your new dog
Every animal is an individual, just like humans. And a one-size-fits-all
strategy for animals works about as well it does for people--that
is, not very well! One-on-One training is fully individualized
and gives you a way to reach your dog directly according to
his needs and inclinations. You'll learn a lot about dog behavior
in a general way, but more important, you'll learn about your
Not sure how to choose
the right dog for your family? Ask how I can help!
Did you know that your puppy can begin training the day
you bring her home? Just like human babies, puppies are little
sponges, soaking up and learning from experiences at a fantastic
rate. And like human babies, they pass through developmental
windows. You'll have only one opportunity to make the most
of these developmental periods, and training during these
times is especially productive.
You'll learn what makes your puppy tick, your puppy will learn
to work with you instead of against you, and you'll both establish
a bond around co-operation and understanding.
Ask about our PUPPY PLAYSCHOOL
classes co-organized with the Big Bad Woof in Takoma Park,
Your adopted dog
You've had dogs before, but this dog is different!
Dogs that come from shelters or rescues or who have a "checkered
past" often arrive with baggage in the form of perplexing
behavior problems. Some are a bit manic, some very shut down,
some may never have lived inside a home before.
It's tempting to try to psychoanalyze, but it's better to
just start with the behaviors that you see, shaping them up
and providing lots of structure. We may never know what your
adopted dog has been through, but we can surely help him to
make the adjustment to living with you in your home.
While most rescue dogs haven't seen actual abuse (though
some certainly have) most have been pretty thoroughly neglected,
and many have learned some profoundly dysfunctional ways of
interacting with people, other animals and the environment.
With patient behavioral training, your adopted dog can learn
new co-operative responses to replace the old knee-jerk maladaptations.
Training can help even easy-going, untroubled dogs more
rapidly and successfully make the transition from a life of
chaos to the routine of your home.
Your older or special-needs dog
Our older or special-needs friends sometimes need a little
help to adjust to the infirmities that accompany advanced
age or disability. Dogs are marvelously adaptive, and with
the benefit of a little additional understanding we can help
them adjust to blindness, deafness, orthopedic problems and
general moodiness. Often, behavior problems in older dogs
are the result of physical changes, such as hearing loss,
that we may not have noticed, and a little training for this
particular situation can really help renew a bond that has
been shaken by unresponsiveness or depression.
Caring for a special needs dog can be uncommonly gratifying.
I lived for many years with an orthopedically challenged blind,
diabetic dog who required much care. She and I developed a
nearly telepathic bond that was beyond special. I would be
pleased to help you improve the quality of life for your elderly
or special needs dog.