Learn from a certified trainer
Melinda Minjares, Certified Dog Trainer
We always had pets growing up. Whether it was a stray dog or cat, turtle, hamster, bunny or king snake my family always had something to care for. Our pets were members of our family and our dogs went with us everywhere. Times were different then and even though we shared our world with our dogs I often wonder if we really fulfilled their lives as a dog.
My interest in animal behavior started when I worked as a groom in a show barn with Morgan horses. Handling them meant I needed to be strong, reassuring and consistent to gain their trust. I quickly discovered the importance of being observant and calm around these thick, muscular, under pressure show horses fresh from the show ring or hot out of an exercise pen. When I decided to to put my Miniature Pinscher puppy into class training with ten other puppies and their owners, the techniques I learned as a groom were quickly put to the test. Although the training techniques were similar I wasn't having to avoid a 1200 pound hoof on my foot but a slick as a seal, quick as lightning, black streak with boundless energy behaving like tireless five year old who wanted to meet everybody - everywhere. Animal behavior fascinated me from then on. Thankfully, patience and the love for my puppy paid off but not until I realized that the training techniques that were being taught lacked that very special ingredient: communication. Why do unwanted behaviors occur while other good behaviors simply happen? My instructor told the class: “Consistent. You must learn to be consistent” But we cannot expect our puppy to respond correctly if we consistently reinforce the wrong behaviors. In a large class it was difficult sometimes to even hear the instruction and almost impossible to get the trainer to focus on one problem behavior at a time. Every dog was different and the behaviors seemed to match the personality of the owners. I kept watching the owners struggle; their puppy's responding out of fear. But their problems helped me resolve my own. I brought in my puppy's favorite treats to be sure I'd get her full attention. I learned from the others what not to do. Some of us did very well and others never made it passed "Beginning Puppy." I told myself "If I ever have the chance to train other owners I'll be sure they understand the techniques and that their puppy responds because they understand and want to please" I got myself certified and created Dog Dandy.
To bridge a communication gap takes patience and trust. Every dog and their owner should experience this type of bond. I want to help you reach that goal. As a certified trainer and dog owner I can help you build a relationship or strengthen it. I can tech you techniques that are customized to capture the behaviors that are acceptable to you or eliminate the unwanted. Tail-wagging happy lives - that's Dog Dandy!
Have a question? Send me an email!! I'd love to hear from you!!