Dogs really do want to do what their owners want. When you communicate clearly and consistently with your dog, you build trust and create a comfortable sense of structure and routine. We can often confuse our dogs by unintentionally conveying mixed messages by giving untimely praise or disapproval for their actions. Consistency is key for helping your dog understand exactly what you want.
In addition to training your dog, we’ll also help you learn the best ways to communicate with him, which will strengthen your relationship. When a dog has a trusted partner, he will feel more confident, and a confident dog is a good dog.
Kathy Millier – Lead Trainer, Owner
I worked for over 30 years in the corporate world in technology and finance after earning a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Georgetown. However, it was my true love of dogs that set me on this career path as a positive dog trainer and I am devoted to perfecting my skills to enrich the lives of families and their pets.
I decided to learn more about training because of my own experience with a very difficult rescue. He was fearful and reactive, and would lunge at other dogs, people and passing bicycles or skateboards. He was also a very large and potentially dangerous dog. I knew I needed help with him so I asked my vet for a recommendation. She gave me two names of extremely reputable trainers in my area of Washington, DC, one of whom was even published and widely read by the training world. So, I hired that person first.
This trainer started with the basic obedience that is necessary to get any dog to begin listening and as we approached the behavioral issues, she began using an electric collar.
Given my experience today, I would NEVER use an electric collar on a fearful dog. To be honest, I don’t recommend them at all but I was naïve and trusted her to know what to do.
Unfortunately, the collar only made my dog even more fearful and reactive, and a scared dog that can’t get to their target will redirect and go after the handler. I was bitten several times by my own dog! Even though I know this dog loved me, he was cornered and scared so he went after whoever was preventing him from protecting himself.
After this experience, I took him to the second trainer. This one wanted to use a prong collar and sharp corrections, i.e. jerking the leash whenever he reacted to a stimulus. Needless to say, this prompted the same behaviors as the electric collar and resulted in more bites for me.
I was extremely frustrated and I was actually becoming afraid of my dog. I thought that there must be a better way, so I began researching and stumbled upon Dr. Sophia Lin’s positive training videos.
I enrolled in a six-month program and began my studies in earnest. I’m a pretty analytical person, so I really enjoyed learning all about animal behavior and training techniques dating back to Pavlov.
When I finished the program, I decided to start my own business and become a full-time trainer. I have taken many advanced courses in positive training and now have a distinct methodology for training.
The work is very fulfilling and I really enjoy helping families provide a nurturing and stimulating environment for their beloved pets. I continue to learn by taking positive training classes and discovering new techniques that I can incorporate into the training I provide.