Pupstart Family Dog Training

Behavior Consulting

Due to the overwhelming amount of new client inquiries and to meet the needs of existing clients, I am pausing accepting new clients for in-home training until December 1st. Phone or Zoom consults are available now to new clients. If you prefer in-home training, go to the Contact page, tell me what you need help with, and I may be able to refer you to a colleague. 

If your dog's behavior concerns you, put Pupstart's experience and education to work for you.


Incomplete house training or house soiling; jumping up; counter surfing; chewing and other types of destructiveness; "hyper" or naughty behavior indoors; excessive barking; doesn't get along with other animals.


Does your dog lunge, pull, dart, and act like a maniac on a leash? Can your dog play nicely? Do you know how to get your dog to be less hyper at home? Leash walking training is difficult to schedule during winter and summer months due to weather conditions, but you can still learn how to add mental stimulation in ways you've never thought of to meet your dog's needs.


Nervous around strangers; unsure in new situations or when seeing new objects in the environment; unable to be left alone; sound sensitivity; grooming difficulties.


Does your dog show worrisome behaviors that make you uncertain about what could happen? Does your dog...?

  • Show threatening behavior that makes you, family members, visitors, or other pets uncomfortable;

    • Not "let you" or others pet, restrain, handle her body, touch her, groom or bathe her, especially if she's tired;

    • Act possessive (“protective”) of people when they approach you or another family member;

    • Remain nervous, “spooky” or agitated for extended periods around visitors whether they are strangers, family members or children, making you worry that he/she may snap or bite; or,

    • Stiffen, hunker over, show teeth, growl, snap or bite around:

      • The food bowl,

      • Dropped food,

      • Bones or toys,

      • Locations (stair landing, furniture, bed, doorways),

      • A person trying to remove the dog after it has run under furniture with a forbidden or stolen object, or,

      • A person attempting to remove an object from the dog;

  • Duck away, cringe, back up, lay on the ground and expose belly or run away when reached toward to pet or pick up;

  • Snap without teeth contacting skin;

  • Bite causing scratches, cuts, punctures, tears, or bruising;

  • Fight with other dogs - housemates or not - causing mild injury to injury requiring vet care;

  • Kill or seriously injure wildlife;

  • Chase after, growl, snarl, nip, or bite at strangers on and off your property.

Contact your veterinarian if your dog has shown any of the threatening or anxious behaviors above. Your veterinarian is always your first point of contact if your dog shows signs of anxiety, fear, or threatening behavior (including snapping, nipping, and biting.) There may be an underlying medical issue that is causing these behaviors or making them worse.

Did you know your dog's personality is a combination of many factors? Genetics affects this. The nutrition, health, and stress of the dam (mother) during gestation and birth are factors as well as your pup's experience in the womb and when born. Social experiences during critical developmental stages - or lack thereof - before arriving in your home are huge factors. These are all out of your control. Training, environment, proper nutrition, and veterinary care are within your control!

Pupstart may take cases in which dogs show threatening behavior to people, other pets, or has a history of injuring other pets with a referral from the veterinarian. Contact Pupstart for a referral form.

These dog bite cases are not accepted: law enforcement has intervened; a lawsuit is pending; or, a human or animal has died as a result of a dog bite or attack.

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