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How Dogs Learn & How We Teach

Dogs learn by association (doorbell = someone is at the door) and by consequences (sitting will earn a treat, jumping will earn removal from friend). We all learn this way. However, obedience cues are not the only piece of the puzzle if you want a well-mannered dog who can handle a variety of situations in life - you have to take emotions, relationships, and environment into mind as well, just as we are finally beginning to do when teaching humans (kids).

I work with you to create a bond and two-way communication so that you can learn when your dog is ready for more or when it's best to take a break. Over time, your dog will choose you again and again. I also help you notice what your dog's environment is teaching them and how to use that to your advantage (and how to prevent issues from cropping up in response to things out of your control). When teaching new skills, we use whatever combination of rewards your dog finds motivating - food, tug, fetch, social play, walks, more space from scary/annoying things, getting to sniff, getting to mark a name it! When discouraging unwanted behaviors, we search for patterns and find ways to meet your dog's needs (behavior communicates a need) in ways you find acceptable (and maybe even fun!) so that everyone involved can relax a little more.

How Online Training Works

If you're wondering how online training could possibly work for training dogs, you're not alone. But the truth is, dog training is about 75% "people training." In fact, one of the biggest benefits of online training is that you get to work with your dog yourself during 100% of the instruction time, so your pup won't be confused or frustrated by your own learning curve when you take over training from a trainer's demonstration.

Another huge benefit of online training is that your pup won't be distracted by the trainer's presence. Often times, dogs get so focused on the trainer during in-person sessions that they don't do any of their normal "naughty" behaviors, making it more difficult to explain how to interrupt and redirect the unwanted behaviors when prevention fails. For dogs who are nervous around strangers, the trainer's presence can be stressful and make it difficult to learn the skills they need to cope in stressful situations. Starting with online training can speed up training and better prepare them for further in-person training later on.


So, how does it work? Using Zoom, we explain the exercise you'll be learning, demonstrate it with a live dog or stuffed dog (if needed), and then we coach you step-by-step as you try it with your own dog. During group classes, everyone tries the exercise at once, and each team is coached by the trainer separately. At the end of each session, you will receive emailed homework notes and/or videos to help you practice, as well as a recording of your session to refer back to.

As a bonus, in order to ensure your success, you receive coaching on homework videos as you practice between each live session. In group classes, you also get to learn from watching your classmates' videos and coaching/feedback.

What Makes Us Different?

holistic approach to training

Some trainers focus on a quick fix to make a quick buck, but quick fixes typically fall apart... well... quickly. We look at behavior problems from all angles (and work with your vet and/or veterinary behaviorist when needed) to make sure that we get to the root of the problem for long-lasting results. We also offer fully customized packages to meet the unique needs of each and every dog.

independently certified

There is no licensing or regulating body for dog trainers and anyone can claim they are a dog trainer. With sixteen years of experience, Kate Uruchurtu (nee Connell) has been a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed since 2014 and maintains a minimum of 36 continuing education units every 3 years to maintain certification. She previously served as an AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator for a decade as well.

Training for the whole family

Sometimes even the most skilled trainers don't take a realistic approach to family training. Everything changes when you add kids to the mix, and that's something we love! Our trainer is a Licensed Family Paws® Parent Educator and a Private Trainer with The Family Dog®. We use simple methods and effective solutions so even the busiest of parents can succeed and keep their pup as a cherished member of their family.


Once you become a Calmer Canines client, you become a member of the Calmer Canines family. Feeling stuck with your training or have a training question? Shoot us an email or a text and we'll get back to you within 48 hours. We'll do our best to answer your question within the confines of a text, phone call, or email, and we'll get you on our schedule ASAP if you end up needing a session for more in-depth help.

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