What We Offer
A Behavior Consultation allows you to bring your dog and any available family members for a discussion of the issues that concern you. It allows me to observe your dog in a neutral environment. I am able to see how the dog handles the mild stress of being in an unfamiliar environment, but also hear about his behavior issues. I can expose the dog to another neutral dog, if useful, and handle him myself.
We will discuss his history from day one and understand how the problems began and how they have changed over time. You will leave with all your questions answered and suggestions about approaches in the home that can help modify the problems that concern you. We will also discuss whether or not obedience training would be helpful. The information will be thorough but realistic and founded in the information available from the scientific world.
Classes are available on an ongoing basis. The classes are open enrollment. This means you are able to begin at any time convenient to you. You are not locked into any particular number of classes and may find that just a few lessons work for you. You may also find that a night out for you and your dog becomes a lifestyle. We have clients with us for years. You will find that the variety of instruction is interesting enough and the ongoing social exposure for your dog is enriching. Sometimes your life does not give you the time or opportunity to expose your dog socially and this is critical for his entire life. You should see the dogs pull their owners into the room on "Dog Night". Some say their dogs know when class night is approaching and they certainly understand the "treat bag" concept. We become family and always welcome new members. Each team is encouraged to work at their own pace, addressing those special issues that concern them, and it is in no sense competitive. If you need time off for vacations or other life demands, we welcome you back when you are ready. You are not paying for classes missed. On the other hand, we have training teams working on focus, straight and quick sits, the fading of cues, and other more demanding training features, because they are interested in the potential of competition. Mary Jo competes in the dog world and is fully aware of the demands. But even if these are your goals, having fun is always number one. If you're not having fun, neither is your dog.
Reactive Dog Training
We welcome what we call reactive dogs. These are dogs with behavior issues that prompt them to move out against other people or dogs with aggression.
We begin with evaluation, discuss at home management and privately help the owner develop skills and confidence. These dogs are welcome in our general classes after appropriate training. There are no easy or quick answers. Harsh correction and intimidation is certainly not the answer. With this approach the dog now has two problems; you and the environment. The owner must always be an environmental manager that the dog can trust, never a source of punishment.
We have ongoing success with these dogs helping both owner and dog develop confidence, skill, and control. Our classes are safe and designed to address each dog where he is.
Canine Good Citizen Testing
& Preparation for Therapy Dog International Testing
The CGC and TDI (Canine Good Citizen, Therapy Dog International) are AKC certificates available specifying that your dog is a good citizen, owned and trained by a responsible owner, and ready to live in the world responsibly. Our classes cover all the items required by the test and you will be prepared to bring your dog for testing with confidence. The TDI takes this certification a step further for those dogs of suitable temperament who can work therapeutically with others. Actually, a few additional items are added to the CGC to assure that your dog in comfortable about being touched and can work in situations with distractions or medical equipment. This is not Assistance Dog training, which is highly individualized, but a general statement about your dog's temperament and behavior. A number of our clients have accomplished these certifications. We are able to offer certification tests on our own property. TDI training prepares dogs for the tests at a variety of locations.