I am in the process of putting together this page for those that might be considering to contact a Behavoural Expert and/or Trainer for assistance with their pet(s). I have almost 25 years put into this area and it has become one of my biggest concerns with the damage that I have seen by people taking their animals to those that are not properly qualified. It can take just a moment of a dog being in the wrong hands that can cause months and sometimes years of the proper rehabilitation and correction to resolve. I live in harmony in a large multi dog home and we have regular open houses so that people can come to our home and see for themselves how pack behaviour/dynamics and training works firsthand plus to meet the Rescues of course and us. It is important for me to have people come out and see how many of the ‘stories’ found out there(such that one should not have littermates or even siblings from different litters or dogs that are related in any manner or have intact show dogs together etc.) do not have to have any validity in them if a home is responsible, accountable and consistent in their training program(s) with their canine companions. Not every home should have more than one dog and that is a fact and not every home can handle two puppies at once be they littermates or not and that is another fact. Yet, in the right home with the right dog(s), this can be a very beautiful thing.
Please note that the training profession is one of the LEAST regulated Careers out there and it is so easy for many to call themselves a Trainer when in reality they truly are not. Reading a couple of books or watching a couple of TV shows or joining an online board or two; DOES not make one a properly qualified expert in these areas. Also note that while most Behavoural Experts are also Trainers, most Trainers are NOT Behavoural Experts. To be a certified Behavouralist, one requires a minimum of a Master’s Degree in an associated discipline. Please do your research when considering to contact someone for assistance. Remember to ask questions and inquire about references if need be and learn what their program(s) are about and what type of reinforcement do they use(positive, praise, treat, negative, punishment) and if at any time, you or your pet are not comfortable; you have the ‘right’ to say ‘no thank you’ and find another person to work with you and your beloved animal.
I believe in total positive reinforcement and reward based(treats, praise etc.) programs with what I teach yet I also am a firm believer in the NILIF approach. My programs are geared towards the individual home plus needs of the particular animal(s) and I retain as much flexbility as possible with scheduling and adaptation. I do not make the animal fit any ‘one’ particular training style or program. I like to train and work in the ‘natural’ environment(their home, local dog parks, Petstores etc.) of the animal and yet often do take the animal into my home for up to 21 days for additional training or ‘tweaking’. Training does not end after that puppy social class you once took them to. Training goes on for life. I often have Clients contact me a year or more later and ask me to either ‘tweak’ again in their home or bring the animal back into my own home to ‘tune’ up again as part of ‘Gwennie’s Doggie BootCamp’ or even to ‘tweak’ themselves as a refresher. I not only work with the animals yet I provide the owner(s) with the tools/aid that they will require to continue with this training at home and after the session(s) are over. Basically, I train the owner as well as the dog(s). I also desire to work with all family members in the home and not just one person. I like to meet all members and while I will begin training with one person or a couple and their pet, I believe that for true success all members of the family should be involved in some manner or format at one point/time.
I do not use prong collars in my program(s) and I am most happy to discuss further why this is my position. I take the same position in respect to light training with my SN’s clients and my own dogs including those in our BHRR program(s). I will utilize the flicking of lights switches yet do not use lasers. I am also not one that will use vibration collars yet will use the banging of wooden door jams or floorboards. All things that I am willing to converse in more detail with possible clients. I offer programs such as ‘light’ training, ‘scent’ training plus ‘touch’ training with my SN’s Clients/Rescues/own dogs in addition to a mixture of ASL and made up hand signals. My position is just that my professional position and views for the program(s) that I teach. That does not necessarily make all the other program(s) and instructors in the world that use these sorts of methods wrong; it just makes them different than my programs. What works for one home/dog might not work for another yet I do not take these approaches in my own program(s).
Additionally, I do a lot of work with dogs(with Clients and in Rescue) that have aggression issues, resourcing, fearfulness, shyness, separation anxiety, inappropriate house elimination including marking, destruction including chewing, digging, counter surfing, garbage raiding, communication problems, social issues, new human or animal introduction worries or problems, leadership concerns just to name some. I can assist with medical advice rule-out to take to your Vet on various testing that should be done in regards to Thyroid, Lymes or other possible underlying medical causes for behavoural changes or existing problems.
As I am oft known for saying; ‘I want your dog(s) to not only be assets to your home yet also to your community’. I want you to enjoy your dog(s) and I want them to also enjoy you.
If you are interested in learning more about the types of program(s) that is offered by myself including rates etc, please do not hesitate to contact me.
For all of my past and present Clients and Adopters, if you would like to submit any comments and/or feedback to this page as additional information to those that are considering bringing in someone such as myself to assist with their animal plus themselves; please feel free to email.