Does this sound like you?
I've been there, and I can help!
I'm Tara. The founder of Happy Hound and I know exactly how you're feeling. 8 years ago I struggled with my own dog. I read article after article, watched hours of YouTube videos, sought out help from professional trainers, went to my vet, even hired an Animal-Psychic! Sadly, I got nowhere. My dog lost his life all those years ago because I was misguided and misinformed. Since 2013, I've dedicated my life to helping struggling dog owners get real answers for their dog's behavior and live a life with their dogs that they never thought possible.
I'm constantly building my skills, learning from the best in the biz so I can have many different skills and techniques to help train each dog as the individual that they are. I'm currently passionate about mastering a technique called "NePoPo".
My Training Methods:
There's a common saying in the dog training industry "Get three dog trainers in a room and the only thing two of them will agree on, is what the third is doing wrong." Silly, but it's true. Dog trainers are very diverse in their methods and "beliefs".
Long ago, dog owners only had two types of trainers to choose from.
The first option was dog trainers who call themselves "purely positive" or "force-free". This group believes that dogs should only be trained with treats and praise and never be punished for their bad behavior.
The second option was a group of people whose training methods were "old-school", typically passed down from a previous generation. The old school methods worked for getting dogs to obey, but they were heavy-handed and relied on the idea "I am the man, you are the dog and if you won't listen, I'll make you listen."
The purely positive option sounds really nice, but the problem is...
This is the Real World. There are cars to chase, strange things to sniff, and people to jump on!
Your dog isn't always going to be tricked by a cookie. Even if they were, is that really the kind of relationship you want with your dog? Where the only way to get them to listen is by bribing them with food?
The more authoritative option was effective, but people soon realized that wasn't the kind of relationship they wanted either.
They wanted their dogs to obey but do so with heart. So dog owners and enthusiasts alike were stuck in limbo, until a better option arrived. Today it's called balanced training.
I lie somewhere in the middle of those two extremes. I want you and your dog to have a great relationship! But I also want them to be a safe and enjoyable dog to live with.
Training doesn't have to be frustrating for either one of you. It is possible for both human and dog to enjoy your training while having fun and building a loving relationship.
However, as I said before, this is the real world....
Sometimes your dog is going to do things that are dangerous, or that cost you a lot of money or stress.
Your dog must understand that there are consequences to his behavior, but with the growth of technology and new found dog training methods, we don't have to do it the "old-school" way anymore.
With that being said, my goal is to help you train your dog so well (with mostly food and some positive reinforcement), that when corrections have to come in, they're few and far between.
One of my favorite things to do is to help people train their dog to be reliable off-leash.
Dogs are animals. They were meant to run, play, sniff and explore. Exploration helps their state of mind and there's nothing better than a dog who can be trusted off a leash. I help my clients accomplish that every day by teaching them how to use modern dog training tools and technology. Read more about that here.
All in all, I just want you and your dog to be happy and live a great life together, whatever that looks like for you. That may seem impossible now, but let me show you just how capable of good behavior your dog truly is. Book a call with me now and we can talk all about it.
Get to know Tara.
Outside of being a dog trainer, I'm a military spouse, mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, and friend.
I'm silly, fun-loving, and enjoy people with a good sense of humor.
I'm a kid at heart and still, at almost 30, love the escape of a good Disney movie.
My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, with Moana coming in at a close second.
I've been an animal lover since a young age and was actually my Aunt's right-hand at her animal shelter for most of my childhood and high school years. I used to love riding her horses as a child, but now as an adult, I've become more of a "dog person".
I am a HUGE family-woman. My family is spread all over the country but no matter how far apart we are, we do everything we can to stay close. In fact, I take 3 weeks off every summer to road trip (with my family and dogs) to spend time with our loved ones in 3 or 4 different states.
We currently have a 2-year-old son who is so much fun.
My husband and I hope to have at least one more child but for now, we're just enjoying the one we have.
I currently own 2 dogs, a 2-year-old St. Bernard named Finley and a 6-year-old Australian Shepherd named Buckeye. (Yes, if you're wondering, my husband IS a die-hard Ohio State fan)
I also love cats and we have two tabby cats that we adore.
Sometimes I tell myself I need more hobbies, but Happy Hound and my family both make me so happy, I haven't really felt a need to think up anything else to do with my life.
I feel very blessed to have this life and I love helping people with their dogs.