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, housebreaking, 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 Gone are the days of the outdated "high and tight" fit.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.
Meet The Trainers
Jessica was loving and working with dogs from a very early age. She started in the veterinary field in 1997 and became a professional dog trainer in 2007. She was with one of San Diego's most sought after dog training companies for over 10 years before striking out on her own with Finest City Dog Training.
Jessica's clients often share that they appreciate her ability to teach and convey training philosophies as well as her desire to understand their needs. From new puppies owners to new dogs owners to extreme people and dog aggression, you will find her broad experience with all ages and breeds will meet your needs.
She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) and provides obedience training, canine socialization and behavior modification services. She has been an AKC CGC Evaluator since 2008 and is also an AKC Certified Temperament Test Evaluator. In addition Jessica is a long time member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
Jessica is the lucky owner of a Yorkie named Buggy and two black Labradors, Doozer and Mokey. Her little old Yorkie is often at home living his best life in retirement but her two Labradors are her trusty and enthusiastic training partners that many of you will get to meet!
Jessica specializes in the following areas: Carmel Valley, Sorrento Valley, Santa Luz, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Rancho Santa Fe, Fairbanks Ranch, Cardiff, Encinitas, La Costa, Carlsbad, Downtown San Diego, Hillcrest, North Park, Mission Hills, Mission Valley, La Jolla, UTC, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Clairemont Mesa and Kearny Mesa.
Megan has been working with dogs for over 9 years. She grew up with animals of all shapes and sizes ranging from bunnies to horses, and many in between, but dogs were always her favorite. Megan has three wonderful dogs, Summer, Fitz, and Milo. Summer is retired now but many of you will have the opportunity to meet her two huskies who she is proud to call her training assistants.
Megan’s journey into dog training started right after getting her Bachelor of Science in Animal Science at Oregon State University. After graduation, Megan joined SeaWorld as an Animal Keeper, Trainer, and Performer in San Diego’s Pets Rule! show. There she worked with all kinds of animals but it’s no surprise dogs were the smartest and did the most impressive behaviors which easily made them her favorite to work with. After leaving SeaWorld, Megan joined a leading San Diego dog training company as their Head Trainer. Megan’s time with them included working with dogs of all ages, and her work included puppy obedience through behavior modification for aggression, and everything in between. Additionally, Megan has experience training service dogs, and worked with aggressive dogs brought in from the San Diego Animal Control.
Megan believes that through consistent guidance and trust, training can be a fun and rewarding experience for both humans and their canine companions. Megan is an AKC CGC Evaluator, AKC Certified Temperament Test Evaluator, and a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT).
Megan specializes in the following areas:
Rancho Bernardo, Scripps Ranch, Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa, Tierrasanta, Serra Mesa, Allied Gardens, Del Cerro, San Carlos, College Area, La Mesa, Kensington, Normal Heights, City Heights and Coronado.
"I've worked with Jessica on other dogs. Bailey is challenging for me but has responded wonderfully to her training. I have seen a huge improvement over the 2.5 weeks. Not sure what I would've done without her but she is amazing and worth every penny. Highly recommend without any reservations."
"Jessica has simply been wonderful in training Ginger our little precious Morkie. Ginger continues to show improvement week after week and this is really down to Jessica and her gentle, effective, comprehensive, training style. I could not praise Jessica enough and for sure would give high recommendations to other dog owners who are looking for results. Ginger is always happy to see Jessica and that in itself says a lot. It is simply a pleasure to work with Jessica and A five star rating isn't high enough for the work and results we have witnessed."
"Jessica has been training my husband and I with our dogs for over 9 years. She is beyond knowledgeable, and is amazing how she can come up with easy solutions to very serious problems. She literally saved my dogs life. He was a rescue, and had zero contact with people. What she accomplished with him was nothing short of a miracle. We just got a puppy, and I signed the pup up for the program 2 days after we brought her home. Jessica's prices are very reasonable, and the open access to lifetime classes is a very good value."
"Jessica helped us train our two rescues Cashew & Caden, they each have their own unique challenges. Cashew was rescued from a hoarders home and was afraid of everything and Caden was rescued from the streets of Downy and was very protective and defensive. Jessica knows dogs and has ideas that work. Our dogs are now more social, friendly and enjoy going to the weekly classes and continue to learn."