. "I sent it in and it was published within a few days."
Hodgson's latest article for the Huffington Post is a quiz that asks "Which Breed of Dog are You?," while her second post "Westminster Coming...Palin Goes to the Dogs" previews the 137th Annual Westminster Dog Show, held Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 11 and 12 at Madison Square Garden.
Once a press escort for the Westminster Dog Show, Hodgson is happy to attend the event as a mere spectator now, especially because she will be cheering on a couple Samoyeds and retrievers she personally trained for the show.
Even purebred show dogs need training, Hodgson said: training dogs is all about teaching English as a second language and enhancing communication between man and beast.
"A lot of people are worried and concerned it would change the dog's personality," she said. "But it so enhances the dogs and inspires such a great level of focus between the dog and their handlers.
"Whether show, mutt or purebred, if you spend more time encouraging them, they will be happier and feel more loved by you," and show judges will pick up on that positive energy, Hodgson said.