Behavior Training

Sometimes you want to help your dog emotionally – and although it would be great if your dog can sit, stay, and come when called, you need something more.  You need to help your dog feel calm seeing other dogs, or understand that people are not going to hurt her.  You want to know your dog feels safe enough to not react.  Or, you want to know your dog will not hurt anyone on purpose.

We can help you!

Helping fearful and confused dogs with positive methods is our passion.  Our journey of understanding reactivity in dogs is ongoing.  Our professional certification program was just the first step.  Since graduating, we have continued to study with the most innovative trainers and behaviorists to learn the best and most kind methods for changing the emotional state of dogs.  And, this journey is ongoing because there is a surge of interest among the dog professionals throughout the world.

How does our program work?  In a nutshell, we help the dogs start thinking instead of reacting.  The reactive brain is the quick response – and practicing the reactive behavior can make the reactivity stronger and stronger.  So, we start intervening before the reactive brain takes over.  We want to work at a level where the dog is still thinking “hmm, is that something I should be worried about?”

What we do can be as simple as giving the dog a treat in order to shift the direction of his thoughts.  And, if pairing a treat with the sight of a “trigger” is repeated over time, the dog’s emotional state can change from fear to curiosity.

But it’s usually more complicated than this.  The dog’s people will need training to understand their dog’s emotional and calming signals.  The timing of when to mark a particular behavior and give the treat needs to be honed.  And, just coming up with a management plan to keep their dog from practicing reactivity can be quite complicated.

So, we encourage you to contact us for more details.  We start our lessons with an assessment and consultation at our training center – and go forward from there.  In rare cases,  we might even recommend working alongside a veterinary behaviorist.

We look forward to hearing from you and just want to let you know there is hope for your reactive dog.  These reactions are learned and strengthened over time.  So, with even more time and a specific program, we believe it is possible to change a dog’s behavior for the better.

For information about our private lessons, please visit our Private Lesson and In Home Training Page.

Our Approach

Calm & Confident is a specific approach to training designed to help over reactive animals.  Kinna & Gene developed this method based on the work of Turid Rugaas (author of On Talking Terms with Dogs) and veterinary behaviorists such as Amber Batson in the UK.

The method works well with most animals and with most levels of reactivity — from nervousness to intense fear.

Kinna personally met Turid Rugaas in Norway and was invited by Turid to spend two days observing Turid’s reactive dog research project.  Kinna also attended a presentation on Reactive Dogs by Dr. Amber Batson during that trip (in 2018) and has since taken 4 additional courses with Dr. Batson.

Both Kinna and Gene have applied their Calm & Confident program successfully to help dogs who have been reactive to people, dogs, household or environmental noises, or other disturbing stimuli.  They’ve also applied the program to situations with nervous and/or reactive horses – and more recently, with a cat who displayed reactivity towards people.

For private lesson and in home training programs, you can follow this link:  Private Lessons & Home Training