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Services (22)

  • Dog Behavior Consult

    In-depth phone or video call that goes through all the gritty details needed to develop a solid behavior plan. Some cases will require more than one call. You will schedule a time to talk with our trainer about your dogs behavior. We will cover a thorough interview attempting to get a clear picture of the situation you are dealing with as well as set goals.

  • Parrot Behavior Consult

    At this time I am seeking more experience working with parrot clients. I am well versed in behavior modification techniques that apply to all animals. I have loads of dog training experience but would like to work with more birds. This service price will go up as I gain experience and certification. The price reduced for now to lower the barrier to entry for parrot owners who want help. All cases will be recorded in detail and used for further study in parrot behavior. As needed I will be resorting to my community of parrot behavior consultants for help.

  • Training Plan Review

    1 hour long phone or video chat. A good training plan should be ever evolving. We recommend collaborating with your trainer to make sure you're still on the right track. This service is for current behavior plan members and students.

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Blog Posts (20)

  • Board & Train - Is This The Solution?

    Hi, My name is Kelsie and I want to answer your questions about board & train programs. Although there are some benefits to having your dog trained by a professional trainer, pet parents should proceed with caution. Before I dive into details of what a board and train program is and is not I want to discuss briefly about the human expectation of a perfect dog. The thing is your dog owes you nothing. They have absolutely no obligation to listen or obey you... And the tough truth to face is sending your dog away to boarding school WILL NOT solve your problems or get more obedience. Obedience is a construct we (humans) made up. It would appear to an outsider looking at us earthlings as though we were all drunk off some potion that made us entitled to control every other earthly being around us for our own benefit -- including other humans. So let's take a moment before trying to learn about board and train programs for dogs, please remember your dog is not a computer or robot. No you cannot "reboot", "reprogram", or "design" the perfect dog. Moving on - When is sending your dog to boarding school a beneficial option? Puppies!!! Young puppy's are developing at such a rapid rate and it benefits them to have exposure to a variety of stimuli in a positive and productive manner. This also includes socialization with other animals, dogs, and people of all shapes and sizes. The last thing you want to do is shelter your puppy from the world. Boarding school for developing puppies can bring loads of lessons that they will carry long into adulthood. The down fall to sending your new puppy away to boarding school is that you miss out on that beautiful and sometimes ouchy phase of puppy raising. If you choose your boarding school poorly you could damage your puppy physiologically and emotionally - this expensive mistake could cost you later on in adulthood. However, not socializing and learning how to maximize your puppy's experiences in your own home could also cost you dearly. Choose your puppies boarding program wisely, and we will talk more about selection in a minute. Adolescent or younger adults under the age of 5 years old can be a good fit for boarding programs when dealing with issues like hyper activity, resource guarding, or basic manners. Think about it this way board and train is essentially what a service dog would go through before they are matched with a disabled handler and put to work. Keep in mind the most successful service dog programs do not use aversives (shock, prong, or choke chains) in their training. Why these programs work is because 3 things are working for the service dog -- 1) genetics, these dogs were bred to be attentive, easily motivated to work for people with even temperaments. 2) They are primed as puppies by their breeding programs through early socialization and usually not taken from their family too early. 3) They are then immediately put into training programs and usually not put on the job until the age of 2 years old. That's almost a 2 year long board and train program. So do board and trains work? sure! However, they are best attended by younger dogs who are more equipped to adapt and under go the some times heavy stress of learning. It's not that older dogs can't learn but they are going to be slower and the approach often needs to be more gentle for dogs over the age of 5. This leads me to the next question -- How long is long enough for a board and train program? Any trainer who says they are going to train your dog in a week does not understand a key concept about learning. (Remember I said dogs are not robots.) Well you can't expect any real progress to be made in a week. You, the human, could learn some valuable training techniques in a week that you could apply over months and eventually see results but your dog will not be cured in a week of their bad habits. I mentioned earlier , ideally your dog would attend training and be in training for upwards of 2 years if you would like real lasting results from your program. This is one of the reasons why I often try to steer people towards a more sustainable training program they can commit to and continue to improve over the course of years not weeks. Kind Animal Services sometimes offers boarding school on a case by case basis. Our recommendation is 2 week minimum for puppies under 6 months. 4 weeks minimum for dogs over 6 months. For real results we recommend 3 months. Why? It just seems to be the magic amount of time that at about 3 months dogs seem to finally gain enough knowledge and start grasping concepts. With most species that get sent away for training programs (I think of horses primarily) they are sent away for months at a time. If you want your board and train program for your dog to actually reap rewards in your home the longer you can send your dog the better. If I'm sending my dog away for so long what can I expect to pay for boarding programs? All boarding programs I'm aware of are upwards of thousands of dollars. Think about the fact that a fully trained service dog costs around $23,000 (this was a few years ago). So you probably wont be sending your dog to boarding school for 2 years but consider the work that goes into training a dog. For starters there are no days off! Every opportunity is a training opportunity. The best boarding schools are immersion programs that immerse your dog into a household, into an environment similar to the one they will return to. (Or at least that's what KAS offers.) Kennel boarding environments are still expensive but in my opinion should be less expensive than full immersion training programs like the KAS boarding school. In short when it comes to cost no matter how you try to slice the cake it's going to be a lot of $$$. Put that in your head now. You are paying for someone else's time to train your dog. If you want discounted training take a group training class and do the training yourself. Alright it's time to talk about selecting the perfect boarding school for your dog. Now please don't be deceived by all the glitz and glamor you will be sold by many trainers. Again, it would be wise to proceed with caution, this is your four legged child you're sending away to get schooled. Ask questions, even the dumb ones! Where will your dog be housed? During the day? How about at night? Will they get bedding? If not why does the facility choose to operate this way? How much time out of the kennel will they receive every day? (ask for an hourly amount and assume they are inflating that number. You can cut it in half.) How does the organization ensure that dogs are doing well? To use an emotional term "happy". WARNING: heavy exercise and a physically drained dog is not a happy dog. Panting is not a smile. Don't be deceived. Can you visit your dog? If not be warned! If they are concerned about attachment issues when you visit there are still ways to work around these concerns and not back slide any training that is taking place. The trainer may make rules or guide your interaction with your dog but you should always be allowed to visit. How are dogs fed? It is not uncommon for boarding schools to withhold food from your dog to create motivation. Be sure you discuss exactly how this will be done as to not jeopardize your dogs health. Will your dog be allowed socialization with other dogs? Is play involved? Supervised and organized play for young dogs is critical for normal development. If your dog is safe to socialize be sure that it's not a free for all "play group" but that the dogs are allowed time to play and interact. What tools will be used on your dog? And drill hard as to why the trainer feels these tools are necessary. If you're reading this blog you probably already know that prong, choke, and shock collars have no place in training. Damage to the neck is a real concern from over correcting a dog labeled as "stubborn". I strongly suggest you only utilize a fear-free boarding school. Yes, fear free can solve aggression. How many dogs do you board/train at time? The answer should be no more than 5 and that is almost too many in my opinion. Facilities that have staff can work with more dogs successfully but again the dogs in these places may not make as much progress because the environment is free from the original behavioral triggers presented in their home environment. What follow ups and training for me (the human) is included in the program? Do you send updates? (KAS board and train programs provide pet parents with a youtube playlist of all their dogs training sessions and instructional videos on what they can do to maintain the training long after the dog is sent home.) Onward - the emotional & phycological stress that dogs in all boarding situations under go can be compounded when improper training techniques are used. What does emotional or phycological damage look like? Board and train programs are really good at overwhelming the dogs system with so much stress. That the dog that goes home after a board and train feel magically improved. They are in a state of helplessness! The vast majority of dog boarding school programs utilize crates, withhold food, under go multiple hours of training, are intentionally exercised to the point of exhaustion (so they sleep in their kennels at night), and "correct" unwanted behaviors using intimidation or forceful techniques. They restrict, control, and strip down the dogs existence to make the job of "trainer" easier on themselves with disregard to the dogs total wellbeing. I have said it before a tired dog is not a good dog they are simply just tired. I have witnessed some horrifying things that trainers do in the name of training when the parents aren’t looking and can get away with it. Your dog can't speak up about the abuse physically or mentally that they endure while in a boarding program. This is the reality... Your dog is sitting in a labor camp. Forced to preform tasks obediently and mindlessly. If you want to crush your dogs sole in hopes of achieving the perfect dog then sign up for your nearest board and train program. Look I don't want to say that ALL boarding options are a bad idea but I do want to open your eyes to the fact that MOST are operating in ways you probably wouldn't approve of if you knew better. Even well-meaning people who board dogs in their private homes are clueless about dog behavior but ready with loads of advice. Again proceed with caution. This is your dogs education and ultimately their future that is at stake. It's not a decision that should be taken lightly. The last and final point I want to cover is the human training and follow up procedures. Every program is different when it comes to how much and in what way they share information with you (the pet parent). KAS provides a video library where others might offer a group class that you attend with your dogs classmates. Others still might follow up via virtual consults or in person consults for a few weeks following your dog returning home. When selecting a program ensure there is a robust follow up plan. You don't want to get your dog back just to have them fall back into old habits. It's up to you to keep in touch with your trainer and make sure you milk every last drop of information you can out of them. It's important not only to learn the cues that your dog may have learned. In the programs I design I want you to go home with the tools to continue your dogs education from home. That you have an understanding of how to teach them moving forward in your life together. In summery I would like to advice you to triple think about all the options before sending your dog away to boarding school. Most other options will be much cheeper in the long run as well. It is my suggestion that pet parents work closely with an educated trainer in behavior modification and fear-free positive reinforcement based techniques. If you are interested in learning more about our immersion program or our boarding school please email heytrainer@kindanimalservices.com. Boarding programs are scheduled on a case by case basis that starts with a conversation because we encourage your to ask questions first and decide for yourself if a board and train option is the right choice.

  • "How do I stop my pet from ___?" - Behavior Modification Isn't as Straight Forward as You Think

    As a pet professional, I hear this question a lot. Even outside of work I am often turned to when friends or family have pet-related questions and problems and it can be a fun way to apply my knowledge. However, the biggest thing I run into is the assumption I will have a short and sweet answer to their question. They are often very surprised when I respond with 20 questions of my own before I can even begin to “diagnose” their animal and give them the proper tools to deal with their situation. When someone brings questions about their animal’s behavior to anyone, it should be a huge red-flag if someone offers a “fix-all” solution without attempting to understand the full circumstance of the behavior. It’s best to avoid this type of advice-giver at all costs. They may seem like logical and easy solutions to your problem, but, not only can the advice be completely irrelevant and unhelpful, it can also be dangerous! Two dogs that bark at strangers might need completely different training plans in order to address the behavior. A tip that works for an excited dog that needs a reminder to ask politely for attention could lead to a fearful-barker who is asking for space to lash out and hurt someone. A cat that is chasing and attacking their pet parent could be overstimulated and asking for space, be bored and begging for more interaction and play time, or really hate the new scent their pet parent put in the diffuser! Each of those scenarios would have completely different solutions and trying to address them with the same technique is going to have very different (and mostly unsuccessful) results. Any behavior modification must start with understanding why the behavior is happening in the first place. This is why it is always important to come to a trainer with as much information as you can about a particular behavior, and have patience with them if they tell you they need more before they can begin giving advice on how to help. A good trainer knows they must get a full view of the circumstance before moving onto creating a training plan. So, when gathering information to bring to your trainer, start a journal and log your answers to the following. Be as specific as you possibly can - every detail can be important. When did you notice the behavior? Is it new? Were there any smaller/less noticeable behaviors that pre-cursed this one? Are all of their physical and mental needs being fulfilled? What is their history? Any recurring health issues or past traumas? How often does it happen? Are there any specific times or triggers that cause it to occur? Has anything recently changed in their life - diet, health, age, daily routine, location, amount/frequency of interactions, other behaviors, etc.? What do you think their motivation for the behavior is/what is the outcome of the behavior? How do you react when the behavior occurs? How do others in the house react? These are only the basics, and with each answer might come more questions from your trainer. Be patient. Remember effective training begins with understanding the nuances of why the behavior is happening in the first place and cannot be truly successful without this step. The following training plan created with this knowledge in mind reduces stress for you and your animal and saves you time in the long run. You’ll avoid using methods that won’t address the root issue and thus won’t effectively change behavior, and instead will be working with your animal’s needs to find a solution that works for both of you. As trainers who understand this, Kind Animal Services will always strive to understand before we strategize. If you are having trouble with a particular behavior your animal is exhibiting, reach out to our pet professionals and KAS Trainers so we can help begin the process of understanding why. Then we can move onto the fun process of modifying the behavior as a team! Book a session now to get started. Contact us at heytrainer@kindanimalservices.com. Your first conversation is free.

  • Fact or Fiction: A Wagging Tail Is A Happy Tail?

    Society has generally accepted a wagging tail to be the universal sign of a happy dog. Any swing to a dog’s tail is taken as an overriding indicator the dog is excited and willfully engaged. However, this is a myth that puts dogs and humans in danger. Yes, dogs often wag their tails when feeling happy, but they also wag their tails when scared, or when they are intensely focused. This makes it hard to diagnose why your dog might be wagging their tail on tail alone. There are a lot of factors to consider when asking yourself “why?” and a misread could lead to confusion, at least, or physical injury, at worst. So what can you learn by looking just at their tail? If you see a wagging tail, the only information you can guarantee is that their arousal levels are rising. That’s it. And let me clarify: Arousal is a reference to an animal’s heightened physical and emotional state. Arousal can mistakenly be used interchangeably with the word excitement, though they are two very different things. Excitement has a positive association and generally can be attributed to anticipation for fun or enjoyable things. Arousal has no positive or negative connotation and can be caused by a variety of things like happiness, pain, confusion, etc.. Meeting a new dog or person, seeing a wild animal, passing a loud train, or going to the vet are all examples of situations where your dog might experience a change in their arousal levels. In each of these instances a dog’s tail might wag, but could be communicating a wide range of emotional/physical states in reaction to whatever they are experiencing and doesn’t necessarily mean they are enjoying themselves. Knowing how your dog naturally holds its tail is a great first step to understanding how your dog uses their tail to communicate. Look at your dog’s tail and hips when they are in a calm state. Notice the tail’s position on their back end. Is it curled up or hanging loose? Does it swing slowly or stay still? Usually there will be little to no rigidity to their tail and their muscles will be relaxed, but pay attention to the specifics of your dog. Noting what a relaxed tail looks like will help you identify when your dog’s arousal levels are beginning to change, as their tail will change positions. The stiffness of a dog’s hips while their tail is wagging is a great secondary indicator of how the dog is reacting to stimuli. Hips that wiggle back and forth with the motion of the tail can express excitement or happiness. Rigid hips and a spread leg stance, combined with a wagging tail that’s held tall and stiff, indicates yo ur dog is alert and their arousal levels are high and intense. A tail held lower than its usual position or between their legs can point to rising levels of uncertainty, regardless of whether it is wagging or not. While a full tail-tuck under the body, pressed right up against their belly, is a signal they are feeling uncomfortable and scared. Keep in mind these are very basic guidelines and should always be considered with other context clues. Generally speaking, you should not try to diagnose your dog’s emotional and physical state based on one body language cue. Tail position and movement are just some of a long list of cues to look for and things to pay attention to. This includes but is not limited to: Overall body position Their hair/coat Wideness of eyes Ear position Mouth position Vocalizations of any kind Behavioral history The environmental context Only looking at one, or even just a few, of these factors can lead to a misread of the dog’s state. You could see a fast tail wag, think “Oh they’re happy!” and assume your dog wants to meet the stranger approaching. Completely missing the hair standing up at the back of their neck and the stiffness of their stance that indicate rising levels of fear. In this scenario the dog’s fear will go unheard and they might go to extreme levels to make sure they are safe by lashing out violently, which is not ideal for anyone involved. So, while a dog’s tail is communicating with you, make sure you are listening to the combination of cues your dog is sending you. Otherwise you will be missing their full message. Learning to communicate with someone is the first step to developing a relationship with them. It’s how we ask for help, tell each other we care, and begin to develop trust with each other. The same goes for building relationships between humans and their pets. We must learn how our pets communicate with us in order to best take care of them, which means remembering they are complicated creatures with an intricate entangled language of body signals. AKA, the best way to know what a tail wag means for your dog is to pay attention to everything else too. It’s complicated but necessary work. If you need help understanding how your dog is communicating with you, don’t hesitate to reach out to Kind Animal Services. We will create a foundation of communication and trust you and your dog will continue to build on in the years to come.

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  • Dog Trainer | Kind Animal Services

    Kindness-First Pet Care & Training Say Hello. Phone: 541-402-1006 Email: contact@kindanimalservices.com Pet services that put your pet's welfare at the forefront. Through our passionate, kind, and cooperative pet care and training services. Serving Hood River, White Salmon, Parkdale, The Dalles, and the entire Columbia Gorge. Training & Behavior Feeling overwhelmed and embarrassed by your dog's behavior? KAS training and behavior programs generally fall under the labels: positive reinforcement, fear-free, force-free, stress-free, and science-based. However, we prefer to ditch the labels and provide mindful, realistic training services for pets and pet parents. We tailor training plans to fit your lifestyle, and address the most challenging behaviors (e.g., reactivity, separation issues, resource guarding, handling, & anxiety-related behaviors.) Learn More. Pet Care Planning a trip away from your animals can be stressful. KAS offers a stress free, professional, and reliable pet sitting in your home where your pets will be most comfortable. Most sittings include medicating, feeding meals, grooming, or household maintenance such as watering plants and getting your mail. You get so much more from Pet Sitting services than you would when you take your pet to a boarding facility. Learn More. Women owned business celebrating 10 years in business! Our mission is to enrich, educate, and empower all beings to live their best lives through our various pet care, training, and community services. Dog Walking & Enrichment A happy dog is an enriched dog. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do all your tasks plus walk the dog. KAS takes some of the pressure of being a responsible pet parent off of you by providing daily enrichment activities for your dog. You don’t need to feel guilty that your dog isn’t getting enough of your attention any more. Learn More. Create An Account KAS Community & Projects Kind Animal Services is committed to our community of pet parents, veterinarians, pet supply stores, rescues, and support our local community of the Columbia Gorge. This commitment lends itself to many fun projects from project animals who we foster, train, and adopt. We also offer support pet families keep their dogs in their homes. Furthermore we are advocates of fear free training techniques and have an Equipment Swapping Center for trading your aversive equipment for more safe and humane options. Join our community on social media and donate to our projects and better animals' lives one pet at a time. Learn More...

  • Contact | Kind Animal Services

    Contact 3031 Lower Mill Dr. (Unit B) Hood River, OR 97031 contact@kindanimalservices.com (541) 402-1006 The Team. Kelsie Scroggins Founder & Animal Trainer Natasha Smith Pet Care Professional Jane White Pet Care Professional

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