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About Sunghee & Placid Paws

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Hi! my name is Sunghee Kim and just like a lot of you, I'm a wife, and a mom of a crazy dog and a demanding cat. But I just happened to be a farmer and a dog trainer too!

But first, I bet you are wondering how to pronounce my name, right? It's pronounced [sung-hee]! And I'm a transplant from South Korea. I met my husband Adam while I was studying Animal Behavior in a graduate school in Sweden. I followed him back here in New Hope, PA near his hometown Doylestown, in order to start a diverse/regenrative farm. But, how I did I become a dog trainer? If you care to ask, here is my story.

Working with animals has been always my passion and dream since I was a little kid. So I've tired hard to pave my path towards having a career where I can interact with animals. My sweat and effort led me to moving to Sweden to study animal behavior and gained my master's degree in Applied Ethology and Animal Science in 2011. Within my education, I was lucky to train a few fur seals at a zoo as a part of my thesis and learned clicker training. That's when I started to get that trainer bug in me. But what really sparked my desire to become a dog trainer was when I met Maggie, little poodle mix, a few years ago. My close family members got a rescue dog. She was a sweet dog with people, but I noticed that Maggie had various behavioral problems including resource guarding, aggression towards our cat, and she was so bad with cars on the streets. I did a lot of online research and tried different things I found on YouTube. Sometimes I thought I made some progress with her, but often than not I felt overwhelmed and frustrated.

And one day, Maggie got out of the house and ran to the street when she saw a big truck driving down. Before anybody knew that she got out onto the street, we got a phone call from the truck driver and heard the devastating news. Had I known better ways to keep her safe and trained, that tragic would have not happened. Most of all, I thought this should NEVER happen to anyone else.

That's when I decided to dedicate myself to getting professional education on dog training. As I gained my skills and knowledge about animals' ability to connect with people, I also recognized the power of healing. Training really heals not only animals but also their people, especially through Training Between the Ears (TBTE)* training system.

I hold strong values on compassion. Compassion for animals, the earth, and humans. That's why the healing aspect of training really means a lot to me. After all, we humans have the enormous power to make changes on this planet. And I want to be the positive change I want to see in the world for the better of people and all the living beings that let us coexist.

So, if you are like me, please reach out to me. I want to make that powerful change together for everyone we love.


Placid Paws


* TBTE training system and principles were developed by my mentor and colleague, Mark McCabe. TBTE uses primarily reward and relaxation strategies to change the emotional state of dogs and help them moderate their own emotions. The techniques aim to build relationships with your dog by removing conflict, develop your dog’s self-motivation through success seeking behaviors, and changing your dog’s perception of the surrounding world so they are emotionally more relaxed and stable, and therefore resilient to external stressors.

Click here to explore TBTE a bit more

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