I have been an animal-lover all my life. My dog Becca, pictured below with a stick, taught me much about mutual respect and cooperation between animals and humans. (And how to throw large sticks!)
I have been working with dogs in various capacities for 25 years, including managing a dog daycare and boarding business. Several of these years were spent both volunteering and working at the Humane Society of Chittenden County (HSCC), including a year as the Humane Investigator and three years as the Canine Supervisor. From my time with HSCC, I got a clear picture of the kinds of situations and behaviors that result in dogs ending up abandoned or in shelters, most notably a lack of early socialization and an absence of basic training. I am committed to educating dog--and especially puppy-- owners to socialize and train their dogs, even if they don't foresee a need for their dog to ever interact with the public. You just never know what life will bring! Plus, friendly dogs with basic manners have more interesting and fun lives--in short, they get to go places! Unsocialized dogs or those with poor manners usually end up staying home.
In addition to constantly updating my knowledge through reading and attending courses and conferences, I am a graduate and Certified Training Partner with the esteemed Karen Pryor Academy. Clicker (or marker) training is a force-free, very fun and effective training method that teaches dogs to think and make "good" decisions. Dogs are intelligent animals with active minds, and they will think whether we want them to or not, so it is to our benefit to channel their thinking productively!
My philosophy of dog training is that dogs are our partners and companions, not our servants. Animals have intrinsic worth, not just in relation to humans. Respect and trust should flow in both directions. The methods I use are supported by scientific research as the best and most humane ways to train animals, and based on a cooperative, not an adversarial, relationship with our dogs; there is no dominating, leash-jerking, or alpha-rolling. Since we bring dogs into our foreign human world, we need to teach them kindly how to live successfully within it so we can all live happily together. This is training.
But we can go so far beyond that. We can learn to know our dogs as intelligent individuals, and to have FUN with them, so that their lives and ours are mutually benefited and enriched. And in doing so, we become students as well as teachers.
"In order to really enjoy a dog,
one doesn't merely try to train him to be semi-human.
The point of it is to open oneself
to the possibility of becoming partly a dog."
~ Edward Hoagland
Committed to helping dogs and people learn to understand one another and work together as a team..
I want to highly recommend Holly Godfrey. She walks our pug, Miko, regularly, and she recently took care of both Miko and our chickens while we were on vacation. She is so generous with her time and attention to the dog. Big plus, she not only walks and cares for pooches, she is also a trainer and she applies her skills during her time with them. Miko has benefited greatly. She has been quite a challenge and her behavior has improved impressively since spending time with Holly. I have also recommended Holly to others and both people and pooches love her!