about sara

A Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA), Sara graduated with distinction from the rigorous and esteemed Professional Trainers Program at the Karen Pryor Academy of Animal Behavior and Training (KPA).

 

Becoming a Certified Training Partner at KPA requires demonstrating excellence in knowledge, skills and teaching, and then maintaining certification through Continuing Education. Sara is also a KPA Puppy Start Right Instructor, and holds certification as a Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) from SA expert Malena DeMartini. In addition, she is a certified dog walker through dog*biz’s Dog Walking Academy, where subjects of study and practice include canine learning theory, dog communication and body language, aggression and its prevention, group management, screening of group members, prey drive related behavior, and safety. She is Canine First Aid certified, and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. A participant in continuing education seminars and workshops, she regularly attends professional training conferences by leaders in the science of dog training.

Sara brings skill, wisdom and compassion to the table where it is most needed. She can win a dog's heart and is a patient trainer with great skills transferring the training from dog to human.
Perry Hoffman

Training Methods

Evidence-based studies show that positive reinforcement is the most effective training method for a gold fish to a dog to a human. My studies and experience support this on a daily basis. Because I’m in the business of teaching our best friends, I use reward-based, force and fear free training methods that are both effective and kind in their application. This allows training to become a creative, fun game where “problems” become opportunities for a deepening your relationship with your dog.

Training sessions access and build on what naturally motivates your dog to act, teaches him what works, and gives him specific, easy-to-do alternatives to the stuff that doesn’t. I’ll build a foundation of essential skills that support your specific training goals and set you up for a lifetime of successful and happy learning. And, the job’s not done until I show you how to keep it all running smoothly. Feel free to contact me for more in-depth information or with any questions. 805-845-8458 email.

Life before dog training

During a life transition, I began walking a small group of dogs, which soon became a large, off-leash group of dogs. Unbeknownst to me, my career with canines had begun! Fascinated by behavior and unsatisfied by the many “common sense” ideas and practices too easily accepted, passed along as fact and generally applied, I decided to dig deeper and began an ongoing study of behavioral science – how animals, including humans, learn.

Improving the lives of dogs and their guardians is a dynamic, unfolding process. To start, it requires approaching every situation with an open mind (and heart), good training skills and a solid knowledge of learning science and how to apply it. Then compassion and science meet in the craft of non-invasive, reward-based training.  Years ago the discovery of this training method, with its capacity to produce enthusiastic, happy learners quickly, rocked my world!

It took me a while to find my true calling as a dog trainer, so I bring a diverse set of skills and background to my work. Previous careers include teaching high-school English, retail and wholesale sales for outdoor industry leader Patagonia, and commercial copywriting, beat reporting and features writing. Teaching and coaching people in different capacities and circumstances has been a life through line, and discovering that animals are also enthusiastic learners has truly been a great joy. I currently live in Santa Barbara with my rescue dog, Moki.

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