Pupstart Family Dog Training

Dog Behavior Help

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

Talk to your veterinarian first if you see these changes in your dog's behavior:

  • Growling, snarling, snapping, nipping, or biting

  • Potty accidents in the house

  • Change in activity level

  • Doesn’t eat or drink or drinks excessively

  • Drooling excessively

  • Scratching or licking more than usual; licking walls, furniture, or floors

  • Scooting, hiding, whining, or crying

  • Rashes, hair loss, lumps, and bumps

  • Redness or discharge from nose, eyes, ears, private parts

  • Coughing or sneezing, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Disorientation, acting tired and sluggish, or restless

  • Shaking or pawing at the head, trembling, jerky movements, staring at nothing

  • Vomiting

  • Changes in stool (poop) consistency or color

  • Can’t get up quickly from lying down, reluctant to climb stairs or walk on slippery surfaces, shows clumsiness, grumbly when touched on hindquarters

BEHAVIOR CONSULTING for dogs of any age

Addressing a behavior problem may require more than one session. You'll need cooperation and participation from all able family members. If you don't have that, there is no chance of improvement or resolution. There may be recommendations to manage your home environment differently. Please ensure that you are open to doing that and that everyone is on board before attempting behavior change.

Behavior consulting packages are discounted. Each case is considered individually.


Is your dog hyper? You're familiar with the old adage "a tired dog is a good dog?" Physical exhaustion is not necessary. You may not have enough time or be unable to walk your dog far enough to take that edge off, and daycare is expensive! Has your dog outgrown the dog park? There are other ways to meet your dog's need for aerobic exercise. Did you know that play, simple activities, and short training sessions can meet your dog's needs for "mental exercise?" If not, you've found the right dog trainer.


I see dogs who are:

  • Nervous, shy, or unfriendly toward visitors or strangers, destructive indoors or outdoors, unsure in new situations or environments, experiencing sound sensitivities or phobias, or unable to tolerate handling and grooming.

  • Not getting along with other resident dogs.

  • Repeatedly showing threatening behavior to family members or other animals but not yet touching skin with their teeth or claws.

  • Dogs who have bitten with a referral from your veterinarian.

I don't see dogs for:

  • Separation distress/anxiety. These cases are referred out to behavior specialists certified by Malena DeMartini.

  • Training to walk on a leash.

  • Basic manners (obedience) training. These are referred out to other qualified local dog trainers.


It's not personal. It's just business! You may only need one visit if you need help with house training for your new puppy or dog or are dealing with house soiling. However, long-standing potty problems require an Initial Behavior Consultation and possibly at least one follow-up visit. This type of visit provides you with a plan to implement immediately. Barring a medical issue and with your adherence to a training program designed for you, your house will be mess-free quickly. You'll receive free follow-up support.

CLICK HERE for rates.


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

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

    • 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, skittish, “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),

      • While being near another person,

      • 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, run away, or urinate 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 threatening or anxious behaviors above. Your veterinarian is always your first point of contact if your dog shows these signs of anxiety, fear, anger, threatening behavior (growling, barking, snapping) or aggressive behavior (snarling, clawing, "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 (temperament) combines many factors? Genetics affects this. The nutrition, health, and stress of the dam (mother) during pregnancy and birth are factors, as well as your pup's experience in the womb and during birth.

Positive social experiences early in your dog's life - or lack thereof - before your pup comes home affect future behavior.

It's not "all in how you raise them."

Training, environment, proper nutrition, and veterinary care are within your control. With Pupstart's experience and guidance, you'll have the most up-to-date information and coaching available to address behavior concerns.

Pupstart selectively takes cases in which dogs show threatening behavior to people, other pets, or have a history of injuring people or other pets only on referral from your veterinarian. Please don't be ashamed to discuss your dog's behavior with your veterinarian. 

Payment is due at the time of service with cash, check with photo ID, or credit card via Square for in-home visits. CLICK HERE for rates.


Same as above, delivered remotely. You'll be invoiced via Square, and you can pay with your credit card. CLICK HERE for rates.


Pupstart accepts dog bite cases on a limited basis. If your dog has made contact with human skin or has injured other pets, a referral is required from your veterinarian. NO EXCEPTIONS. When you know for sure your dog is healthy, go to the Contact page, tell me about your dog, and let me know how I can help. CLICK HERE for rates.

These dog bite cases are not accepted:

  • Your dog has a lengthy bite history.

  • A person or another pet has died as a result of an attack.

  • Law enforcement has intervened.

  • A lawsuit or hearing with your local government is pending.

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