Hello and welcome! My name is Laura Rice and I am the face behind Pet Peeves Training, LLC, the San Fernando Valley's dog behavior specialists!
I have over two decades of experience training dogs, and have been operating Pet Peeves Training since the beginning of 2004, but I am far from your average dog trainer. In fact I am both an Animal Behavior Specialist and a proud graduate of the most prestigious and respected animal training school in the industry, the Exotic Animal Training & Management Program at Moorpark College. This world-renowned program is very selective and difficult to get into, accepting only 50 students per year from all over the world!
Did you know that to be a "certified" professional dog trainer with 6 letters after your name requires no actual study of dog psychology and little more than a simple multiple choice exam? By contrast, I underwent a full two years of both rigorous academic study and hands-on animal training, involving a variety of exotic and domestic animals, and earning college degrees in both Animal Behavior and Animal Training. This curriculum emphasized the different psychologies (or ways of thinking and feeling) that different types of animals have from each other, allowing us to better understand and connect with each one. With a deeper understanding of how each species of animal's emotional experience differs from humans', I was able to emotionally rehabilitate a traumatized macaw who had crashed into a window, to get over his fear of flying, and became the first student on the zoo to train our gibbon (lesser ape) to willingly offer her arm for blood draws and medications in order to improve her care. I quickly realized I had discovered my calling and learned I had both a passion and talent for training challenges that presented a special level of difficulty and also benefited the animal. I began to specialize in dogs with behavioral issues shortly thereafter and dogs have remained my focus ever since (although I'll gladly help you with your cat problems as well).
A unique understanding leads to a unique approach...
My approach to behavior modification goes far beyond helping you train your dog. When you work with me, you will come away having a much better understanding of how your dog experiences the world and communicates and you will learn what your dog is needing from you to be his happiest and most-fulfilled self. Your dog's state of mind and emotional well-being are imperative to his ability to demonstrate good behavior so this must be given priority.
Like humans, dogs are emotional creatures. Often times their inability to do what you want has less to do with what they know and more to do with how they feel.
Many dogs are great at obedience commands during training sessions but not so great at accessing those abilities when strong emotions get in the way (for example, when you're calling your dog but he's way too fixated on that squirrel to care, or your dog knows how to sit but is too excited to keep from jumping on people when they walk in, or she typically has great house manners but totally freaks out when you leave, or he walks nicely on leash except when he sees another dog... etc). This is where understanding how to address the emotional component of your dog's behavior can make all the difference. Unfortunately too many trainers attempt to address dog emotions from the perspective of human psychology instead of dog psychology even though dogs have different emotional experiences than humans. This has led to countless misunderstandings and even many common misconceptions. All mammals have different psychologies (values, priorities, and emotional abilities) and understanding how dogs are experiencing their circumstances (as opposed to how humans tend to feel in those situations) provides a much more accurate and effective means of identifying the causes of, and creating change in, their behavior.
I am extremely well-versed in positive reinforcement and dog psychology techniques and am familiar with every training tool under the sun. I believe that fair but firm guidance and enforcing boundaries through a balance of both positive AND negative consequences is absolutely integral to achieving healthy relationships with our beloved dogs, much in the same way it is necessary for parenting happy, well-adjusted children. If you are ready to provide the leadership your dog craves, I can show you how!
Pet Peeves Training, LLC is fully licensed and insured, and I am proud to be a professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP). (Oh and yes, I even have some of those fancy initials I can put after my name, but they were way too easy to get so please don't be impressed by them.)
I am happiest when enjoying the great outdoors with my dogs and look forward to helping you bring your dog with you on all your adventures as well!
-Laura Rice, AKC-CGC
Don't just take my word for it. See for yourself...
How many dog trainers do you know that can control 13 dogs off leash with no treats or special tools? It's not magic. It's just dog psychology. Can you believe the vast majority of dog trainers have little to no education in dog psychology? How crazy is that?! Let me share my knowledge with you. Your dog deserves to be understood by you, and you deserve to be understood by your dog!
I'm a firm believer that a skilled trainer should be able to provide videos of their work. So before you decide if you want to work with me, please take a look at this video and the others on my home page and Videos page. If you like what you see, let's get started!