Gaia consistently and completely engages my dog (and myself) in positive and rewarding training activities. She is sensitive yet firm in her approach. She communicates with clarity, caring and humor; understands our needs and targets training toward specific goals. Her technique has been tremendously helpful in making Maggie Mae a happy and courageous dog." - Nancy, Santa Fe
"So happy we found you. You have given us priceless confidence and assurance that we’re doing this puppy raising thing right! ” - Christie J. and Family
Dogs see the world differently than we do. We have a great chance of building a wonderful life with our dogs when we understand this.
We do them a great disservice, however, (and can be responsible for making them neurotic) if we ascribe human qualities & desires to our canine friends.
I began learning how to train dogs in Santa Fe, New Mexico in February 2017. I had arrived at the park with Spirit, my cattle dog/border collie mix (pictured to the right) and Dulce, my Terrier mix piled in the back of my little 1980 Datsun where they barked and barked and barked and barked.
I was at my wit's end. I had never thought of going to a trainer; I figured I should just KNOW how to handle dogs. Love them and they will love me back and do what they are supposed to do.
Spirit attacked busses and little dogs, and even her shadow. She had been found on the meridian on Cerrillos Road and an acquaintance at HIS wit's end asked me to take her. Dulce was a potentially sweet dog but was reactive and too clever and totally self-willed.
David said he couldn't work with me: my dogs were too fat, self-rewarding and neither needed nor wanted anything from me.
When David saw how distraught I was, he had a softening of his heart and said, "If you go home and feed your dogs only by hand with a "watch Me" command before each bite, and you come back in a week, perhaps we can work together."
I did as he instructed and returned the next week with more manageable and agreeable dogs. We began laying the foundation for training. (Training is ALWAYS happening and it also doesn't start till the foundation is laid. One of many oxymorons in the life of a trainer.)
I began apprenticing with David and two and a half years later set up my own shingle as a dog trainer. We had done a lot: About 300 hours of training. Hours of Search & Rescue, and more hours of community presentations and mentoring of high school kids for three seasons.
In person sessions are 50 minutes in duration and are $110 per session plus 8.5% tax. After five sessions the rate is reduced for weekly sessions to $85 plus tax.
The Sanctuary for Extraordinary Dogs is for our 4-legged friends whose owners have passed and haven't made arrangements for them. Our shelters are well run by great people. But some dogs just need an immediate, and permanent, sanctuary. That is us. This is them.
All donations will help The Sanctuary for Extraordinary Dogs. Each dollar goes to get their veterinary visits, shots, medicines, good food and help us maintain safe and loving accommodations.