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General Handling
Puppy Consults
Behavior Modification
Programs for every need

General Handling/Puppy Orientation

Whether you have a new puppy, a new adult rescue, or an older dog with new or troublesome behavior, you will learn how to get and keep your dog's attention, with the goal being a companion who is a pleasure to live with. This session is two-hours and is adjusted for your needs.

For puppies: this session teaches you how to deal with housebreaking, typical annoying puppy behaviors, such as nipping, jumping up, barking, chewing inappropriate objects, etc. In addition, you will gain a foundation in how to teach your puppy commands and to obey them. The basic concepts are taught with the specific commands of Sit and Leave-it.

(If you want help BEFORE getting your puppy, I also offer a "Pre-puppy session that goes over Housebreaking/Crate Training, What to expect, and puppy-proofing. If you do both the Pre-puppy and the Puppy Orientation, each will be 90 minutes with a total price for the two sessions of $225.)

For older dogs: the General Handling session will teach household manners, the foundations of handling and obedience, and otherwise be tailored to your specific needs.

Price for the two-hour Puppy Orientation or General Handling session is $150.

Photo by Jim Poor

Behavioral Issues/Perception Modification

The programs outlined below are designed for dogs that need training, but are inherently stable, even though they may exhibit typical annoying behaviors such as jumping up, excessive barking, inappropriate chewing, etc. For many reasons that I won’t go into here, a lot of the issues people have with dogs these days have more to do with dogs who are anxious, fearful, reactive, generally over-adrenalized, or even aggressive. Although I can gauge how much time it will typically take to teach a basically stable dog or puppy and his/her owner’s obedience commands, it is much harder to gauge how long it will take to address these more “psychological” issues. However, using Mark McCabe’s Training Between the Ears “TBTE” (add link) techniques, progress generally is much faster than with more traditional approaches, whether “balanced” or “positive only.” The way I proceed when behavior issues are the primary concern is still to start with a two-hour General Handling session that includes an evaluation and an introduction to the TBTE approach. From there, we can either proceed lesson by lesson or I can customize a program for you and your dog.

Photo by Jim Poor

Three Programs to Fit Your Needs:

Safety and Simple Manners Program

Does your dog jump up on people and furniture, pull on the leash, dart out the door, and generally seem to pay you no mind? How would it be if instead you walked in the door every day to a dog who greeted you happily while keeping four feet on the floor so that you no longer had to worry about being scratched or having clothing ruined? How would it be if she walked at your pace so that your arm wasn't getting yanked and you didn't have to worry about being pulled in front of a truck? Suppose she waited at the open doorway to be allowed outside and you no longer feared that she would dart away and get hit by a car? Best of all, imagine her looking to you for direction rather than focussing on EVERYTHING ELSE.

This program is designed to give you the tools you need to accomplish this in TWO ninety-minute sessions, plus TWO one-hour sessions, plus ONE 45-minute "day-training" lesson where I work your dog without you.

Program Includes

  • Training you how to train effectively, so that your dog learns to obey on the first command
  • The specific commands of Off, Quiet, Look,Leave-it, Sit, Close (Loose-leash walking), Stay-In, Place, and Come
  • Written handouts for training each command

Price =$675

The Well-Mannered Dog

Is it sometimes difficult to enjoy having friends over because your dog is barking, jumping up, nudging you for attention and gnerally making conversation a challenge? Or does that quiet walk you imagined for recharging your soul after a hectic day more resemble a tug-of-war? What if your dog stayed quietly on his "Place" while your friends arrived, and then, once released, greeted people calmly and politely? And the same dog would willingly return to his place on command so that everone could enjoy their dinner without a dog stealing their napkins off their laps or begging with his nose in their laps? Or imagine your dog walking calmly by your side through downtown Bethesda and then lying quietly under the table at an outdoor cafe while you enjoy a night out with your family.

This program is for you if you would like your dog to develop the self-control to respond consistently to your commands at home and in your neighborhood. It consists of TWO ninety-minute sessions, FIVE one-hour sessions, and ONE 45-minute "day-training" lesson where I work with the dog without you on the commands of your choice.

Program Includes

  • Training you how to train effectively, so that your dog learns to obey you on the first command
  • The specific commands of Off, Quiet, Look, Leave-it,m Stay-In, Sit, Down, Stay, Fetch & Give-it, Place, Come and Close (Loose-leash Walking)
  • Written handouts for training each command

Price = $975

Daniel's Dogs
Photo by Terri Kieffer

The Accomplished Dog

It may go without saying that you want a well-mannered dog, but perhaps you want more than that -- a dog who is your partner, who reflects the competence and care with which you approach everything in life. Picture being out for a walk with your dog and encountering someone in distress. You are able to place your dog in a down-stay while you help out, possibly even at some distance away, knowing that your dog will not budge from the spot. As the situation resolves, you can call your dog from the stay,m knowing with absolute certainty that he will come straight to you. Happy to have helped out, you pull out a tennis ball as you get to your front yard.

It's not fenced, but it's not a problem because your dog obeys you and loves to retrieve. If the tennis ball happens to roll out into the street, you call your dog to DOWN immediately to prevent him from following it, and Down he goes, safely on your lawn, fifty feet away from you.

This program is for you if you want off-leash reliability, confidence in the dog's self-control even in distracting environments, and perhaps the possibility of getting started in Companion Dog Sports such as Obedience, Rally, or Agility.

Program Includes

  • One ninety minute lesson
  • Unlimited private hourly lessons (up to once a week for six months)
  • Four 45 minute "day-training" lessons where I work the dog without you
  • Training you how to train effectively, so that your dog learns to obey on the first command
  • Unlimited commands, to include Basics (Off, quiet, Look, Leave-it, Stay-In, Let's Go, Sit, Down, Stay, Heel, Place, Come and Loose-leash Walking) and optional commands such as Distance Sit and Down and Off-leash heeling
  • Working around distractions
  • Options such as Tricks, Competitive Obedience, Competitive Rally, Beginning Agility, and E-collar training
  • Written handouts for training all Basic Commands, as well as Distance Sit and Down, Fetch & Give-it, Front, and Finish
  • Free collars (other than E-collars), harnesses, leashes, or long lines as recommended by the trainer
  • Optional Canine Good Citizen training and practice run-thrus for the test (trainer is and AKC CGC evaluator, but it would not be appropriate for her to test your dog after training it)
  • Unlimited email access for the life of your dog

Price= $2,325

*Note that for puppies under six months of age, the programs are the same as for older dogs, except that the two 90-minute sessions are done as three hourly sessions to account for the shorter attention span of puppies, and some commands are taught in a different order. The prices are the same.

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