My Training Philosophy
Training should take place BEFORE you need it!
My goal is to promote trusting, healthy, and enjoyable relationships for owners and their dogs. My training philosophy is that learning should never be painful, intimidating or forced. Instead, your dog should willingly and happily respond to your cues and have a clear understanding of what is expected. I promote non-aversive tools and methods and employ evidence-based approaches to communicating with dogs. Training should be fun for you and your dog! The methods I use in training creates a thinking dog who is motivated to make good choices.
My experience with dog behavior and training goes back to early childhood as I have always had a fascination with canine behavior and an obsession with all things dog. I have shared my home with a number of mutts and a variety of purebred dogs over the years. In 1997, we brought home our first American Pit Bull Terrier and were hooked on the breed. Currently, we share our home with Finn, CGC, NTD, ITD, ATD, ETD, NSD, OSD, RATI, RATN, RATO, RATS an American Staffordshire Terrier mix, and Leon, NTD, a 4 pound Long Coat Chihuahua.
Finn adores dog sports and we have fun at Barn Hunt and lure coursing events and we LOVE trick training.
I have accrued thousands of hours volunteering for shelters and rescue organizations, previously sitting on the Board of Directors for two rescue groups for over a decade and serving as behavior and training consultant. I spend most of my free time with continuing education, networking, and webinars. I am an active member of various behavior related organizations such as the Pet Professional Guild, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, No Shock Collar Coalition, and I am the only Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant in the state of Alabama certified with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.
Click here to read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's position statement on the use of punishment for behavior modification in animals
"I felt like Jessica really listened to me and Millie and worked with us to help us achieve our goals. She has a wealth of knowledge and expertise in dog training, but she puts it in terms that we can understand and use as we practice. Also, she makes training fun!!" -Virginia G.
"Jessica is extremely approachable and willing to help at any given time (of course around her other lessons). Very good with the dogs. My 6 pounder wants to go home with her. I enjoyed getting to know the trainer, as much as I enjoyed her advice and techniques." - Julie R.
"Jessica is a wonderful, funny person who is all business when it comes to training your dog. She goes above and beyond then developed a bond with my dog which is important to me. She is meticulous when it comes to applying the knowledge that she has regarding training and also in keeping the client informed about the progress and things that need to be worked on and things that don't need to be worked on. She actually cares about the dog and the client and it shows." -Day Training client Jimmy D.
"We were interested in having our sweet, smart dog evaluated for Therapy work. Jessica met with us, worked with our dog and gave us a training plan as well as websites and contact information for persuing Therapy work. Jessica allowed us to "pick her brain" from time to time when we had questions or hit road blocks. It is obvious that Jessica has found her true calling when you see her work with a dog. It is not a cookie cutter training experience. Jessica tailor fits the training to the dog and its environment." -Wendy J.