Hi! I am Sabrina Joens, owner of Good Dogma. Dogs are truly awesome! Being able to share your life so closely with another species is an amazing experience. However, I have also seen when it is not such great experience. When families are struggling with their dogs & are unable to make that much wanted connection. Or dog owners that feel like they have no control over their dogs & they are causing havoc within the homes that they share. I have seen these dogs relinquished to shelters, or worse, when many times a good training intervention is all that was needed. My passion, if not mission, in life is to help people live better lives with their dogs. I am here to help guide you through and translate the canine language. I will help you bridge that communication divide that you currently have with your dog.
Throughout my many years of education & experience I have learned that a balanced approach to dog training yields the best results. My original background was in a purely positive training approach… I’ve been there. My own dog, who one would consider very well trained in obedience; knew not only the basics, but tons of tricks, was able to hike off leash, would regularly travel & come to work with me. In fact, he completed courses & workshops with me. I felt he was truly a model dog! Once he reached the age of maturity (between 2-3yrs) he became extremely reactive towards other dogs, children & people. We lived at the time in a condo setting, where things lurked around each corner. Having a dog that would lunge, bark & go after pretty much everything that walked by us became extremely stressful & needless to say made walks a complete pain is the you know where! No amount of distraction, high value treats or counter conditioning was making a dent in the behavior. I was constantly dragging my growling/barking dog away from situations that would surprise us on his front attaching harness, head harness or slip lead. The environment was not good for successfully using positive reinforcement methods alone. We were constantly confronted by things that frightened him due to our living situation. I decided there HAS to be a better way. I went on to learn about every training method & tool available for dogs. After much soul searching, I found myself exactly in the middle… balanced. And so did my dog.
Being balanced in your training provides both “yes” & “no” feedback for your dog. Dogs need clear rules, boundaries & consequences in order to correctly navigate this foreign world we expect them to live in. Remember English is a second language for dogs, it is our job to develop a language we can share with them. Providing our canine companions with good leadership and a foundation of learned skills is what makes a well-behaved member of the family. I believe in educating owners in order to help them with this conversation with their dogs. With commitment, consistency & structure, I will help you & your dog evolve into a great team!