Dog Training

Do you need dog training help? I work in and around Denver, CO. I do basic obedience, advanced working roles, and rehabilitation for extreme issues. To schedule a training session, visit

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Read about my training principles.


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:

  • Treats. Dried liver, bully sticks, and biscuits. This Old Mother Hubbard brand is inexpensive. Other animal protein and fresh food is also great.

  • Slip lead. If I could only have one tool to work with a dog, this is it. The nicest version of a slip lead is called a martingale collar, but it requires a custom fit.

  • Long slip lead. This one is good for running because it clips around the human’s waist.

  • Gentle leader. I don’t often use one, but it’s the right tool when the dog’s strength exceeds the handler, or when timing corrections is an issue, or when transitioning out of a muzzle for biting issues. The goal is to transition out of a gentle leader to a slip lead, if that’s possible for the owner.

  • Muzzle. I rarely use this, but 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. I do not recommend it for barking or chewing issues.

  • 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 it drains the energy in their legs.

These are tools that I do not recommend:

  • Electronic collars. Electronic collars, whether they work by shock or vibration, cause more problems than they solve. People think of it like an invisible leash. But that concept is difficult for dogs. It’s not obvious that the negative feedback is coming from their leader, you. They can be problematic for a dog that is reactive to other dogs. “Bite inhibition” is learned when mothers ween puppies off milk and when they play. It is the concept of using communication over violence, giving gradually more intense signals that they are frustrated instead of lashing out with a bite. I find that dogs that have a history with electronic collars tend to struggle with bite inhibition, and might go from zero to snapping surprisingly fast. If your dog had an electronic collar at some point in their past, it is important for me to know that.

  • 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 isn’t working, I go to a gentle leader. If you have a short-hair dog, please do not even consider a prong collar.

  • Harnesses, except for exercise. Harnesses are the optimal tool for pulling. If the dog 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, I think they are just not useful. A flat collar, slip lead, or gentle leader works better.

Advanced training

If you’re interested in advanced working roles like agility, scent tracking, and waterfowling, please reach out. I have experience training those three jobs plus herding, however I do not have a facility to do herding work.

I don’t do guard dog stuff except in limited cases, with extra safety precautions, I can teach intruder alerting.

Further reading

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

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