How to Find a Good Dog Trainer

How Pet Professionals Can Use the Hierarchy of Dog Needs

DVD: Learn to “Make the Case” for Force-free Dog Training

Category Archives: Before You Get Your Puppy

Choosing a Rescue Dog or Choosing a Good Breeder: How to Find a Dog That Fits Your Lifestyle. Part 2

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choose rescue dog adopt puppyThis is an excerpt from Linda’s book, Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual, available to download here.

Read Part 1 of this article.

Adopting a dog or puppy

Shelters and rescue groups are great sources to find your forever companion – and what a great feeling you will have when you save a life! Adoptable dogs are already neutered/spayed and have up-to-date vaccinations and microchips. Although puppies are extremely and impossibly cute, a house-trained adult dog may make an easier transition into your home life.

Local and breed-specific adoption agencies, shelters, and rescue groups have thousands of good dogs of every breed, size, age, and description who are looking for forever homes.Read more

Before You Fall in Love: Finding the right dog to fit your family. Part 1.

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This is an excerpt from Linda’s book, Do No Harm™ Dog Training and Behavior Manual, available to download here.

A new dog romping around the house provides constant entertainment and unconditional love, but be prepared to train, exercise, and care for that puppy or rescue dog for a lifetime. When you make the decision to bring a dog into your family, it’s a serious responsibility that requires forethought and commitment. Once you fall in love, it’s often too late to turn back. Plan carefully and choose wisely. Here’s how.

Choose a dog that fits your lifestyle and family

All puppies are adorable so make a list of

  • Must have traits
  • Flexible traits
  • Won’t have traits

Stick to your list.Read more

Hierarchy of Dog Needs TM. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Introducing the The Hierarchy of Dog Needs TM
A Wellness and Humane Force-free Behavior Modification Guide
Created by Linda Michaels, M.A. Psychology, Del Mar Dog Training

The Hierarchy of Dog Needs was developed as a progressive Force-free alternative to the paradigms that have been, and that are currently available. You will note in the Hierarchy of Dog Needs TM that neither Positive Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, Negative Punishment nor Extinction appear in the Force-free Training block: Indeed, they are purposefully absent. This easy-to-use training guide for Force-free dog training was long in the making. The principles apply to ALL animals. The guide is available FREE.Read more

YOUR PUPPY’S HEALTH. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Pet parents are now aware of the necessity of providing dog/dog socialization opportunities for their puppies. Nevertheless, when and how to do it is still misunderstood largely because many veterinarians, as well as breeders and pet-store owners, advise new pet parents to avoid socializing their new puppy with other dogs until the age of four to six months in order to avoid exposure to illnesses that vaccines protect against.

Cute puppies

Veterinarian experts in animal behavior, however, caution that the risk of developing behavioral problems—especially aggression—outweighs the risk of developing disease in otherwise healthy puppies. As early as 2004, renowned veterinarian, RK Anderson, published an open letter to his veterinary colleagues titled Puppy Vaccination and Early Socialization Should Go Together.Read more

PET PARENTING POSITIVELY™…Part 2. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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Welcome! You’re on the way to learning the Foundations of Pet Parenting Positively™. Let’s continue on this fascinating journey discovering the scientifically-endorsed positive reinforcement training methods. Code words — Do No Harm

Containment Management: Containment as a management tool may help prevent frustration and it can speed up learning. Until your dog has learned good household manners, teach your dog to accept restrictions, such as crating at night for housetraining and accepting a baby gate or an X-pen to cordon off a room in your home until more spaced is earned. Always provide your dog with things to do…afterall, that’s only fair.Read more

PET PARENTING POSITIVELY™… Part 1. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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This is the first in the continuing series on positive pet parenting, excerpted from my upcoming book.

If you’ve made the decision to pet parent your dog positively, congratulations on your good judgement! Your decision will enhance your relationship with your canine companion and best friend. Afterall, that’s why most people get a companion animal…pet parents want to have a trusting, loving, fun relationship with their new puppy or rescue dog.

In order to communicate effectively with your dog, it’s important to build a foundation of benevolent leadership, good management, and dog-friendly training. Dogs are an unparalleled gift to humankind and to each one of us personally.Read more

WHEN AND HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PUPPY or NEW RESCUE. Linda Michaels, M.A., — Del Mar Dog Training

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When and How to Train Your Puppy or New Rescue

Q. What are some of the benefits of training my dog?

A. Training makes home life more manageable and fun for you and your dog. Next to basic health care, it’s the most important thing you can do for your pup. Best of all, training the dog you love is one of the best ways to develop a great relationship with your dog that will last a lifetime. MP910220623

Some dogs grow up to be angels and behave as if they were just born that way. Others take a great deal of encouragement and training in order to become well-mannered members of the home and community.Read more


Linda Michaels, M.A. Psychology, Del Mar Dog Training, serves clients in Del Mar and San Diego County from La Jolla to Carlsbad, plus Rancho Santa Fe, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. Linda Michaels was recently rated one of the top ten dog trainers in the United States, by Top Ten Magazine. Linda has a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology (Hons), and is the creator of the Hierarchy of Dog Needs™ (HDN). She focuses on the psychological aspects of dog behavior that often mirror human psychological conditions, such as: fear, separation/attachment disorders, and aggression toward humans and other dogs. She also teaches private, customized basic manners/obedience lessons for dogs of all ages and every breed.

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