What We Do
Our goal is to facilitate building trust and communication between you and your dog for a long-lasting, positive relationship. Through repetition, consistency and praise, a dog's desirable behavior and responsiveness will last a lifetime. Our balanced approach to dog training is evidence-based and backed by science.
We specialize in accelerated obedience dog training in dogs of all ages, potty training, socialization, and rehabilitating dogs with separation anxiety and aggression.
We have practical dog training programs and teach skills using a leash and collar and praise. We use Classical, Operant and Counter-conditioning methods to meet your dog obedience and behavioral goals. We will help you understand your dog's instincts and use their natural drives to motivate them and change behavior.
How We Do It
It's our belief that a dog that responds to voice commands without repeating is a well-trained dog. We can teach you the balanced way without the excessive use of treats, clickers, dominance methods or shock collars. We feel treats absolutely have their place in training, but we are not "treat for trick" trainers. We always say, "Praise is what you make it!". Sometimes dogs are not food motivated enough for treat training or they are too food-driven and become obsessed. You always have your hands and voice to praise with you!
Part of the initial session will be an evaluation of the training equipment you are currently using and how it is working for you or not and make our recommendations. The fit of a collar is just as important as the technique. Gone are the days of the outdated "high and tight" fit. Whatever our recommendations may be, ultimately it is the client’s decision to choose the training equipment they feel is best for them.
We work with dogs of all breeds, temperaments, and ages from very young puppies to senior dogs. Our new puppy programs will get you off on the right foot with a custom housebreaking training plan, crate training (if desired), and can include the whole family. We know those little puppy teeth are sharp and potty training can be frustrating and we have solutions that can help right away!
We also work with many rescues, shelter dogs, fearful dogs and highly reactive and aggressive dogs. Our balanced methods will build trust through communication and understanding to facilitate the rehabilitation process.
What is Balanced Dog Training?
As balanced dog trainers, we understand many methods of training. This allows us to adapt to each dog individually. In one session we may have a sensitive dog who needs a positive-only approach, then the next client may have an assertive, aggressive dog who requires leash corrections. A trainer who practices aversion-only training could shut that first dog down, while a trainer who practices positive-only techniques would not know how to progress with the second dog. We always say, "Balanced dog training creates balanced dogs!".
Why Does it Work?
It is simple. Dogs are pack animals by nature and both corrections and affection play important roles in pack dynamics. Dogs thrive when they have clear expectations and boundaries. When done properly, corrections as a form of communication of those expectations and boundaries not only work but build an even stronger relationship between dog and human. The balance of praise is just as important of course! It provides for encouragement and creates a bond using oxytocin just like it does between people.
What About Positive Reinforcement Training?
We believe in and use positive reinforcement first and foremost in our training. We know dogs and people learn best when they are having fun! Any new skill is taught with positive reinforcement, and only introduce corrections in dangerous situations or once a dog fully understands the skill being asked of them.
For more, click here to check out the The Science and Art of Dog Training article written by dog trainer Matt Covey out of a Chicago Humane Society.
"Jessica is the best! We've gone to her for training with both of our golden retrievers. Jessica understands the importance of training your dog, whether they are on leash or off leash, they should listen to you. We really enjoyed training with Jessica because she is full of knowledge and can answer any of our questions. She works with all breeds and all the different sizes of dogs. After we finished our private training sessions, we love returning to the group sessions to brush up on obedience training and to practice. It's fun to meet other dogs who are also practicing good manners. We've gone through beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes with Jessica. She also helped us get ready for the Canine Good Citizen exam. Now, Kyler is spreading the love as a Therapy Dog! We highly recommend Jessica and Finest City Dog Training!"
"At Emily's first visit to our home we saw improvement with Roxy, our 1 y/o Mini Aussie. Emily is so gentle and explains in a gentle, effective manor so that I can see what I need to be doing. It's definitely me that she is training! Each visit has given me additional tools for success and building and happy, healthy, and less stressed relationship with my pup and for that I am thankful. I am looking forward to the upcoming Group Classes! Thank you Emily!"
"From the very first class and literally within 10 minutes, Jessica identified the areas that our dog would need more training and structure. Our 4 month pup, Lily, was dragging me around and was uncontrollable on a leash. After the first class, we learned the appropriate attire and handling techniques for such a strong and confident pup - and it has improved our interaction with Lily for the better. We've taken all three levels of obedience group classes and are looking forward to her CGC course. The classes are well-structured, provided a variety of different exercises, tire out the pups for the day, and are meant to teach the owner how to teach, bond with, and be a leader for your pup. The group setting provides a good chance for socialization and to practice skills in a distracting environment. Owners definitely have to do their part of practicing between classes, but Jessica's mentoring and training sets you up for success. I have and would highly recommend Jessica for either group or private training lessons!"
"Jessica and Emily are amazing! I highly recommend them for any puppy or dog parent. My pup wouldn't be as well behaved without them! They catered to his (and my) needs and I couldn't be more greatful. I am a first time pup adopter and Jessica and Emily helped me with even the smallest of tasks to repeatedly working on difficult commands to get my lil guy to where he's a well behaved boy! He is fully potty trained no accidents. And a bonus is that he rings a bell when he wants to go outside. They are both super friendly, respectful, and super easy to work with. They are always on time and punctual and will train at your home. They made the process simple. Thank you!"