Meet Jen, Your Dog Trainer & Coach
Hello! My name is Jen and I am the owner and lead trainer of Libra Dog Training, founder of the adventure dog blog, Long Haul Trekkers, and author of The Essential Guide to Hiking with Dogs. I am also a content creator, freelance writer, and dog mom to a handsome Red Heeler mix named Sitka. I spend as much time as I can with my dog in the mountain trail running, camping, and hiking. When I’m not outdoors, I’m whipping up delicious vegan meal in my kitchen.
It All Started with a Challenging Dog
Like many trainers you’ll meet, my dog training journey started with a challenging dog. Her nickname was La Loca and I couldn’t stand her. I put everything into training her, but it didn’t’ work. After posting about my frustration on Instagram, several friends introduced me to the concept of balanced training.
I did a deep dive into this new-to-me method of training. I had never heard of it and thought positive reinforcement was the only option. But alas, it was not! I found a trainer where I lived and started taking her to group classes. After just one lesson, I felt like I could finally communicate with this dog and my frustration toward her evaporated.
My Dog Training Journey
When I adopted Sitka on Christmas Eve 2019, I immediately started getting to work with him and set out to find a trainer. After completing a month of 1:1 private lessons, I was hooked on dog training and decided that I wanted to pursue it as a career so that I could help other dog owners who struggle with challenges of dog ownership. Through consistency, the use of tools that enable me to communicate with my dog in a way that he understands, and structure, Sitka and I have become an enviable adventure duo. We enjoy hours of off-leash trail running every week, weekend camping trips, and backpacking excursions without worry that he will run off or bother other users. He’s calm in the house and I can take him with me on trips knowing he’ll adjust with ease.
Why Hire Me?
Because I’ve been where you are.
I know what it’s like to have a reactive or over-excited dog. I understand the frustration of making the choice to leave your dog at home so you can enjoy your hike or visit to the brewery in peace. I have felt the same anxiety and stress that comes with sharing the trail with off-leash dogs who rush up to your reactive dog. I have spent years researching, learning, and educating myself about how to manage my dog in this world that isn’t designed for reactive dogs.
My goal is to give you and your dog the skills and confidence to create a balanced relationship you can take to the trail, brewery, and beyond.
Prior to starting Libra Dog Training, I spent time shadowing and interning with dog trainers who specialize in behavior modification using balanced training methods. In addition, I have maintained Long Haul Trekkers, and adventure dog blog which includes dog training advice for the outdoors, for nearly a decade, and am the author of The Essential Guide to Hiking with Dogs, an in depth guide book about hitting the trail with your dog, including training tips, advice on choosing the right dog, and more.
My goal is to show you how to be the leader your dog needs you to be in order to live a fulfilling, active, and balanced life with less anxiety and full trust in their handler (that’s you!).
Yes, we will go over the basics of sit, down, and place, but we will go far beyond obedience commands.
When you work with me, both you and your dog will go through a personal development journey that will redefine the relationship you have with your dog, in the best way possible.
As you put in the work, you will develop a bond based on leadership, balance, and understanding that will translate to clear communication and the adventure dog of your dreams.
To achieve this, I use a balanced approach to dog training.
What does this mean? It means that I use both reward and punishment and tools like prong collars and e-collars to train and rehabilitate dogs. I address each dog individually, customizing training sessions to their needs, through structure and clear communication.
Here is my promise to you: I will give you the knowledge and skills you need to teach your dog appropriate behaviors that will transition to the trail companion of your dreams while strengthening your relationship.
Keep in mind, however, that I am not a magician. I can give you the tools and knowledge, but I cannot want to train your dog more than you do. You have to want this and commit to your dog. Dog training is a lifelong journey and regular, consistent practice is the true magic of dog training.