I have been training dogs professionally for over 15 years with working dogs in the US Marine Corps, training hundreds of dogs in group obedience classes, and countless behavioral consultations solving problems including aggression and anxiety.
I have bachelor's degree in biomedical science and animal behavior, a PhD in neuroscience and behavior with original research in both animal communication and impulsive behavior, and postdoctoral research in canine behavioral genomics. I am a former professor of canine science & behavior.
I'm now working with the families of dogs with significant behavior issues using my knowledge of the science of behavior and my experience in teaching to not only help resolve your dog's problematic behavior, but also to teach you how to maintain a happy healthy relationship with your pup.
Most behavior problems stem from some underlying fear or anxiety. Fears can drive a dog into a fight or flight response, which can — when the dog feels like they cannot escape — turn into a loud, scary, aggressive display.
We want to replace this feeling of helplessness with empowerment. As a member of the Academy Of Pet Careers, I advocate for and apply our philosophy of Pet Empowerment.
Pet Empowerment focuses on the enrichment of animals in order to promote a healthier human-pet bond. Empowered Pets are confident, independent, and have the ability to make their own choices.
Practicing Pet Empowerment means understanding the desires and motivations of your pet. For a human and their pet to live an empowered lifestyle, both must work to improve communication and strive to seek a balance between the needs of the human and the needs of the pet.
Also, as a FearFreeSM Certified Trainer, I use only those methods that will help reduce the fear responses underlying your dogs problematic behavior and never compound the problem.
Help your dog have a happy, healthy life again. Get back to walking on leash confidently and having company over safely. Build the comfort you and your dog need to feel safe visiting and enjoying pet stores and parks again.
Fill out the no-cost no-commitment intake form below to start the process: Get Started Today
I'll reach out to schedule an initial evaluation to get to know you and your dog and lay the foundation of an individual intervention strategy.
Wherever is best for you and your dog. We have a facility that can be used, but most cases I work with are best helped by working in the dog's own home.
The initial in-home evaluation is $350. After our initial evaluation I will provide an individualized intervention plan with an estimated timeline and cost.
I reach out within 2 days after receiving the intake form. Often initial evaluations can be scheduled within a week. How long we will need to work together, however, varies greatly as each case is unique.
When a dog feels scared or threatened they want to escape the situation. Unfortunately our dogs often forget that moving away calmly is an option. There are physical constraints like fences and leashes, but there are also social constraints: they may feel a need to stay close to their family or in a certain location.
These constraints create a conflict or frustration which often is initially expressed as fear or aggression. These responses often result in a self-reinforcing cycle increasing the conflict and increasing the fear or aggressive response.
In our work we'll focus less on the consequences of behavior and rather emphasize changing the dog's motivation or how they feel about given situations. With Classical Counter Conditioning we can help dogs learn that formerly scary people or situations are safe, or that events that make them too excited can instead be calming.
Many of our fearful or aggressive dogs I work with are also greatly helped by techniques that help them realize that they have choices. With Behavioral Adjustment Training, we can help your dog rebuild their natural communication skills and learn to feel safe when they formerly would have barked, growled, or lunged.
My goal is not only to help your dog, but also to teach you about the relevant rehabilitation strategies that will be best for your dog. When we take the right steps, we can often see rapid progress, but it is essential that you learn how to continue a life-long process of recovery with your dog. I will teach you the relevant techniques and skills, while also helping you read and understand your dogs body language and communication. Your dog will tell us when they are ready to progress and when they need more help — we just need to listen.