Hey everyone! I wanted to introduce and tell you a bit about myself!
I’ve had a passion for animals my entire life. I was always told I should be a vet but I knew I didn’t have the stomach for it. I mean I really can’t do needles, ask anyone that knows me. I always had a way with animals, not so much that they came to me but that they listen to me and I listened to them. I wanted to meet their needs mentally, emotionally and physically. I would take in the odd dog here and there, my mom wasn’t always a fan of this... oops, get them set up on good food, teach them manners, then place them into a good forever home.
In 2015, I was introduced to animal rescue and boy, it’s extremely tiring at times but I can’t get enough of it! This is also when I stated to feel myself being pulled in the direction I was needed.
I took in my first foster with major behavioural issues. His name was Zuma. He was a Black Mouth Cur and I will never forget that boy. He was one of a kind. Loyal and protective to a fault. He had the hardest time trusting new people. His home before rescue didn’t do what they needed for this boy and I tried my hardest to help him but at last, it was to late. The behaviour was ingrained and practiced, plus with a bite history there was nothing more I could do and had to let him go. He will forever be in my heart as he is the reason I now have this business to help the most misunderstand.
I’m a balanced trainer meaning I used positive reinforcement but I also use negative punishment. Positive reinforcement means giving something when your dog does the desired action so they associate the action with the reward and do it more often. Where negative punishment is a correction, which focuses on lowering the amount of any undesired behaviour. It allows the dog to problem solve and helps them make the right decisions. I always adjust my training to the needs of the dog. If the dog needs force free training, okay, if the dog needs forced training, okay. Not every training method work for every dog.
I also use my personal dogs or dogs I know well a lot. Dog to dog communication is so very important for both dogs and people to understand. On many occasions human interfere in dog interaction way to soon and don’t allow the one dog to tell the other dog they don’t like something. I work with a lot of under socialized dogs and the best way to help them come around is by the other dogs showing them the ropes.
I’m a big fan of exercising my beloved pets and trainees, both mentally and physically. When I get in a high anxiety cases the first thing that happens before training start is exercise. Hiking, biking, structured walks, pack walks, doggie daycare, swimming and so much more. For there brains (mental stimulation) frozen Kongs, food puzzles, working for their food and the list goes on. My days are dedicated to exhausting the dogs and making sure they have what they need.
I’m a strong believer in crate training for all dogs. No matter the temperament or how well behaved they are, crate training can be a life saver. From keeping them safe in the car for travel or when you’re visiting family and they aren’t to keen on you brining the dog or even for when your dog need down time from the hustle and bustle of life. I always recommend crate training till about 2 years of age and used periodically throughout their lives.
Routine is key for most dogs, they thrive on that stuff. They get used to things and it makes their life so much easier but I never set times! I try to move the times around so they don’t get stuck to a set time. The problem with a set timed routine is not everyday is going to be the same! Especially in a very busy house hold with multiple people.
Exercise/training, feeding, crates time with a frozen Kong or doggie daycare, exercise/training, feeding, exercise/training, crate for sleep, repeat.
When working with the cases that I do, its extremely important that I have a team of people I trust to help. Most dogs have a bite history or are extreme cases that require a significant amount of knowledge. I need to know that I can trust you’ll listen when I say something needs to happen and it needs to happen that moment. My biggest supporter and helper is my partner, Colton, he helps he handle the larger dogs and has really taken an interest in helping me with the dogs when he’s not to tired from his full time job. He continually encourages me and pushes me to be best for these dogs. I’ll never be able to thank him enough.
I’m also an avid reader. I will read/watch just about any book/article/video/show that has to do with dogs. I have a thirst for knowledge that never ends. I’ve have my Canine specialist diploma, pet psychology certificate, pet nutrition certificate plus I’m working towards my pet grooming diploma and many others.
There are good days and there are bad days in dog training but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!