About 8

"The Mindful Canine-Human Educator"

People, in general, want a well behaved dog that follows basic commands and perform tricks on demand. How one achieves that goal with their dog is usually to hire a trainer to train the dog. Some people drop their dog off at a board and train facility expecting the dog they get back to be the perfectly trained dog. The huge missing ingredient in these scenarios is the role of the human, whether it is the owner, a foster, shelter staff or volunteer.

Without putting in the time, effort, and intentional work to listen and experience where the dog's imbalance is the root of the behaviors are never addressed, thus minimizing the success of each dog, the success of that dog is minimized.

My focus and purpose is to work with both the human and the dog. My role is to educate the human so that the dog can easily learn in an environment created for success. By educating the human, the dog gets a continual learning opportunity because the dog is not just listening to commands or performing tricks. Rather, the human can learn to read the dog's body language, understand the needs of the dog(s), properly reward the dog when the dog reaches a goal, and continually guide the dog towards a learning history and build a relationship based on mutual communication.

I have a BA in Behavior Science and a Masters in Psychology. My knowledge, experience and science-based eclectic and holistic educational approach helps with behavior issues that may otherwise render a dog unadoptable or surrendered to the shelter by the owner. These dogs end up on the euthanasia list because they are not given the opportunity to learn and be the dog they were meant to be. I firmly believe that our role, as humans, is to give them every chance they can to learn and be the best version of their self.. My goal is to revolutionize the way humans conceptualize "dog training" from it being solely the dog's job to focusing on the dynamics of the learner-teacher paradigm and the canine-human relationship. Changing that perspective and creating a continual educational environment will help both canine and human individually and collectively.

My Philosophy:

Live It-Immersion learning

As beneficial as setting aside specific educating time is for our dogs (and we will do some of that) we are specifically interested in educating people to make learning for their dog(s) a part of their daily routine. Immersion learning in living purposefully with our dogs is the most effective way to create long term desired behaviors. Holistic approach that encompasses a dog's mind-body connections. A dog's behaviors are communications to us and stem from what the dog perceives in their mind. A dog that is showing "behavioral problems" is one that has an unhealthy balanced mental state. Employing techniques to teach calm mind sets, read body language, alleviate pent up energy through focused engagements with their owner, behavioral modification, reprogramming triggers to change their perception, and creating histories of reinforcement are all geared towards reaching the whole dog.

Relationship based.

We are in a relationship with our dog. Building a relationship with our canine companions is a great learning experience for both the dog and the human. We should strive to bring joy, fun, kindness and choice into this sacred space for mutual connection, respect, trust, bonding and love. A dog's choices are always being conditioned or unconditioned, both intentionally and unintentionally via the environment or directly by other animals and/or humans. Some of the things I do is show the human how to bring out the best version of their dogs:

  • Rewarding their dogs for desired behaviors
  • Educating what to look for in all dog related interactions
  • Identifying common mistakes humans make
  • Counter-conditioning, desensitizing, decompressing, socializing, shaping, behavioral analysis, and providing a comprehensive guide to being proactive
  • Thinking prevention (addressing common behavioral problems that are covertly developing)
  • Helping the human to understand that learning is not linear, but a process rooted in repetition, positive reinforcement, consistency, dedicated time, a relationship with their dog and science

I am continually learning and growing my resources, knowledge base, and repertoire of skills, techniques, and understanding. I look at dog behavior through the mind-body connection and energy of the dog, the human, the relationship between the two, including but not limited to, genetics, environment, socialization or lack there-of, individualized temperament, history of reinforcement, medical, motivators, etc.