How about building a fulfilling partnership with you and your canine companion?
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 from Craig’s List!
We get dogs to enjoy them. They can encourage us to exercise by having a buddy to get out and walk with, they can alert us to strangers at the front door or elsewhere on your property, they can teach the kids responsibility in caring for them and giving them an enthusiastic playmate who is always up for a game of Frisbee or retrieving the ball. What we didn’t sign up for was a dog who pulled us down the street, lunged like a wild animal at the neighbors and their dogs, went crazy barking non-stop at visitors who dare to ring the doorbell or jumped on or mouthed the kids to the point that you don’t trust the dog because he plays too rough and the kids have no interest in taking care of him! You get a sense of dread driving home from work thinking about the mess that’s been left for you today or constant battle that will ensue with the kids crying and you yelling at the dog for his bad behavior. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!!
Of course every dog owner wants a well-mannered dog who is a member of the family and a pleasure to be around. You may have tried lots of options and you are to be commended for that, but please, DON’T GIVE UP YET! Your sanity and peace of mind can be just a phone call away!
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. And Aunt Susie won’t be there and neither will your carpet and you are having the issues at your house, not a strange training facility. Not only does a dog not generalize behaviors very well (what he learns in one location doesn’t specifically transfer to another one), but there is a special bond and trust factor built when the dog’s human is involved in his training process.
A professional trainer may be able to elicit appropriate behavior from your dog, but that respect and 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.