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Our Philosophy


Every dog is a unique individual, with their own combination of history, genetics, personality and health; that influence how they behave. These factors also dictate what styles and methods a dog will be most receptive to, in learning and behavior modification.

Julie and Darcie, trainers at Sensitive Dog, in their training area at their home

The culture of dog training and behavior is polarized and contentious, and therefore very confusing to the consumer. On one end of the spectrum, there are some “purely-positive” schools of thought that believe you should never tell your dog “no”, or do anything that your dog would perceive as negative. On the other end, there are some who use aggressive, forceful, and even violent methods to get dogs to “submit” into obedience, or who simply don’t understand that we need to be careful and skillful when providing consequences to teach our dogs to think.

Desirable experiences and outcomes are rooted in balance, flexibility, and finesse. We understand and respect that every dog is different, and tailor our approach and style to you and your dog, as the unique combination that you are. We will always treat you and your dog with respect and sensitivity, hence the name of our business!

Our depth of understanding allows us to work with you and your dog with care and sensitivity, while also effectively setting boundaries and providing appropriate consequences, when necessary for your dog’s learning process, and your relationship dynamic.

To think that dogs should never experience consequence, is not understanding and honoring dogs for the animals they are, nor is it nature’s design. Dogs correct each other. They tell each other “no”, in their canine way. They get it. It is, in part, through consequences that we learn to think and focus. It is in the contrast between praise and correction, that the world makes sense to us.

To use a style of intimidation, and harsh, inappropriate, poorly timed corrections is not only ineffective, but glaringly unethical. Some methods are what we would consider to be abusive, and we have rehabilitated dogs who have been worked by this type of “professional”, more often than we’d like. We are equipped to work successfully with both timid and fearful dogs, as well as out-of-control dogs who lack manners… and everyone in-between!

We bring a strong, grounded, direct presence; along with nurturing, sensitivity and a high level of expertise.

You’ll feel confident and comfortable in how we work with your dog, and we’ll coach you to feel the same way, as you learn to communicate with your dog, too! You are the other half of the equation!

We find dog behavior, and how they think, to be utterly fascinating! We’re excited to help you not only resolve challenges you may be having with your dog, but also deepen your bond with your four-legged family member through communication and understanding.

Our commitment to you and your dog is that you are both left feeling confident, and that your experience working together is anchored in your connection with each other. Remember, dogs and people have been living together for over ten thousand years – let’s have your relationship with your dog reflect that!

The dog training industry is large, with so many choices. Regardless of who you work with and what methods they use, we want you to leave our page very clear that you should trust your gut instinct, and always question methods that aren’t clear to you, that don’t feel effective, or that you feel nervous about. You are your dog’s voice. Use it. Trust your gut. If the professional you are working with doesn’t respect you/your dog, then find someone who does.

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.