Service Areas (San Francisco proper):
I provide science-based, force-free, positive reinforcement (R+) training for dogs of every age, size & temperament. Depending on the type of training you require, I can perform the training session in your home or mine, out on walks or online. Regardless of the type of training you choose, it is essential that YOU are involved in the process. Foundational obedience training typically consists of me training your dog for the majority of the one-hour training session, & I recommend we spend the last 10 minutes or so training you on the behaviors I just trained your dog (if it works for your schedule). If you purchase a package, the final session is always 'people training', where you (& preferably all members of your family) are coached in detail on how to maintain the behaviors your pup has learned over the course of the previous sessions. Know this: I cannot FIX your dog - I merely teach sills & lay the foundation for alternate behaviors - it is up to YOU to ensure that the training continues ! If you're willing to put in the work, I can help to improve your dog's behavior while greatly enhancing your relationship with your mutt.
Different from obedience training whereby we are teaching your dog 'new tricks', behavioral training addresses behaviors that already exist & require a change in your dog's perspective or emotional response. If your dog is lunging or barking at other dogs or new people, for example, it is up to us to let your pup know that these recurring stimuli are pleasant things & not scary threats. If your dog has a negative reaction to loud noises, moving objects or specific types of passersby, it is our job to help change these emotional responses from bad ones to good ones. In addition to showing you appropriate management techniques, which help you to control your dog's environment in the moment, I can teach you the proper timing, mechanics & counter-conditioning methods required to change how your dog FEELS about the stimuli that bring about these reactions, which is where real behavior change occurs.
Separation Anxiety Training:
Does your dog pant & pace when you are preparing to leave the house? Refuse to eat, destroy furniture, scratch, whine or bark incessantly while you are gone? Act stressed or panicked when you return? Your dog is not trying to 'get back at you' for leaving her alone, & it is not something she will simply 'get over' any more than you might get over a fear of heights by being dangled from a bridge. Separation anxiety is a panic disorder, experienced differently by each dog; there is no 'quick fix' & response rates to modification of fear & anxiety-based behaviors vary. But, when a systematic training plan is established & updated regularly according to your dog's specific needs & response rates, progress WILL happen. It might seem impossible to you now, but I promise - I can help !
Similar to Behavioral Training, Separation Anxiety Training addresses the fear &/or anxiety your dog feels when left alone, & uses very minute & broken down desensitization & counter-conditioning techniques to change how the dog feels about being left alone. Reliable & consistent application of these micro-steps help your dog to understand that being alone isn't necessarily scary & builds assurance & understanding that you will never leave her for longer than she can handle & will always come back. Packages include daily, step by step training plans, regular text feedback, video reviews, access to a proprietary SA App, & supported with weekly, one-on-one, in depth, online guidance sessions:
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Before any training can happen, we'll need to have a Consultation:
In order to understand what kinds of training will best benefit you & your Mutt, I need to meet with you to discuss the behavioral challenges you're facing, & assess how your pup behaves & reacts to various stimuli. We'll discuss your dog's behavior both in & out of the home, any triggers you perceive, & the body language & mannerisms we both observe. I will provide management techniques for you to use right away, & we'll discuss ways forward in regards to appropriate training options that suit your lifestyle, schedule & personal preferences. A consultation normally lasts 60-90 minutes, but I put no time limit on the very important process of getting to know you & your Mutt.
I do not board, but can sit in your home & stay with your precious pups while you're away, allowing them to stay in the space where they're most comfortable with things that make them feel secure. I can't compare to you, of course, but I do my best to make sure they stay happy, healthy & well-exercised, giving loads of attention & ensuring we have some quality & bonding down time together. I always provide 2 walks per day (20-30 minutes morning & evening), & can also provide a long, mid-day jaunt at my current rates if needed. I make sure your pup is never alone more than a few hours, & love to enjoy evenings at home with a pup on my lap. I am experienced with Mutts of all ages, & comfortable administering medications. I make sure you know how your pup is doing with daily texts & photos, & am happy to take care of any household responsibilities. If you're headed out of town & can't take your pups with you, you can rest assured they are in excellent hands with me.
I provide off-leash pack hikes to groups of 6 or less on local trails in San Francisco proper. We practice reinforcement of basic training skills during all hikes, focusing heavily on recall, wait for release, attention to cues, & trail manners & we rarely go to the same place twice in a week. Every dog in the pack is very responsive to verbal cues & I am confident that they will come when I call & listen if I need to get them out of the way of children, other dogs or people, or something that could potentially put them in danger. We are on the trail for 45 minutes to an hour daily, & with other pick ups & drop offs, your Mutt will be out of the house for a couple of hours at least. I bill on a flat rate, which means your monthly amount is always the same & also gives you 4 free weeks per year, so cancellations are not accepted. You'll also get a text message after every hike with a an activity report & photos of the fun your dog had that day. Ready to sign up for regular pack walks?!