Based in Queens, NY, I specialize in training for the pet dog. I teach a motivation-based method of dog training rooted in behavioral psychology that focuses on giving the learner choice. The dog training I do is geared towards coaching you how to be your dog's trainer, giving you the skills you need to succeed, and therefore is very flexible. I will make it work for you and your family - no two situations are the same. I work with all breeds, ages, temperaments, and sizes of dogs, as well as many types of behavior problems ranging from potty training, inappropriate barking, and leash walking, to fear-based behaviors that can lead to aggression and biting.
I will never ask you to do something painful or stressful to your dog, and you are always welcome (and encouraged!) to ask questions. Dog training with me is focused on learning to read your dog's body language and signals properly, setting them up to succeed, and rewarding good choices.
Gone but never forgotten, the original trio from left to right: Tigress, Emma, and Charlie.
I was originally pursuing a graduate degree in English Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center here in NYC. Charlie, my Miniature Poodle, was 6 years old at the time, and plagued with various behavioral issues, his most severe was his clinical separation anxiety. I go over the details in the blog section, as well as how I dealt with it, but at his worst he collapsed his own trachea, had the police called, and even received hand written complaints from neighbors unhappy with his non-stop barking. He also destroyed the apartment, and urinated and defecated when left alone.
I decided to leave the world of literary academia to pursue dog training in 2009. Up until then I had informally trained Charlie to do a myriad of tricks and cute behaviors, and had worked with kennel and rescue dogs for years, but had no formal behavior training. I shadowed other trainers, and learned all I could in the following years. I dedicated myself to working with Charlie and his separation anxiety, and am happy to say that he began his recovery in 2010.
In 2011 I graduated with distinction from the Karen Pryor Academy and am very proudly a Certified Training Partner. I am currently enrolled in the Animal Behavior and Conservation Master's Program at Hunter College. I volunteer my services to several rescue groups, as well as low income families in NYC through the Pet Help Partners program through The Humane Society of the United States. In 2016 I began volunteer training with the Rikers Rovers program on Rikers Island, and am now a part time trainer there. I am constantly reading new dog training and behavior books, watching webinars, taking part in online behavior forums, and attending seminars. I have attended several Clicker Expos - if you've never been to a Clicker Expo, I highly recommend it!
In 2015 I acquired Prynne, a Toy Australian Shepherd. She was privately rehomed because her previous owners couldn't keep up anymore. She was a tough puppy and wasn't socialized before she came to me, but has blossomed into a spectacular little dog and is working as my decoy dog. Late 2015 she had a terrible accident and ended up at the Animal Medical Center ICU for 2 weeks, but pulled through and is doing as well as ever, though with an esophageal stricture. If your dog has reactivity issues with other dogs - there's a good chance you'll get to meet her! She's also a phenomenal play therapy dog for select cases.
Prynne, while acting as a decoy dog on a hot summer's day, wearing her cooling vest.