Dear Pet Owner:

As trainer, my priority is to clear the communication lines between you and your pet. It is my studied opinion that POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT – within the framework of BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION – gets faster, longer lasting results than training that stresses correction and punishment, or negative enforcement training. Any pet can learn by these methods, and anyone can teach their pet using these methods.

Although choke chain methods for dogs have been popular and effective for obedience and obedience trial work through the years, many owners never learn the timing and technique required with choke chain training. Some owners are uncomfortable with the repetition and force required of them with choke chain methods. A gentle method that has been proven to work just as well, if not better than choker training is a welcome change in dog training for those dog owners.

Also, for those pet owners who exhibit their dogs at obedience shows, I am able to show them how to blend this gentle technique with any other methods they may have learned to rebuild and strengthen the bond with their dog which will improve the team’s showing results.

With cats, conventional wisdom says it is impossible to train them; so people rarely try. Instead, cats are declawed for scratching furniture and designated “outdoor cat” for not using their litter box. Worse, they are often abandoned to the streets or a shelter. Conventional wisdom is wrong, friends! This pet loving, experienced trainer is here to promote a new wisdom; CATS CAN BE TRAINED!

Just like children, all pets need proper guidance; without it, they assume they understand what is expected of them. This is usually where problem behaviors begin. The owner thinks they are giving proper guidance; but in interpretation, more confusion ensues. You sit on the sofa – they sit on the sofa. You eat off the table – they eat off the table. You walk in and out of the house – they walk in and out of the house. Then it follows that pets do as you do, but in their own special way. They sit on the sofa – wet and muddy from the monsoon outside! They reach up and pull a roast off the table – dragging it through the house! They walk out of the house after you – and follow you down the street! Not only is this unacceptable behavior, it is a recipe for disaster!!!

I prefer BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION techniques, using positive reinforcement, commonly thought of as “reward”. A reward can be anything the pet enjoys – not just food. If your pet enjoys being petted, scratched or brushed, include that as a reward. If your pet loves to play with a ball, feather, Frisbee, bone, string or rope, include those in your reward options. I prefer showing a pet when she is making the right choice – and rewarding that choice – instead of focusing on the bad choices, constantly punishing with negative enforcement. I urge the owner to incorporate a reward system while the pet is in the act of a good behavior. I suggest ways to make good behaviors a fun game. By focusing on the good behaviors, I am giving your pet a guideline. I am establishing a ruler in your pets mind by which he can measure all of his behaviors.

My method of training is holistic, taking into account the complete environment in which the pet and owner abide – the “whole” picture. Although the physical aspects of the surroundings are of some import, I am more concerned with what goes on – what it is like – in their environment. For instance, are there other family members (infants, children, teenagers, extended family or elderly relatives)? Are there other pets? Is there usually someone home or does the pet stay alone most of the time? Is the house or neighborhood busy? Do neighbors let their pets roam? Is there a pet door, giving uncontrolled access between the house and yard? Is there a fenced yard in which to roam? Are there pets next door on the other side of the fence? Are the pets walked outdoors or given leash time in the yard? What is the breed and temperament of the pet? What is the temperament of the owner(s)? There are many factors to the equation that must be considered.

In training, I translate the holistic equation in a way that is clear and useable in the owners’ particular world – your special environment. Where behavior problems exist, I use guidelines within the behavior modification framework to achieve the desired results. Since individual cases vary, I tailor my methods to achieve the desired results.

“My method of training is holistic, taking into account the complete environment in which the pet and owner abide – the ‘whole’ picture.”

With any new family member – whether they are a puppy, kitten or older pet – accidents will happen; undesirable behaviors will occur. Most can be prevented, and I can show you how. By limiting the possibilities of bad behavior, and focusing on the good with proper POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT, peace and joy can reign in your pet-loving household. I look forward to hearing from you!

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