Teaching people how to create a healthy relationship with their dog
based on compassion, biological fulfillment, clarity, and mutual understanding
Achieve your training goals once and for all
Teach your dog how to make
better decisions on their own
Do you want a dog who is RELIABLE off leash? A dog who can calmly greet dogs and people? Do you wish your dog could walk nicely on leash with you? Do you want your dog to be able to relax on cue and in response to stress?
Learn how to teach your dog to make better decisions on their own! Teach them to manage their stress so that they are no longer aggressive, fearful, hyperactive, or defensive in response to their "triggers". Communicate with your dog in a holistic and compassionate way that allows you to finally trust your dog to listen to you!
Based in Southern Maine, I offer professional In-Home Private Dog Training , Dog Camp Adventure Daycare, and Board and Train Programs.
Private training brought right to your home! I service most of the southern Maine area including Windham, the Portland area, Standish, Gorham, and more!
Personalized board & train programs for your dog! Your dog will be trained while living with me in my home in Hiram, ME
"ON TRACK IN A MUCH SHORTER PERIOD OF TIME THAN I COULD HAVE IMAGINED! "
I am so happy to have found Val! My dog Rigby was very reactive and becoming less and less social with other dogs. Val’s approach was perfect for Rigby, as she really seeks to understand the individual dog and what works for them. I chose the board and train program to establish a good foundation for Rigby in a relatively short period of time. I was initially reluctant to send her away but she had the time of her life and learned a lot! Val sent updates every day and kept me informed of her progress. Val also spent a lot of time with me after the training to help me learn how to work with my dog on my own. This will be an on-going process but I feel comfortable with the plan, and well equipped to continue her training at home. I feel that although there is still work to be done, Val was able to really get Rigby on the right road in a much shorter period of time than I could have imagined!
Now Rigby seems happier, less reactive, and overall more relaxed. Rigby was so excited to see Val when she came for a recent training session. Val clearly really cares about the dogs and it shows! I would recommend her in a heartbeat.
- Erika de Papp DVM & Rigby
THE RIGHT PERSON FOR HIRAM
"The Right Person For Hiram
Hiram has struggled with leash aggression since we got him 5 years ago. We've gone through countless training, day schools, and various tools. We knew insecurity was at the root of Hiram's aggression and Val was able to adapt perfectly to speak to his psyche. Hiram was part of Val's "Board and Train" program where he stayed with her for a month but came home on weekends. Val spent time with us each weekend going over what she did with Hiram during the previous week and gave us the tools and instruction to work on similar things while he was home. We were most impressed with Val's usage of the "Grade School" model where she did not hold Hiram to expectations he was not equipped to achieve yet. She did a fantastic job teaching us to do the same! Hiram is now a part of her Dog Camp where he gets to spend time with her and his friends getting all of his energy out. She's made herself super available to answer any questions we have and cares so much to see Hiram continue to grow and succeed.
Thank you Val!"
-Jordan and Sheila Millington & Hiram
I HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH ABOUT MY DOG'S EMOTIONAL STATES
"Thank you Val for helping transition our 4 1/2 year old Vizsla, with anxiety and guarding issues, with the addition of 2 new puppies into our household (one ours and one our son’s). The three months of weekly in-home sessions gave me so many training techniques to add to my toolbox. I use the Intermediary bridge frequently when I see my Vizsla worried or bothered by something or a situation (like a puppy trying to lick her face). Having Val accessible in between sessions was invaluable as well as our weekly discussions about how the week went. Whenever I had an
“instance” or new situation, she would advise me on how to handle it the next time. The weekly summary emails were a wealth of information that I could (and still do) refer back to. When I reached out to Val, the food guarding (and guarding in general) was my main concern. She helped us navigate through a lot of the guarding issues while not being focused solely on that issue. She was right, a lot of the guarding tendencies (with toys and beds)fell away through the relaxation techniques. As far as the food guarding, we established different routines in the kitchen (no dogs allowed behind island) and feeding time (dogs are fed in their crates) to relieve the tension that food creates for her. I am able to have all 3 of them in front of me doing “tricks” side by side and getting treats side by side. I never thought that would be possible.I knew during my phone consultation with Val that she was a trainer that I wanted to work with. I related to her positive, fun approach. From week to week she builds on the prior weeks’ progress. I never had a problem incorporating the “training” into each day to practice what we learned. It was funfor me and it was honestly fun for the pups. I have learned so much about the emotional state of my dog(s) and how to read their body language."
-Jocelyn Pierce, & Teeka, Juice, & Sydney
HELPED US ACQUIRE THE TOOLS TO BUILD A GREAT RELATIONSHIP
Val did a great job with our Golden Retriever puppy Nala! She started a 4 week board and train at just over 6 months old and she is now 10 months old and she is doing great. She helped us build the foundation for training her we didn’t have the experience with and helped Nala and us both acquire the tools to build a great relationship. Val picks them up at the beginning of the week and drops her off at the end for the the weekend! This was huge for us as it helped us with the flow of the work week and each Friday we would go over for an hour what she learned during the week and how we apply it to training. Her obedience is coming along she will sit, wait, down, come, fetch, and maybe some others I am missing but her confidence is growing! Training has helped us get to a point where we can walk off leash with her and feel confident she will stay close and heel when necessary which besides having good obedience was one of my top things to get out of this training. We are very happy we chose Val as Nala’s and our trainer!!
-Ryan Brown & Nala
EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE, KNOWLEDGEABLE, & COMPASSIONATE
"We adopted our 2 year old dog named Pork Chop and realized quickly that he
constantly wanted attention; loved other dogs, but did not realize
they were giving him clues to back off and stop playing so hard- he
wanted to be best friends with every person he met, but approached too
happily and excited and did not understand how to do an appropriate
greeting without jumping. We were having no luck in how to get him to
approach other people and dogs less excitedly and his constant need
for affection had escalated from barking and he was getting more
aggressive in nudging for attention. When we walked him on the leash,
he would pull very hard to try to meet any dog or person he saw.
Val's 4 week board and train program did wonders for both Pork Chop
and us! This well-designed program had Pork Chop stay with Val during
the week for his weekday training and then come home for the weekends.
As a result we didn't miss him as much, and when he came home on
Fridays, Val took time to train us too in what he had learned that week. She
also gave us stuff to work on with him on over the weekend to train us
all. Each week we could see noticeable changes in Pork Chop's
behavior and happiness and in turn, our sanity. Not only was the
training working really well, but Pork Chop loved going back to Val.
When Sunday night came around he couldn't wait to jump in her car to
Now, Pork Chop is a much better behaved dog. He is able to
self-soothe himself and doesn't constantly need attention. He is much
calmer when meeting new people and dogs and we continue to
improve. He no longer pulls on the leash to try to meet new people, and is calm on the leash when dogs are around. Val also taught him how to recall and heel off-leash.
Val is extremely effective, knowledgeable, and compassionate. It is
amazing the amount of impact and training she instilled in Pork Chop
in such a short time. The additional helpful documents, videos, and
email support Val has provided during and after the training really
help to continue with his and our training. We still refer back to
these resources for support.
With the intensive boarding and train and E-collar training, we were
worried that our Pork Chop would lose his personality, but not at all.
He is still our happy, loving, goofy Pork Chop. Now we are all
happier because he can self-soothe himself and more appropriately
express when he wants attention. We can also walk him without him
pulling at every new dog or person he sees."
Paul and Deb Danik
WE TRIED OTHER TRAINING...
"Val is the best! Our rescue Cattle Dog Zuzu struggles with meeting new people and is generally just very high strung in most situations. We tried obedience classes, all-positive trainers, heavily correctional trainers, and did lot's of our own research but nothing was working for us. Val's training method aims to get to the root of your dog's behavioral problems so you don't need a different trick for every situation. With past training we would leave a session feeling overwhelmed and confused but Val's program takes things slow so you can really learn the process and come to understand your pup. I used to think we would never be able to have people over or the Zuzu would be able to be around children or larger groups of people. If you stay consistent and put the work in you will definitely see results and feel supported along the way. Everyday is a work in progress but we now have the tools to feel more comfortable introducing Zuzu to strangers and having guests at our house. It's such a relief to know how to read our dogs' behaviors and respond accordingly."
-Alaena & Dylan Robbins & Zuzu