What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
Yes. I have an initial 90 minute consultation fee. In the initial consultation I review your dog's behavior and history as completely as I can and develop a treatment plan that will address your needs. At the end of the consultation I will email you a full written report with interventions and training plans to ensure your success. After that I offer 60 minute training sessions. These can be purchased as a package at a slightly discounted rate. All prices are listed on my website.
What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
I prefer to connect first via phone, email, or social media to make sure that the services I offer will fit your needs. After arranging an appointment either in person or over my website, I make sure I have background information about my client, their dog(s), and their family. This information helps me to plan for our first 90 minute session which is used to discuss behavior goals, management strategies and a training plan.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Bachelors Degree in Nursing
Graduate from Karen Pryor Academy - the only certification program which holds it's graduates accountable for upholding a high standard of training and customer service.
Annual CEUs in animal behavior thru conferences and seminars.
Sarah Kalnajs (behavior) 2009 & 2010
Tracy Sklenar (agility) 2010 & 2011
Anthony Clark (agility) 2012
TAG Teach (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) Certified 2013
Puppy Culture Seminar 2016
Clicker Expo 2010 & 2015
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I really enjoy helping people, which is why I got into nursing. However, after I got a dog of my own I realized just how much information (and misinformation) is out there about how to train and treat your dog. Thru my experiences I learned that not only do I enjoy training dogs but I love teaching others train their dogs too. I come to each new client with an open non-judgemental approach because we are all a product of our past experiences and bring something different to each appointment.
My switch from nursing to dog training happened while attending the Karen Pryor Academy where I met the staff at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley and was offered a position training dogs and cats in need there. The dogs I worked with at HSBV were both in the shelter and from public homes. After leaving HSBV I pursued my personal business goals while also managing life as a full-time mom.
What types of customers have you worked with?
I have worked with all types of dogs from puppies to elderly and of a large variety of breeds. I've successfully addressed various problems such as; basic manners, tricks, sports, impulse control, dog reactive dogs, people reactive dogs, fear, aggression, body handling sensitivities, resource guarding, separation anxiety, and any combination of the above.
On the human end of the client I've worked with ages 0-90's to help implement training plans that will work for each individual. Everyone has their own goals when training their dog and a training plan should be customized to reflect that.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Make sure you do some research on training methods (such as clicker training, compulsion training, dominance theory, basic learning psychology) and the tools used by each. Make sure you get your information from a reputable source, someone with a PhD in animal behavior or from a veterinary behavior source because there is a lot of misinformation out there. Then ask prospective trainers what tools they use. Often specific tools (collars, devices, clickers, harnesses, energy) will shine a light on what type of training that trainer does. I highly recommend trainers who only use reinforcement methods and avoid punishment at all costs. If you have a complicated behavioral problem make sure you find someone who has the experience to help you find the solutions.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
What are your goals? What are your limitations(deal breakers)?