Problem Solving with Practical Solutions!

What are they saying? Photo by DManheim - all rights reserved.

"Redesign the environment so that problem behaviors are irrelevant, inefficient, ineffective, and new skills are learned."  - Dr. Susan Friedman

Dogs often exhibit behaviors that are unacceptable to owners and can turn the family pet into the family outcast. 

  • Chewing
  • House soiling
  • Vocalization
  • Puppy Mouthing/Nipping
  • Dog to dog problems
  • Home-alone issues
  • Inappropriate greetings

Happy Tails Family Dog Training is committed to helping you find practical solutions to problems in order to keep your pet in your home!


We'll first schedule an interview to sort out the facts and get accurate descriptions of the unwanted behaviors. Depending on the information you provide, we may suggest a veterinary exam to rule out anything medical that might be causing the problem behavior.  Once your dog has a clean bill of health we'll go over strategies for managing your dog and begin to outline training plans.  You will employ a marking signal (clicker or word), and set up exercises that follow the principles of learning.  We'll discuss why your dog does what s/he's doing and then train what you'd rather have them do!


“While a doctorate student at UNLV, I researched the impact of the human-canine relationship on training and behavior modification. I recently played decoy for Deborah during a reactive dog training session, and I must say, I was impressed! She had a thorough understanding of both the dog’s and owner’s needs, and provided clear instruction that the owner could easily implement without causing additional distress to her dog. She was supportive of both ends of the leash, teaching them how to work as a team to deal with the behavior challenge at hand. As a behavior consultant and educator, I would recommend anyone to work with Deborah!”

Shelly Volsche, PhD


Happy Tails employs the use of desensitization, counter conditioning, and response-prevention techniques when working with dogs that bark, growl, lunge at, or hide, from people, dogs, or objects in the environment.  We also use many of the training patterns from Leslie McDevitt's book, "Control Unleashed, Creating a Focused and Confident Dog."  Setting up structured training exercises in otherwise stressful environments often helps to change the way dogs feel and therefore behave.

  • Understand the concept of arousal thresholds so that your dog can make good behavior choices.
  • Work within a controlled environment (set-ups) and receive step-by-step instruction.
  • Practice in real-life settings on walks in and around your neighborhood.
  • Understand the proper use and/or misuse of training collars and harnesses.

Behavior modification requires committment (time, lessons, practice) and success is dependent on the individual dog and the compliance of the pet owner. There are no guarantees in dog training and/or behavior modification.  Happy Tails Family Dog Training will strive to provide you with the most up-to-date training protocols and will give you the skills to be able to continue training your dog long after you complete your lessons. 


Happy Tails works with fearful behavior on a case-by-case basis. When there is a bite-to-human history or a high probability of a bite, you may be referred to a Veterinary Behaviorist or Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist.


Fees for Service:  $180 for 2-hour consultation (90/hourly)

First meetings or consultations include an approximate 2-hour history-taking session that may include some beginning training.  You will be required to sign a training-services agreement at our first meeting.