How will your dog be treated when training with me? Your dog’s welfare is important to you, and because of that, it is of the utmost importance to not only ask that question, but demand a clear answer. I’m happy to lay it out for you right here.

Tools and methods I use:

  • Y-shaped harness (or flat collar, but only when the dog is ready)
  • Treats and toys as reinforcers, reward-based learning
  • Long-line leashes
  • Clear marker words and sounds
  • Learning through games and carefully broken down sequences
  • Celebrating and practicing when your dog gets it right; taking responsibility for the outcome, backing up a few paces, and positively reframing a concept for your dog when they get it wrong.

Tools and methods I will never use:

  • Shock, prong, or e-collars, slip leads, pinch harnesses
  • Leash popping, helicoptering, any snapping of the leash
  • Aversive or fear-inducing sounds such as coins in a can, compressed air, yelling, slamming
  • Fear, intimidation, dominance
  • Pressuring and making demands of your dog until they get it right; blaming or punishing your dog when they get it wrong.

If you yourself have used any of the aversive devices or methods above, believe me when I say, wholeheartedly, that I do not judge you one bit. I wasn’t born perfect, and I’m still not. Who is?? I went through my own journey of going from using some aversive methods with my dog when I first got her (which were wildly unhelpful and delayed the forming of our bond), to learning better through some wonderful trainers that were willing to teach me a different way.

If you have used some of the things listed above, you are not a bad person or a failure of a dog parent/guardian. You had to have learned these things somewhere, right? I also want to really drive home that if you have used some of these aversives or others, your dog is not ruined. Bindi and I are a testament to the healing power of R+ and FF (force-free) ourselves.

I hesitated at first with creating this page here on my site. The last thing I wanted was for people to feel alienated or judged. But I think it’s important that you know exactly who I am, what I stand for, the code I adhere to, and the high quality of the training you’ll be receiving. There is also a push for total transparency among professional trainers, which is not only the right thing to do, but helps you make the best choice for you and your dog.