Michele Forto Alaska Dog Works

Why Alaska Dog Works Trains Dogs AND Their Owners


Dogs form associations with specific people. For example, by the time they wrap up their board & train program, they associate us with a high level of accountability. In other words, they know that when we are around, they need to behave. They’re not afraid of us—not even a little—but they understand that I’m a person who means what I say. That’s why when I pull up at your house for a follow-up lesson, your dog is suddenly a verifiable angel. 

The real question is: Does your dog associate you with a high level of accountability? When he comes home from training, you have an opportunity to form new, different experiences with your dog to help him reshape his association with you. That’s where I come in. If we don’t teach you how to handle those first few weeks home, your dog won’t learn that he really does have to listen to you—like, for real for real. 

The relationship that I encourage you to form with your dog post-training is all about trust and respect. You’re both learning to trust each other in new ways. For example, if your dog is leash reactive, he’s learning to trust that you’ll advocate for him when other dogs are around, and you are learning to trust that your dog won’t automatically take matters into his own hands. As you get more and more practice with this new way of life and a new way of relating to each other, you begin to develop and strengthen your mutual respect. 


You’ve heard us say this a thousand times and we will say it again: dogs are not robots! We cannot teach your dog to behave a certain way 100% of the time no matter what is going on around him. Training dramatically improves the situation, but dogs will still need human guidance. Even extremely well-trained dogs whose owners have put in hundreds of hours of training make mistakes or bad choices from time to time. Good news: If your dog is a family dog and you just want him to be a calmer, better-behaved version of himself, you do NOT need to put in hundreds of hours of training time—not even close! But you do need to be willing to provide your dog with lots of guidance in everyday situations. That’s what we teach you: how to put all the skills your dog learned in training to good use in your home and beyond.

The goal is to build a pattern of your dog responding to YOUR directions. In other words, we’re building a working relationship between you and your dog. Think of it this way: if your dog gets into the habit of responding to your guidance in low-key, low-stress situations, he’s ten times more likely to respond to your guidance when the sh*t hits the fan. I coach dog owners on how to develop a meaningful working relationship with their dogs using everyday moments and events so that their dog will listen to them when it matters most.


This reason is just as important as the others. We form deep emotional attachments to our dogs, and we often have a hard time shifting how we think about our dogs even when we know it’s in their best interest. Emotional attachments are tricky like that.   I will always be kind as I coach you through this process but I also vow to always tell you what you need to hear, which may not always be what you want to hear.

Dog training can be an emotional endeavor, but Alaska Dog Works is here for you! We’ve been where you are and if you’ll trust me, I can help you get where you want to go. 

Did you know that Alaska Dog Works offers a FREE Discovery Call to see if we are the right fit to work together? Schedule yours today


We offer a FREE Discovery Call.

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