Having a dog with serious behavior issues can be a stressful and challenging experience for humans (and dogs). At Dogsmartz, we specialize in working with dogs with serious behavior issues and many of us share our homes with dogs just like yours.
You may feel like you have exhausted all avenues, but we encourage you to speak with us to see how we can help you. With the area’s first Certified Canine Behavior Consultant and Certified Trainers and our extensive background with aggression, fear and anxiety, our expertise is unmatched.
Dogsmartz is the leader in behavior, and we understand behavior. Behavior issues are not obedience issues. Behavior issues are related to many facets including fear and anxiety. Whether your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, dog reactivity (aggressive displays) or has bitten you or someone else, contact us.
Our methodology is science-based, using pain-free and Fear-Free techniques. We believe there is never an instance that you need to inflict pain to train a dog. That is a fallacy that has been debunked by countless ethologists, veterinary behaviorists, and trainers. You may ask why we don’t use equipment such as shock collars, tens collars, prong collars, bark collars, or choke collars? Because they are not necessary and they are used as suppression methods. Suppressing the response to a situation (shock the dog to stop the growl) does not change the reason the dog is reacting. Changes are what a human will see. The behavior still exists, it just does not show itself the way it previously had. So, the risk is that it will resurface in other ways and damage can be done that is unrepairable.
Our strategy is to work as a team with you, your dog, and your veterinarian to develop a plan to manage and/or modify behaviors. We will provide you with an honest evaluation and a clearly defined plan to help you work with your dog. In many instances, private, one-on-one training will be recommended however in certain situations our specialized behavior classes may be most conducive to the issues at hand.
Our goal is to change the way a dog sees a situation where we can. It is important to note that there are some behaviors that must be managed for safety, but our job is to provide you with an honest assessment and a realistic plan.
Behavior issues can be complex and time consuming. Let us help you as you embark on helping your dog live a better life.
"Conner is not our first Rottweiler but he’s our first Rottweiler from an Amish breeder. He was 3-1/2 months old when we adopted him. Not only didn’t he have any socialization but we’re pretty sure he was never held or, possibly, even touched. We signed him up for a puppy class at a local pet store. We had trouble even getting him in the door but once he was inside he did ok. Even with the puppy class he was still very anxious & fearful. If a plane, or even a flock of birds, would fly overhead he would run to the house with his little stubby tail between his legs. Our back yard is fenced in but if he saw a car or Amish buggy go up the road he would run to the front of the fence yipping and running along the fence line. We tried walking him on the road but he lunged out of control at everything that passed us so we started taking him to walking trails. One particular time there was a kid’s bike laying on the ground and for some reason that sent him over the edge. He had his ears pinned back and was extremely anxious so we headed back to the car. He wouldn’t get in the car so we had to pick him up & put him in it. Then once we got home, he wouldn’t get out of the car or come into the house. Once we did get him in the house, he ran around the house sniffing the air & whining. It was so bad, we thought maybe someone was in the house or something was on fire & he was smelling smoke. But all was good. For the next day, we had to pick him up & carry him outside to go potty. As soon as he was done, he would run to the house to get back in, literally quivering he was so scared. It was at that point we knew we needed some serious help. We had heard about Jenny so we gave her a call. She came out to the house & met Conner & our other dog, Izzy. She immediately saw that, while Conner loved his big sister, he did bully her. She gave us some exercises to let him know that Izzy came first. She then gave us exercises for the outside work with cars & buggies. Jenny not only met us at the house but also at Linden Point several times to continue working with him & cars. The first time our 1-year-old grandson came to the house, Conner was so anxious he ran around him, panting & jumping and was a bundle of nerves. I called Jenny in tears not knowing what to do and feeling so helpless & hopeless. She calmed me down & just kept working, not only with Conner but with us on how to handle his fear & anxiety. Jenny was so very patient with all of my texts & calls. And, believe me, there were many. We also took him to a confidence-building class that she offers. At first, we thought he’ll never do any of those things. Not only did he do them, but some of them he did on the first try. He still has his “Conner Days” but they are few & far between. We can now walk him up & down our road and, more importantly, have our grandchildren over. He’s great with vehicles although Amish buggies are still a work in progress. Words cannot express how grateful we are to Jenny. As much as we love Conner, he made our lives extremely chaotic and stressful. Thanks to Jenny, we now have a great “little man” and life is so much happier & easier."
"Gemma came to us very scared, timid, and deathly afraid of men. I acquired Gemma in college and my vet told me he was almost positive she was from a puppy mill. When I got Gemma, she was the only puppy of her breed in the house. She was extremely dirty and it took three baths to get all of the dirt off of her. The man I got her from said he would keep her in the basement, in the dark, with newspapers when he would leave the house. Gemma started off OK, but we started to notice some severe behavioral issues. She was extremely afraid of, yet aggressive towards, men. She would not go within 6 feet of them and as soon as she saw a man she began barking. We could not wear long sleeves around her because she would begin to attack us; biting, barking, and becoming "hysterical." We think this is because the man we got her from always wore flannel shirts and she made that association when we wore long sleeves. We were at a loss of what to do when we found Jenny. Gemma has taken Confidence Building as well as Fearful and Shy Dog and other classes that have approved her behavior IMMENSELY. Gemma can now go up to a man she does not know, sniff him, and walk away. She does not attack us and is actually quite a sweet dog! She takes treats from men and knows a lot of commands. She has even learned some fun tricks like "touch" and turning on a press light. Gemma loves going to school and using her brain. In fact, when she took Fearful and Shy Agility she thrived. She was the only dog that got to use the A-frame too! We are beyond proud of how far Gemma has come and could not have done it without Jenny and her team. In fact, Gemma thinks Jenny and Cassidy are her best friends! Thank you Dogsmartz, you made Gemma a real "gem" of a dog!