Owner ~ Trainer
Hello, I train dogs in the Portland Metro area. I have put together a few thoughts below regarding my philosophies about working with dogs and some commonly asked questions. I hope this gives you a little glimpse of my love and dedication to working with dogs and their owners. Whether it is just you and your dog or your entire family, there is no greater feeling than having a well-balanced "pack." Everyone has a role and a place in their "pack" and it's important to understand yours.
I love training dogs, making custom Boho jewelry for In Omnia Paratus Creations my creative business, and photography.
"Pack Leader" Approach
The pack leader approach has been around for a long time. The "pack" is a group that lives together. That could be a group of wolves, dogs, or even dogs/ cats/chickens/humans all living together in the eyes of your dog. As with any group there needs to be a leader, someone that looks out for the good/survival of the pack. This is called the "dominant" one. Not dominant in a negative way but more like the one who takes on the responsibility so the other pack memebers don't have to worry. The other pack memebers are called the "submissive" ones and are then able to contribute in their own way to the pack without being the boss. If the pack leader doesn't do his/her job or perhaps dies then another dog will step up to take it's place. This is the rule of the pack. The pack always comes first! As far as training goes, all humans are considered to be "pack leaders". By applying this philosophy your dog will begin to understand it's role in the pack and thereby starts to relax because it's job is not to be the boss. All your dog has to do is be a member of the pack. It takes the weight off it's shoulders. It allows a dog to be a dog.
Human Trainer ~ Service Dog
Iris "the Wookie"
As a human training dog, I realize that I can only teach so much to my canine student. That is why my best friend 'Iris" is around. Iris is a very unique Duck Golden. She is balanced and even-tempered. No matter the situation Iris knows exactly what to do when it comes to helping another dog achieve a balanced/calm state. She will often teach the canine student correct dog manners and she remains calm even around the most aggressive of dogs. Her demeanor around children and helping them overcome their fears is nothing but brilliant. I often have children learn the basics of walking a dog with Iris.
In Iris's spare time she enjoys hanging out at the park & chewing on bamboo. You will often find her snoring through frequent naps during the day. Iris is a big fan of squeaky toys, bones, and food. She is proud to say she hasn't missed a meal yet!!! Iris enjoys a good scratch behind her ears and never turns down a belly rub.
What Sets Us Apart - Our Philosophy is simple...
At Downward Dog Training we believe dogs deserve to live healthy, happy lives in loving and responsible families. Our mission is to create a strong partnership between dog and pack leaders. As pack animals, dogs need and appreciate a strong and stable leadership structure. Without this a dog can become distracted, anxious and even unruly.
The good news - we believe every dog can be a Good Dog! It is up to the owners to learn to relate to, and capitalize on, their dog's pack mentality so that they can achieve the success they desire. With Downward Dog Training's variety of training and behavior modification programs you can find the tools you need to bring balance and happiness into your own pack.
I have not always been a dog person. As my sister needed a Service Dog, I began to experience the companionship and caring a dog could provide. Deciding to start training dogs kinda just happened organically. I was having coffee with my sister and her dog Bishop young couple approached us and mentioned how well-behaved my sister's dog was and that they wished their dog would be that calm. I offered to help them and that was the beginning. Since then I've been able to help quite a few dogs and their owners learn to communicate and build that special bond between them.
My greatest challenge I believe is to educate dog owners on how dogs think. Many times people try to use human psychology on their dog. That's when behavior issues start. Dogs think in a pack mentality. It's their instinct. To a dog, the pack will always come first. What's really cool to watch during the first session is when the owner starts to understand this philosophy and begins to communicate with their dog. It's as if a light switch comes on and all the sudden the owner is excited and can't believe their dog is listening and being a "good" dog. The truth is the dog has always been a good dog it's just the owner didn't understand how to communicate with the dog.