When you see my car outside NMBDT and know I’m there, it usually always means there’s a consult/class going on or about to start, which can often mean I’m working with significantly aggressive, reactive, fearful and more dogs – towards people, other dogs, children or other animals. Please do not come to the door or try to enter. If you have a consult next wait in your car until the next dog has left so I can get you in safely. Most times if you are interested in chatting or seeing the space I can arrange for you to drop by at a time that is quiet and safe for everyone. I do my absolute best to meet everyone’s needs and get back to people as soon as possible but I also have to stay safe and protect my clients and their dogs. Thank you! Good humans!
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“We adopted Abby, our lab/plott hound mix, last October and began taking her to classes with a local trainer. We committed ourselves to the process and aimed to follow the trainer’s methods, yet we couldn’t help but question what we were taught as Abby grew less confident and more reactive. As an educator (and a human being with a heart), I clearly saw that what we were being asked to do with Abby wasn’t fair to her or to us and ultimately was damaging our relationship. Abby was shaking with anxiety in class. (Quite honestly, so were we.)
Then we met Helen: Enter light. Enter knowledge. Enter heart. Enter sense of humor. Enter hope.
We began meeting for private sessions and Helen showed us simple ways to work WITH Abby and her beautiful nature, not against her. “Are you having fun?” she would ask us expectantly with eyes wide, “Because this is supposed to be fun!”
The first night after implementing the new strategies, Abby slept peacefully with a doggy smile on her lips. The second time we met for a private session, I asked Helen if I could hug her (she said yes). By the third session, we were in awe of this lovely “full of beans” dog that we hadn’t been understanding until now.
Abby loves Helen. She loves class. She loves life. Abby loves to work and learn and to be the absolute nut that she is, and she trusts us now in the way we always hoped she would. We’re working hard together, and we have progress yet to make, but she has bounced back so quickly from her earlier negative training experience thanks to Helen who meets Abby where she is and sets her up for success every time.
NOT all trainers and methods of training are the same. Helen is compassionate and extraordinary. The methods she shares are proof positive that behavior can be modified without force. We’re so glad we regarded that pit in our stomach, that we questioned and rejected what didn’t feel right with our earlier trainer and sought a different way. We only wish we’d done it sooner.”
–Sara, Scott, & Abby
The new NMBDT is here, and it’s fabulous!! We are now located at
141 Old Turnpike Road
Our new space is bigger, around 2000sqft, and is fully decked out to help you with your dog. We love it, and hope you will to!
NMBDT centers around teaching humans how to train their dogs without force, pain or fear. Anything from puppy classes to reactive dog classes to private sessions for aggression, anxiety, manners, you name it. We believe dogs deserve the absolute best, and we strive to bring the latest most up to date knowledge and methods to our human clients so they can help their dogs be the best dog they can be. Come stop by and see us!
Over the past few months a new and bigger NMBDT has been being constructed. A 2000sqft room with an office and bathroom is going to be next to the new Sandy’s pet food on Old Turnpike Rd in Concord NH. The move in is already happening, with new classes starting in the new and bigger location starting in March!
As the new place is finished, I reflect back on where I started at my current facility, 3 years ago. It was a huge leap of faith to open it, having rented spaces and taught at other locations, but I am so glad I did it! Thank you all for your continued support during this time! I cant wait to see you all at the new space!
NMBDT believes that homeless dogs need all the help they can get. That’s why I am working with the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA and donating a space in one of my level 1 or puppy classes for a dog to come have fun, learn and live a little. The skills he learns will help make him more adoptable and make life a little brighter until his forever home is found. Any help that you can give to the Dazzle and Buster fund will go towards training, treats and supplies that the dog needs while going through the class but donations are NOT required to keep the program going. Every dog deserves a chance to shine, whether they have a home, or are still waiting for their human to find them.
Below are some pictures of dogs that are in or have been in the Hopeful Heart Program. They may have already been adopted, or are still awaiting a forever home. If you are interested in adopting a dog, visit the Concord-Merrimack County SPCA for details on the adoption process and to see a list of pets ready for their forever homes.
Almost always in classes or in private consultations, I get asked a question that begins with “How do I stop him from …….” The behavior can be nipping, barking, jumping, etc etc. My answer varies from case to case, but I always insist that people take a look at what their dog is doing and ask themselves, “How do I PREVENT him from …….” or “What can I teach him to do INSTEAD of or BEFORE the …….” By preventing and working with your dog before the bad behavior occurs, you are not only teaching better habits that will stick, but you are not allowing bad habits to grow and become a problem later. By being a proactive dog owner rather than reactive, you are setting your dog up for a lifetime of success.
Being PROACTIVE with your dog is much more helpful than being REACTIVE. There is a big difference between the two and can make a huge impact on your dogs behavior and the training process. This goes for puppy raising, working with fearful dogs, aggression general dog ownership. So what is the difference and how does that help me in training my dog?
Here’s a brief example of proactive as opposed to reactive;
Person approaches you on the street to greet your very social and excited 3 month old puppy.
- PROACTIVE owner tells person to please stop and not pet the puppy if it jumps, then gets their puppy in a sit and has the person approach as they reward or treat the puppy for sitting. (For puppies or dogs that are not able to sit with this level of distraction yet, this can also work with just dropping treats at the owners feet so the puppy just stands and is more interested in food on the ground than the initial approach)The person is told to kneel down and pet the puppy before the pup can leap off the ground, and to remove attention if puppy jumps up. Result? Puppy learns to sit or stand for petting instead of jumping all over for it.
- REACTIVE owner lets person walk right up to puppy, as puppy pulls ahead on leash and jumps all over person. Person starts to pet puppy, telling the owner he doesn’t mind, but owner (frustrated after saying “off” six times) yanks puppy down and pushes on puppy’s wiggly excited rear end to get him in a sit. Result? Puppy learns to pull ahead and jump all over people for attention, and then is rewarded by owner for this behavior also.
Being a proactive dog owner takes WORK, constant work. It is a lifestyle in the way you work with your dog and the relationship you build. You are constantly one step ahead, not just waiting for your dog to fail so then you can train. It takes more effort at first, but because you are teaching good habits it means you will need to do less work later on. Reactive owners and their dogs tend to get frustrated because many times the training is inconsistent, so clear messages arent always being made to the dog and the bad habits continue or worsen. This message doesn’t just work in raising a puppy, but in working with aggression, fear, and so much more!
Proactive dog owners need to do lots of “set-ups” as they train. They don’t just take their dog somewhere and hope for the best. They enlist friends, relatives, nerdy trainers like myself, to help them teach their puppies and dogs good habits and set them up for success, rather than failure. It takes work, but it is worth it!
It has been forever since I have been able to sit down and write a post for you all! I am so sorry, summer was very busy and there were lots of events and workshops I needed to attend. I am still here though, and excited for what NMBDT will have to offer in the next couple of months.
Holiday manners and tricks classes will soon be getting up and running. Holiday manners will begin October 8th at 12pm – 1pm and will be a mix of refresher work, as well as building up the distance and distractions needed for keeping you and your pet sane through the holiday season. We will also do some tricks training (to entertain your guests) and discuss holiday safety rules. Please call or email me to register for this exclusive class.
Puppy socials are going to be running as usual every Sunday, and please bring with you some halloween decor and costumes if you can to help get your puppy used to being around those sights and sounds early.
Lastly, get ready for a fun day at NMBDT! We will be holding the first Happy Howl-0-Ween [party on October 30th from 12pm-2pm. Lots of fun, games and prizes and all proceeds go to the SPCA and Granite State Dog Recovery!
Keep your eyes on the website and on facebook for more news and events happening, and as always, thank you for choosing NMBDT for your dog training needs!
I have been writing this post in my head for a long time now. Years, even. And some of you may think you are going to read something very different by what the title suggests, but this blog is about two subjects that are very near and dear to my heart, and it is my hope that by reading this, some people come away with a new perspective.
This past week (May 13th – 19th) is National Police Week, and next week (May 20th – 26th) is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. It seemed only appropriate for me to FINALLY write this blog post now seeing as these two weeks are very important to me both personally and professionally.
I am a dog trainer married to a cop. This means I am bombarded daily with the stereotyping that is done by the media and the public on both pit bulls and police officers. Both parties suffer because of stereotyping and media portrayal and I wanted to take a moment to show the similarities between the two.
Pit bulls are constantly in the media for “attacking” or “mauling” people and police officers nowadays can do nothing right, their every move is video taped, analyzed and publicized by the media in sometimes a very dirty and unfair way. Both parties get little to any real justice when the truth is finally fully revealed, and people are left viewing or perceiving that pit bulls are unpredictable, dangerous creatures, and police officers are brutal, racist, and not to be trusted.
The result of all this misinformation being thrown around is a love-hate relationship with both parties. People either love pit bulls, or run away screaming at the sight of one, and the same goes for cops. Most people who love pit bulls do so because they own one, they’ve worked with one, or they just like standing up against ignorance and intolerance. People who love cops are usually related to one, know one personally, or are in a similar profession. The people who hate or dislike pit bulls and/or cops, usually have had a negative experience with one, or had a friend who had one, OR are gathering most of their information from what they see on T.V.
Am I saying that all pit bulls are wonderful and every cop is an angel? No. Of course not. But viewing one video of a dog or cop in a certain situation and then turning that into a stereotype that encompasses an entire BREED or PROFESSION is ignorant and cruel. The result is dogs dying and a war on the police profession. It gets us nowhere and ends tragically.
What I AM saying is that we need to educate ourselves and those around us. When we see those news stories, or those videos on social media, take a step back and forget the drama of it and the “band wagon” we all want to jump on. Keep an open mind, ask critical questions and look at the situation as a whole, not as one incident that has been cleverly edited to appear as something else.
Police officers risk their lives everyday protecting us. They miss holidays, birthdays and time with their loved ones to serve their community and keep us all safe. Tomorrow ends police week, and I ask that you take a moment to thank a local officer for his/her service. Trust me, it means more to them than you know.
Pit bulls are an absolutely wonderful, loving breed and they die every day because of our ignorance. So for dog bite prevention week, I ask that instead of continuing to attempt to ban breeds, we ask how we can prevent bites by educating ourselves on dog body language, communication and factual information to prevent tragedies from happening.
With “Sandy” approaching the Northeast quickly, I wanted to write a quick reminder to all dog owners and offer some tips to help you and your pets stay safe.
- Make sure you are fully stocked up on pet food and bottled water and that you have accurate information on your dogs collar. You should also have all your pets medications in an easily accessible place so if you lose power you don’t have to root around. Flashlights, batteries, etc can be kept in this area too. I suggest a large tupperwear container in an easy to find spot.
- Prepare a place in your home for your pet to go should the storm become worrying for them. A crate, covered by blankets hidden under the stairs or in a closet may be helpful. You should have it near or at the place that you and your family may have to move to should things get rough. You can sit with your dog if that is more comforting to them.
- If you have interactive toys handy, like Kongs, or even some empty bones, have some peanut butter and other non perishable goodies (squirt cheese, yummy biscuits, baby food, etc) put aside or near their hiding spot so you can continue to keep the storm a positive experience for them but loading up the toys and giving them something fun to do. I suggest doing this for dogs that even dont display anxiety, that way you are hopefully preventing anxiety from developing.
- If you can, play classical music for them if the wind, rain and noise is worrying. “Through a Dog’s Ear” is fabulous, but if you dont have access to that, try single instrument classical music like Bach or Chopin.
- Always keep your dog leashed during storms, should they spook suddenly and try to run off. If the weather is really bad, it may not be safe to take your dog out for a walk or let them out to go to the bathroom. I always have a supply of pee pads for my dogs that I can set up in a corner of the basement just in case.
- Thundershirts, calming aids, etc should be ready for you to use just in case. Speak with your veterinarian if you are concerned.
- DON’T take your dog out to watch the storm!!! Even if you think it’s cool, they don’t! Stay inside.
- DON’T punish your dog for being worried or for displaying anxious behavior. If you dog wants to be near you, or needs physical contact to help him stay calm, allow it. He will appreciate it.
- Have a list of pet friendly hotels, or places with generators that can board your dog should you lose power. NEVER leave your dog or other pets behind.