With a focus on the psychology of learning, dog behavioral expert Eva Bodfäldt is one of Sweden's foremost instructors, lecturers and authors on the subject of the human-canine relationship. Since 1982, she has trained more than 40,000 dog owners, ranging from first-timers to well seasoned competition handlers.
As an instructor and trainer, Eva strives to acknowledge and reward the right behavior rather than correct and punish a dog for the wrong behavior. Positive reinforcement – and the belief that every dog is an individual – are two of the basic tenets of her training philosophy.
In 2001, Eva published the first edition of Follow me – Make a deal with your dog (Kontaktkontraktet in Swedish), a book that outlines her extensive knowledge and experience of the interaction between dogs and their human companions. A second, revised edition came out in 2008. Originally published in Swedish, it has been translated into German, Norwegian and Finnish, and now English. The book has become a bestseller with more than 40,000 copies sold. A third, revised edition came out in November 2016.
Eva is also a successful dog handler in her own right. She has competed within obedience and tracking, search and rescue and hunting. She has trained three champions in obedience, one in tracking and has also trained two participants in the Swedish national championship in obedience. She has also trained two retrievers in advanced class field trials.
Eva spends much of her leisure time with her Labrador Zakk, who she is training for hunting and tracking competitions. Eva and Zakk also plan to take part in a real hunt sometime soon.
Name: Eva Bodfäldt
Occupation: Dog trainer, lecturer and author
Education: Training from Swedish dog trainer Anders Hallgren at Stora Sofielunds Hundskola as well as several courses, among others with Marian and Bob Bailey
Competitions: Hunting, obedience, tracking
Strengths: Imagination, empathy and out-of-the-box thinking
Dislikes: Rigid rules
Eva on working as a dog trainer: "Being able to give owners – and dogs – the knowledge and tools they need for successful training, and watching them grow together, is an incredible thrill!"