@DenverDogWhisperer Since 1994
"Positive" in dog training lingo does not mean rainbows and unicorns. It refers to adding something, a reinforcement or a disagreement (not a punishment). "Negative" refers to taking something away.
A correction is a two step process. It starts with getting the dog's attention, diverting him from whatever he is thinking or doing that you disagree with. After you have his attention, you communicate the behavior that you desire instead so the communication goes from A to Z, and finishes with the dog learning the rule or boundary you are communicating.
Q: How do I get started?
A: First give the Denver Dog Whisperer a call on (720) 304-5727. Many simpler problems can be resolved by phone and this is free. We will dig in with questions to try to identify the likely three to 4 root causes behind your dog's behavior, and talk about the differences in human versus canine psychology which relate to each. If you want to move forward by scheduling a home behavior consult, we'll do so then.
Q: What techniques does the Denver Dog Whisperer use?
A: We never use fear or pain or intimidation. We also do not ignore a state of mind or being, thought or behavior that we disagree with. It is our job to communicate to the dog exactly his/her place in the pack and how he/she is supposed to behave in our pack. This is dog love, it is what creates safety and security for a canine. Our techniques mirror the brilliant ways of mother nature. We are primarily silent verbally but rich with body language to calm and draw in the dog's trust and respect as a leader. Each dog is different, so me must adjust our energy level and technique to elegantly communicate with that individual temperament and personality.
Q: What are your fees?
A: We are not going to ask you to spend thousands. Instead, we keep our prices quite reasonable because our goal is to eliminate the distress, frustration and anger that you may be feeling about your pup's behaviors. Please see our FEES page.
Q: Where are you located?
A: Home is Boulder, but the Denver Dog Whisperer drives all over Colorado to visit owners of dogs with challenging behaviors. The dog issues originate in the home and home territory where the dog is most confident. If we remove the dog from there, he/she is careful, on his best behavior. We need to see and address the dog's issues at the highest problem level, the home.
Positive Reinforcement Only dog trainers will tell you to ignore behaviors you disagree with, reward those you desire, and never give a dog a marker of "no" or any other correction. This is a movement which has developed in the past 18 years. They will recommend euthanasia but never correct a dog's undesired behaviors.
Among the problems with this approach is that dogs have personalities. There comes a time when the enjoyment of doing something wrong or paying attention to an exciting distraction becomes much greater than any cookie or praise which can be offered by the handler. This leaves the handler with no recourse for blocking the behavior, just instead waiting it out. When the dog calmly returns his attention to the handler, that is when he/she gives the dog the biscuit or praise. So what the dog learns is that, if he does what he wants first but then later pays attention to the handler, he gets a reward. This reinforces the dog's undesired behavior.
We suggest you seek Balanced dog trainers who use positive reinforcement as their foundation, but be able to read canine body language and communicate rules, boundaries and limitations when needed. A Balanced approach adapts to the individual temperament and situation of each dog vs. using a one-size-fits-all approach which may be effective for many but not all. A Balanced trainer is firm but not harsh, using the lowest level of energy to adapt to even the most sensitive dog.
Q: What are the Denver Dog Whisperer's background and credentials?
A: Donielle ("Donni") has a superb combination of academic education, managerial experience, real world dog and people leadership, and canine behavior rehab skills.
She received her BS in Psychology and Business and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, enjoyed an 11 year senior marketing management career at a Fortune 500 IT company, and then struck out on her own to become a Horse Whisperer following the more humane ways of training than the traditional harsh methods. She bridged to the canine world by cross training with a Dog Whisperer initially, studying Dog Behavioralism at the Max Planck Institute, and learning puts and takes with an assortment of over 40 other dog trainers. She admires Cesar Millan at a rock star level, but in most cases has a softer, gentler, more methodical approach. She began as a Dog Whisperer in 1994 and now brings you the benefits of her 28 years experience.
Denver Dog Whisperer Donni backs her service with a no charge guarantee. If she cannot bring help to you, there is no charge. Once a "certified" trainer, Donni rejects the Positive Only approach in favor of positive as a foundation along with a humane balanced dog/people combo training. She maps the ways of mother nature as being the brilliant training model.
Donni splits residency spending spring/summer/fall in Colorado and winters in Phoenix.
Q: What are the usual causes of my dog's behavior problems?
A: First rule out illness. Then there are usually three, four, often even 5 causes. Denver Dog Whisperer helps you identify and address each.
Your dog certainly trusts and loves you. But being a buddy, humanizing or coddling does not provide pack guidance or earn leadership respect, so the dog has to fill in the gaps as the one who's in charge.
“Purely Positive Training - The Worst Thing to Happen to Dogs?,” Charwin Curly Coated Retrievers
“The Problem with All Positive Reinforcement Training - In Defense of Corrections,” Ali Meza, Doggie Joggie
“Dog Training - What Works and What Doesn’t,” Michelle Welton, Your Purebred Puppy - Honest Advice About Dogs