"What are your methods?" the very nice lady asked. (Sound effect in my head -DUN DUN DUUUNNNN... )
"Your programs are really different from the Obedience Training I've seen..."
OMG. This question always makes me gulp! I know I'm supposed to have an "elevator speech" - a few well-crafted sentences to pitch myself and make you sign up immediately...
But I'm a dog trainer! And my programs ARE really "different" from traditional Sit, Down, Stay training.
But... no elevator speech.
So this poor lady saw me floundering and then I did what I do, I asked about her dog.
The answer to her question became clear as we talked...
See, I KNOW the problems people in the bay area have with their dogs.
I've been doing this for more than a few decades and with more than ten thousand people and I get it.
More than that, I can FIX those problems.
You for instance... you're still reading so you've probably tried a jillion things but your dog is still dragging you down the street as if you don't exist.
He's probably lunging at those squirrels who are masters of teasing dogs or at that cat that hides under the car at the end of the street. Your walks are a gauntlet of cats, dogs, squirrels, smells of who knows what.
Or worse, your dog looks scarily ferocious when he's barking, growling, throwing himself at the end of the leash or from in your house because he sees a dog, a person, bikes or other imagined threat on walks.
THAT one is tough to live with.
Dogs start living smaller lives.
You stop taking those walks you really wanted to be able to enjoy.
We all live on top of each other here in the bay area... especially in the lower peninsula and south bay; despite the appearance of a slower pace it's hard to not run into things that "trigger" your dog.
Aw, jeez... the front door when someone knocks!
I've heard it; every time I knock on a new client's door, from the other side I hear, "SIT SIT SIT! STAY! NO, SIT!" Or dead silence.
In the SIT case, the dog is always being held by the collar or on the leash and is still on both hind legs trying to jump on me – or bite me.
In the dead quiet case, the dog is locked outside or in another room and is quiet until he figures out I'm there.
You may have become an unofficial member of the Moonlight Dog Walker's club – walking your dog (when you can build yourself up for it) in all of the off hours because... well, it's embarrassing and frustrating and kind of sad.
Walking in the off hours doesn't change the pulling and plowing left and right all across in front of and behind you but at least you won't be mortified when you see the neighbors.
But you probably have escape routes planned all through your walk - "I can go up that driveway" "I can turn that corner" "I can duck behind that car and maybe he won't see that dog and go crazy".
And beyond the embarrassment there's the very justified and real fear that something bad might happen.
"What if he actually IS aggressive, not just friendly and wanting to play? What if he DOES bite that person or dog that just wants to Say Hi?
What if he dashes out the door or pulls the leash out of my hand and someone gets hurt? Including HIM!?"
Being sued would be bad enough - what if they seize him and take him to the pound?
What if they don't let him come home?
What if someone or their dog is REALLY hurt because I haven't been able to fix this?
And of course there are the other daily annoyances of him being naughty at home that are pale in comparison but add to the stress nonetheless.
We have our dogs to make our lives BETTER! Not more stressful.
You've tried training him and it didn't work. You may have already had a trainer or two and it just didn't take. So now you're looking for what WILL work.
This is exactly why I designed my Reset program to be so different.
Why "Reset"? As you've seen from your own experiences, the Sit, Down, Stay stuff doesn't really help if your dog is a mess of
I use a one of a kind blend of different methods, tools and skills for each dog and owner. No cookie cutter answers. The calming and exclusive techniques (works for both of you!) RESET your dog's mind to a state where things that used to trigger him now don't matter...
Yep, I said they won't matter. He won't care about them.
He'll SEE them, he'll hear them, they just won't trigger chaos in his mind.
The way we used to deal with this was either stuffing treats into them and keeping them "under threshold" (trainer-speak for don't let them see anything that upsets them... which is nearly impossible where we live!)
or giving a harsh "correction" and making them Sit and "Watch Me" (Watch Me is one of my least favorite things in the world!). Neither is very... sustainable?
Don't we want our dog to be able to LOOK AT THE WORLD!? And enjoy our walk while still being in tune and attentive to us?
As I always do when I run up against only having "the old way", I went looking for NEW ways.
I looked at what trainers all over the world were doing. I found cutting edge trainers using old tools in new, better, more sensible and kind ways and trainers who are presenting things I already know in ways I hadn't thought of.
With what I'd been learning I put together a plan – a program -- and I started working with shelter dogs who just needed an extra little bit of help to be able to get a new home and I was BLOWN AWAY by the results.
The shelter where I was called in for special dogs as their Behavior Consultant had a dog that was going so crazy in her kennel that the shelter staff was sure she would have to be euthanized within a few days.
She'd been there for months and no one wanted her because she was so crazy hyper. She was a good sized dog and would jump up at people's faces, grab at their shirts and arms and hands and she was getting scary, even for the shelter's most experienced staff.
We all knew that inside she was a sweet and gentle girl who really wanted love. But the environment and frustration was literally going to kill her.
I put my new plan to work and in just a few days she was calm, kind and we could see the sweet dog she was, really shining. She got adopted just a couple of days later by a family who walked into her run and saw her just melt for them. No jumping, no spinning, no biting hands.
When the family sat on the floor she just moved from lap to lap, accepting belly rubs and smiling like mad.
The entire staff (and I!) gathered around her run, gawking in amazement. There were more than a few tears...
That success told me I was on the right track and they next asked me to help a dog who had been at the shelter for two years; she was a true abuse case and had been nearly fatally wounded in a domestic dispute.
She had spent her first year of life on a chain, her second year in almost total isolation as "evidence" at the shelter and her third was trying to learn how to recover from all of that.
She was a mess.
Fighting at the fence, aggressive to strangers, completely out of control when her assigned volunteer (she couldn't be trusted with any but the most skilled volunteer who was also a trainer) did take her for a walk – she would drag him from bush to bush, tree to tree looking for cats, dogs, squirrels, even the horses next door to bark and lunge at.
There is no doubt her extreme state of excitement and overstimulation would have caused her to kill one if she could.
I teamed up with her volunteer and on the first day she was able to walk calmly through the grounds with only the occasional slip using this new program I was developing.
On the second lesson she was able to go calmly into the chaos of the shelter to her run without going crazy at the cage doors.
After her third lesson with me she returned to the shelter only to turn her back on the door to the room where her run was. She went to another door; a door that led to the lobby and adoption desk.
A door she had never been through and where no one thought she ever would.
The excitement she used to feel about going back into that kennel room with all of the barking dogs leaping at her against their kennel doors, the eagerness to engage them in their frustrating battle of teeth on metal was gone.
She was done with chaos.
She had finally experienced calm and quiet and that was the frame of mind she wanted to stay in.
She did end up having to walk up that aisle to her run but she did it with not even a sideways glance and she went in without any fussing at the neighbors flinging themselves furiously at her.
She sat quietly while her volunteer took her leash off and as he walked out she looked at us with a look I'll never forget and still brings tears to my eyes.
She wanted calm.
So the good news is that within a couple of weeks she was going for walks at a local park, able to enjoy things she'd never seen before.
Which led to her being ADOPTED by her volunteer!
Then I started teaching this method to people whose personal dogs were showing similar behaviors. I refined and reworked it, constantly thrilled with the results.
I had dogs that couldn't even be close enough to SEE another dog, suddenly walking with and past them.
That’s what this program will do for your dog.
He won't care about the things that set him off before.
Won't feel threatened. Will be happy to choose CALM and HAPPY to "Walk On By".
You will change too. You'll start to lose that constant scanning looking for a dog to avoid.
You'll start to see how you can finally RELAX on your walks.
You'll be able to sit at that coffee place and not worry about your dog darting out from under the table at a trigger whether it's a scooter, stroller, person or dog.
So if this very NON elevator speech sounds like what you've been looking for, let's talk NOW.
Enter your information on the form and get access to the programs and prices plus schedule a free non elevator speech consultation with me.
To change your dog from frazzled to fantastic Click the picture to get access to information about our Just Behave! Program
Our program for dogs that act aggressively toward other dogs, people or scooters or pretty much ANYTHING will calm both you AND your dog and make walks, vet visits and just BEING with your dog much more relaxing and enjoyable!
Take your dog's training to the next level! Get him to ALWAYS come when called, to be trustworthy on trails and GO HAVE FUN!