I have been working in the pet care industry for over 10 years and have trained professionally for 5 of them. I have worked at a large boarding kennel, in a groom shop and as a groom school instructor. I still teach group dog training classes and I just love dogs. Working at a kennel, I have seen and been with all types and sizes of dogs. From 3 pound Chihuahuas to 200+ pound Newfoundlands, each dog has their own attributes and I enjoy working with them all.
I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-ka from the CCPDT. I attend schooling and conferences to keep up on the latest advancements in training. As well as being a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, I have also attended the San Franisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers and have a Certificate in Training & Counseling.
I currently own two small dogs, a Havanese that is now in his golden years and a Lowchen who is my middle aged buddy. They all have Canine Good Citizen awards, and with Gidget (who is no longer with me) have multiple years of 4-H training and showing. Mekos is my demo dog in classes and my bait dog for private trains. The Photo section has more pictures of my dogs as well as others I have worked with in the past.
Our Training Style
My training style is built on the Learning Theory Principles. These are the same ideas that are not only used in labs, but in children’s schools the world over. For training, I like to focus on positive behaviors that you would like the dog to do instead of what they are currently doing. This gives the dog something better to do than the annoying behavior and eliminates unnecessary yelling at the dog.
One of the big styles of training is Operant Training. This is where you train a cue when the dog should do a behavior and rewarding them as a result. Not every reward is a treat, but every reward should be a motivator for the dog to do the behavior the next time you ask. I love to use life rewards such as their normal dog food, attention, toys, and getting out. In using this style, we are actively looking for the dog to give us certain behaviors and breaking it down so that it’s as easy to train as it is for the dog to learn.
Another big style of training is Classical Conditioning. This is where you gradually train the dog to like something that it may be fearful or aggressive towards. In this, we are changing the emotion of the dog so that we no longer worry about what the dog is doing behaviorally, but what it is feeling. By pairing the scary item with something the dog loves, we change the emotion over time. Think back to the bell ringing for school to be done. It was meaningless, until you were released. Overtime, you loved the bell ringing because it meant that you were free to return home and leave school behind.
Often, we use both styles in a training plan and all the different subsections in them make training easy for both your family and your dog. Training should be fun and a bonding experience, but it should also solve your bothersome issues.