Dog Training

Do you need dog training help? I’m in Denver, CO doing basic training, advanced working roles, and rehabilitation. I do house visits or meet at the park for an initial assessment. I also have key-access to a large fenced-in field in my neighborhood.

To schedule a session send me an email or leave a voicemail at 971-220-8004.

If you can only pay $20 for a session and we end up going for 2 hours that’s totally fine, cash, Venmo (@ryanblakeley1), or credit card via Stripe.

Read about my training principles.

Tools

I’m willing to work with whatever tools the owner has, but some tools are better than others. These are the tools I use and recommend:

  • High value treats. Dry liver, dry salmon, bully sticks, cheese sticks… The ones I go through the most are these Old Mother Hubbard mini biscuits. Other animal protein and fresh food is also great.

  • 8ft slip lead. If I could only have one tool to work with a dog, this is it. I like that this one has a safety stop to protect the dog’s neck and a clip on the handle end so you can put it around your waist for running. Martingale collars work on the same principle, and are nicer, but need to be fitted to the dog. Denver Animal Shelter sells martingale collars for $7.

  • Gentle leader. I don’t often use one, but it’s what I go to when the slip lead isn’t the right stimulus or when transitioning out of a muzzle for biting issues. The goal is to transition out of a gentle leader to a slip lead or simple collar, if possible.

  • Muzzle. If the dog is strong and biting is a concern, we will put a soft muzzle on to protect people and other dogs. I want the dog to earn their way out of the muzzle as soon as possible.

Also:

  • Backpack. A weighted vest or backpack is a good tool for a dog that has a lot of stamina. It gives the dog a job to focus on and drains the energy in their legs.

  • Long lead, 30 to 50 feet, great for trips to the park, couple with a martingale collar.

  • Short slip lead

These are tools that I do not recommend:

  • Electronic collars. Shock, sound, or vibration, they cause more problems than they solve, except in a few hunting scenarios. People think of it like an invisible leash. But that concept is difficult for dogs and takes special training and a special dog.

  • Prong collars. They are more severe than I’ve ever had a need for. If the dog has trouble with pulling on the leash and a slip lead or martingale isn’t working, I go to a gentle leader and focus on behavioral change so the dog doesn’t get used to hitting the end of the leash.

  • Harnesses, except for exercise. Harnesses are the optimal tool for pulling. If lunging or pulling on the leash is an issue, do not use a harness. If you’re doing a type of exercise where you want the dog to pull, use a harness. As far as the harnesses that clip on the front, they’re just not my favorite unless there’s a medical reason.

Advanced training

Agility, scent tracking, waterfowling, and medical alerting — I have experience training those four jobs plus herding, however I do not have a facility to do herding work.

I don’t do guard dog training.

Further reading

I write a newsletter about animal behavior and sometimes write about dogs.

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