Training Philosophy


I train without pain.  I train without fear.  I train without intimidation.
I teach my dogs the behaviors I prefer instead of punishing the behaviors they prefer.
I am positive but not permissive. 
I pay attention to what my dogs like and dislike and use this information, along with the dog’s environment, to control rewards and punishments.  I encourage and teach the behaviors I want while simultaneously preventing, avoiding and discouraging the behaviors I don’t want.
I use food, play, toys and real life rewards to train and maintain behaviors.
I set my dogs up to succeed so that I can reward.
I don't command my dogs. I request compliance and strive to make it worth their while.
I use the science of learning theory and my larger cerebral cortex to solve behavior issues.  I utilize the many positive options available and avoid aversives.
I strive to eliminate as much positive punishment (adding something the dog doesn't like in order to suppress a behavior) as possible. I am not perfect and I try each day to come up with creative solutions using positive reinforcement and the other quadrants of operant conditioning, if necessary. I do this because I understand that positive punishment is too often stressful, unreliable and short-lived.  Worst of all, it can have unexpected and undesirable side effects and damage the delicate psyche of a puppy.
YOUR dogs are MY dogs and I LOVE ALL MY DOGS!
   I also believe....
There Are NO Bad Puppies!
There Are NO Bad Dogs – Only Untrained Dogs
Walking Your Dog is the Key to Physical and Mental Health (Yours and His) as Well as the Bridge to Bonding
Fetch - More Than Just a Game 
Dog Training Can and Should Be FUN!
   My training methods include..
Clicker Training - Clickers = Clarity 
Positive Reinforcement
Gentle, No-Force Methods such as Shaping, Capturing and Food Luring
NO Choke Chains, NO Pinch Collars and NO E-Collars!
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise - A tired dog is a GOOD Dog!
Once you experience professional, positive dog training, you will wonder why you waited until now. 
I look forward to working with you and your dog.


"You have showed so much patience and care, that it truly touches me. It is so evident in the way that you give your time, it is not just a job to you - but a passion. I want to thank you for sharing your passion and expertise and look forward to learning all we can with you. I would highly recommend Smarty Paws to anyone looking for a trainer!!"

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