I have nearly ten years of experience teaching humans both simple and complex tasks ranging from setting up an email account to speaking foreign languages. This experience helps me tailor our training relationship perfectly for you, no matter what your learning style or current level of understanding. I know how to create a fun and easy-to-understand experience for you and your pet!
In addition to my teaching experience, I have more than five years of handling experience with a variety of companion animals, so I can work with you and your pet in a way that suits you both.
Education is vital to growth! I have completed a number of educational opportunities, which you can learn more about belolw. Each of these programs has helped me develop knowledge and skills to help you.
I also continually seek out new educational experiences in animal training and behavior so I can share the most effective, science-backed techniques with you—which means a richer training experience for you and your pet alike.
Philosophy & Methods
I am a positive reinforcement trainer. Positive reinforcement is a highly effective and humane training method.
My motto is, if there’s a kind way to do it, then embrace it, and I am morally and ethically opposed to methods that use pain, force, and/or fear to get results.
I use the following methods, which promote confidence, learning, and bonding with your pet:
- Classical Conditioning
- Counterconditioning & Desensitization
None of these will ever cause your pet physical injury or psychological harm.
What is Positive Reinforcement?
Positive reinforcement is a style of training that relies on rewarding goal behaviors and managing unwanted behaviors until more acceptable options are trained. It is also commonly referred to as “clicker training,” “marker training,” and “reward-based training.”
Research has shown that punishing unwanted behaviors is unneccesary and often damaging to our pets. It has also shown that mixing reward and punishment training slows learning. Positive reinforcement is easy and fun, and it has a lot of benefits for both owners and pets without any unpleasant side-effects.
I am dedicated to continuing education to improve my services for all of my clients.
I’m very proud to have completed the rigorous Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional Program with my partner Izzy.
The training program is six months of hands on training and book work, and includes regular testing and demonstration of skill throughout. On completion, students earn the KPA-CTP designation and commit to uphold KPA’s dedication to positive reinforcement, and to continue one’s education throughout the year, even after certification is complete.
I completed the university level certificate program in Applied Animal Behavior from The University of Washington.
The program develops its students’ understanding of animal behavior and teaches modern, humane techniques for applying the science to our animal companions.
Learn more here.
I am a Certified Trick Dog Instructor through Do More with Your Dog. This program requires instructors bring their own dogs to the Intermediate level or higher, and tests their knowledge of training tricks with positive methods.
Fear Free Certified
Fear Free Certified Professionals are committed to making veterinary procedures and grooming more comfortable for your pet by helping them overcome their fears with training. This certification includes a course and tests, as well as a continuing education committment.
My own pets have struggled at the vet, groomer, and even with simple grooming at home, so being a Fear Free Certified Trainer is very dear to me. I understand exactly how simultaneously frustrating and heartbreaking these fears can be for you and your pet!
I maintain membership in a few professional organizations that match my values in order to connect with colleagues and continue my education. You can learn more about them by clicking the logo images below.