I am Sylvia owner and founder of Walkabout Canine Consulting.
I have been in the pet care business for 30 years and its been that long since I started providing training and behaviour help to owners and their dogs.
I am a fear free certified professional, certified pet dog trainer, certified dog behaviour consultant, certified separation anxiety trainer, studied with Behavior Works, Athabasca University (psychology),
and Dog Training Academy (SF SPCA) which was regarded as the Harvard to Dog Training Academy's at the time.
I have had and learned from many great teachers, Veterinary Behaviourists, Applied Behaviour Analysists, Certified Applied Animal Behaviourists and too many to bore you with .
I still have some brilliant mentors so that I can provide you with up to date knowledge, learning and behaviour.
My learning is based on force free methods guided by science, empathy and welfare.
I am proud to have gained hands on experience, skills and education in these years from all my teachers and mentors but also from a variety of experiences from pet sitting, dog walking, working in veterinary hospitals, shelters, volunteering with rescues and shelters, sanctuaries, zoos, grooming, boarding, conducting classes, teaching owners and mentoring trainers and of course with working with owners on a one to one basis.
I have always known that sharing with you, your dogs guardian, with the best possible easy methods and concepts for teaching your dog is my passion.
I want you to gain your real life goals for their dogs so you can have success and awesome relationships with their dogs.
I also want you to have a great start with your dog or if you are finding you need solutions because you are experiencing problems you need help with I can help you with a plan for solutions.
How I Train
Understanding complexities of behaviour and their bite size pieces is my speciality.
As a skilled fear and force-free trainer. I rely a lot on applied behaviour analysis using positive reinforcement as my foundation for teaching and setting you and your dog for success.
If the dog gets it wrong, the trainer changes the criteria expected of the dog by inserting a slightly easier step to make it more likely for him to succeed on the next attempt.
Setting a dog up for success is paramount in any force-free training or behavior modification protocol.
A force-free trainer does not need to use aversive equipment (as outlined above) to train.
Recent studies have shown a relationship between use of harsh training methods and aggressive and/or anxious behavior in dogs. Fear is a particularly concerning side effect as it is difficult to undo.
Methods that use pain or startle should thus be avoided at all costs. If anything a trainer says makes you uncomfortable, get another opinion.
Dr. Karen Overall, one of the most highly qualified veterinary behaviorists in the United States is squarely against coercive training, as is Jean Donaldson, author of the Maxwell Award winning book, The Culture Clash.
This is what they have to say about the issue of aversive tools in training: “Absolutely, without exception, I oppose, will not recommend, and generally spend large amounts of time telling people why I oppose the use of shock collars, prong collars, choke collars, and any other type of device that is rooted in an adversarial, confrontational interaction with the dog.” ~Karen Overall, MA, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVB, CAAB
"Until these devices are illegal, consumers must protect themselves and their dogs by looking beyond the marketing messages of those who profit from their sale and use.
It is not necessary to use electric shock to change behavior. It is not necessary in humans, in zoo species, in marine mammals or in dogs.” ~Jean Donaldson, author of “The Culture Clash”
Best and Positively,