What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I like to do a quick survey prior to meeting, which gives me a chance to read over the owner's concerns and history with their pet. We then do a consultation, in which we'll start laying the foundation for our goals and processes. After that, we meet 2-8 times per month for training sessions. I set up a training plan and we do our best to follow it, but I'm also flexible in case of changing circumstances or fast/slow learning.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I was an assistant trainer at All Breed Rescue and Training and have attended International Association of Animal Behavior Consultant conferences. I have a degree in biology and a focus in animal behavior from Colorado College. I also worked at Denver Dumb Friends League on their behavior team as a behavioral technician.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I started as a student of biology and psychology, making money as a dogwalker. I started training the dogwalking clients in basic manners to make my job easier, and discovered that I LOVE training. Now, I'm a behavioral foster parent, work at a shelter in the behavior department, and spend lots of time training my dog, parrot, and cat!
What types of customers have you worked with?
I've worked with Spanish-speaking customers, customers with deaf dogs, fearful dogs, rude dogs, and everything in between!
Describe a recent project you are fond of. How long did it take?
I helped a woman train her unruly one-year-old retriever mix in basic manners. We worked on mat training, targeting, fetch, sit, down, stay, come, and loose-leash walking. Working about 3 times per month, we finished training her dog in 2 months (6 one-hour sessions).
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
I recommend looking for trainers who promote pain-free, force-free, and fear-free dog training. These methods are based in science and learning theory and will produce the best, most consistent results with your dog.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
What is your end goal with your dog? Paint me a picture of your end vision. Do you want to take her to breweries or festivals, or is she a stay-at-home guard dog?
Knowing what your end goal is, is key to helping me tailor our training plan to your needs!