Forty years of combined professional experience with dogs, in addition to our vast web of local and national colleagues, equips us to help even the most complicated dogs, and their humans, achieve an improved quality of life.
JULIE FORBES & DARCIE BOLTZ
Our holistic approach to working with dogs can resolve some of the most challenging and puzzling behaviors.
Sensitive Dog was founded in 2004, in Seattle, by Julie Forbes. The inspiration for the business name came from Julie’s experience of dogs being very sensitive, in general. There are relative degrees of variation between individuals, of course, but the point is that we know all dogs to be perceptive, keenly aware, and tuned in to their environment and family. A lot of people resonate with our name, and say, “My dog is sensitive!” Our vast experience is that, in reality, all dogs are sensitive.
We look at all of our clients through a full-spectrum lens. Nutrition, stress, medical issues, learning differences and genetics are all factors that can impact your dog’s behavior – and we look at them all, always.
The three most fundamental components of your dog are their: Biology, Environment, and Psychology. One of the most common reasons dogs do not experience lasting change through traditional training modalities, is because traditional training concentrates exclusively on the psychology of the dog.
We treat our training dogs like family and have enjoyed long-term relationships with many of our clients. We’ve been working with dog training and behavior locally for two decades, and one of our greatest joys is seeing clients through the life cycles of their dogs; from puppyhood, through end of life, and then meeting and working with the new puppy/dog who has joined the family.
Darcie and Julie transformed their Seattle home into an Urban Farm, and are helping people and their dogs both locally, and nationally; through in-person dog training and behavior services, virtual sessions, videos, podcasts, and more! Be on the lookout for fresh audio and video resources, as Julie and Darcie continue to produce content to help dogs, and the people they live with.
In addition to their shared love of dogs, Darcie and Julie cherish their friends and family (both human and non-human animals), and enjoy traveling, documentaries, gardening, nature, cooking, and farm-to-table restaurants.
Julie Forbes is the founder of Sensitive Dog and has been working with dog behavior and training professionally for twenty years. Born and raised in Massachusetts, Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of Vermont and completed the Academy of Canine Behavior’s apprentice program in dog behavior and training, after she moved to Seattle, in 2001.
Julie’s gift of communication led her to develop The Dog Show with Julie Forbes, a live radio show, and iTunes podcast, that has welcomed some of the most well known names in the world of dogs. Her national reputation as a skilled interviewer has attracted guests including Dr. Temple Grandin, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dr. Alexandra Horowitz, Dr. Michael Fox, Dr. Brian Hare, and many more!
In 2017, Julie was responsible for bringing Temple Grandin to the Vashon Sheepdog Classic, and has been involved in the annual event for over ten years. The Vashon Sheepdog Classic is the second largest herding trial in the country.
Julie has appeared in a national Subaru commercial, on Evening Magazine in Western Washington, and on Fox 13 as a dog behavior expert.
Julie specializes in evaluating dog behavior, coaching the human-dog dynamic, and teaching people how to communicate with, and understand, themselves and their dogs.
An avid dancer, Julie brings experience and awareness to our own bodies and how we can use them to communicate with our non-verbal four-legged family members. Julie is passionate about empowering people, connecting individuals to their authenticity, and bringing ease to the human-dog relationship. From grief around the death of a beloved dog, to dogs’ incredible sense of smell, to how dogs help us learn to be present; Julie has talked about it all.
“Humans and dogs have walked side-by-side for thousands of years, yet in some ways they remain a mystery to us. Learning how to help our dogs is an opportunity to bring consciousness and healing to ourselves – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Together we’ll explore this soul-stirring connection.“ – Julie Forbes
Darcie began her career in rescue and rehabilitation in 2004. She then worked as a private trainer and instructor for assistance dog teams nationwide, and as a consultant for assistance dog organizations and trainers, for nearly a decade. After retiring from the service dog industry in 2014, Darcie began working with Sensitive Dog full-time, and is now a co-owner of the company.
Darcie brings her education in Health Psychology from Bastyr University, to Sensitive Dog’s holistic approach. Her voracious appetite for information, paired with her studies of the Bio-Psycho-Social model and Family Systems, add a dynamic to our programs that enables us to not only work deeply with people and their dogs, but also with our clients’ veterinarians and care team for health-related concerns that could be impacting a dog’s behavior.
Darcie’s sensitivity to animals’ experiences, along with her passion for knowledge, helps us to work with some of the most difficult challenges that no one else has been able to address effectively. A powerful advocate, Darcie will focus with you and your existing pet care team to get to the bottom of even the most perplexing behaviors.
Darcie’s intuition, sensitivity, and passion, weaved together with her knowledge of psychology, psychophysiology, and psychopharmacology; powerfully connect her with you and your dog.
In addition to her work with dog behavior, Darcie is also a death doula for dogs, supporting dogs and their people through the transition from body to spirit. Navigating the end of life process with our dogs can be intense, confusing, and scary. Darcie brings her soulful connection with dogs and people, as well as her years of experience sitting with dogs as they cross over, to ease the difficulty and minimize conflict during this sacred time. The more present we can be to dogs and ourselves during this time, the more peaceful the process is for everyone.
When not working with dogs in Seattle, Darcie spends time working at an ayahuasca retreat center in Costa Rica where she assists in ceremonies and is a plant medicine integration counselor.
“My life is a tribute to dogs, for they have been my friends, my teachers, and my guides. Working with dogs is soul work. I will always follow dogs, no matter how dark or treacherous the terrain, because they have only ever taken me to the light.” – Darcie Boltz