Much of my work is done through teaching – that is teaching owners more so than their canine companions. The reason I do this is so that owners can build a better understanding of why we do things the way that we do them and can use that information in other areas of relationship building and understanding when I am not right there with them. It’s easy for me to teach your dog “how to do stuff”. Understanding why your dog does the things that they do is more complicated and is not something everyone is interested in, but certainly brings great benefit in the long run. Expect a lot of conversation with me, especially during our first couple of sessions.
I take my work very seriously. Training and/or modification can sometimes be intense and you may feel slightly tired after some sessions, (don’t worry – not all) just as much as your dog does. That’s normal and it means positive growth is happening, just as if you were to go the gym and be slightly sore the next day. That’s when you know you are getting somewhere. You should also feel a sense of ease as we progress and begin to recognize the changes in your canine companion.
I am very open to communication, including feedback throughout the entirety of our process together.
Regarding treatment and training plans for your dog, I’ll use a line from Dave Ramsey – if you do anything different than what is presented as the Dave Ramsey Method, it’s no longer Dave Ramsey’s method. “There is no Dave-ish.” My belief system is the same in the way that I interact with my clients and their beloved animals. There is no Sara-ish. If you want it to work, you have to put in the work. If you want to reach the goals that we set together, you have to follow the plan the way that it was designed for your unique case. There are always calculated reasons for why I do things the way that I do them that are derived from many years of both learning and experience. With that being said, if there are critical barriers in the way of following a training or treatment plan, we can work together to solve the problem and come at it a different way. Open communication, (with humans and dogs) is the key to our collective success.
I very much want you to succeed. Not only does it bring the feels for me to see communication open up and relationships blossom between humans and canines, but it also leads to amazing community resolutions such as lower abandonment rates at the shelters, significantly fewer animals euthanized due to behavior problems, and lower dog bite and attack rates.
Training isn’t just about your dog being able to follow “commands”. It’s about bringing happiness to the animal just as much as it is to you. It’s about better communication and therefore better understanding of one another. It’s about leaving behind your human way of thinking and trying to learn to from your dog’s perspective given that they don’t have the cognitive ability to leave behind thinking like a dog to better understand their humans. When you strengthen the relationship, wonderful things happen.