Tjadina lives in Germany with her husband, their three cats, Fenrir, Arktos and Lumos and their two horses, Aron and Quiero.
Her initial interest for training animals came as a child, seeing animals act in movies and being at awe at how well they were trained. But movie animals were mostly dogs or horses, and they only had a family cat (and cats can’t be trained…), so time was spent waiting for the magical day a dog would arrive. That day never came. So, several years later, still waiting for that dog, Tjadina started training the other animals who had come into her life, cats and horses. What started out as a bit of trick training turned into a wish for “more”. For the horses this meant less tack and more “liberty”. Realizing that “liberty” didn’t equal happiness led Tjadina to start her journey into positive reinforcement training.
Still not having a dog, but now having two young cats, Tjadina started to question why cats can’t also do the things that dogs do – why is it that everyone feels that cats are untrainable? Well, she quickly found out. Cats are perfectly capable of learning, they just tolerate a little less nonsense from us humans than many other domesticated animals do The cats took Tjadina from being the trainer to being the learner, and the more she learnt that training (and life) was less about telling someone to do something and more about collaborating and about meeting the learner’s need and wishes, the more successful training became.
Through her training as a veterinarian she has also developed a special interest in cooperative care, as she was put off by how many animals are forced to endure procedures they are clearly unhappy with and felt that there had to be ways to make the vet visit less terrifying for the animals.