My training specialties are: basic manners, puppy training, walk/hike and train, cooperative care and low stress handling, and incorporating enrichment into your dog’s daily life. Training can take place in-person and/or by video. Read below to learn more about each area.
Get started training basic manners (also called “foundation behaviors”) as soon as you bring a new fur baby – of any age — into your household. These include cues like giving you attention, responding to their name, sit, down, stay, targeting, go to bed, come (recall), and developing walking skills together.
Puppy Raising and Training
Puppies bring so much joy but they are a LOT of work! The ideal scenario is to contact me about puppy training PRIOR to bringing your new puppy home. The first 16 weeks of a puppy’s life are most critical for positive exposure and socialization, so take full advantage of that period of time. When working with me, you will get:
- help responding appropriately to common puppy raising concerns (potty training, mouthing, jumping, crate training, chewing, independence training, kid and puppy safety, etc.)
- guidance implementing management and a good home set-up (use of baby gates, crates, etc.)
- information about positive exposure and socialization (there are many misconceptions)
- a start to basic manners training
- vet and health insurance information, an introduction to enrichment, recommended products, and training skills to set your family and puppy up for success
It’s reassuring to have a professional trainer to work with. There is lots of misleading information online and from well-intended friends and family. I’ll tailor your training to your needs, questions, and the number of sessions we have together.
If you want more support, ask me about my deluxe puppy package.
“Walk and Train” or “Hike and Train” (Enrichment and Training Outings)
I will take your dog out on neighborhood walks (on-leash) or hikes in East Bay Regional parks (on- or off-leash, or on a long line), and incorporate enrichment and training during the outing.
This is a great option if your dog doesn’t do so well in groups, needs to work on specific skills to enjoy walks or hikes together, or is reactive to triggers in the environment. Also excellent if you want to get your dog some decompression time on the trails or in a quieter neighborhood but don’t have time to take him there yourself.
Walk and Train or Hike and Train are typically private sessions (in some cases, I can take 2 dogs that get along well together for semi-private outings). During these sessions, I work on teaching and/or strengthening a variety of behaviors that we determine together. For example: recall (come), loose leash walking, attention to handler, disengaging from triggers, and moving past distractions calmly. Your dog will also get plenty of sniffy time and time to “just be a dog.” That might mean digging, rolling, lying in the grass, running, playing, chewing on a stick, or stalking bugs or other small critters.
Cooperative Care: Vet and Grooming
Many dogs become scared of the vet or groomer and don’t like to be “handled” or touched on the paws, ears or mouth. They run when the nail clippers come out or writhe away from the toothbrush. They may try to nip or bite the person touching them and need to be muzzled or restrained in order to attend to their basic healthcare needs. I love helping my clients help their dogs become more comfortable with being handled so routine grooming or visits to the vet are safer and more pleasant for you, your dog, and the vet or the groomer. This will require regular work on your part, but you can make significant progress with your dog’s willingness to be handled if you go at their pace, give them choice, respect their “no” and look for “yes, I’m ok with you doing that to me.” Vet visits, administering medication, and grooming are an important part of care for your dog and I hope you’ll be interested in working on this.
Enrichment is learning what your dogs’ needs are and then structuring an environment for them that allows them, as much as is feasible, to meet those needs.Allie Bender & Emily Strong, authors of Canine Enrichment for the Real World
Perhaps your dog is older, has suffered an injury, or you don’t have the physical ability or time to take your dog on long outings. You can still incorporate enrichment into your daily routine. Even if none of these “limitations” apply, enrichment is important. I’ll teach you about enrichment strategies, which can include trick training, and enrichment outings. The goal is to meet your dog’s needs, mentally engage your dog, and continue to build a great relationship with each other.
Training by Video
We can always get started on training your puppy or adult dog by video. We can cover many basic puppy raising and foundation training topics via video, from how to deal with puppy mouthing and jumping to training basic behaviors such as sit, down, and come. Training tires your dog out more than you realize. It’s great mental stimulation and will help build your relationship with your dog. Short training sessions with your dog are a great way to break up your day, get off those Zoom meetings, and spend a few minutes with your fur baby. For our sessions, I provide video or live demos, instructions, and feedback as you practice with your dog. You can also submit videos to me during the week for feedback.