Dog Training Methods

It's Brainy Dog!  We inspire Dogs to use their Brain!

Bond with your dog and they'll do what you want.

Dogs have the same ability to learn as we do. Some dogs learn fast. Some take more time. Each dog is ready for step two after they understand step one.


Our job is to:

1. Decide what we want our dogs TO do.

2. Respectively communicate each step to our dogs.

3. Tell them when they do it right!


Wow, this is much easier than being angry when your dog does something wrong.  Be happy and  teach them what's right!

There are many methods to train or teach animals. I have respect for all humans who try any methods and respect other trainers' methods as well. I believe the differences in methods come from each individual's way of life, belief, systems, background, and history with animals.  The relationship between humans and animals has changed and changed again over time.  We are all in a different place as far as how we relate to animals.  It's all okay.  Please be open with me on your beliefs and I'll map to yours or bridge gaps between methods to find techniques you are happy with. I just want everyone to play nice.  It is possible as long as we talk and try to understand each other.

Positive Reinforcement

To train a dog to "do" something, we use positive reinforcement, better described as reward based training.

Your dog gets what she wants after doing what you ask.


To teach a dog to "stop" doing something, we still use rewards. We just reward the dog for doing something "different" than the behavior we want to stop.

Bottom line? Brainy Dog uses low stress training that does not hurt your dog. Dogs are smart, you know that.  You'll see your dog learn on the very first session.

Behavior tools are packaged under the heading of "Applied Behavior Analysis" (ABA). ABA is used in many sectors of our society. There are several "official" definitions for ABA depending on who's writing, but since I attended training through Easter Seals on ABA, I'll choose their definition. I like it.


"A style of teaching which uses a series of trials to shape a desired behavior or response. Skills are broken down into their simplest components and then taught to the individual through a system of reinforcement."


I like Wikipedia too:

"ABA is an applied natural science devoted to developing and analyzing procedures that produce effective and beneficial changes in behavior."


Works with adults, works with kids, works with dogs and this is our approach.

Who we work with:

You, your family and your dogs. You don’t need to be a superhuman to train your dog. You don’t even need to be “smarter” than your dog (chuckle).

Do you have a dog sitter or dog walker? I encourage you to include them in training sessions so they can practice with your dog. 

Got kids?  Creating an animal connection now can help young people become caring intuitive adults later. 

We also work with your Veterinarian. Medical issues can contribute to behavior issues. We must make sure everything is okay on the nutrition and medical front to be successful in changing behavior.


Number of sessions and weeks.

How much dog experience do you already have? How much time do you have to practice the exercises?  When did issues first occur?


Answers to these questions and a few more will help me estimate
duration and number of sessions. Don’t worry; we balance money, time, schedules, and energy. 


Price is flexible. 

Stretching training out over a few months reduces weekly cost. Condensing training costs more up front, but we finish sooner. We consider:

  • Your goals.

  • Your level of experience.

  • Your dog's cooperation level. Don't judge this until after session one.

  • The time each week or month you have to practice lessons.

  • How quickly you want or need the training to be complete.

  • The amount of training your dog needs to be successful.

There is a way to make it work for your budget. Sometimes barter is available.


What people say:

Staying in contact is important. I encourage emails, phone calls or text messages between sessions.

Charlie aka, "alligator"

Sherry has been very patient, kind, thoughtful with our kids...even having them sit down at the table and having them list out how they want their "alligator" aka, Charlie with the sharp puppy teeth, to behave. 

She instills confidence in them that they can train him successfully with love, treats and positive discipline which has made a world of difference in our household.    They are now understanding his needs and how their behavior affects the dog, so they have made some changes and are finding success too.  Its really cool to watch.

Christie B and family in Petaluma, CA