Dog Training

We offer dog training for any individuals interested in building a better bond with their dogs and enjoy their time together. Whether you just got a new puppy, adopted a dog from the shelter, or want to teach your old dog new tricks, we can help!

We teach science-based, positive reinforcement, and force-free training techniques. Rather than using intimidation or force to correct the dog’s behavior, we focus on teaching the dog the behavior we want instead and rewarding behavior using what the dog enjoys (food, treats, toys, praise, petting). This promotes a relationship based on love, trust, cooperation, and understanding. Read more about positive reinforcement training, the adverse effects of using punishment and aversives in dog training, and misconceptions about dominance theory.

What makes our services unique: Much of dog training is actually training the human. As an occupational therapist and dog trainer, Karen has specialized knowledge and experience to work with both ends of the leash. She is able to work with clients and families of all abilities and disabilities. Karen teaches desired skills and behaviors, adapts tasks, and modifies the environment so both the dog and human are successful. She also educates and consults with individuals on assistance/service dogs and emotional support animals (what are the differences, who may benefit, legal and ethical considerations). Karen can assist with task training or refer to reputable assistance dog trainers and organizations. Karen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed, a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and an evaluator for Pet Partners.

Our training curriculum teaches dogs good manners, life skills, and social skills. We prepare people and dogs for programs such as:

Private Lessons 

Lessons take place in the home or community (within Orange County, Long Beach, and South Bay). They are typically 1 to 1.5 hours and we meet once a week or as needed. Please contact us for training rates.

We Work On:

  • Basic Obedience (name, sit, down, stay, come, loose leash walking, leave it, settle)
  • Socialization and House Manners (for puppies or rescue dogs)
  • Problem Behaviors (pulling on leash, barking, fear, anxiety, chewing, destructiveness)
  • Preparation for Animal Assisted Interventions (for volunteer visiting therapy dog programs and for professional animal assisted therapy work)

We train healthcare and education professionals who want to work with their dog in animal assisted therapy/education, and for individuals who want to conduct volunteer visits with their dog (animal assisted activities). Please review the definitions of Animal Assisted Interventions here.

We do not offer training for difficult behavior issues and may refer you to a veterinary behaviorist or dog behavior specialist. Contact us to discuss your specific situation.

Group Classes

Classes starting soon. Contact us for more information on how to sign up.

  • Class size: between 3 to 6 participants, open to people with and without disabilities
  • Time: meets for 1 hour, once a week, for 6 weeks
  • Location: Orange
  • Cost: $25 – $45 per class

We Teach:

  • Basic Obedience (prepare for AKC Canine Good Citizen or C.L.A.S.S.)
  • Preparation for Animal Assisted Interventions (for volunteer visiting therapy dog programs and for professional animal assisted therapy work)
  • Tricks (teach your dog how to shake, roll over, take a bow, ring a bell, and more!)
  • Enrichment (learn games and make toys to provide your dog with physical and cognitive stimulation, decrease problem behaviors, and improve your bond)

Puppy Training Package 

  • For puppies 8 weeks to 6 months old
  • 4 private 1-hour lessons for $360*
  • Training may focus on: puppy-proofing the home, potty training, socialization, basic obedience, loose leash walking, play biting/chewing, sharing food/toys, preventing problem behaviors

Rescue Dog Training Package 

  • For newly adopted dogs
  • 4 private 1-hour lessons for $360*
  • Training may focus on: bonding, adjusting to new home, house manners, basic obedience, problem behaviors, physical and cognitive enrichment

*additional travel fee may apply if greater than 15 miles away from Orange, CA