Mission and Values

Mission

I strive to make humane dog training accessible and affordable.

Happy, well-trained dogs in homes can truly be a source of joy and comfort. Unhappy, poorly-behaved dogs can just as easily increase your stress. Bringing modern dog training into your home frugally is my way of helping improve the quality of life for entire families.

But the dog training I promote is more than just dog training to me. It's a way of life that lives compassionately. 

Science is showing us that the most productive way to work with your canine companion is through a loving relationship. It is also showing us that humans and canines are more alike than we previously thought. That means while you practice compassionate training with your dogs, you are also learning new and creative ways to relate to other people. The ultimate benefits easily go beyond the walls of your home. 

This is why it is so important to me to work with more families. I want to make the world a better place, and I believe this is a great way to do it.

To facilitate my goal of working with more families, I try to keep my prices down. I have created The Doggy Gym and the Dog Training Anywhere program to assist those on a strict budget. I've even had clients thank me for keeping my prices down. It enabled them to afford the help they needed and keep their dogs.

Values

Science

I place this one first because not all trainers are guided by what we know about dogs through scientific inquiry. The science of dog training includes looking at how dogs learn, how their brains function, and how they relate to humans. For example, research shows us that canines actually process their feelings on the level of a two-and-a-half year old child. This has significant implications regarding how you treat your canine companion while you teach them.

Compassion

Dog training for me is a part of my spiritual commitment to this world. I believe that love is the most powerful tool in our toolbox to make a difference in this world and change it for the better. Indeed, science is showing us that forceful dog training methods are not only less efficient, but also often counterproductive. But if it science were to prove that non-loving methods were more efficient, I would still default to love.

I’ve chosen to identify this value as “compassion” rather than “love” simply because of the tendency in perspective. We tend to think of love in the first person (“I love you”) or the second person (“You love me”). It is something that is directed toward another. On the other hand, “compassion” literally means “passion with”, or something that is shared through a certain kind of resonance. It’s splitting hairs, but I think it communicates better how I train dogs. With me, you don't just learn dog training; you learn humane dog training.

Relationship

Everything I do in training is geared toward facilitating a stronger, loving relationship between the humans and canines I work with. The more your dog trusts you, the stronger the training dynamic. So, the methods employed need to be those that do not get in the way of that bond. Anticipation drives dog behavior. If they expect something good to happen if they perform a behavior, they are happy to do it. If they are afraid that something bad will happen, then they will avoid it. (Not unlike people.) Therefore, my focus is on facilitating quality communication and quality experiences that are foundational to quality relationships. I encourage you not to think of yourself as your dog’s owner, but rather your dog’s guardian or life coach.

Justice

When I talk about “justice” I’m coming from a theological perspective. In short, there are those in society who are disadvantaged and they need a break. Currently, dog trainers generally charge “professional rate” for their services. There is nothing wrong with this, especially since they are indeed offering professional services. But most people I know aren’t able to afford such pricey help for their dogs. If they need help, where will they get it?

Your dog is a part of your family. When your dog struggles with issues, it affects the quality of life in the household. I don’t want you to find quality dog training inaccessible due to price. This is why my prices are as low as they are. In fact, my Dog Training Anywhere program is specifically priced for this. Yes, I still need to make a living (and it isn’t easy at these prices). But this is one of my values, one of my commitments. It is why my rates are out in the open for all to see (I don’t hide my rates and say “contact me for a quote”). I believe that more people would invest in the quality of their family life if it were a reasonable option.

Empowerment

When I train, I don’t focus on teaching your dog. I focus on teaching you the concepts and techniques that birth good dog trainers. In short, I train you to train your own dog. In class, the dogs do indeed learn things. We use basic exercises (such as sit, down, and stay) to practice the concepts being taught. Then, once they have built up a certain foundation, you will be able to mix and match concepts in creative ways to come up with your own training responses to issues as they arise. One of the great joys I have in life is watching humans and canines begin to resonate on deeper levels. It comes out through their demeanor. And after I’ve worked with them, I know that you have good tools to build on what we have begun.