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  • What is Separation Anxiety?
    Separation anxiety is a panic disorder that is similar to human phobias. It is estimated that about 17% of dogs suffer from separation anxiety and make up 20-40% of cases presented to Veterinary Behaviorists. In the US alone, that means that over 13 MILLION dogs suffer from this affliction. Your dog is not being spiteful or vindictive because you are leaving them, they are truly afraid of being alone.
  • Why should I hire a separation anxiety trainer?
    Dealing with separation anxiety in your dog is hard and overwhelming. While helping your dog feel safe when alone is straightforward, it is not an easy process. Hiring someone to take the burden of creating the training plan, monitoring progress, problem solving and supporting you through the long and winding journey can relieve much of the stress of training and keeps many dogs in their homes with the people they love and who love them. I review your case as each “mission” (training session) is complete and prep you for the next day. Plus, we reassess and touch base on Zoom weekly to ensure we continue to make progress while listening to your dog. Generally, I dedicate 2-3 hours per week on your case.
  • Does remote/online training work?
    The short answer is YES! This is particularly the case when dealing with unwanted behaviors when fear or anxiety are the root cause. The biggest “con” to this type of training is for the human. Some of us just do better in a live setting. Since many of my clients have dogs that are over-reactive in some way, remote/online training is a lifesaver. When a dog is over threshold, it is impossible for them to learn. Whether they are afraid, anxious, excited, or are not able to control themselves around new or strange things or things that trigger an instinctive, undesirable response, remote appointments allow us to make progress with foundations that can take longer if a stranger were physically present. I am able to explain and demonstrate training protocols and observe you practicing them live to fine tune them during the appointment. On top of that, I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open between appointments. Send me videos! I want you to see progress and keeping me updated on how things are going is a great way to help you and your dog make progress.
  • What is your approach to dog training?
    My goal is to help you create a strong, loving and respectful bond with your dog. Because every household and every dog is different, I concentrate on one-on-one training which allows me to focus on the specific needs of clients on an individual basis. Any training plan that is developed includes your feedback which helps ensure that it is realistic for you to achieve and takes into consideration the needs of both your family and your dog. My training plans focus on Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) techniques and include the Hierarchy of Dog Needs. In practical terms, this means rewarding the dog with things they want and enjoy for behaviors we want to see more often, avoiding interactions that cause fear or pain, and meeting their daily needs by providing a balanced and enriching life with their families.
  • How do you structure your training?
    Training programs will vary, depending on the plan. I encourage weekly appointments for at least the first month with the option to re-evaluate appointment frequency after that based on progress and goals. General structure is regular appointments via Zoom combined with contact and support in between appointments to facilitate continued progress. I provide supplemental materials, as needed, and encourage clients to send videos of their training and examples of the challenges they are experiencing. Success videos are also welcome!
  • Why don't you train basic obedience?
    There are many excellent trainers that provide basic obedience classes and private training, while fewer can help those dogs with behavior issues. While obedience skills are included in many of my behavior modification plans, they are specific to the behavior and dog being addressed. I focus on the entire household and the skills that need to be introduced to address your challenges with your dog, rather than providing a set list of skills for everyone. Your situation is unique to you and my training takes that into consideration.
  • How long have you been training dogs and what are your qualifications?
    I have had dogs most of my life, so in some way or another, I have always been training. Even during those short periods of time when I did not have a dog of my own, I would help friends with their dogs. I embraced dog training as a profession in 2010 and paid my dues as an intern/volunteer trainer until 2011. At which time I was contracted with a local non-profit that pairs shelter dogs with disabled veterans and helps them train those dogs to be their assistance animal. From 2011 to 2019, this was my primary focus, though I did continue to train others on the side as I was able. I achieved certification through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT) as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer in 2013 (CPDT-KA) in 2013 and a Certified Behavior Consultant-Canine (CBCC-KA) in 2015. In 2021, I became a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) and am a Fear Free Certified Professional (FFCP-Trainer). In 2019, I decided to concentrate on helping all families improve their relationship with their dogs and have been working with individuals, rescues, and shelters ever since.
  • When are you available for appointments?
    I schedule appointments during the week, Monday through Friday.
  • What are you doing to maintain health and safety during the pandemic?
    The development of remote training was a significant step to ensuring the health and safety of all my clients, myself, and our loved ones. Remote appointments are available to everyone, even if they are local to me. I waive my 48 hour cancellation policy if a client has to cancel due to exposure or infection.

Frequently Asked Questions

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