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I know why you’re here... You're frustrated and you haven't been able to find the help you need to fix that problem you thought would get better. And if you're reading MY website, it's probably a pretty big deal.
And I KNOW how tough that can be.
Jumping and barking might be just annoying early on. It can be embarrassing, but can become a real issue when clothes are getting wrecked, someone gets knocked over or your friends stop coming over. Worse, your kids' friends' moms won't let them come over anymore.
Or it starts to escalate...
Pulling on the leash doesn't really sound like a big deal unless you're the one holding the leash! Then it sucks. Your arm hurts but more than that, you worry what would happen if the leash got pulled out of your hand or if all that choking and coughing and wheezing from pulling so hard will do permanent damage to your dog's throat.
And it's REALLY disappointing and really makes you not want to do the fun stuff with your dog. You know, the stuff that made you think having a dog would be fun. Like going for a walk. Or camping. Or downtown for a coffee. Or have a dog that could just hang out with your friends and you in the yard or the house without making everyone crazy.
It sure would be nice to not be "the neighbor with the crazy dog" when you go for walks. It would be really nice for other people to be able to see the things you love about your dog.
But some of the bigger problems are a real liability!
Even if your dog hasn’t bitten someone yet, the lunging and barking and aggression are enough to make you worried that someone could get hurt. The incessant barking when a friend comes over. That barking may or may not be scary, right? Hard to know. I mean, he's wagging his tail... that makes it alright. Doesn't it? (spoiler alert: tails wag for many reasons.)
People tell you you need Obedience Training... Here's the thing - your dog already knows basic obedience. Your dog can Sit, Down, maybe even stay. You may have already been to a bunch of Obedience classes or even hired a private trainer. Obedience is not the root of the problem.
The real problem is that he doesn't think you're all that smart or capable... dang it.
He doesn't know that "you've got this" - that it's not his job to be on alert all the time . That you can keep him safe and you know what you're doing (hmmm another spoiler alert - you probably don't. BUT! You're smart enough to be here, looking for the answers that are hard to come by.)
and it IS his job to stop questioning you and do what you want... Because he can trust you and count on you.
Basic Obedience is just tricks. Honest.
Bad behavior needs a serious change in the balance between you.
For over 40 years I did A LOT of group training classes - about 15 of those years were with my well known Los Altos based company - I saw so many dogs with so many behavior problems I just knew I needed to work more with their struggling owners. Doing private lessons was tough because I was so busy teaching about 100 dogs a week in classes.
And it wore on me that more dogs were really needing me. I burned out, sold the company and regrouped.
I started looking at all of the different problems I'd seen over the many thousands of dogs I'd worked with, especially leash "reactivity" (we all know what aggression looks like though, right? No matter if from fear or bossiness or just plain aggression, "reactive" is just glossing it over) and fear and aggressive behavior and I put together a plan.
I added in the medical problems I'd seen in the 15 years I'd been a vet tech as ICU supervisor, emergency medicine, triage, outpatient services behavior specialist to up to 20 vets at a time and how they affected dogs' behavior.
I made a list of all of the techniques, methods, systems I knew and looked for more - I looked to a behaviorist in the UK and learned her method, heck, I NAILED it and became the first person IN THE WORLD outside the UK to be certified in it.
I took that method, played with it and learned how to use it for problems beyond what it was originally used for and combined it with the other methods and now have a ONE OF A KIND program to fix behavior problems.
Wouldn't a dog that is just BEING GOOD be nice?
Having to say "Watch me" just keeps a dog from looking at anything interesting on a walk... wouldn't it be nice to have a dog that can actually look at things and enjoy their walk and not be jerking you, barking, pulling you down the street, lunging?!
Seeing people help their dogs conquer fears, stop being bossy, decide aggression isn't the answer can put tears in my eyes.
And seeing their people learn to get over the constant stress and worry they've been living with is elating!
Seeing them walk away from a lesson happy and connected? HEAVEN.
Within the program I've designed, each individual person or family and their dog has a different track to get to their goals. Everyone has different requirements and trying to use a one-size-fits-all frame of mind doesn't do anyone any good. I change the techniques with each team often because MINDS and learning ability change as we conquer problems.
MYTH -"everyone has to be on the same page" Let's face it... getting everyone involved with the dog to be "on the same page" - to use the same commands in the same way for the same things "consistently" is not realistic or sustainable and a trainer telling a family they have to do it that way or they won't get results is taking the easy way out. No WAY will the husband, wife, 11 year old or 16 year old kid be able to all treat the dog's training the same way for the rest of the dog's life.
So we train what works for the individuals. All dogs need to know how to not be rude -jumping, dashing out the door, pulling on the leash are all no-nos - but the other standards that are important to each family member and the work they're willing to do to reach those standards is going to be different to each of them.
Of course, my training takes a different kind of dog owner:
*One who doesn't want to be in an anonymous obedience class but can really thrive in a small community of people and dogs overcoming the same obstacles.
*One that is tired of seeing (feeling/HEARING practically) people rolling their eyes while you're trying to calm your dog enough to learn something.
*One who can benefit from a group of like minded helping each other with their struggles instead of judging.
*An owner who is done with not getting results and is willing to open their mind to new techniques, systems and mindsets.
*One who is willing to really do the work that will cause the change.
*One who is able to think "on the fly" and really get inside their dog's head.
SO. I'll bet this brought up some questions for you... Fortunately, I LOVE to answer questions so send me an email or a text or give me a call! and let's talk and see if we would be a good fit!
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