Dog Training as a Win-Win"Cyndi, I love him so much and he's really a good dog, but..."
When people find out I train dogs, often the conversation begins with this sentence. And it's so true -- your dog is a really good dog! He's a dog who just doesn't totally understand what you want or expect. That doesn't make him a "bad" dog any more than it makes you a "bad" human. Training can actually save you money by eliminating destructive behavior, lower your stress level, and —as one client recently told me — can save your dog off Craig's List!
I believe every dog owner would like to have a well-mannered dog who is a pleasure to be around. Perhaps you've tried an obedience class at one of the big box stores. Fido may have done well and graduated at the top of his class, but somehow the newly acquired behavior didn't quite transfer to your home. You may have thought of joining a training club, but feel somewhat intimidated by all those really serious dog people. You just want Fido to stop jumping on Aunt Susie and peeing on the carpet when you aren't looking. You can spend big bucks to send your dog off somewhere to be trained, but only half of the team gets instruction that way. A special bond is built when the dog's human is involved in the training process. A professional trainer may be able to elicit appropriate behavior from your dog, but leadership is not transferred by simply handing over the leash. And who wants to be without their dog for 6 weeks? And we've all heard the horror stories of dogs returning home, seemingly well trained, but somehow losing the personality of the dog you left. Too many facilities resort to aversive training tactics because they are under pressure to "deliver" a well-trained dog at the end of the training period.
I train pet dogs who live with people who dearly love them and want them to be a part of the family. My goal is for dogs and their humans to live happily together and have a mutually satisfying bond. Unwanted behavior is the single most common reason dogs are given up. Your dog deserves a forever home and you deserve a dog that will bring you pleasure and companionship.
My training philosophy is built on the following: