A Message from Carmen

image Dear Dog Owners/Human Companions,

Working with dogs is my passion and my life. Over the many long years that I have been training, I have not lost my love and fascination for these adorable creatures, which I consider a “a gift from God.”

I work with puppies and all the way up to seniors. I offer classes and private lessons. I do my best to accommodate the human companions who need my help; however, thanks to my dear clients and Elisabeth Starnes, who created and maintains my website, my business is flourishing. It is taking a little more time to meet with people who request my services, but I do my best to prioritize urgent issues.

When working with dogs, who are perceived as troublesome or “stubborn” by their owners, I often find that the problem behaviors are caused by physical issues. For example, a dog that may suddenly start urinating in the house, may have a urinary tract infection (UTI). A dog that starts acting aggressively with other pets may be in physical pain. I always ask that you consult your veterinarian before you call me.

Puppies need boundaries and early training to ensure that bad habits do not set in. This is why I always recommend Puppy Boot Camp for new puppy owners. Although I would love for you to join one of my classes, there are other positive trainers in the area who offer classes that may fit your time frame better. I strongly suggest that you interview prospective trainers about the mode of training. Be skeptical of trainers using the words “balanced” or suggesting equipment like choke chains, prong collars or shock collars. Modern trainers no longer use these aversive and &old school” methods. Ask to audit a class before you sign up. You are always welcome to audit one of mine.

When I am asked what is the most important aspect of successfully raising a puppy into a “solid” adult dog, my reply is always early socialization with other puppies and humans (all stages of life, children through seniors). I offer social events to help dogs maintain friendliness with people and other dogs for all dog life stages. Many dogs overcome shyness at these events.

I am not an animal psychic; however, because of my long experience and training, I may see some things that others may miss. Dogs speak to us often, we just need to know how to listen. Remember there is as much variance within a breed as between the breeds. I often hear, “my last Labrador didn’t act like this.” Every dog is an individual to me.

Lastly, I have a special place in my heart for rescue dogs. Most bring a certain amount of baggage with them as they may have been neglected or occasionally mistreated in their previous life. Please be patient with your new rescue. They may have been moved around several times before they ended up in your home. If you are struggling with your new rescue dog, I welcome you to contact me and there is no charge to see if I could make some suggestions to make the transition easier for both of you. Thank you for rescuing a dog that may have been overlooked or is imperfect.

I appreciate your taking the time to read my page. I hope to talk or meet with you in the near future.