Positive reinforcement training for both of you!
I have spent more than a decade studying the relationship between a dog’s behavior and his/her environment. Working together, we will identify the behavior concern, establish environmental root causes, and implement management strategies to prevent the concern from escalating. From there, we will design an enrichment plan to ensure your dog's needs are being met. Providing the right enrichment can help reduce or even eliminate behavior issues. We will also develop a customized training plan to teach you and your your dog alternative behaviors. There is no need to punish behaviors with this approach since we set up the environment for success. This is the most effective way to support both learners during the process.
Step 1: Training You
- Understanding your dog's behavior and their relationship to the world
- Understanding what your dog is communicating with you and others
Step 2: Training the Dog
- Implementing management strategies to support you and your dog
- Introducing positive reinforcement training techniques
- Achieving successful human and canine behavior change
More than just dog training!
When we learn the why and how dogs respond to their environment, we become more aware of our own environment. During this process, we become more aware of ourselves. From that awareness, transformation is not just possible, it’s inevitable. This process is more than just dog training. It’s the pet parent and dog working together, learning from one another, and transforming simultaneously.
During my career, I have been witness to many people learning about themselves and expanding as individuals through the training process and the relationship with their dog. It’s uncommon for people to think of dog training as an opportunity for personal development; however, the relationship with your dog is the perfect, safe space to start navigating who you are in ALL relationships.
During our sessions, we’ll focus on my 6 relationship-building principles between you and your dog, noting how important they are to the overall training process. My hope is that you will utilize this process as a framework to navigate who you are in all relationships. When we practice observing, accepting, and shifting our own behavioral patterns with our dogs, all of our relationships have the possibility of including more connection.
Step 3: Enhancing the Relationship
- Noticing your behavioral and emotional response to your dog's behavior
- Understanding how this response can have a positive or negative impact on your dog’s behavior and the training process
- Introducing the 6 relationship-building principles to enhance your training and connection
Step 4: Enhancing Yourself
- Using this process to increase self-awareness and curiosity in all areas of your life
Noelle & Finn
“Marissa’s approach catalyzed a paradigm shift, challenging me to reconsider what it means to have a relationship with my dog. In talking with other pet parents, it seems like people think training is imparting a set of rules that the dog follows in order to make life easier for the pet parents. I used to think of my dog purely in the service of my own needs, which meant that when he misbehaved he was thwarting me, instead of recognizing him as his own being with his own needs and desires separate from mine. This mindset shift really helped me to view the relationship more as a dance and less as a dictatorship.”
Start with an Initial Consult
During the initial consultation, we will:
- Discuss your dog’s behavior history.
- Identify your training goals and their positive impact.
- Observe and discuss your dog’s body language and communication.
- Discuss the training and behavior modification process.
- Implement management and prevention solutions to provide immediate relief.
- Start the training process.
Investment: $150.00, 1.5 hours
Package of Six Sessions
In order to create lasting and successful behavior change, the package of sessions is a must. The package includes 3 in-person training sessions and 3 online coaching sessions. Behavior change is not a linear process, for both the dog AND the human. There are many variables that can affect the success of the training plan. Together, we explore the best strategies and solutions for you and your dog!
Three Training Sessions
During the training sessions, I will:
- Demonstrate and show you how to implement positive reinforcement training techniques and enrichment strategies.
- Observe and coach you implementing the training techniques with your dog.
- Teach you how to troubleshoot challenging situations with your dog.
- Create personalized training plans and provide accountability support.
Three Coaching Sessions
In between each training session, we will meet online for a coaching session. I have found that connecting in between in-person training sessions allows me to plan for our training sessions appropriately, offer alternative solutions right away, and course correct if need be.
During the coaching calls, we will:
- Celebrate training success and troubleshoot challenges!
- Identify growth opportunities in the relationship. “When my dog engages in the problematic behavior, I feel frustrated and embarrassed. This creates tension in our relationship.”
- Discuss how your perception, internal state can affect both the training process and our behavior in positive and negative ways. “When I feel frustrated and helpless, I tend to raise my voice and that makes my dog bark even louder!”
- Look at the situation from your dog’s perspective and reframe thoughts that might be holding you both back from achieving your goals.
- Discuss how to incorporate the 6-relationship building principles where appropriate.
Investment: $560.00 for 6 sessions (all sessions are 1 hour each)
We can reassess at the end of the package to see if you may need additional training sessions. Additional package of 3 in-person sessions: $315.00 or single sessions: $120.00.
Tyler & K
I had the pleasure of working with Marissa when I was facing some difficulties with my German Shepherd, K. He was great in most contexts, but he would bark whenever someone new showed up at the house. Marissa helped me understand what was actually going on. She helped me understand how scary it was for him to suddenly have someone else in the house. Marissa showed me how to set up the environment for success, and showed me the training process in order to change his behavior. I love the big, fuzzy guy - and Marissa is the reason he's doing so well now. I can't recommend her enough.