WELCOME TO FORREST TAILS DOGS! YOUR LOCAL PAGOSA SPRING TRAINER.
Gentle guidance and fun for all ages.
Passionate. Patient. Persistent. Dog-lover! These are just a few of the characteristics that describe me. I know each animal is different, much like a person or child. My background is in early education and of course training K-9s. Ironically, working with six-year-olds and coaching adults to work with their furry pet are very similar to each other! Both are eager to learn and have a hard time focusing (who could focus with big brown eyes staring up at you?). I will work with you to guide you in understanding your dogs behavior, their specific learning styles, and problem solving skills for those unwanted behaviors. Whether you’re thinking about getting a new puppy or dog, have a dog that could benefit in socialization and skills training, or a pup you are looking to train as a therapy or service dog, I am here to help!
I have lived in beautiful Colorado for 11 years with my husband and two young children.
Group classes are often held in the evenings to accommodate handlers working schedules. However, if I have enough participants (at least 3) I am able to hold day time classes as well. You can even make your own class by inviting friends to join and picking your own time and day!
Start from the beginning with puppy kindergarten (8-14 weeks). Socialization is KEY. A puppy who lacks early socialization and given the opportunity to learn from their peers is not question of if they will develop behavioral issues (including anxiety/fear/aggreassion) but when. We cover problems that may occur at home that are age appropriate such as chewing, house training, jumping and crate/leash training. Whether you are a seasoned dog owner or a first timer, this class is a great way to freshen up your skills and capitalize on learning good habits in their “sponge” phase.
Next comes Manners 1, a 5 week course designed to teach your dog leash house manners and self-control. We also cover distractability and how to teach basic commands. New classes monthly!
Manners 2 builds off of manners 1 and adds more complex behaviors as well as more demanding self-control. This 5 week course also includes the AKC Canine Good Citizens test for those interested in therapy dog work. New classes monthly!
Manners 3 is the most advanced class and includes public outings, lots of public exposure and advanced commands. This class is ideal for a dog that already has basic commands and leash skills and would like that extra push. This class is ideal for someone interested in having a emotional support dog and the beginning phases of a certified service dog. Service dogs must provide a physical need for one specific person, this is NOT an emotional support animal while they still may fill you emotional needs.
My Behavior Consulting work involves an intimate understanding of your animal’s natural and individual history. Your pet has plenty of potential to learn and understand commands, and my techniques will lay the foundation for you to build upon. With problem behavior such as fear or aggression we will use the counterconditioning approach along with positive reinforcement. This is where we take your dog's exsisting reaction to triggers and change it to a positive association. This is usually a longer process but well worth the extra effort.
Social Saturdays are a great way to get extra socialization! Held at the training center (953 Park Ave) on Saturdays from 10-11am. Small dogs or puppies (9 wks-9mths) must be approved by myself first and have no histroy of aggression. We cap at 8 furry participants which is why you need to pre-register by messaging me. A $5-10 donation is appreciated for the trainers time.
Socialization Checklist for Puppies!
Personalized and Professional
The Volhard Puppy Temperament Testing is great for you breeders. It is an evaluation performed at 7 weeks of age and helps to predict the puppy’s future aptitude towards his environment. This includes reaction to a new person, response to a loud or novel object, touch sensitivity and much more. Of course these are just predictors of temparment. Training of even the calmest puppy is still necessary in order to achieve a well behaved and well socalized dog.
Do you love raising puppies? Becoming a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence (cci.org) may be just the fit for you! It is a big commitment but very much needed and helps spread awareness that a service dog is not just a pet that goes everywhere with you as well as providing service dogs to families in need. I will provide the classes here in Pagosa free of charge. Being a puppy raiser is a wonderful volunteer opportunity.
My dog training passion began 20 years ago when I raised my first CCI dog. Canine Companions for Independence is a non-profit organization that needs volunteer puppy raiser like me (and maybe you too!) to help provide FREE service dogs to those in need including; physical assistance, hearing aid dogs, PTSD veterans and so much more. If you are an avid dog lover and have a little dog training under your belt please reach out to me or visit CCI.org. It is about an 18mth commitment full of love, dedication and a little heart break when they are placed with their “forever person”. I am currently raising my 7th CCI pup so they obviously have my heart.