Frequently Asked Questions
Is my pet too old to be trained?
No matter the age we can still guide our dogs to better manners. The only exception would be if a senior dog has cognitive impairment (dementia) and can not longer process new concepts. Then we look at environmental management options.
What is your approach to pet training?
I view training to be like teaching and to be flexible with each learner, whether the dog or the human.
I connect with dogs on a cognitive and practical level honoring their needs to use their own minds, feel safety and a sense of security to grow with confidence and acceptance in their roles in our world to be well mannered family dogs.
I utilize these methods to help create lasting partnerships between dogs and their humans.
And I enjoy finding ways to teach dogs new concepts using exercises the humans can incorporate easily into their day to day routines, as well as be enjoyable for both the dog and the humans!
Positive Reinforcement involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. When a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened.
Relationship-Based training is a method of training that uses the cooperative relationship between the trainer and the animal to achieve mutually beneficial results, while at the same time enhancing and strengthening their relationship.
Which of your services is right for me?
That depends on your needs and your goal.
(1) private in home training where the dog with the family can receive personal attention and direction.
(2) classes offer an environment with distractions and socialization. They are more structured and focused on specific topics.
(3) playgroups are offered for younger dogs to practice socializing in a safely monitored environment while you learn about how to start and stop playtime, appropriate play, and behaviors to watch for to prevent unwanted future behaviors.
(4) The adoption assessment session is for anyone considering a specific dog for adoption. In your home I will assess interactions, behaviors and skills levels to help you determine if your home and a dog are a good match. I will give pointers on where to go next to set your adopting dog up for success.
What tools do you use in your training?
I prefer using harnesses over collars as a more controlled way to keep a pet safe without causing physical harm. Especially for smaller dogs.
I view leashes as a safety line instead of a tool we use to control and manipulate their direction. We should use our partnership with our dogs to teach them and guide them.
Collars are for being fashionable and hanging pretty ID tags.
I do not recommend or use pinch/prong collars, slip collars, e-collars etc. under normal private in home conditions.
I can tell you how they interfere with the learning process.
Or how they are damaging to a dog's emotional and mental state and can actually make their behaviors worsen.
Or how as an CPDT certificate I agreed to practice the “Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive” (known as LIMA) strategy to meet a training goal.
Or how science based studies have disproven these tools effectiveness and that they actually cause more problems in the long run.
What I am going to tell you is this, it just is not the type of human I am or want to be. I prefer a cognitive approach, in order to build a partnership with our dogs, to teach them to be smart independent and confident thinkers, to make good choices to be well mannered instead of just obedient, and to create a loving respectful relationship, we have to honor the whole dog. Physically, mentally and emotionally.