E collar training has tremendously helped strengthen my bond with Kiana...

Kiana and I had spent 30 weeks in dog training classes, hoping that with time we could work on her leash aggression, nervousness, and protectiveness around stranger dogs and humans. It got to a point where I dreaded going on walks around the park or on hikes with her because her reactivity was out of control and it wasn’t getting any better. After doing extensive research online I stumbled upon Flash Dog Training and read some of the reviews of other dog parents who had the same issues I was having. I finally reached out to Kerry and Bre at Flash Dog Training to see if they could help us and committed to a 4 week Board and Train.

Not going to lie, at first I was slightly skeptical, but also desperate. I had tried for 8 months to work on her reactivity and nothing had worked, so what could they really do in 4 weeks? Turns out 4 weeks at Flash Dog Training made a WORLD of a difference. 

offleashtrainingnearme.jpg

E-collar training has tremendously helped strengthen my bond with Kiana. She now trusts me to be in control and have her back, so she doesn’t feel the need to take control of the situation herself. It’s been an incredible tool that has enabled me to communicate with Kiana in a way that that she understands. We have been able to have an absolute blast off AND on leash on trails and around parks and ensure that we and everyone around us is safe. I can’t thank Kerry and Bre at Flash Dog Training enough for helping us through this and I will be forever grateful!

Zahra gained so much freedom through her e-collar training, and I gained a sense of safety and control over my dog...

Zahra and I were referred to Kerry from another trainer in town who told us she was THE expert in e-collar training. At the time, while I was head over heels in love with my adorable new border collie puppy, I was also losing my mind trying to manage her incessant energy on my own. While I consider myself a pretty active person, Zahra came in to the world like a lightning bolt of nonstop energy and engagement. She was whip-smart and ready to learn/play/work ALL DAY LONG - and then some. I knew that I needed to find a way to combine Zahra's exercise with mine if I was going to continue managing my busy work schedule and her needs, so I wanted to take us both on long hikes every week. Fortunately we live in gorgeous Colorado, so the mountains are literally our playground!

Last year I enrolled Zahra in Kerry's 3-week e-collar board and train program while I was traveling over the holidays, and I honestly am not sure I've ever spent better money. Zahra gained SO much freedom through her e-collar training, and I gained a sense of safety and control over my dog. Today, when she sees me pull our her e-collar, she starts leaping with excitement because she knows it means that we're going outside on some kind of adventure, and usually one that involves her getting to run at top speed to her little heart's content. Watching Zahra run and leap in the mountains is one of the most beautiful things I've seen. She's like a blur of white fur - practically flying and barely touching the ground! 

I Iive in a VERY busy part of Denver, but with her e-collar on I can also let her off-leash in the middle of a nearby city park, and have full confidence that she is safe to play Frisbee with me without EVER running towards cars or other dogs. She just gets it. It's amazing. I can’t even feel her recall level on the e-collar! We do this a few times a week when things are busy and we can't make it to the mountains. 

dogtrainingsisteroregon.jpg

Kerry also installed a much-needed 'off' switch in Zahra - and my favorite of all commands, "Place!" I can't even say enough about how much this changed our lives. Having the ability to tell Z to calmly stay in place while I have guests over, or need to work, is amazing. She also helped Z learn to LOVE going into her kennel, where she can also rest and turn off. Z screamed in her kennel for the first 2 months of her life so again, I can't express how much relief it brought us both for this to stop being such a challenge.

Finally, Kerry helped me learn a ton about feeding Z a raw diet - and we're now forever fans. Several vets were unable to fix Zahra's sensitive tummy issues and 2 AM diarrhea episodes - once we had her on a the raw diet recommended by Kerry, her fur got shinier, she started liking eating, and she hasn't has ANY tummy troubles since!

Kerry will forever be family to me and Zahra and I'm so grateful to call her a friend as well as an incredible resource.

Jen K.

Denver, Colorado

“Insecurities are loud, confidence is quiet.”

This statement is CERTAINLY true with people and it’s absolutely true with dogs. The catch is that dogs, like people, are not one thing or the other. They’re not simply insecure or secure. We are all multi layered. We all have things that make us feel less than and we have things about ourselves that empower us and make us feel confident. Some dogs and people are consumed by their insecurities. It takes over their life and makes them act out. Kiana’s insecurities began to slowly take over her life and her owner’s.

Dogs that struggle with stranger-danger issues or fear-based reactivity in general are typically lacking confidence in some department. With that insecurity comes a “display” of behavior that is an expression of how the dog is feeling about that situation. Dogs do what works and the insecure dog over time becomes empowered by their reactive display because it’s highly effective at making stressors go away. Soon it becomes an auto-pilot reaction for anything that is bothering them. Meanwhile, the confident dog is secure in its own skin and the scenario. It doesn’t feel the need to try to control the situation and has no motivation to vocalize or react in any way, other than just be accepting of the situation that is occurring.

Kiana has come so far during her stay with us. Thanks to the training, new tools and techniques, Kiana understands that her humans will alter the the environment for her to make her feel better; she doesn’t need to do all of that “talking” to make herself feel better. She is gaining confidence knowing that when she subtly communicates she is understood by humans. She doesn’t need to go ham to get her point across. This is something that all pet dogs struggle with. Dogs are constantly trying to tell us how they feel but a good 90% of the time we don’t heed that communication and we actually make things worse for the dog.

Every situation and new experience with your dog is a chance to prove to them that you can make them feel better about the things that make them fearful and insecure. However that does require clear communication and an understanding on both the human and dog’s part. Knowing all of your dogs layers is the best place to start. Knowing what makes them insecure and knowing what brings out there confident side is so important. Working with a professional trainer can really help you clarify these individual characteristics in your dog and how to work with them. We are now confident that Kiana and her mom are going to be able to navigate her moments of insecurity using the training Kiana has received here during her board and train.

Kiana looking bold and confident thanks to the training she has received.

Kiana looking bold and confident thanks to the training she has received.

Is a Dog's Comfort Zone Really That Comfortable?

"Your comfort zone will kill you"

I couldn't agree more. Only after breaking out of your comfort zone, patterns or dependent habits can you truly grow. 

Dogs practice behaviors that produce rewards as well as behaviors that relieve stress. They may practice aggression BECAUSE it's a release of stress. It becomes comfortable to do so. 
It becomes comfortable to just act the way you act, and use your old mechanisms to deal with the things that bother you in life. Even though it may not look like it, a dog's "comfort zone" can be really uncomfortable: barking, whining, reactivity, restlessness, hyperactivity etc. Only once we help them cope with the same stressors via a different approach have we helped them out of their comfort zone. #deepthoughts

Half of Dog Training is Doing Nothing

 Dogs don't know how to do nothing. They're really bad at it and they need our help at making them feel like it is a comfortable option. Let's be real, left to their own devices dogs will make really, really crappy decisions. Even if they are well trained, in the absence of the owner they can make really poor choices. Most dogs do not know how to self soothe in any way. Crate training, place command and obedience commands with duration, teach dogs to control their impulses, regulate their adrenaline, and feel comfortable doing nothing... even when the world around them is doing all kinds of stuff.

Duration work is not something you do all day every day. That would be pretty boring and really unfair. It's a skill just like any other that should be practiced, but not over-used.

Milling around the house is a pet peeve of mine and falls into the category of the rehearsed behavior of a dog that does not know how to relax. Milling does not lead to chilling. Tether training is a wonderful option to teach a dog to self soothe that does not involve any actual commands. Tie your dog up to a strong fixture in your house and go about your morning or evening routine. Expect that there will be protest or tantrums. Never leave the house or go upstairs to take a shower with a dog tethered. You don't need to keep constant eyes on the dog, but you need to be there to check in. Turn on the radio and do the dishes. When your dog stops fussing and actually lays down to rest, go ahead and release him. Rinse and repeat and you will have a dog that knows how to self soothe within seconds and actually enjoys doing so.

Anxiety in Pet Dogs and CBD

Anxiety is probably the biggest emotional issue in pet dogs today. They are anxious for so many reasons: they are not performing job/tasks for what they were bred for, we shower them with unearned affection, we allow too much freedom and not enough structure, we are completely confusing to dogs with our constant talking/fawning over them. Pet dogs live in a world-wind of confusion.

Hampton a current board and train student, has lashed out aggressively in many ways. But his barking/biting/lunging is not his "problem" his problem is his anxiety. His anxiety is what's making him lash out. You can treat the symptom for example: I can correct him for lunging at other dogs, but I'm not treating the root of his problem. When he doesn't feel anxious and his world is more structured, he's not going to have to display that aggressive behavior to alleviate his anxiety. If you change how a dog FEELS, you automatically change how they ACT.

Dogs can calm down so much more easily than people think that they can. It's actually pretty cool to teach a dog to relax on cue. Most dogs within a couple of weeks can self-soothe and shut off. Hampton is a dog that just will not stop whining, no matter what. He is the exact type of dog where I like to use CBD as a tool to help teach relaxation.

CBD is the non-psycho active ingredient in cannabis that acts as Mother Nature's muscle relaxer and anti-anxiety pill. There are no harmful side effects and it is 100% natural. What is most amazing about CBD is the dog needs less of it overtime, not more like a pharmaceutical. It just helps them "get there". Hampton's real issues are outside of the home, and CBD will definitely help him on walks too. It helps a dog self regulate and not be so hyper-reactive to the environment. It keeps them focused and poised and they can go about their daily routine with no problem. Dogs do not act "drugged" on CBD. They may get a little sleepy, but they can function completely normally. It also increases appetite for fearful dogs or dogs that will not take food in the presence of triggers. I can't say enough good things about CBD. It is my go-to training aid for anxious dogs in conjunction with duration exercises like "place". His family will be able to dose him as needed when they take him out on adventures. It will just take the edge off, making him more manageable and mentally collected.