Valarie Specializes in Behavior Modification for Aggressive Dogs
Dealing with a dog that is expressing aggression can be an emotional and tiring experience. From your dog, “just” lunging, barking, and growling when on a leash or at the front window when people pass by to the dog that bites its guardian over resources or nothing at all, is difficult for everyone involved. Reactivity and aggression have blurred lines and the guardian often doesn’t know what they are really experiencing.
Valarie has dedicated her practice to helping families that are dealing with a variety of forms of aggression. She helps families dealing with resource guarding, both between dogs and towards humans, reactivity towards humans and dogs while on a leash, issues with visitors coming into the home, intra-animal (dog to dog, dog to cat) aggression issues, handling issues (the dog snarls, snaps, bites during grooming and vet care) and apparent idiopathic (randomized) aggression. She works with a network of canine behavior experts to ensure the best outcomes for you and your dog. Valarie has studied under some of the world’s most renowned aggression experts such as Michael Shikashio, Trish McMillion, Pat Miller, and Leslie McDevitt. She continues to take courses to further her knowledge and expertise on canine aggression.
Valarie’s program uses a multi-pronged approach to increase safety and enrichment while working towards resolving the issues causing the aggression. She does require high standards with compliance to the program, especially around safety to reduce the guardian’s risk and liability. Valarie cares deeply not only for your dog’s potential bite victims but for you and your dog(s) as well. She wants to reduce risk to everyone involved with a dog that has the potential to be dangerous.
Valarie uses modern, research-backed, humane methods of training. She works closely with you to set your dog up for success so you can reinforce positive behaviors. This means she does not employ the use of devices and methods that have been proven to increase stress, anxiety, and aggression such as: shock, prong, and choke collars; food or freedom deprivation; harsh punishments or the use of debunked dominance theories. The majority of dogs with aggression issues come from a place of pain, fear, and/or lack of choice and should not be subjected to more things that can cause more pain and fear.
Valarie understands that not all dogs can be considered safe, even with extensive behavior modification work and many safety protocols in place. She will be honest with you if behavior modification medications may be needed (she will refer you to a Board Certified Veterinary Behaviorist) or if behavioral euthanasia is the most humane and compassionate option for your beloved pet. She does not see the use of medication or behavioral euthanasia to be a failure but the most compassionate choice one can make for a dog that is suffering.