Our dogs need to be responsive to us. They don't come out of the box ready-made, so we have some activities and games that can be played to get our dogs to realize that WE are the most important and fun thing in the world.
The simple commands such as "Come," "Sit," "Stay," "Down," "Wait," and "With Me" can help build a foundation for everything else.
Face it, today's world is filled with noise and obstacles and intrusions that can create stress reactions in our dogs (and in us!). It's much more fun if have learned how to be cool and calm around people, other dogs & animals, traffic unusual noises and cats.
Perhaps you think your dog would do well expanding their worldview with fun things such as agility, dock diving, swimming, or other things. Together, we can be a talent scout for you pup and give them their best life ever.
Dogs have great noses. They can suss out scents thousands of times better than we can. We can get you and your dog involved in one of the most rewarding activities ever!
How does this look?
You sign up for three consecutive sessions (each week or every other week). In the first session we determine how your dog is doing in the world; I listen to your experience and concerns, and we most likely begin with Engagement. In the second and third sessions, we deepen your relationship with your dog and I teach you some tricks and give you some insights. Then perhaps three sessions are enough to get you on your way. Or perhaps you would like to work on a regular basis towards a goal as stated above. You can save money by buying a package of three sessions, or pop in now and again, ala carte. We generally will meet at a park or in my training yard. On occasion, I will come to your house. Some clients have been working with me for over a year because they are having a lot of fun. Some clients work with me for a while because of a certain behavior or fear in their dog. Dogs are unique and each have their own personality, their own needs and their own timeframe.
So we start with "First Things First."
We have to make your pup feel safe in its world.
This will begin with our being consistent and communicative in ways they understand.
We are their polestar. We want to teach them how to feel safe in their environment and also how to have some agency over their lives.
We need to be calm and clear before we expect that of them. The process involves forming new habits, seeing things from a different perspective, and practicing.
My job is to show you how this happens and to support & help you on your own journey.
Your dog needs to be recognized with mindful regard for who he or she is. I can help you with that, bringing out the best in you and your dog.
Dogs don't have "good and bad" or "right and wrong." They simply have "works" and "doesn't work." Dogs begin to respond when we meet them where they are and position ourselves as their benevolent guardian. They need to feel safe, they need to feel included & have things be interesting, and they need to be rewarded in ways that matter to them.
Your job is to show up, commit to being present for your dog, set aside what you think you may know, and be willing to take the time to practice.
Many people want a dog ready-made to go on long hikes and rides and trips to the dog park. When we begin training, we have to sometimes make their world smaller and more manageable, and then systematically and consistently give them more experiences and chances to "win" the game.
[Below] Marley was found tied up in the backyard of an abandoned home. In the photo, I am with Mark and Mark and we are helping Marley feel safe on an energetic pack walk. you can see Mark has a "rudder" leash behind and I can be a teammate with Marley in front.
Girlie, on the right, was a stray in Taos as a puppy for quite a while and had learned survival/coping skills that kept her alive but didn't work too well with her adoptive family. Today she is responsive and she likes to find electronics, she likes to go on long, engaged walks, and she loves to play with little dogs and cats.