What are your qualifications?
I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and have taken additional coursework in Fear and Aggression, Canine Separation Anxiety, Canine Communication and Body Language, and Pet First Aid. I am also an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen and Star Puppy Evaluator. I have had years of experience under an experienced dog trainer and certified behavior consultant while I obtained the above certifications. I am also a member of the Pet Professional Guild. My specialty is helping dogs with fear related issues.
Did you know that dog training is not regulated?! Scary right!
This means any one can put together a website and call themselves a dog trainer, with no experience or education. It's important when looking for a dog trainer to ask if they have any certifications and are accredited by any professional organization, ideally one that is committed to positive reinforcement training only.
Seeing a trainer's website that doesn't shout their methods from the rooftops or that calls themselves a "balanced" trainer should be a red flag. All of those are signs they are likely using aversive, painful and potentially dangerous methods of training on your dog.
What kind of training do you do?
Like the name says - I only practice Positive Reinforcement Dog Training and Behavior Modification! This means I will never cause physical or pyschological pain to any dog. This is something I'm extremely passionate about if you can't tell already :)
What is positive reinforcement/force free training?
Positive reinforcement involves the giving of something "high value" (treat, toy, etc.) immediately after the dog (or any animal) offers a desired behavior. When you do this, it increases the likelihood that they will repeat the behavior when it is requested again in the future. The thing given to the dog is called a reinforcer. Its value is measured by the dog - dog preference, quality, rarity, etc.
The learner (dog), not the trainer, always decides what is most reinforcing for him/her, whether it be a small piece of food, a toy, praise, play session, affection/petting, etc.
The majority of dogs prefer food as primary reinforcers, which is why positive reinforcement trainers use food to train, because it is the most effective, efficient, reliable reinforcer both in the moment and in ensuring the desired behavior maintains / increases in the future. At the same time, it can help build your dog's confidence and enthusiasm for learning.
What kind of equipment do you use?
I love using body harnesses and flat collars for all dogs. My promise to you & the world is that I will never use or suggest a prong, shock/"e" or choke collar. If looking for a harness, I recommend the Freedom No Pull Dog Harness which can be purchased from 2 Hounds Design, Amazon or Chewy.
Why don't you use shock/"e", prong or choke collars?
Not only do I not want to cause physical or pyschological pain to any dog (which these collars can cause) but I am also a fan of using the most modern, science based, humane approach that does work
What if I am currently using one of those collars on my dog?
I pass no judgement and am happy to accept you as a client as long as you are open to not using those methods anymore. Many people using these collars often feel bad when using them on their dogs (seeing that it causes pain) and/or do not get the result they want, and they want an alternative!
I am proud to participate in Project Trade and would be happy to exchange your collar for a Freedom No Pull Harness, free of charge to you.
What will our training session look like?
We will start the session by me meeting your dog(s), asking some questions if needed, and then jumping right into training and behavior solutions!
Depending on your training goals, we may create a training plan at that point and start off with small steps in that first session, or we may jump right into the whole shabang! My goal is to give you as much information per session as possible and coach you on how to train your dog most effectively.
You are the one living with your dog 24/7 and need to know how to handle day to day training and situations.
What areas do you service?
I currently live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and service the surrounding areas (Delray, Boca Raton, Deerfield, Fort Lauderdale and Davie).
For surrounding areas, a travel fee may be applicable depending on your location.
I am also available for virtual behavioral consultations and training sessions via Zoom.
What online resources can I check out?
It's important to be very careful what you read online because we all know the internet can be full of crazies and misinformation!
If searching for online dog training advice, I recommend WholeDogJournal.Com or KikoPup YouTube Channel. You can also check out my Instagram page (@mocapaws).
If you are dealing with more complex behavioral issues, or not having success teaching the basics, it is important to hire a certified positive reinforcement dog trainer to create a training plan for your dog(s).