What is your dog communicating?

Heather Mastrianni

Cert. Family Dog Mediator

Building Successful Animal/Human Relationships

Experienced In:
*Dog to Dog & Dog to Human Reactivity

*Resource Guarding

*Excessive Barking

*Forever Home Transitions

*Deaf Dogs

Through years of working with rescue dogs I have approached fear and aggression traits through a lens of believing that dogs can be affected by trauma, lack of autonomy and communication breakdowns in their relationships with people. In my continued formal training and personal experience I believe dogs to have quite a few similar emotional experiences in comparison to humans and hence practice a training style based on consent between dog and human. Animals are sentient beings and should be treated as such.

When problem behaviors arise it’s important to assess the dog and their environments to gain a clear indication of where/why the behaviors are occurring in order to choose appropriate training methods in the best interest of the animal’s welfare.

It is a fact that dogs see us as a key component in thriving and surviving. We provide what they need such as food, shelter and warmth. In effect if there needs are met the relationship is successful and conflict is unnecessary.

There are a number of different dog training styles such as Positive, Scientific, Clicker, Shock/Prong collar and Dominance training. The point of training a dog should be in service of improving an animal’s welfare. My goal is to be a voice for the dogs as well as provide support and empathy for people.

Some training styles take the viewpoint that behavior issues are rooted in defiance, stubbornness, spitefulness etc. This idea seems improbable since these are human attributes and there are no findings that animals experience the same personality traits. Animals instinctively wish to avoid conflict, however if they feel they have no other option they will engage in conflict such as resource guarding, growling, lunging, biting, excessive barking and leash reactivity.

Acknowledging this key concept- that behavior problems arise in breakdowns of communication- can help us approach the conflict through a more effective and harmonious lens.

Do you want to be a part of the shift in paradigm happening in dog training?

Currently accepting new clients in person in the Saratoga Springs, NY area and via video in other areas.

Find additional information & contact me here:

Read more about how dogs communicate in one of my latest blog posts…