Philosophy

Training should always, and needs to be, fun.  The best and strongest relationships between dogs and humans are built on trust and mutual understanding.  A dog who is afraid of you, or what you might do, will not trust you.  A dog who is afraid of a consequence, does not perform confidently or happily.  I want all of my canine students to be confident and to have fun; and I want each of my clients to have and build a strong and positive relationship with their dog.

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As a certified behavior consultant from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers and as a graduate of the Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training and Behavior, my training methods are based on scientifically proven positive reinforcement training.  Research has shown us that using punishment, intimidation, or fear based tactics during training actually increases fear and anxiety.  These methods also do not teach.  They suppress behaviors without offering another to do instead.  It is not fair to punish or correct a dog for exhibiting (a frequently normal) behavior and expect him to choose the correct behavior – especially when he doesn't know what that desired behavior is or how to do it.  Instead, teach that desired behavior.

Every dog is smart, but because they all learn differently, some techniques work better for some dogs than others.  Unfortunately, sometimes those dogs who need something different are overlooked as “stubborn” or “unwilling to learn”.  How Frank learned to lie down may not work for Fluffy, and that is okay.  What works for one dog may not work for the next.  It is my responsibility to discover what each individual dog requires in order to allow them to excel in their individually designed learning program.  It is then my responsibility to explain to you, the owner, how your dog learns so that you can begin to understand his or her individual needs as a student and as a part of your family.

The strong bond that a human can have with an animal relies on reinforcement history.  Make it positive.  Make it great.  Make it memorable.  Let me teach you how.