The Reflective Relationship Program

A Clear You, for Them.

Prioritizing self-reflection, curiosity, and connection-based skills for life with your dog.


My promise to you

The training process and behavior modification journey can be messy, daunting, and not linear. This level of uncertainty and discomfort often leads to miscommunication, blaming, shaming, and disconnection between the pet parent and the dog.

The skills in this course are designed to help you not only support the dog during this process but more importantly, yourself.

Join me for a 3-month live, intensive program where we explore ourselves through the relationship with our dogs. This program cultivates the necessary human end of the leash skills for successful training sessions, sustainable behavior change, and connected relationships. 

This program is designed to expand your self-awareness through education, deep inquiry, and exercises with your dog

Registration for this growth experience begins:

Monday, September 5th, 9am MST!

Join the waitlist

And get a discount

What you'll learn and practice:

The key ingredients for a deeper relationship with your dog (and yourself) today.

#1: Understanding your dog’s experience 

  • You'll learn key concepts such as, the emotional lives of dogs, how they learn, and how behavior modification works. Not only will we use these concepts to develop a better understanding and connection to your dog, but we'll also use them as a parallel framework for your journey as well. 

#2: Self awareness of your thoughts and behavior

  • Self–awareness is a key ingredient for connection in any relationship, especially the one with your dog. We underestimate how much our thoughts and behavior can impact our dog's behavior and the training process. By examining your own behaviors, beliefs, and mindset, you can often affect behavior change and deepen the relationship with your dogs. The level of self-awareness can lead to increased compassion and empathy for your dog and yourself.       

#3: The Six Connection Principles

  • The Six Connection Principles are designed to prevent suffering and disconnection between you and your dog. Each week will be devoted to a new Connection Principle. You'll learn about them during the live lectures, implement them into your daily life through activities with your dog and journal exercises with yourself, and discuss the experience on the community integration calls. 
    1. Pausing to Notice all Conditions
    2. Observing Labels and Language 
    3. Getting Curious
    4. Recognizing Needs and Co-creating
    5. Advocating for Everyone
    6. Celebrating Often  

#4: Behavior change principles

  • While this is not a training course per se, we'll introduce behavior change principles with the goal of modifying your behavior in order to support your dog's behavior.

#5: Balancing being and doing

  • All of the skills listed above are to help you practice observing, accepting, and shifting patterns of control. Marissa will introduce the concept of balancing between influencing (doing) and allowing (being) with your dog. She'll discuss why it's so important and how it's a common struggle for most people.   

What students have to say:

"ALL of Marissa’s work (podcast, book, and courses) have had a hugely meaningful impact on me!

My dog has issues with reactivity and aggression that led me to consider re-homing for a long time. I tried all kinds of “training” protocols but what made the difference was changing my own thoughts which in turn led to her behavior changing on its own. I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

This course is likely the missing link to start you on a deeper and more meaningful journey with your dog."

 - Tara

"Working with Marissa's connection principles helped me to acquire new skills, gain insights, and be vulnerable. It's a profound experience! I now feel protected from burnout, and am connecting much more closely with my human clients. 

Marissa's coaching -- and the supportive communities she creates -- supply the tools and inspiration needed to thrive in this profession and cultivate a better relationship with your dog.” 

 - Mason

Meet Marissa

A certified positive reinforcement canine behavior consultant, author of Human-Canine Behavior Connection, and podcast host.

My mission is to empower pet parents to prioritize self-reflection, curiosity, and empathy for sustainable behavior change and a deeper human-canine bond. 

I use my Six Connection Principles as a framework to inspire transformation. This framework invites my clients to utilize the training process and their relationship with their dog as an opportunity for increased self-awareness.

This collaborative work results in behavior change for everyone. 

Learn and Integrate with Marissa

Marissa brings an extensive amount of experience to this course. Starting with her 15-year experience working with animal shelters, clients, and their dogs, her relationship with her dog Sully, her ongoing coaching education, her ongoing dog behavior education, and her extensive personal development journey. 

She is excited to support you LIVE during this 3-month journey! As always, she will bring a level of warmth and vulnerability, making this program the perfect place to grow as a pet parent.

You’ll get direct feedback from her in the Facebook group and on the live calls so you can integrate the concepts into your daily life! She has been witness to so many people shift their mindset and achieve the relationship goals they are striving for. Now it’s your turn! 

Registration begins Monday, September 5th, 9am MST

Join the waitlist

And get a discount

This program is for YOU if…

  • You’re on a positive reinforcement, force-free , behavior modification journey with your dog and need emotional support for the human end of the leash. 
  • You want additional tools to strengthen your relationship with your dog. 
  • You want a safe space to learn and practice connection-based skills to enhance your relationship with your dog. 
  • You want to grow as a person and cultivate a deeper relationship with yourself. 

My Story with Sully

I'll never forget the first time my dog, Sully, barked and lunged at another dog while on leash. I felt embarrassed and confused. 

This wasn't “supposed” to happen to me - I'm a dog trainer after all. Over time, Sully’s behavior started to get worse and I became more and more frustrated with him.

I took a step back and developed a training plan with the hopes of changing my dog’s behavior. The training plan focused on what I wanted Sully to do instead of barking and lunging. I thought if I could control his behavior, we would both be happy! Right?! Wrong...

The Aha! Moment

And, that’s when it hit me! My plan was only addressing Sully’s behavior. 

  • What about my thinking or behavior needed to shift? 
  • What was my role in this relationship?
  • And how could I work together with Sully instead of making him the one to blame?

When I stopped trying to control Sully and focused exclusively on understanding him, how he sees the world, and why he was reacting in certain ways, I was finally able to get to the root of his problems AND develop compassion for him along the way. 

That is when the true behavior shift took place for BOTH of us!

Raise your hand if….

  • You feel disconnected when your dog engages in problematic behavior concerns.
  • You feel out of control and hopeless in your efforts to support your dog (and yourself).
  • You tend to blame yourself for your dog’s behavior concerns. 
  • You feel like you’re going down a shame spiral, believing thoughts about your dog and yourself that cause suffering.

What you'll walk away with.....

Marissa Martino, a positive dog training expert, crouches next to a black dog.

A deeper relationship

Marissa Martino, a positive dog training expert, crouches next to a black dog.

The Six Connection Principles

Marissa Martino, a positive dog training expert, crouches next to a black dog.

Increased self-awareness

Marissa Martino, a positive dog training expert, crouches next to a black dog.

Behavior change strategies

Marissa Martino, a positive dog training expert, crouches next to a black dog.

Productive and compassionate mindset

Marissa Martino, a positive dog training expert, crouches next to a black dog.

A like-minded community

Why should you learn and practice the Six Connection Principles?

When you practice observing and shifting your thoughts and behavior patterns, your relationship with your dog has the possibility of including more connection. The Six Connection Principles will help you avoid misunderstanding, overwhelm, burnout, and inaccurate assumptions. They are the antidote to suffering. 

Registration begins 9/5 at 9am MST:

4 monthly payments of $260.00 or $997.00 at once

This will be the lowest cost of the program ever. And, we're only opening it up to 25 people max!

Scholarships are available. Please email for more information.

Join the waitlist

And get a discount

If you want a deeper connection with your dog (and yourself), this course is for you! 

Marissa creates a safe place for pet parents to be comfortable enough to talk about the positive but also, to be honest, and vulnerable with ourselves about the struggles we may have. I have grown personally through this process as well. Paws & Reward has become a complete game changer for Team Squeaky! 

 - Kelly

Course Details 

Begins: Tuesday, September 13 - Tuesday, November 29 (see details below)

The program has an alternating schedule of learning the concepts during the live, interactive lectures the first week and then the following week I’ll host community integration calls to deepen the learning. See the full schedule below for details. 

What to Expect:

Live Lectures

  • You'll learn about each week’s dynamic content, get real-world examples, and have the opportunity to ask questions. All lectures will be recorded.  
  • 1-year access to all content.

Weekly Exercises

  • Weekly activities for you and your dog. Weekly journal exercises for exploration with yourself.
  • 4-6 hour commitment per week (includes live calls and homework).

Live Community Integration Calls

  • We’ll discuss that week’s activities and journal exercises as a group. There are two integration sessions. Both will be recorded and you can attend both sessions if you would like.

Feedback on Exercises

  • Posting homework exercise in the Facebook Group. Feedback on exercises directly from Marissa. 

Community Support

  • It can be so supportive to be part of a like-minded community where you are seen and heard. It can be hard raising a dog, especially when you're struggling with behavior concerns, so normalizing the experience with others can be so healing!
  • Optional weekly engagement in the Facebook Group with fellow pet parents.   


Week 1: Live Lecture - Welcome, The Balance Between Influencing and Allowing  

  • 9/13 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST

Week 2: Live Lecture - Pausing to Notice all Conditions and Observing Labels and Language

  • 9/20 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST

Week 3: Community Integration Call - Pausing to Notice all Conditions and Observing Labels and Language 

  • 9/27 Tuesday at 6pm MST and 9/28 Wednesday at 11am MST 

Week 4: Live Lecture - The Power of Getting Curious 

  • 10/4 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST

Week 5: Community Integration Call - The Power of Getting Curious   

  • 10/11 Tuesday at 6pm MST and 10/12 Wednesday at 11am MST 

Week 6: Live Lecture - Recognizing Needs and Co-creating

  • 10/18 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST

Week 7: Community Integration Call - Recognizing Needs and Co-creating 

  • 10/25 Tuesday at 6pm MST and 10/26 Wednesday at 11am MST 

Week 8: Live Lecture - Advocating for Everyone

  • 11/1 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST

Week 9: Community Integration Call - Advocating for Everyone 

  • 11/8 Tuesday at 6pm MST and 11/9 Wednesday at 11am MST 

Week 10: Live Lecture - Celebrating Often

  • 11/15 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST

Week 11: Community Integration Call - Celebrating Often 

  • 11/22 Tuesday at 6pm MST and 11/23 Wednesday at 11am MST 

Week 12: Live Lecture - Putting it all together

  • 11/29 Tuesday at 6-7:30pm MST


The Course Includes:

Time with Marissa for 12 weeks live

Weekly live sessions

PDF copy of slides 

Weekly homework activities

1 year access to all content

Support through community

Registration begins 9/5 at 9am MST:

Valued at $3000.00

4 monthly payments of $260.00 or $997.00 at once

This will be the lowest cost of the program ever. And, we're only opening it up to 20 people max.

Scholarships are available. Please email for more information.

Join the waitlist!

And get a discount

“When I watch Marissa teach, I am always struck with her ability to make the presentation conversational. Marissa models how to interact with another person (or animal). Her unique approach no doubt shifts the perspective from viewing their dog's behavior as a "problem" to “how can I support my dog?” 

 - Kate

What you’ll walk away with:

  • A deeper relationship with yourself and your dog
  • Productive and compassionate mindset
  • Increased self-awareness, the number one ingredient for any successful relationship 
  • Compassion and empathy for your dog, yourself, and others  
  • Behavior change strategies 
  • My Six Connection Principles in your relationship toolbox 
  • A like-minded community committed to personal growth



The content of this course and the community calls are designed to be a welcoming, inclusive space in which all participants are free to learn and grow. It can be really supportive to be part of a like-minded community where you are seen and heard, especially when you're raising a dog with behavior concerns. Normalizing that experience with others can be so healing!

With that said, Marissa Martino is not a therapist. However, she brings a lot of personal experience through her relationship with her dog, her extensive personal development journey, her ongoing education, and her 15-year experience working with clients and their dogs.