The Sierra Nevada Mountains Are Our Dog Park

The Sierra Nevada Mountains Are Our Dog Park


PO Box 40134
Reno, NV 89504

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Services Galore!

  • * Getting a dog? We can help you and your family choose a dog who will best fit in with your family and lifestyle.
  • * Private Lessons in your home or at a specific location...
  • * Ask about group classes and dog socials...
  • * Ask us about semi private lessons! Two people, 2 dogs, one great price break!
  • * Advice / Solutions / Prevention Plans for common canine-human conflicts such as digging, jumping up, pulling on leash, puppy mouthing, housetraining, barking, digging, etc... etc... etc...
  • * We can teach you how to avoid problem behaviors BEFORE they become habits.The key is - Don't let your dog develop a bad habit. If your shoes are ALWAYS unavailable, your dog will never develop a shoe fetish :)
  • * 911 Housetraining Help! We can teach you to litter box train a small dog or we can help you teach your dog to potty on cue or in a certain area!
  • * Help Prepare your dog for baby's arrival...
  • * CHASING SKATEBOARDS? Monica the dog trainer may be one of the few dog trainers who can ride a skateboard and help you desensitize your dog to board chasing!
  • * Consider your canine-related needs. We LOVE to find creative and innovative solutions to common or unique issues! Ask about it! We can help!
  • * Does you dog eat wierd stuff? This can be very dangerous and costly! We can help solve rock eating or even feces eating habits...
  • * All ages/breeds family dog training - puppy, tweeners, and adults. All family members welcome.
  • * Reduce problem barking at your front door (and other issues) with a Manners Minder remote reward training system! Machine rental and instruction now available.
  • * Interested in Agility or other dog related sports? We can help!
  • * Don't have time to train your dog? Let us help get you started. We can work with your dog one on one at your home.
  • * Dogs and HUMANS are NEVER too old to learn new tricks! Enroll your older dog in training lessons today! Human and canine brains have been found to be more plastic than once thought! The brain will grow new connections if we keep inputting new information! Mental stimulation keeps us all young at heart staving off boredom, depression, and destructive or nuisance behaviors.
  • * Boredom prevention and enrichment training - Ideas to avoid or redirect destructive behaviors
  • * Temperament assessments available for rescues prior to adoption.
  • * Helping shy or fearful dogs overcome their worries.
  • * Specializing in newly rescued dogs of all ages
  • * Advice / Solutions for training deaf dogs. A vibration (not shock) collar may work best.
  • * Occupational Therapy for injured, recovering, or elderly dogs. Mental stimulation burns as many calories as physical exercise. All dogs need mental stimulation AND physical excercise, but sometimes due to injury, surgery, or old age, physical excercise is not possible. Learn creative ways to give your dog a mental work out!
  • * Confidential consultation / suggestions for dog-related businesses, including, but not limited to, veterinary offices, day cares, boarding facilities, rescue facilities, dog training, etc... Have a professional dog trainer work with or evaluate your staff to improve efficiency, safety, and dog skills... Helping you solve /prevent/ analyze problems from a certified professional dog trainer's knowledge assessed (CPDT-KA) perspective and experience.
  • * AND MORE! What do you need? We LOVE to find creative and innovative solutions to unique canine-related issues!

Stanley Milgram

Monday, April 14, 2008


Bite inhibition may be one of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO TEACH YOUR PUPPY!

When choosing a trainer, ask about bite inhibition. If they have never heard of it, call us!

Dogs bite. Even wonderful/socialized/highly trained dogs may be provoked at some point in life and bite. What matters most is not IF the dog bites but HOW SEVERE is the bite when it occurs? Does the dog only leave a scratch or does the dog sink his teeth into flesh as deep as his canines can go and do so multiple times? You have a responsibility to teach your dog how to use his jaws carefully.

Dr. Ian Dunbar writes, "Puppies bite! And thank goodness they do. Puppy play-fighting and play-biting are essential for your puppy to develop a soft mouth as an adult. Puppy Biting is Normal Natural and Necessary...
Forbidding a young puppy from biting altogether may offer immediate and temporary relief, but it is potentially dangerous because your puppy will not learn that his jaws can inflict pain. Consequently, if ever provoked or frightened as an adult, the resultant bite is likely to be painful and cause serious injury...

No Pain. It is not necessary to hurt or frighten your pup to teach her that biting hurts. A simple "Ouch!" is sufficient. If your pup acknowledges your "ouch" and stops biting, praise her, lure her to sit (to reaffirm that you are in control), reward her with a liver treat, and then resume playing. If your pup ignores the "ouch" and continues biting, yelp "Owwwww!" and leave the room. Your puppy has lost her playmate. Return after a 30-second time-out and make up by lure-rewarding your puppy to come, sit, lie down, and calm down, before resuming play.Do not attempt to take hold of your pup’s collar, or carry her to confinement; you are out of control and she will probably bite you again. Consequently, play with your puppy in a room where it is safe to leave her if she does not respond to your yelp. If she ignores you, she loses her playmate."

Dunbar also writes, "Without a doubt, behavior, temperament, and training problems are the most prevalent terminal illnesses for pet dogs."

Current Study/ Background of Study

Current Reading/Viewing/Study(i.e. NEW BOOKS AND VIDEOS to stay current for YOU by learning more about DOGS DOGS DOGS! :)Much of what we are studying is BRAND NEW!

NOW Viewing
- Making the Ultimate Connection - How to create a working partnership with any dog based on mutual respect, focus, and understanding by Tom and Kay Lams 2009
- Foundation Training for Agility - The Road to a Perfect Partnership by Moe Strenfel 2009
- "Juni's C.A.T. Proceedure Video" (Constructional Aggression Treatment) shaping protocol developed by Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz and graduate student Kellie Snider, MS at the university of North Texas) ordered from Peaceable Paws LLC 2008
- Contacts - Bridging the Gap Between Training and Competition with Rachel Sanders 2008- And more...NOW Reading
- "Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers - A guide to stress, stress related diseases, and coping" by Robert M Sapolsky 1994
- The Thinking Dog Crossover to Clicker Training by Gail Tamases Fisher 2009
- My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD 2006
- SWAY- The Irresistable Pull of Irrational Thinking by Ori Brafman and Roma Brafman 2008
- Control Unleashed by Leslie McDevitt MLA, CDBC, CPDT 2007
- "Positive Gun Dogs - Clicker Training for Sporting Breeds" by Jim Barry, Mary Emmen and Susan Smith 2007
- "How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves" (THANKS, BRENT!) by Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM 2004
- "Barking - The Sound of a Language" by Turid Rugaas 2008
- "Focus Not Fear - Training Insights from a Reactive Dog Training Class" by Ali Brown 2008
- And more...

*Certifications Completed- 2005 earned ABCDT Animal Behavior College Dog Trainer Certification- 2007 completed requirements to become a CPDT-KA Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed

- January 2010 Coaching the Canine Athlete with Chris Zink DVM, PHD Reno, NV
- October 2009 The Association of Pet Dog Trainer's Conference, Oakland, CA
a. The Evolution of the Cognitive Dog and What it Tells Us About Our Own Origins - Dr. Brian Hare
b. Coping with Life - Turid Rugass
c. A Conversation with Bob and Jean - Robert E. Bailey and Jean Donaldson
*Symposium on Fear and Anxiety Behaviors
a. Anxiety and Fear: Physiology and Behavior - Dr. Emily Levine
b. A Video Ethogram of Fear and Anxiety - Sue Sternberg
c. What's That I Fear? Identifying Triggers and Resolving the Problem - Kathy Sdao
d. Working With Fearful Dogs in Private Lessons and Group Classes - Nicloe Wilde
e. Alternative Medicine for Fear and Anxiety: Nutrition and Flowers and Herbs, Oh My! - Dr. Doug Knueven
f. Fear and Loathing and Separation Fun - Dr. Ian Dunbar
*Field Study: Team Training Dog and Exotic Animals at the Oakland Zoo - A day observing cutting edge and innovative ways of managing exotic animals using enrichment and operant conditioning which has MANY advantages, including increased safety and reduced stress for both for animals and handlers. Tortoises, bats, and giraffes are taught to happily move from place to place and to enjoy regular veterinary care without force or anesthesia.
- Scentsational - Steve White
- Training a Thinking Dog - The Advantages of Marker Training Gail Fisher
- Click a Chick with Terry Ryan - clicker training a chicken which is WAY faster than a dog!
- It Appears to be a Behavioral Problem But Could it Be Medical? Dr. Ellen Lindell
- The Best Classes in Town - Yours - Veronica Boutelle and Gina Phairas
- Anticipation: Harnessing its Power to Attain Exquisite Control and Reliability Steve White (and Jennifer White)
- Calling All Trainers and Pet Dog Professionals: No More Homeless Pets Best Friends Animal Society

2005 Dominance: Anatomy of a Mind Virus - Jean Donaldson
-2006 Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference
1. The Science of Dog Behavior - Ray Coppinger PhD
2. Understanding Aggression in Dogs - James Serpell PhD
3. View from the Bridge - Karen Pryor
4. “I was Lured!” - Ian Dunbar CEO, CAAB, PhD, CPDT
5. How Dangerous is He? Assessing the Risk of Injury by Aggressive Dogs - Wayne Hunthausen DVM
6. Working With Shy and Fearful Dogs: Tips, Techniques and Misconceptions - Donna Duford
7. Stress Symptoms Caused by the Use of Electric Training Collars in Everyday Life Situations - Esther Shalke PhD
8. The Biology of Emotion in People and Dogs - Patricia McConnell PhD
9. Why Are We Stupid in Love with Our Dogs? - Patricia McConnell PhD

- March 2007 Get Rational! Evolution, Dog Behavior, & Dog Bites - Jean Donaldson and Janis Bradley
- July 2007 Leash Reactivity and Leash Aggression in Dogs - Sarah Kalnajs CPDT, CDBC
- July 2007 Research into Developing the Treat and Train - Sophia Yin

- 2007 Association of Pet Dog Trainer’s Conference
1. Sign Language in Chimpanzees – Roger Fouts PhD
2. Count, Correlate, Then Cautiously Interpret – Jean Donaldson
3. Problem Behavior in Dogs – Roger Abrantes PhD, DHC, DF, MAPBC
4. Food! It’s Power, It’s Problems – Chris Bach CDBC
5. Beasties Behind Bars – Making and Keeping Shelter Dogs Adoptable – Kristen Collins CPDT
6. Cognite tute: Think For Yourself! Learn to Ask the Right Questions – Pam Reid PhD, CAAB
7. How the Brain Rewards Itself – Learning on a Neuronal Level – Barbara Schoening DVM, MSc, PhD
8. The Heritability of Behavior: Performance Traits – Janice Koler-Matznick MS, CPDT
9. Development of Canine Behavior: Rules for Genetics, Learning, and Signaling in Understanding and Fixing Behavioral Concerns – Karen Overall PhD, DVM
10. Owner Compliance, Age and Sex- Men and Women in Consults – Trish King CPDT, CDBC
11. Using Fun and Play to Modify and Solve Behavior Problems – Angelica Steinker CDBC, CAP2, NADOI
12. Speak Softly and Carry a Big Click: Cueing Demystified – Kathy Sdao MA, CAAB
13. Group Dynamics – The Key to Harmony - Cheryl Margaret Smith
14. Walkin’ the Walk – Leslie Nelson
15. March 2008 - The Business End of Dog Training by Veronica Boutelle
16. November
17, 2008 A day at Chris Vaught's House with Agility Trainer Elicia Calhoun AWESOME DAY!

*Books Studied
- Reaching the Animal Mind - The Clicker Training Method and What It Teaches Us About Animals by Karen Pryor 2009 Dog Behavior, Evolution, and Cognition by Adam Miklosi Department of Ethology, Eotvos Lorand Universtiy, Budapest reprint 2008
- "Positive Perspectives - Know Your Dog, Train Your Dog" by Pat Miller CPDT, CDBC 2008
- BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioral Medicine by Debra Horwitz, Daniel Mills & Sarah Heath 2002
- "Command Performance Training Techniques That Work" from The Whole Dog Journal 2007- "Scared Poopless The Straight Scoop on Dog Care" by Jan Rasmusen 2006
- "Foods Pets Die For Shocking Facts About Pet Food" by Ann N. Martin 2003
- "The Well Adjusted Dog" by Dr. Nicholas Dodman written in 2008- "Oh Behave! Dogs from Pavlov to Premack to Pinker" by Jean Donaldson written in 2008
- "My Dog Pulls. What Do I Do?" by Turid Rugaas 2005
- "Help For Your Fearful Dog" by Nicole Wilde CPDT written in 2006
- How Dogs Learn by Mary R. Burch, Ph.D. and Jon S. Bailey Ph.D.- All About Dog Daycare
- A Blueprint For Success by Robin K. Bennett
- If a Dog’s Prayers Were Answered Bones Would Rain From the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs by Suzanne Clothier
- The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
- Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea by Carl Zimmer
- Click to Calm by Emma Parsons
- Visiting the Dog Park: Having Fun Staying Safe by Cheryl Smith- The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia McConnell, PhD
- For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia McConnell, PhD
- Feeling Out numbered? How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household by Patricia McConnell, PhD
- Dogs Bite but Balloons and Slippers are More Dangerous by Janis Bradley
- Ruff Love by Susan Garrett
- Dominance: Fact or Fiction by Barry Eaton
- Before You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar
- How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks by Dr. Ian Dunbar
- Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution by Lorna Coppinger and Raymond Coppinger
- A Dog and a Dolphin 2.0: An Introduction to Clicker Training by Karen Pryor
- Help For Your Fearful Dog by Nicole Wilde, CPDT
- Aggression in Dogs by Brenda Aloff
- And more...

*Videos/DVDs-The Fundamentals of Animal Training by Bob Bailey, 5 hours of instruction- The How of Bow Wow, Karen Pryor- Clicker Fun, Dr. Deborah Jones- Dog-Dog Aggression, Patricia McConnell, PhD- Dog to Dog Aggression, Sue Sternberg- Dog Aggression BITING, Dr. Ian Dunbar- Puppy Kindergarten, Corally Burmaster- Take a Bow Wow, Virginia Broitman and Sherri Lippman- Give Them a Scalpel and They Will Dissect a Kiss: Dog Training Past, Present and Future, Dr. Ian Dunbar- Lassie Come! Patricia McConnell PhD- Sex and Aggression Secrets and Games - Four Day Instructors Workshop – May 2004, Dr. Ian Dunbar*Learning Secrets- Success With One Jump by Susan Garrett 2006- And more...FUTURE:- 2009 APDT Conference- January 16-17, 2010 Quicksilver Agility Club presents CHRIS ZINK, DVM COACHING THE CANINE ATHLETE® SEMINARSUBSCRPTIONS- APDT's Chronicle of the Dog The Whole Dog Journal Fun- The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein- Still Life with Elephant by Judy Reene Singer

Rescued Rover student, Zorg, says -

Rescued Rover student, Zorg, says -
"I'm 8ish years old and I love school!"

Lenny "Leonard Nimoy"

Lenny "Leonard Nimoy"

Training Philosophy

What we do:

Food, toys, play, attention, going for a walk, access to other dogs, swimming, going outside, or anything your dog likes or wants are our favorite "tools" or reinforcers. (See below picture titled "Pinecone Power". I was using a pine cone to keep my dog's attention for the photo!) These tools can be used to increase behaviors by introducing them immediately when a desired behavior happens or having your dog do something to earn each life reward. Reward-based training is very powerful. Dogs trained in this way ENJOY training, WANT to be trained, and the worst thing about this type of training is - it has to end at some point.

WE DO USE PUNISHMENT but not like you might imagine. Removing something the dog values is punishment if it reduces an unwanted behavior. Example: Your dog barks for your attention but you ignore him and leave the room. You then look at him touch him and talk to him for being quiet. He no longer barks at you for attention becasue it does not work.

What Behaviors Can You Teach Using Positive Methods? Any Behavior You can Think Of...

Our goal is to have happy, confident dogs who trust and love humans. We want dogs to LOVE learning and training. If your dog likes you and trusts you and associates you with good things, she will WANT to come when you call her.

Positive training is NOT permissive. There are rules to follow and it takes practice, commitment, and consistency by YOU. TIMING IS IMPORTANT! If you do a bad job training with rewards, your dog will not learn or may learn slower... Training your dog is a mechanical skill (like dancing) and it takes practice for YOU to become better at it. As you learn the skill of dog training and develop your timing, your dog will likely be rewarded inconsistently or untimley. Considering this, imagine the opposite way of training, say, delivering a shock to your dog or a leash correction as you learn to improve your timing... Untimely or inconsistent punishment can be VERY detrimental to your dog (and you) for MANY reasons.

Use of positive training techniques CHANGES your dog's behavior for good, instead of merely inhibiting/suppressing behavior/s when the punishment or punisher is present.

Behavior doesn't just go away because you don't see it! We care about your dog's underlying emotional responses. Growling is not a bad behavior! It tells us the dog is feeling uncomfortable! We could punish him for growling but then, we no longer know what he is thinking! uh-oh!

When you train using positive methods, unwanted behaviors are replaced with desirable ones (i. e. sit instead of jumping up).

Positive training is safer for all family members and even children can successfully work with most dogs. Dogs who are trained using positive methods are more predictable.

Dog trainers of today (IF they are current in their field) understand this and not only have hands-on experience with dogs, but are also educated and familiar with the current science behind animal behavior, not the outdated hype often seen on TV and the "faux" science, superstition, or "whispering" behind it.

The kind of training you decide on affects you (as your dog's trainer) as much as it affects your dog. Punishing unwanted behavior is a NEVER ENDING task and it places your focus on everything your dog does WRONG. Punishing unwanted behavior puts the human in the position of being reactive instead of proactive. This is not sound LEADERSHIP. If you spend all your time seeking bad behavior and punishing it, you will be VERY busy and after all your perseverance, the dog will still not know how to be RIGHT. Not knowing how to be right sets the dog up to keep being wrong and for you to keep correcting. This is not a happy, healthy co-existence.

(Imagine if no one ever took the time to explain how to perform your new job, but constantly punished you for being "wrong" or "stubborn"...)

It's a fact! Rewarded behavior increases! Learning to focus on the "good stuff" dogs do and teaching them what we expect in a kind way that they understand actually changes the way you think for the better. Everybody wins.

When a human teaches a dog what is expected in a proactive manner, this actually puts the human in the leadership position where the human teaches the dog and controls the dog's resources - without conflict.

This is the harmony we experience in our lives with our own dogs and it is possible for you and your dog as well.

Article about punishment:

More on Positive Reinforcement - So well written and informative! Click on link