Pawsitively Fabulous Dog Training

Pawsitively Fabulous Dog Training Providing private, in-home training for Puppy training. Also Diabetic Alert Dog and Hearing Dog

Pawsitively Fabulous! Owner, Nancy Weller, is an honors graduate of the prestigious San Francisco SPCA’s Academy for Dog Trainers, widely considered the Harvard for companion dog professionals. She is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and founder of the (SF) Bay Area Dog Professionals. She is a professional member of the Pet Professional Guilde (PPG). She holds a certificate in pet first aid and CPR from CParf! She graduated from Clickin’ Canines Dog Trainer Mentoring Program on Diabetic Alert & Hearing Alert Dog Training in 2013. Nancy offers private in-home puppy jump starts, puppy and adult training, multi-dog households, tricks, conformation, diabetic alert dog and hearing dogs. Nancy spent more than 15 years training dogs in the San Francisco Bay area before relocating to coastal Delaware in 2015, including six years as one of the top trainers for Ian Dunbar’s Sirius® Dog Training. In 2007, she joined the award-winning daycare facility, A DOG’S LIFE, where she served as Director of Training, creating and implementing a comprehensive training program for them including Puppy and Adult Obedience, Canine Good Citizen, Agility, K9 Nose Work, Rally, Tricks, Multi-dog Households, etc., as well as a variety of seminars and workshops. Nancy has fostered many puppies for the Humane Society Silicon Valley, and, along with her husband and dogs, has provided pet-assisted therapy services to nursing homes and a children’s shelter. She lives with her husband, Bill, and her two Bichon Frises, “Iniki,” an AKC and International Champion who is also CGC-certified, and Iniki’s puppy, International Champion Makani. Nancy is available to speak on a variety of topics for your staff, club, group or organization. Examples include educating your vet staff or groomers on positive handling approaches; Workshops (at location of your choosing) include: “Reliable Recalls,” “Leave It/Take It/Drop It,” “Introduction to Clicker Training for Show Dogs.” Presentations include “Secrets of Trainers,” “Mischievous Puppies,” “Socializing Your New Litter—Days 1 thru 60,” and “Multi-dog Households.” Contact Nancy for more information.



𝗗 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝗗'𝘀.
The 3 D's are one of the most important aspects of successful dog training. When we are working on a training task, it's important to consider these things and not expect too much too soon. We can't expect a dog who has just learned down to do a 30-second stay immediately...or a dog who is learning to walk on a loose leash to ace his first trials at a busy park on a Saturday...or a dog who is just getting started on recall to come when called at the dog park during raucous play.

Academy grads are taught to build behaviors incrementally and gradually using plans that build on steps and successes. We first work on distractions, then add in distance and finally duration. We do it this way so we can be sure the dog is being reinforced often early on and will be eager to stay in the training game.

Think before you speak...don't be a joy stealer!
Show Dog Prep School

Think before you speak...don't be a joy stealer!

Don't be a joy stealer! Making comments when someone is in or just coming out of the ring is generally not very helpful. It is particularly hard if the person felt their team's performance was good for them.

We never know what someone else's goals are, where they are in their journey or how far they have come.

Why not just say "well done" or "congratulations ", because you may not understand how frustrating it is for someone new to showing to get conflicting advice from various unsolicited advice givers.

Does your dog want training? You bet! They LOVE it! And you'll love your well-trained dog. Lots of classes starting in J...
Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club – An AKC Member Club

Does your dog want training? You bet! They LOVE it! And you'll love your well-trained dog. Lots of classes starting in January at the Salisbury Maryland Kennel Club. And I'll be teaching Puppy 1 and Puppy 2 Classes on Tuesday mornings! Check out all the fabulous offerings we have: Basics, Obedience, Rally, Agility, Tricks, Scent Work, Freestyle and more! Hope to see you in classes!

As many of you know, I am passionate about obtaining your dog from either 1) a responsible breeder breeding for purposes...
Vote- Best New Attraction Nominees: 2019 10Best Readers' Choice Travel Awards

As many of you know, I am passionate about obtaining your dog from either 1) a responsible breeder breeding for purposes (usually AKC) or 2) responsible rescue (no imported dogs). AKC works hard to educate consumers on this. And the AKC Museum of the Dog has been nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best Awards under the category “Best New Attraction.” You can vote using this link: It is SUPER SIMPLE!

You can vote 1X a day from each device you own (phone, computer, tablet, etc.). Voting runs thru Dec. 30 so you can vote every day from each of your devices over morning coffee :-). (Or your evening cocktail. LOL!).

Voting for the Best New Attraction is open! Cast your vote daily to help pick the 2019 10Best Readers' Choice Award for Best New Attraction.

If you are thinking of attending, just do it! You won't be sorry. Vicki presented at our club in Salisbury to rave revie...

If you are thinking of attending, just do it! You won't be sorry. Vicki presented at our club in Salisbury to rave reviews!

Come work with Vicki in Arizona , January 18 and 19, 2020!!

Show Dog Prep School is amazing, whether you are a newbie or seasoned exhibitor, always something new to learn!

Show Dog Prep School is amazing, whether you are a newbie or seasoned exhibitor, always something new to learn!

Our first FREE ONLINE LIVE class is just 5 days away!

How to Stack Your Show Dog Facebook Live class

Tuesday, December 3 at 5:30pm PT, RIGHT HERE!

Grab some treats, your show equipment, your dog and your phone or computer and join Show Dog Prep School founder Vicki Ronchette as she teaches you how to stack your show dog!
Where Champions are Made

Yes, this!

Yes, this!

Underlying medical issues and/or pain are often at the root of sudden behavior changes.

Taking a moment to step back and determine if a dog may be in pain or not feeling well can make the difference between harsh treatment for things like growling, changes in continence, energy levels and keeping dogs safe and comfortable.

Qualified trainers will always recommend a vet check to rule out medical issues in cases of sudden behavior change. You can find a qualified trainer here:

Eastern Shore Classic dog shows at the Wicomico Civic Center thru Sunday. Sara England Designs booth. Great show, great ...

Eastern Shore Classic dog shows at the Wicomico Civic Center thru Sunday. Sara England Designs booth. Great show, great dogs, great vendors!

Eastern Shore Classic!

My friend, Vicki, and Andrea just released this new book. I can't wait to read it!!!

My friend, Vicki, and Andrea just released this new book. I can't wait to read it!!!

Print copies of Litter Evaluations - The Planning, the Process, the Picks are available NOW!! Friends and breeders and fellow Show Dog Prep School instructors came together to share their process of evaluating litters. Learn when they grade litters, how the move the process, how they decide which puppies go where and MUCH MORE!

Get yours NOW!

The Agility Coach

The Agility Coach

I so believe this. The lessons our dogs teach us about ourselves help us be better, not only for them but in our everyday lives.

Pretty much says it all!

Pretty much says it all!

There are some simple things we can all do to improve our dogs' quality of life - and our own. Here's our Top Five:

1.) Work to eat toys are more stimulating than eating out of a bowl. Turning your dog's meal into a fun problem to solve can be a simple change that stimulates your dog's brain and body:
2.) The value of Sniffaris or sniff walks cannot be overstated. Given that dogs take in so much information with their noses, allowing them to use them on walks is not just kind, it's necessary:
3.) The reasons to use rewards-based methods speak for themselves:
4.) Play - with humans and other dogs - is a critical piece of a dog's well-being.
5.) Managing the environment to help prevent mistakes is a big piece of the quality of life puzzle. Got a dog who isn't housetrained? Commit to a housetraining protocol, and set things up to avoid accidents - and frustration. Watchdog barking got you down? Consider window film or blinds. Reactive dog? Take walks at more quiet times while training. Help your dog gain valuable skills gradually, letting go of the expectation that he/she 𝙨𝙝𝙤𝙪𝙡𝙙 be better at it.

Good for you and Thank you IAABC for this letter to National Geographic.

Good for you and Thank you IAABC for this letter to National Geographic.

An open letter to the leadership team of Nat Geo Wild Dog Impossible:

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) applauds National Geographic’s mission to offer intelligent, relevant and captivating non-fiction entertainment. This is a crucial objective, especially as an introduction to children and viewers largely relying on television for their scientific information.

However, your stated mission is in direct conflict with your show Dog: Impossible. In fact, the irresponsible treatment of the dogs and people on this show flies in the face of all best practices in animal training and behavior. Rather than promoting science and scientifically-proven methodology, Dog: Impossible sacrifices learning science for more dramatic television.

Matt Beisner appears to have no credentials or education in training and behavior, yet he refers to himself as a behaviorist. His claim that “energy is the one language that every animal on the planet speaks” makes clear he is not one.

His statement, “You don’t need tricks, you don’t need treats, you don’t need force,” shows just how unaware of his own actions he is. His misuse of scientific terminology leads viewers to believe they are learning demonstrated, safe and accepted strategies in helping their dogs. In fact, Mr. Beisner is forcing these dogs from start to finish of each episode. His own “tricks” are that of over-stressing dogs until they’re in a state referred to in psychology and science as “learned helplessness.”

Learned helplessness occurs when a subject endures repeated aversive stimuli beyond their control. Originally thought to show a subject's acceptance of their powerlessness, for more than half a century it’s been known instead to be the emotional “shutting down” of the subject. Anxiety, clinical depression, and related mental illnesses are common consequences of this technique in humans.

Allow us to note some aspects of the trailer and his shows, but first, to point out a few well-documented and commonly understood aspects of dog behavior so that we may better make our points understood.

Canine body language indicating stress and severe stress:

Compressed bodies
Dry, raspy panting
Wide, open eyes with dilated pupils
Heavy drooling
“Whipping” head and body back, pushing off a handler in order to get away

Eleven seconds into the trailer, Mr. Beisner rubs his hands together, smiling, and says, “This is going to be gnarly.” All professionals know from that statement what the series will spotlight: A poorly (if at all) educated non-professional pushing dogs way beyond therapeutic limits, in the name of “results.”

Flooding, the term for inundating a subject with their fears, phobias and triggers, is ethically questionable at best, cruel and unnecessary, always. There's also a common danger of spontaneous recovery of the phobia. This is because flooding doesn't replace the fear-response with a different response, it just replaces it with no response. “No response” is simply suppression, not cure.

Throughout the trailer dogs are flooded with aversive stimuli such as other dogs, people and equipment, something an ethical professional would not, and could not do per any answerable guidelines of animal training and behavior care.

Systematic desensitization and counterconditioning, gradual exposure to the feared object, and replacement of a negative emotional association with a more pleasant one, are the recommended techniques used to treat such fear and aggression cases, per all legitimate veterinary, training and behavior organizations.

Beisner’s statement that “We know at the Zen Yard that dogs help other dogs come out of their shell and face their fear and get past their aggression” isn’t just scientifically unsupportable, his words ring hollow during the very scene playing while he says those words: Beisner restraining one dog, while his co-host pulls a leashed dog to the first in a completely unnatural gesture perhaps intended to either mimic natural dog greeting (it doesn’t) or to flood the heavily drooling dog who is unable to move or get away. The dogs end up in a fight. They have been set up to fail, and the outcome is inevitable.

In the trailer, the assistant host, Stefanie DiOrio, states, “Nervousness can easily turn to fear which can lead to aggression.” This is an accurate statement, which is why it’s so confusing that the entire show would be predicated on pushing dogs to the very edge of survivable stress and into predictable aggression, doubling down on the issues that their owners are struggling with.

We know that the dramatic changes in behavior, from stressed and wildly aggressive to “calm” dogs, make for compelling TV. To an average pet owner it looks like these dogs are making huge improvements. All clients just want their dog to “Stop being aggressive.” However, we also know that behavior suppression is not the same as behavior modification, that a stressed and shut-down dog is a more dangerous animal than one who is actively showing aggression, and that the long-term prognosis of this kind of intervention is poor for both the client and their dog.

It is also worth pointing out that, like his predecessor, Mr Beisner’s assessment of cause for much of the issues he’s asked to address is simple, made especially clear in episode 4 where he not only saves a dog, he “saves a marriage:” Women are unable to effectively lead, must be stronger, must change their ways.

Misogyny, it seems, cures dog behavior problems. Real exploration and explanation regarding the antecedents and consequences around behaviors are ignored in favor of client blaming.

The clients on the show represent thousands of clients throughout the US and beyond with whom we work every day, helping them to help their dogs. Far from being dogs “other people won’t work with,” the dogs on your show are exactly the clients and dogs that IAABC Certified Dog Behavior Consultants, as well as all members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists, and other certified behavior specialists see and successfully work with every day.

We do so using the best practices of our field (see, adopted by the leading behavior and training organizations, without psychologically or physically harming the animals we work with.

The IAABC urges Nat Geo WILD to stop promoting this public miseducation. The tactics employed in the name of entertainment are unnecessarily harsh and potentially dangerous to the public, and they teach yet another generation of Nat Geo watchers absolutely incorrect and harmful practices.

It remains a mystery why your network is so intent on harming dogs. After years of Cesar Milan, to now bring in a man equally unskilled, who equates terrified, angry or entrapped dogs to his own addiction history is remarkable. Are we really satisfied conflating ego with compassion, self-focus with an understanding of animal behavior? Is this the “science” your mission stands for?

The damage Nat Geo is doing to dogs by choosing this type of programming is astounding. We can only assume that the producers are unaware of this, as it’s hard to imagine such harm and cruelty would be deliberate.

Would you show a reality program on heart surgery with a photogenic “self-taught” practitioner, simply stating the star was not a doctor before showing him mutilating a real patient?

I leave you with the clearest image of suffering and abuse from your trailer: the Aussie, stressed to the breaking point, thick ropes of drool streaming from its mouth, being choked by a slip lead to compensate for the host’s inability to even effectively muzzle a dog. This dog is at the point of collapse. This dog is being tortured, and that is not hysteria. That is an assessment by any educated measure.

Please stop this cruel and dangerous programming. To do otherwise is to support that self-taught heart surgery and all the consequences it would bring; that this show is currently bringing to families struggling with their dogs.
Professionals refer to Cesar Milan’s influence on dog training as “job security” because so many dogs ruined or made far worse by his teachings are brought to us by well-intentioned, often weeping owners desperate for real help. Often it is too late.

We do not want more work due to this same phenomenon.

We’d be happy to provide you with any education and resources you need to inform your producers about what would qualify as responsible, effective, safe and thoughtful work with the same “red zone” dogs you sell so well.

Thank you for your consideration.

Marjie Alonso
Executive Director, IAABC
For the Board of Directors

The Academy for Dog Trainers

The Academy for Dog Trainers

Much of dog training success comes down to consistency. And what matters in each home, for each lifestyle, for each dog may vary. And that's okay. But if you'd like your dog to sit to greet all visitors than you can't let her jump on some of them (unless you've built a specific cue for it 😉). If you'd like your dog to walk on a loose leash, you must teach her the skills to do so. If you want a solid recall, you must reward it each time.

It is, indeed, a dirty trick to play on dogs when we aren't consistent and the result is punishment. Teach your dogs the skills that are important to you. Reward them. You'll both be better off for it.


Lewes, DE


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