The Beauty of Dogs is a Fountain Hill-based dog training business that is offering exciting programs this fall for dogs of all ages (and their owners).
The business, which is owned by Rebecca Gamez, sets itself apart from other trainers by offering a unique, reward-based method of training called Training Between the Ears.
Training Between the Ears is different from other mainstream obedience training methods in that it focuses on the emotional state of the animal.
“A lot of times we find that the behaviors people don’t want are coming from an emotional state that is maybe either conflicted, or feeling very negative,” Gamez said.
Her method of training works toward creating a dog who is more positive about life in general, and who is not worried or anxious. The result is a companion dog who is more relaxed and easygoing, and therefore more approachable to humans and other dogs.
Gamez accomplishes this by employing a variety of relaxation techniques and reward-based training in order to encourage the dog to do behaviors that we find acceptable.
“A lot of the behavior that isn’t acceptable just kind of fades away, and other times we need to direct them so that they’re not doing certain behaviors,” she said.
Gamez finds that Training Between the Ears resonates with a lot of dog owners because of its humane, and even relatable approach. Even as humans, Gamez points out that our feelings and emotions influence how we act.
“Animals do possess emotions, and we want to have those in consideration as we work,” she said. “I find that’s a very humane way to approach training.”
Gamez has been working hard since the spring to continue to offer her comprehensive services, even with restrictions in place on many businesses due to the COVID pandemic. While she was forced to cease in-person operations from March through early June, she says she and her clients have been able to continue successful training sessions virtually via Zoom.
“Especially with my type of training, there’s a lot that we can do even if we are not able to meet in person,” she said.
Virtual sessions have been so successful, in fact, that she is continuing to offer them even as she is allowed to resume in-person business.
“I’m still offering it for those that maybe are just not comfortable doing in-person,” Gamez said.
“It’s a wonderful alternative, and I would say that it is not the consolation prize,” she continued. “I would say that it’s still very effective.”
Gamez also follows all CDC recommendations and Pennsylvania mandates for indoor gatherings. Class sizes are limited to roughly eight dogs or less. Masks are required at all times and social distancing is practiced. Gamez even has two top-rated air filtration units in use at all times in her facility.
She is offering two classes later this month, both of which are offered in-person or virtually.
The first program is her “Puppy Group Class,” which includes six Wednesday sessions and begins on Sept. 23. The cost of the class is $199, and it is for puppies eight weeks and older.
Owners will learn everything they need to know about raising a happy, well-adjusted puppy. Gamez will instruct owners on how to gain their puppy’s attention and trust, and cover basic care-related topics such as feeding and exercising, default behaviors, developmental stages, socializations, handling, loose leash walking and more.
“The self-confidence and socialization skills built at this time are critical to a healthy dog,” Gamez says.
Gamez is also offering a “Canine Companion Group Class,” which is held on eight Thursdays beginning Sept. 24. The class costs $249, and it is open to dogs of all ages.
The sessions are intended to help owners better understand their dog’s behavior and learn how to successfully communicate with their dog to achieve desired behaviors and avoid pitfalls. The companion classes are unique because it is a lifelong program. Upon signing up for companion classes, owners are welcome to return at any time for more classes (subject to availability).
Both classes also include membership in a private Facebook group with additional information and videos.
In addition to these classes, Gamez continuously offers 30-minute socialization classes. A package of five classes can be purchased for $25, and that package lasts for two months.
Socialization classes afford owners the opportunity to play and interact with their dog under the supervision of a trainer. Classes may help build a dog’s confidence, or help a dog learn how to interact more calmly with others.
Registration for all classes can be done from the Beauty of Dogs’ contact page. Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about all of their services. The business also regularly updates its Instagram feed with new photos and information.
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