Spellbound Dog Training


Located in the Mahopac/Somers, NY area, I provide private, in-home training for my clients, by appointment.   Individual services can be tailored to fit your needs, your schedule and your desired outcome.  Perhaps a new puppy has been added and you're looking to get started down the right path.  Maybe your dog is in his "terrible teens" and needs a little reconditioning and touch-up training.  Perhaps you have a dog that wasn't trained as well as he could/should have been to begin with and you want to increase his skills.  Problem solving something very specific or general basic training is my specialty.   Give me a call, I am happy to help: 603-986-0563 (texts are welcome) 

*Note: In light of the current pandemic environment, training is more challenging to come by!  I can fill the gap of a training class with your private lessons, by doing so with social distancing considerations, wearing a mask, teaching your dog to accept people who are wearing masks, and helping you to understand your dog's behavior more deeply.

Puppy Training:

I recommend a 5-Pack of Privates for all families who bring a new puppy home.  These need to start as soon as pup comes home to you!  Within a couple of private, in-home training sessions, I can guarantee you will be off to a great start!   All puppies need to learn some solid basic behaviours in order to become good dogs.  ALL puppy training is done with positive, reward-based methods.  We use clickers, verbal marker (YES!) and treats to teach, reward and keep learning fun and positive for all!

The earlier the better - behaviours learned prior to 16 weeks of age become a fluency.  As a breeder, we start our puppies at 4 weeks of age with clicker conditioning and by 8 weeks of age, all our pups know "how to learn".  Your puppy at 8, 9 or 10 weeks is ready for learning!

We will start with the basics: Sit, Down, Stay, Come When Called, Walking on a Loose Leash, Go to Your Place (Mat, or bed), Self-control/Self-restraint.  I will also teach you how to teach your puppy with some fun tricks to take pressure off.  I will show you how to break down more advanced or difficult tasks into small increments - then piece it all together to become your desired behaviour!  

Adolescent Training: 

Teenage dogs can be a real challenge, especially if you have not had good consistent training since puppy-hood!  I would recommend a 3-Pack of Privates in most cases with older puppies/teenage dogs.  This allows me to see the dog in his real life environment.  I can help you understand where simple management skills may solve an issue.  We always work on basics of Sit, Down, Stay, self-control...all which build a strong bond.  Then we can address any specific problems you might be experiencing.  I then show you how to do what I was doing.

My Goal for My Students:

Ultimately, I will give you the tools to continue the training and won't leave you in the dark!   My goal is to give you the skills, and complete understanding of training processes so you can handle the next challenge! 

There will be homework and practice for you to do...it doesn't only take one hour to train a dog, it's a process!  We can work on real-life things that will make your dog happier and I can provide support to you after our session(s).  An in-home session should involve all family members whenever possible.  This is a prerequisite for all other training services.    

After any in-home session, if your dog is ready for more, we can move up to an "out-and-about" training session.  This would be a field trip of sorts, to further challenge the dog and solidify skills he has done at home.  Dogs do not generalize until you train them in different locations.  Sit means sit - whether in the living room at home, or at the bustling train station downtown!  

If needed, or if there is a significant issue that needs high-level monitoring, Board and Train can be arranged.  We are NOT a kennel and the dog would basically move into our home for the training.  They would become part of our household, and only after a trial visit is this possible.  Cost varies depending on the dog's needs.

I do offer a free 15-minute phone consult if you are unsure about anything noted above. 
About Me:

I cannot remember a day without a dog or two in my life.  Learning about how they learn has been an interest of mine since childhood - when I taught our lab mix Callie, to leave a hot dog on her nose until I said "OK!" and then she would flip it into her mouth with lightening fast speed!  I've come a long way since those days...

I previously taught group Puppy, Family Dog and Conformation classes back in New England.  Moving twice caused a bit of an accidental sabbatical from teaching dog training classes.  Then I realized that my real passion for dog training is in working with individual families and their dog in a one-on-one format.  I find the personal connection and attention to detail during private sessions with our owners creates a better learning environment for the dog.  Understand that I am a huge proponent of group classes, but I also understand that is not always possible due to schedules, limited ability to commit to a session, and limited availability in some locations.

My past educational experiences include attending several training seminars, Wag Camps and courses on the theories of positive dog training.  The concepts of doing no harm is a simple one.  Some of the most famous people I have been lucky enough to learn from are Karen Pryor, Susan Garrett, Gail Fisher, Carolyn Ross, Julie Daniels and Brenda Buja.  These ladies are the foundation of today's modern training concepts, and I am blessed to have the opportunity to learn from them!  Finding the good and rewarding it makes so much more sense than old fashioned methods of finding the bad and punishing it!  This training works!  

RATES: 2020 training is $68/hour, locally.  If travel is greater than 20 minutes time, a surcharge of $15 will apply.

*I am not a certified animal behaviourist.  If I discover that you need one, I will refer you out at no cost.