Harstine Dog Behavior Center

Harstine Dog Behavior Center

1 employee
7 years in business

About this pro

My training methods involve positive techniques and reinforcement, applied and backed up with an authoritative, alpha attitude. I earn the respect and love of the dogs that I work with, and they perform and behave for me by choice and their own free will, not because of fear, intimidation or pain. I never force a dog to do anything, I ask them, and they respond because they want to, though there are consequences for choosing not to obey or behave. I work closely with their owners and teach them how to connect with their dog, and how to train them themselves using the proper techniques and methods, how to communicate with their dog and understand what they’re dog has been trying so hard to tell them.

I have been involved with dogs my whole life, including a commercial boarding kennel my parents purchased when I was 5. From there I learned a lot about dog behavior, psychology, communication as well as how to work with a variety of breeds and temperaments. I even helped to open and operate their daycare, working everyday with a pack of 20-30 dogs. I assisted with training courses and eventually hosted her own. Today I specialize in dogs with fear aggression issues but knows how to tackle just about anything. I have yet to meet a dog I couldn't help! Currently I only do private lessons in your home with a custom training plan tailored to you and your dogs individual needs

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Auburn, WA 98002
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

Our initial consultation will be done over the phone and usually last about a half hour. We will discuss your pet, their behavior and your specific situation, particularly what you would like to change. We will form an ideal and set some goals, both short term and long term, that will help us determine the best course of action to take to find a solution to your problem.

Following that will be another consultation, this one in your home so that I have a chance to observe your pet and their behavior as well as get a feel for your family dynamic. Based on our first consultation over the phone, I will bring a training plan proposal that we can go over and customize to fit your specific circumstances and the individual needs of you, your family and your pets. This will also give us a chance to get to know each other a bit better and give me a chance to get to know your pet better before I begin working with them.This second consultation is $50.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have been working with dogs for more than 20 years, starting when I was 5 years old and my parents purchased a commercial boarding kennel. I have handled every breed of dog with every variety of behavior problem, from the quick-and-simple-fixes to issues that are much more deep-seated and complicated. I specialize in working with problem dogs and their owners, particularly dogs with aggression issues, against both other dogs and humans. I am especially experienced in working with dogs that have fear aggression issues. I don’t believe that any dog is unfixable. All dogs can be worked with and helped in some way, though some are certainly tougher cases than others, and some dogs will never completely recover from their issues, requiring special care and handling for the rest of their life. I have never given up on a dog, and I don’t intend to start now.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

I have a variety of packages available, everything from puppy training to basic and advanced obedience. I also have specialty packages available focusing on problem dogs and aggression issues. Whatever your individual needs are, I can accommodate them. Just email me with the details of your situation and we will figure out what works best fot you and your dogs needs. 

How did you get started in this business?

I have worked with and around dogs my entire life, including doing dog-sledding with my mother and our pack of 5 Alaskan Malamutes when I was a young child. I have almost 30 years of dog experience in almost every niche and aspect of dog care and activities, and have been a part of dog showing, weight pulling, agility, obedience trials, conformation shows, breeding, whelping and raising puppies, and administering first-aid when necessary. When I was 5 years old my parents purchased a commercial boarding kennel, and it was soon discovered that padlocks would be needed on every single door, gate and dog-house just to keep me out of the pens and away from the dogs! I learned a great deal about pet care and service, filling every position in the kennel from kennel tech where I spent hours scraping, hosing, disinfecting and preparing dog kennels, to feeding tech, which included preparing 180 bowls of food on Christmas day with a wide variety of special types and brands, as well as medications to mix in and administer.

I also worked in the office and learned a great deal about business administration, accounting, taxes, payroll and most important, customer and public relations, and I learned well how to develop a relationship with the customer that extended far beyond the credit card. When the kennel opened it’s daycare, I was right there, in with the dogs everyday while they worked to improve their facility and finally ended up with their acre + outdoor field that the dogs absolutely loved. I learned to control and work with a pack of dogs numbering in the 20’s to 30’s at times, and absorbed a great deal of information on dog behavior, dog psychology, dog communication and body language, and dog interaction. I also assisted in and eventually held my own obedience classes at the kennel, learning a wide variety of training techniques, as well as how dogs think, learn and how to deal with various behavior problems and issues. It took me quite a while longer to learn how to help the people with those same issues. I've always said that the dogs take a half hour, people takes weeks!

What types of customers have you worked with?

I have worked with all types and breeds of dogs with all types of problems ranging from puppies who were just starting to learn to older dogs that had severe aggression issues towards both people and animals. I have yet to meet a dog that was untrainable or unmanageable, or one that I have been unable to help. 

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

When looking for a dog trainer, you wsnt to find someone you are comfortable with, who's methods and philosophies coincide with your own. If the trainer you hire insists that you to use a method or tool that you are not comfortable using, then perhaps they are not the right trainer for you. Be sure to ask them lots of questions and get to know about their training methods and the training tools they use in the first consultation, and be sure that you are satisfied and comfortable with everything before moving forward. 

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

You should know what your needs are. What problems does your dog have? What behaviors are you unhappy with and want to change? What methods and tools do you want to use? Which ones do you not want to use? The more specific and detailed you are about what you want and want you need, the better you will be able to describe them to the trainer, and the better they will be able to help you, or direct you to someone else who can. 

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