Training dogs. Teaching humans. Building trust.

What is the purpose of a dog? video from the 2021 Aggression in Dog conference (Michael Shikashio)

  • Did you just bring a new puppy home?
  • Are you thinking about getting a dog?
  • Does your dog need a little extra help with manners? 
  • Is your dog fearful or anxious in new environments?
  • Does your dog bark and lunge at dogs and people?
  • Does your dog guard his food bowl or toys?
  • Does your dog bark and howl or destroy things when you are away?

Why choose in-home private dog training?

Appointments are convenient.

You schedule your appointments, so you know that they will fit your busy life.

Fully personalized training sessions.

There is no set curriculum. Each training session is customized to work on the issues that are unique to you and your dog

No travel necessary.

There are many reasons that travel to dog training classes can be difficult – your dog gets car sick, you don’t have a car, you are a caregiver and can’t get away, your schedule does not accommodate travel time, etc. Regardless of the reason, in-home lessons can be a perfect fit for you and your dog.

New spaces can be very stressful for fearful and reactive dogs.

Think of something that scares you. If I were to put you in a room filled with that scary thing and asked you to balance your checkbook, could you do it?

Fearful, anxious and reactive dogs find new surrounding and group classes extremely stressful. If your dog is reacting (barking, lunging, hiding, salivating, etc.) in class or is too nervous to take treats, he is not in a state of mind to learn anything. Having a trainer come into your home – either in-person or virtually – takes that element out of the picture and helps to set you dog up for success.

Why choose Crimson Hound for your dog training needs

BEYOND Traditional Dog Training

We will work together to reach your training goals and overcome behavior challenges. Family dog mediation® focuses less on traditional obedience training and more on teaching practical life skills, developing better communication with your dog and building a relationship based in trust. Dogs don’t come equipped with the knowledge or skills to understand how they fit not our human world, so we will work together to teach your dog the skills he will need to succeed.

Ethical and Fear-Free Methods

I use ethical, rewards-based training methods that do not rely on punishment or force. My training is based on LIMA standards. All of my interactions with you and your dog will be based on the principle of least intrusive, minimally aversive. I am a fear free certified professional, which means that I won’t cause stress, pain or anxiety to realize training goals and will never recommend choke collars, prong collars or shock collars as a means to address a problem behavior.

Ongoing Communication

Communication is vital to success. All of my clients receive custom homework plans after each session, along with relevant handouts and video tutorials. I also offer coaching support between sessions. When a client is seeing worrisome behavior or can’t quite get the hang of a skill, I encourage them to take video so that we can review the footage and make any necessary adjustments.

Modern, Science-Based Training

As a certified professional trainer, I pride myself in continually expanding my knowledge of dog behavior and training techniques through attaining certifications, attending workshops and conferences, reading the latest literature and networking with colleagues to remain on the cutting edge of the science of dog behavior.

AVSAB Statement on Humane Dog Training

“Based on current scientific evidence, AVSAB recommends that only reward-based training methods are used for all dog training, including the treatment of behavior problems. Aversive training methods have a damaging effect on both animal welfare and the human-animal bond. There is no evidence that aversive methods are more effective than reward-based methods in any context. AVSAB therefore advises that aversive methods should not be used in animal training or for the treatment of behavior disorders.”

Read the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s full position statement.

Read the Association of Professional Dog Trainers position statement on LIMA and the use of aversive tools.

Were you referred to Crimson Hound by your veterinarian, a pet professional or a family friend? Send me an email and tell me who I can thank for the referral and I will send you a one-time coupon code for 10% off the price of a package.

Crimson Hound, LLC is based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I offer in-home consultations throughout the Coulee Region, as well as virtual sessions for clients based anywhere. In addition, I offer online courses and a select number of small group classes on various special topics.

Equality & Diversity Statement
We recognize, respect, and value diversity. 
We strive to have a positive impact on the environment, to practice anti-racism and anti-oppression, and to promote social justice in our business and personal lives.
We are committed to inclusion across age, gender, race, religion, and identity. ​

Family Dog Mediation®

Are they problems behaviors or unmet needs

As the modern world continues to change, many of us find ourselves confused by the latest technology and even missing the “good old days”.  We don’t realize that these changes to our world have had drastic effects on our dogs’ lives as well.  

  • Border collies no longer have sheep to herd … but herding kids, bikes or cars is frowned upon.  
  • Jack Russell terriers are no longer employed in keeping vermin out of our barns … but killing our pet hamster is not acceptable.  
  • Dalmatians were bred to run alongside carriages all day … now they may spend 8 to 12 hours in a crate every day. 
  • Huskies were developed to pull sleds across the arctic tundra … now some find themselves living in Florida condos. 

Our pet dogs are captive animals with unmet instinctual needs and very little autonomy over their own lives. We control every aspect of their lives . . . when and where they eat, drink and sleep … when and where they go potty . . . who they interact with . . . how they play . . . As a matter of fact, many of us would struggle to name even one or two aspects of our dogs’ lives that the dog controls. Although with the best of intentions, we have created pet dogs who are frustrated and confused by their own reality . . . often resulting in what we perceive as “problem behaviors”. In reality, many of our dogs are suffering from what has been coined “Pet Madness Syndrome”. They are not only frustrated and confused, they are suffering mental health issues as they attempt to navigate the space between what we humans selectively, and very purposely, bred them for over thousands of years and what we expect from them today in our modern world.

… or perhaps just misplaced expectations?

Our dogs have been stripped of the right to consent. Imagine, if you will, trying to dress up a wolf or a tiger – or even your cat. Get out the bandages, right?! But what happens when we decide to dress up our dogs? Now that’s a different story, our dogs had darn well better just relax and take it. In addition, think of this same wolf/tiger/cat/dog scenario in other circumstances – giving baths, grooming, walking on leash, recalls . . . even petting. In short, a dog is the only living being that is expected to perform with perfection and precision regardless of what scenario we present – or we see a problem to be “fixed”.

Are these truly issues that need to be fixed . . . or do we just need to adjust our own expectations?

We need to take an honest look at our relationships with our dogs and ask ourselves . . .

  • What was the original purpose of my dog?
  • Am I offering my dog opportunities to meet his needs?
  • Am I being realistic with my expectations?
  • How can I help my dog navigate this modern world into which he has been trapped?

When we are angry, embarrassed, or frustrated with our dog’s behavior, these feelings affect our relationship our ability to help our dog modify those behaviors.  If, on the other hand, we can shift our mindset from “My dog is giving me a hard time” to “My dog is having a hard time . . . having big feelings . . . feeling frustrated, confused or afraid”, it takes our relationship to a whole new level, creates a stronger bond and provides a foundation for creating new behaviors.

Marissa Martino of Paws and Rewards Behavior Consulting has created a wonderful FREE mini-course called Powerful Perspectives where she helps dog owners reflect on their feelings and reframe their mindset from one of anger and frustration to one of empathy and understanding.

This is also where Family Dog Mediation® can help. During our sessions, we will talk about why your dog does what he does and how his feelings may be affecting his behavior. Then we will create a plan that will set both you and your dog up for success.

What is Family Dog Mediation®?

A Family Dog Mediator (FDM)® is an individual with special training and education above and beyond training or behavior consulting.  FDM’s are certified pet professionals who are trained to assess each animal based on their L.E.G.S.® – each individual’s LearningEnvironmentGenetics, and Self – because each one of a dog’s four L.E.G.S.® plays a critical role in supporting that animal’s behavior.  

What is L.E.G.S.®?

Learning is composed of all of the combined information the individual dog has learned during his life so far –and is continuing to learn every single day.  This includes such things as; ‘other dogs aren’t safe to approach’, ‘cars are scary’, ‘cats are fun to chase’, or ‘when mom has that look I better hide’.  Learning is more than just training a hand signal to sit or some other pattern of behavior, it is the key to a dog’s ability to adapt to new situations through prediction and anticipation based on previous experiences.  It’s happening all day, every day, and it’s often not what humans may intend!

Environment isn’t just the inside or outside of your house.  It’s everything your pet encounters and interacts with every day.  Environment creates both questions and answers for your pet … ‘Am I safe?’,  ‘What is happening?’,  ‘What do I do?’, or ‘I know what this means!’  Our job as humans is to control the environment, keep it safe, and make sure it provides the things that will meet our dog’s needs.  

Genetics is all of the information about life that our pets arrived on earth with already encoded in their DNA.  It is what tells a dog how to be a dog. It contains all of the specializations that humans have selected for, and against, since we began breeding dogs more than 10,000 years ago.  Genetics provides the basic instructions for herding, protection, companionship and retrieving.  

Self considers this specific dog sitting directly in front of us.  This unique individual . . . his personality, his age, his sex and reproductive status, his health, his nutrition, his disabilities or his injuries.  As an example of how to think of Self –the needs of a stray, skinny momma dog with 6 puppies are drastically different than the needs of a pampered, neutered Cocker spaniel who eats the most expensive dog food and has his own leather couch or a young male Siberian husky who lives in Alaska and is training to run the Iditarod.  We always need to start with the dog as the individual, not with dogs in general.

Family Dog Mediation®

Family Dog Mediators® evaluate these four L.E.G.S.® and help identify the places where there are conflicts between a dog and its person.  As your FDM, it is my role to meet you and your dog where you are right now and to work with ALL of the L.E.G.S..® that both you and your dog bring to the table. Rather than setting out to simply “fix bad behaviors” through obedience training, we will work together to create meaningful solutions.  I will help you manage your expectations for your dog’s behavior, help translate what your dog needs from you, and, moreover, help you meet those needs.  In addition, I will give you the tools to change behavior and help you and your dog live together in harmony!  These tools, which will include training plans and/or management protocols, will be based in honesty, compassion, understanding and compromise.  Family Dog Mediation® goes BEYOND dog training.

Family Dog Mediation

We are here to help.

Training for Dogs and Puppies

Family Dog Mediation and Coaching – Dogs and Puppies

Whether you just brought a new puppy into your home or have had your dog for months or years, Whatever your needs are for training dogs and puppies, I am here to help you build a relationship with your dog based in trust and understanding through Family Dog Mediation.

These programs are best-suited for:
  • Basic manners cues: sit, down, stand and stay
  • Teaching focus
  • Recalls (coming when called)
  • Walking nicely on leash
  • Greeting behaviors (not jumping)
  • Mat training 
  • Boundary training at doorways 
  • Leave it, drop it and trading resources
  • House training, crate training and puppy spaces
  • Puppy mouthing, biting and schedules
  • Counter surfing, digging, chewing, etc.
  • Fostering safe interactions between children and dogs
  • Getting ready for a new baby
  • Learning about enrichment for your dog’s mental health

If you do not see your particular issue on this list, it does not mean that Crimson Hound can’t help you. In the majority of cases, we can customize one of the Family Dog Mediation® and Coaching programs described below to meet your needs. Or, perhaps, you are a better fit for one of my Fearful, Reactive and Aggressive dog programs. Please email me to discuss your needs with regards to training for dogs and puppies.

Training for Fearful, Reactive and Aggressive Behavior

Fearful, Reactive and Aggressive Behavior
– using Family Dog Mediation® to help dogs who have “Big Feelings”

“Your dog is not giving you a hard time. Your dog is HAVING a hard time.”

The vast majority of dogs that display any type of reactive and aggressive dog behavior are experiencing some level of fear, frustration, anxiety, or stress . . . a small percentage of others may simply be performing the instinctual behaviors that they were selectively bred to do.

“Fearful, reactive and aggressive dogs” are having “big feelings” and need help learning how to cope.

These programs are best suited for dogs who:
  • Bark and lunge at dogs, people or moving objects during walks
  • Bark, growl or cower when greeting strangers
  • Guard food, toys, people or spaces
  • Fight with other dogs &/or pets in your home
  • act out when left home alone
  • Have issues with being handled
  • Are scared or fearful when introduced to new environments
  • Fence fight with other dogs

Crimson Hound is here to help. Family Dog Mediation® is a key component of all of my in-home &/or virtual coaching programs. Only modern, ethical reward-based methods that follow LIMA principles will be used – methods that do not rely on the use of force, coercion or intimidation. Your Crimson Hound training plan will NOT include the application of aversive techniques and quick fixes such as squirt bottles, leash corrections, choke collars, slip leads, prong collars, or e-collars (AKA bark collar, vibration collar, training collar, shock collar) as a means to address a problem behavior.  

Online Courses

Online Courses

Crimson Hound online courses are asynchronous (does not hold scheduled meetings) to provide the learner with maximal flexibility. This means that you are able to work on the course from any location – all you need is your computer and an internet connection.  You can work on the course at any tine of day and are able to start and stop as needed.  These courses are priced to fit any budget, while, at the same time, providing high quality content.