Lisa Rynston-Lobel, VSA Certified Positive Reinforcement Dog Trainer, Licensed Family Dog Mediator in Training (LFDM-T)
Dog training is my second career…for 15 years, I was a social worker who specialized in family counseling and drug and alcohol addiction treatment. So how did I get from that to training dogs?
Both my husband and I grew up with dogs and we knew we would be adding a puppy to our family when our kids were a bit older. In 2009, we found out about a litter of labradoodles through my sister-in-law and we went for a meet and greet. We immediately fell in love with a spunky, smart and crazy labradoodle who we named, Maizy. She was the sweetest, smartest girl, but she was quite naughty.
Back then, I knew nothing about different modes of training or enrichment, but I did know that we needed a trainer ASAP because Maizy was eating my daughter’s socks, hair scrunchies and anything else she could get. Unfortunately, I chose a trainer who used traditional methods…choke collars, shaking cans and spraying the dog with water were tactics he used to get dogs to behave. Not only did these “techniques” not work for Maizy, but she became very anxious and her behavior grew worse. At my wits end, I came across a show on Animal Planet called “It’s Me or the Dog”. I was amazed at how Victoria Stilwell, trainer extraordinaire, taught dogs proper behavior without using any of these aversive tactics. After trying some of these positive reinforcement techniques with Maizy, I started to see results and she seemed to enjoy the training sessions.
In 2014, I started fostering doodles for Doodle Rescue Collective. My first foster was a handful. He resource guarded me and started biting anyone who would come near me. Fortunately, DRC had a fabulous trainer, who trained with Victoria Stilwell. He was able to help me rehabilitate this dog using only positive reinforcement methods. After a lot of work, we were able to place him in the perfect home. The experience of working with this trainer and using these methods to help this dog, stuck with me and made me want to learn more.
Finally realizing that this was a career that I would enjoy, I enrolled in and completed the Victoria Stilwell Academy training course. I absolutely love working with dogs of all ages and breeds and their owners as well. I work successfully with all breeds, and I specialize in poodles and doodles. Their intelligence and “creativity” can make ownership a challenge, but learning the proper ways to channel their intelligence and energy is the key to making everyone in the home happy.
I believe training should be a positive and fun experience for everyone involved and I welcome working with every member of the family.
What is Positive Reinforcement Dog Training?
Journey learns “wait”
Positive Reinforcement Dog Training is a science based method of training that rewards desired behaviors and redirects undesirable behaviors. As a positive reinforcement trainer, I do not use shock collars, choke collars, prong collars, shock pads, sprays, physical force, intimidation or anything that will create discomfort or anxiety in a dog. I use treats, play, attention and praise to reinforce the behaviors that are desired.
Why does this work?
- Behaviors that are reinforced with food, play and/or praise are more likely to be repeated
- Training is fun for both the humans and the dogs
- When fear and intimidation are taken out of the equation, stronger bonds are built between you and your dog.
What is Family Dog Mediation® (FDM)?
FDM® is looking at the whole dog; what are your dogs L.E.G.S.®? Understanding how and what your dog has Learned, what Environment(s) they have lived in, their Genetic make up and their Self can help us to understand the “why” of your dog’s behavior. Once we understand why your dog is behaving a certain way, we can come up with a plan to address the issue.