Amy is a Balanced Trainer – predominantly using positive methods with lots of fun and rewards, but when appropriate, also communicating which behaviours are not desirable through certain ‘corrections’. Amy does not use pain or fear in any of her methods. The ultimate goal is always to build complete trust and constant, clear communication between owner and dog.
Your dog’s particular breed, personality, history and genetics will always be taken into consideration before assuming any training techniques; and Amy has a big toolkit of methods to suit your specific dog, goals and lifestyle.
When rehabilitating a dog with behavioural issues, Amy takes a very holistic approach – that is, she focuses on the root cause (often, though not always relating to lack of impulse control, exercise, trust, understanding and/or exposure) as well as the symptoms themselves. Amy will analyse the dog’s all round lifestyle and day to day activities, along with owner relationship and other factors; and often work on a range of things to help create a dog not only with resolved behavioural issues, but a happier, more well balanced – and owner bonded – life. If you’re a fur parent reading this – prepare to learn!!
If you feel concern about use of corrections – note Amy does not use intimidation, pain or discomfort, and is very selective about when and of course how to use a correction. Once established, a correction should simply be a communication to your pet: “This is not what I’d like. Here, I’d like you to do this instead – to get what you want/so that you won’t feel troubled in this situation anymore” – just as if you were teaching a trusted person or coaching them through a novel experience. Reaching this level of communication with your dog may take some work, but it is 100% worth it!
Your dogs’ welfare and long term happiness always comes first!
- Methods always tailored to what you, the owner feel comfortable with and capable of following through on
- Written homework with every session
- Pro-muzzle (Well and safely fitted/implemented – accompanied with muzzle training)
- Non-aversive tools and products happily suggested to help your situation, and aid in the training process where appropriate. Amy is not sponsored by any brand or product and exclusively gives objective, well informed advice exclusively to the benefit of your dog and lifestyle.
- Medications = Almost always a temporary measure to aid in training, not replace it. Amy is not a vet so not responsible for prescription of any medication; however she may recommend consulting a vet in some behavioural cases to rule out medical issues/pain, and occasionally to discuss introducing medication to aid in achieving behavioural goals. These decisions of course are left to the owner, the strongest advice being simply that decisions are based on current research and informed consideration of pros, cons, risks and alternatives.
Amy does not introduce aversive tools in training (e.g. prong or electric collars). Still, you won’t read any long rants on this website about how awful they are – with an understanding that there can be certain situations, from owner, trainer and (dangerous) dog perspectives that these might be viewed as the only practicable methods standing between a dog and death row, or surrender.
However, in “regular” training scenarios, Amy (and a whole lot of research studies) believe that there is simply too much risk associated with introducing these methods to dogs and dog owners, and too many infinitely healthier alternatives, for Amy to feel justified using them.
But! If you already have these tools in place, swear by them and want to look at an unrelated issue; or want Amy to walk your doggo with these tools already established; she is well versed in their use, and pending a close check that they are properly fitted and humanely implemented, can work with/around them if you desire.