This is a 6-week problem prevention and socialization class for puppies under 16 weeks of age and is specifically geared to a puppy’s developing physical and social needs. This is a precursor to our Puppy Grad, Academy Program, or private lessons.
Our group obedience/manners classes are taught in a Levels-style program that has been designed with busy lifestyles and your ultimate success in mind. Classes are divided into three levels of increasingly challenging exercises. Students move through the skills at each level progressing to the next when they are ready - not when time is up!
Rally Obedience is a sport that builds a good working relationship and teamwork between you and your dog. Teams navigate a course of signs executing different exercises in a continuous performance. Praise and and fun are encouraged throughout and all dogs (purebred, mixed breed, and dogs with disabilities) can participate.
We offer a Private Lesson Series that teaches your dog basic good manners in an environment that is less distracting than group classes and more flexible with your schedule. Lessons can be held here at the Dog Ranch, or entirely at your home and can be customized to your specific needs.
Behavior problems are often different than obedience problems. Understanding that difference is the key to successful resolution of a variety of issues from the very complex such as aggression, separation anxiety, and phobias; to "simpler" issues such as house training. Every individual is unique and there are no "cookie cutter" answers. We work with all the members of your family to find a solution that is best for all of you.
In addition to the Humaner Trainer curriculum, Margaret currently serves as a consultant, has developed programs and taught classes for both Town Lake Animal Center and the Austin Humane Society. She has also mentored a number of dog trainers, including all the current Humaner Trainer staff. Margaret continues to expand her knowledge and skills by attending continuing education courses. She is fortunate to have studied with some of the best in the business including Terry Ryan, Jean Donaldson, Ian Dunbar, Patricia McConnell, Bob and Marian Bailey, Trish King, Sue Sternberg, Pia Silvani, Erich Klinghammer, and John Rogerson.
Margaret is best known for counseling owners of dogs with serious behavior problems such as aggression and separation anxiety. Margaret lost Gus to cancer at the end of February 2008, but his legacy lives on. Her experience helping Gus through his aggression issues gives her a unique perspective when helping others with this very troubling problem.
A professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 1997, serving both as a committee member and chairperson, Margaret earned the designation of Certified Pet Dog Trainer in 2002, passing the national exam administered by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. In 2003, she attended the prestigious San Francisco SPCA’s Dog Trainer Academy, receiving a Counseling Certificate with Honors. Margaret has also completed all four segments of Bob Bailey’s highly acclaimed, advanced training program known as "Chicken Camp" – the only Austin trainer to do all four segments under Bob’s direction.
Born in Chicago, Margaret attended high school in Tennessee, and graduated in 1983 from St. Edward's University in Austin with a degree in Acting and Directing. Her background and experience in professional theatre has been instrumental in developing classes that are both educational and entertaining. Her training tips have been published in Dog Fancy, Whole Dog Journal, and in the recently published Top Tips from Top Trainers.
Margaret and her new Belgian Malinois, Mary Jane (Janie), are currently training to be a Search and Rescue team.