“Karen helped me tremendously with my new puppy. She clarified issues that were personal to me and put things in a much needed perspective. She’s hands on and explained things clearly. We are indebted. I highly recommend Karen for anyone who needs help with their puppy” – Elaine T

Welcome to Aunt Karen’s Lucky Dogs!

Karen Comstock, MA, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA uses Reward Based training which relies on praise and rewards such as food, praise, toys and games to reinforce behaviors that you want while eliminating unwanted behaviors. A dog who is rewarded and praised during training will associate positive emotions with training and will enjoy learning. Reward Based or Positive Reinforcement training strengthens the emotional bond with the handler and stimulates a dog’s natural desire to learn.

Aunt Karen’s Lucky Dogs offers Puppy Coach programs for gentle socialization, good manners and functional obedience; Adolescent Survival programs with targeted workshops for help during your dog’s “teenage” stage; and, Drool and Dazzle workshops to add a little spit and polish to your adult dog’s obedience skills.

Different stimuli and events trigger different emotions based on good or bad associations. In this regard, dogs are just like people! A dog who is shamed or forced during training will learn that training is unpleasant, uncomfortable and the possibly painful. Signs of training such as seeing the “special” collar, the leash (or the trainer!) may trigger negative emotions such as fear and anxiety. How your dog may react to those negative emotions will be unpredictable and your dog’s natural enthusiasm for learning may become repressed along with other normal behaviors.

Training based on physical punishment can create repressed behavior, anxiety and fear in dogs. These negative emotional results lead to dangerous side-effects such as chronic stress, reactivity and aggression.

Aunt Karen’s training method is force-free and follows Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive (LIMA) practices.

Humane dog trainers (Reward Based and Force-Free vs Compulsion) actually teach your dog what to do to earn a reward. Your training time is spent helping your dog learn the behavior that you want and allowing unwanted behaviors to fade away. Reward Based trainers create rewarding associations and positive emotional responses to shape desirable behavior. Creating positive emotions and rewarding consequences also helps produce predictable behavior and gives your dog the opportunity to be a cooperative and enthusiastic learner!

Bottom line? Harsh corrections and dominance training will teach your dog to fear you and may create even more unwanted behaviors. So please be kind. Your dog will learn to love training. Reward your dog consistently for behaviors you want, build trust and get a lifetime of loyalty — the loving bond that you want!

Aunt Karen is a Certified Behavior Consultant-Canine using Applied Behavior Analysis and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer using reward-based force-free training methods. She specializes in right-start puppy raising, troubleshooting behavior problems, prevention and mitigation of canine aggression and rehabilitation of misunderstood dogs who are lucky enough to get a second chance.

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Aunt Karen