First, I will listen to each person in the family, and the dog, in order to work within the needs and capabilities of everyone. I will start wherever you are and work from there with kindness, compassion and gentleness. We will work together to teach your dog how to blend happily with YOUR family and lifestyle. I will work from my heart with a positive approach, teaching you and your dog to expect the best from each other — moment by moment.
It is never too late to have a good dog or to change your behavior as a human. Remember, it is never just about the dog, it’s about developing a fulfilling relationship and connecting with each other.
I began my work with dogs in 1976 with my first dog as an adult, Amico, my Golden Retriever. I was an assistant instructor with Judith Belyea, then owner of Aintree Kennel. I went on to create and teach the first Golden Retriever Puppy Kindergarten for the Yankee Golden Retriever Club and also began teaching classes at the North Andover YMCA. As Hospital Administrator for Bulger Animal Hospital, I began classes there and also did Private Behavioral Consultations. I became the Director of Training at Muddy Creek Animal Hospital and also at Weloset Kennel. I started my own Training Center in Rowley with a staff of 12 and held over 15 classes a week, including the first “Wee Dog” classes in New England, and special play sessions just for “Wee Dogs.”...
After many years of working with dogs and their humans in group classes and privately, I have seen an infinite variety of family situations into which a dog is expected to fit. Working with the dog, the adults and the children enables me to become familiar with the unique needs of each situation in order to design a program that helps you to develop the dog that you want. The training I offer is fun, positive and emphasizes human-dog relationships.
A large percentage of my work can be done over the phone as I usually do not need to "see" the issues in person. I can, of course, also work with you and your dog in person for those that are able to make the journey to my practice in Rowley, MA.
For puppies that are seven weeks and older, I offer gentle, positive and fun instruction that includes the whole family. I help to integrate your new puppy into your family, prevent problems, and teach manners and safety. I am able to work with each family member according to their needs and learning style to produce a polite, well-adjusted dog that listens to everyone in the family. Input from each member of the family is encouraged, children included.
Older Puppy & Adult Dog Training
For dogs that are six months and older – no “upper” age limit as it is “Never Too Late to Have a Good Dog!” I help to open the lines of communication between the humans and the dog for a more enjoyable relationship and happier dog and family. Basic commands are taught for manners and safety. Owner input is encouraged for any issues or special training that is desired. Positive methods are used in making the dog WANT to do what is asked of them.
Wee Dog Training
Because “Wee” have different needs, I started this concept on the North Shore around 2004. I teach dogs that will never weigh more than 20 pounds how to get along in a “big dog” world, helping them to develop confidence, social skills and manners. Yes, it is possible to pamper without spoiling, housebreak and prevent constant yapping! Family participation is encouraged so that everyone can learn to relate to the Wee one.
These individual issues can range from annoying to dangerous. Many stem from miscommunication between humans and dogs, and often can be resolved with a new perspective and a new approach to the problem. Jumping up, chewing, shyness, fear, nipping, growling, biting, dog aggression, food aggression, object aggression, and other issues can be addressed in these sessions. Flower Essences are often used to support the process of change in behavior.
Children Training Their Puppies/Dogs
A dog can be a great self-esteem booster for children once they learn to interact in a positive manner. As an elementary education major, I love working with children and helping them to enjoy the fun of training their dog to listen to them, without the frustration. I address responsibility issues that are involved in having a family dog and ways to make those jobs pleasant. I also work with children that are tentative or fearful around dogs.
Puppy and Dog Selection Assistance
I suggest investing one hour in order to select that “just right dog” that may be with you for 15 years! Every situation is different, and together we can decide what dog best fits YOU and avoid a mismatch. We will send you the “Perhaps A Dog?” quiz and then we will sit and discuss the various options.
Your New Baby & Your Dog
Adding a new baby to the family with a dog who came first and has not had to share the house with a “small person” can be a challenge. I can help you make this a smooth transition for all involved – members of your family and your dog. It is best if our meeting is several months before the baby arrives, but this can be done “last minute” if needed.
Rescue Dog Training
Dogs who are fortunate to find a new home often bring their own issues with them. I can help to make the transition a smooth one for dog and humans alike. Establishing communication with them and understanding their unique needs is important in creating their “forever home” with you.
Company 2 Heroes
This service is a unique, cost free, dog training program for qualified veterans suffering from diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress (PTS), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST).
Under my guidance, veterans prepare their dogs to perform specialized tasks and provide emotional support to help alleviate the psychological wounds of war.