My Story

I got my start in dog training teaching group classes and private lessons at a chain pet supply store.  It was the first time in my life that I truly loved my work. (I had spent 15 years in corporate America very much NOT enjoying my work). I felt truly fulfilled helping dog guardians communicate and connect with their dogs.

But then I met a dog where I felt I was at a loss on how to help.  Ty was a handsome, fluffy, Golden Retriever.  His guardian warned me how aggressive Ty was toward other dogs when out on walks.  But I couldn’t believe it.  After spending 5 sessions together, Ty was a happy-go-lucky dog that learned quickly, was very bonded to his guardian, and seemed so chill.  It was not until our 6th session that I saw the behavior he was referring to.  

As we came around the corner into the main aisle of the store, another dog was walking in the front door at the same time.  Ty’s demeanor changed instantly: he lunged hard and barked so loud the entire store could hear him.  Treat, praise, kissy noises, claps…nothing seemed to break Ty out of his hysteria.  I remember thinking to myself “How does his dad manage to walk him or take him anywhere?”

After working with Ty, I knew I needed to learn more to help.  I researched and read up on dog behavior and that is how I learned about reactivity.  I started seeing clients on my own to work on leash reactivity.  

Then in April of 2020, like many people, we adopted another dog, Rosie.  I was told she was high energy, didn’t have a bite tolerance, and was a little unsure of small dogs.  I didn’t know she struggled with reactivity.  

We quickly saw the high-energy and no bite-tolerance:  Rosie’s first day home, she jumped high enough to nip the back of my head while I was standing.  

But it was more than that.

Everything seemed to set Rosie off. I felt like she could never really relax.  And then we went for a walk and I saw the same behavior Ty had demonstrated.

Rosie made me realize the enormous difference between training a reactive dog vs. living with one full time.

Helping guardians train and connect with their dogs was very rewarding for me.  But reactive dogs and their guardians need more.  

I needed a way to help these dogs AND make sure the guardians had the support they need.  So I decided to dedicated my career to helping reactive dogs and their guardians.

If you’ve ever…

  • Felt overwhelmed by walking your dog because they lunge aggressively at other dogs

  • Avoided inviting friends over because of your dog’s behavior

  • Gotten frustrated at your dog because of the constant barking

  • Felt hopeless, frustrated, isolated and embarrassed by your dog’s behavior

Then you will greatly benefit from a proven system to support you and your dog as you help them overcome their emotions and get true, positive behavior change.  Your dog learns to trust you even more.  Life with your dog does not have negatively impact your mental health.

The Calm Canine Program was developed just for guardians of reactive, fearful, and/or hyperactive dogs.  It IS possible to get a calmer, more relaxed, more confident dog - and less stress for you both!

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