The Full Story
Like many people, I love dogs! All of them, large, medium and small; shy and outgoing, young and old. When given a good home with what they need from puppyhood, dogs can blossom into great companions.
Sadly, not all dogs are given a full and happy life and lack confidence because some of them (too many) have not had a great start in life; however, it amazes me every day that these dogs are still willing to trust given a loving adopter in a new home, time and patience. It's the best thing in the world to see a rescued dog given a second chance to find a forever home and given what they need to live a full life. Re-homed dogs need time to acclimate and your patience, and with the right guidance they can blossom into a well-balanced confident dog.
Since 2008, I have been a volunteer at Homeward Bound Golden Retriever Rescue and Sanctuary, Inc. in Elverta, California. There, I am able to help prepare rescued dogs for placement in loving homes and assist after adoption through private sessions and in group classes. Between volunteering and running my own business, I see about 70 dogs a week which has given me a great opportunity to continue to learn about dog behavior in puppies, adolescent and adult dogs.
I started studying canine behavior and ethology in 2005 with the goal of helping dogs from a rescue or shelter, and as I completed various certifications, I realized no one knows everything about canines and how they think and why they do what they do. I continue to take classes and participate in conferences to continue learning and provide a service to Homeward Bound, their adopters and our clients. I have been very fortunate to learn about canine behavior not only by studying, and spending time with hundreds of dogs over the years, but by one person who taught me the most, my friend Jody Jones, she and her husband were the founders of Homeward Bound. I miss her.
The main learning throughout the years has become clear, we need to let our dogs be dogs and allow then to run, play, sniff and yes, pee on things. Dogs are social animals and most need to be around their own species, this is why we focus so much on socialization in our training. Socialization is the key to a happy, healthy dog that can go anywhere with you and your family (see the 'Magic of Socialization' section on this website).
My professional training includes a certification in science-based methodologies that are ethical, positive, and never aversive (Certified Professional Dog Trainer, CPDT). We teach our clients how to train their dog's the obedience skills they need or modify behaviors, using dog-responsive motivators to teach new skills. I specialize in many areas of behavior modification, such as fear, stress, anxiety, hyperactivity, reactivity and aggression. Most of these issues are managed through private sessions to focus on the dog's needs and make progress towards a more balanced and fulfilling life. If it's a simple issue, it may be solved in one session, and with more complex issues it may take more sessions along with a behavior plan.
We offer group obedience classes that always include socialization at Homeward Bound on the weekends. Dogs and puppies can gain the skills they need to live their best lives. We have several classes dedicated to puppies, adolescent and adult dogs. Our clients love to watch their dogs play and learn in a safe environment with experienced trainers to assess, watch and intervene if necessary.
Training your dog should not be a chore, so we show you how to work training into your busy schedule, and we use training games so working with your dog is a fun and a rewarding experience.
Positive training with positive results.