I am the CEO and Founder of Mander's Best Friends and a CPR/first-Aid-certified Canine Behavior Consultant, Obedience Trainer/Instructor and independent Canine Good Citizens Evaluator and S.T.A.R. Puppy Instructor for the American Kennel Club.
I offer services in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas of the San Fernando Valley.
As a graduate of the nationally accredited Penn Foster Institute where I earned a diploma in Obedience Training, Instructing and Canine Behavioral Science, I follow the school's emphasis on "The Total Dog Approach." Moreover, my methods of behavior modification training are influenced by my mentor, James O'Heare, who holds a Doctoral Certificate in Behaviorology from The International Behaviorology Institute.
According to O'Heare, "Finding solutions for dealing with aggressive behaviors takes time and work... If you have been watching trainers on TV shows solve problems in half of an hour and spouting on about 'discipline' and 'dominance' or the quick-fix plan that somehow only they know, then be warned, this is not how it is done. That is entertainment pretending to be professional animal behavior consulting."
I have dedicated hundreds of hours towards case studies, hands-on training and study objectives that ranged from core areas of behavior (Ethology; Communication Behavior; Genetics; and Learning Theory, such as Operant and Respondent conditioning; Counter-conditioning; Systematic Desensitization; Behavior Replacement; and Extinction) to Search-and-rescue; Trick; and Obedience, Agility and Hunting Competition training. My in-depth knowledge gained through education and actual hours of working in the field is maintained and expanded through periodic re-certification tests and continuing education.
I have helped hundreds of dog owners throughout the Los Angeles and surrounding areas by treating their pets with successful results for everything from puppy issues, separation anxiety and depression to fear-elicited and goal-directed aggressive behaviors. I offer private and group classes as well as behavior management training programs tailored to each dog's individual need. These programs are designed to significantly improve the owner-dog relationship and likelihood of long-term desirable behavior.
My approach is gentle and delivered with easy-to-understand guidance so that even children can participate (with parental supervision) in training sessions. With a focus on positive reinforcement, my programs zero in on breed-specific issues with consideration of the dog's age; previous training; environment; prey, pack, defense and rank drives; and any temperament faults that might have been inherited through irresponsible breeding. Most important, all of my classes include lots of encouragement, fun and exercise, so my students have a great experience and look forward to learning.
5 customer reviews
My golden retriever started training with Sally when she was 5 months old. Sally and I spoke in person about the program Mango would be on, what my role was, discussed the paperwork and the next steps before she came over to evaluate Mango. She came over to our house, and evaluated my pup, and she started working with Mango once to twice a week. Sally corrected and improvised Mango's puppy behaviors which we thought weren't possible to fix, spent hours teaching me and my dog how to be successful at passing all the items on the CGC test. The greatest lesson Sally taught me while training was the importance of learning with my pup during the sessions. On the days I couldn't participate, Sally recorded and uploaded the entire session via gopro and shared it with me so I could practice what she taught my dog during the session. THAT right there is professionalism at its finest! Mango is almost two years old and we get complements of her perfect behavior when I bring her to work and in public places all thanks to Sally.Sally truly cares about each and every single one of her students as if they were her own, and really puts 10000% into modifying behaviors of dogs and training them to become service dogs. More...
Reviewed on Yelp
We are so thankful we found Sally! Not only does she teach us and our dog, Ray, but is able to break down every behavior which allows us to understand why dogs do the things they do. She also brings her dog Bella along to help complete parts of training and that has been a great addition. Simply put, her approach to training is unique and effective. Thank you for changing our lives and now being in our lives! More...
Reviewed on Yelp
I rescued Roxy two years ago, Roxy was aggressive rescued, non socialized and didn't trust in anyone. With Sally's help little by little, intense sessions, we transformed Roxy to be a socialized, now she trust in people and service dog. I'm so grateful I reached Sally because I couldn't accomplished my goal with Roxy with out her! Thank you so much! Sally is the best trainer, great service and I highly recommend it! More...
Reviewed on Yelp
When our labradoodle, Joey, was about 4 months old he started training with Sally. We were very impressed with her knowledge and understanding about dog behavior and how to change negative behavior and achieve positive behavior. She did an amazing job training Joey and educating us on the best way for us to interact with him to reinforce the behaviors she was teaching him. After a few months of training, Joey was following all the commands. He is now 2 years old and because of Sally's training he is so well behaved. We also had Sally do socialization training with Joey which was very beneficial for him and us. He loves being around other dogs and people. We recently got another labradoodle puppy, Ooda, and before we even brought her home, I asked Sally to save a spot on her calendar to train Ooda. Joey and Ooda absolutely love Sally and are always so excited to see her. Sally is the best and any dog would be lucky to be trained by her!! More...
Reviewed on Yelp
We just finished training Cooper, our male boxer, with Sally and we are extremely happy with the results. Sally trained Cooper for about 3 months (starting when he was 5 months old) once a week. Cooper is now a little over 8 months and even though he is still a puppy, he is not a crazy puppy anymore. He now listens to commands (sit, come, stay, down, paw, off, up, high ten, rollover, go get it, bring it back, leave it, drop it, and a few others) almost 99% of the time (these are constantly reinforced with treats and a quick 10 min. practice training at home with us regularly). Cooper's behavior has also gotten way better considering that he is still a puppy. Before we started with Sally we had taught Cooper just a couple of basic commands but Sally helped us expand and improve on those throughout training. However, the main reason we needed to get him trained was to improve his behavior (chewing and eating practically anything, jumping on people, excessive biting (playfully), and obedience in general. We had read books prior to getting Cooper from the breeder and had learned a little about boxers and dogs in general but it was not good enough. Sally addressed every issue we mentioned to her every time she would come and guided us by giving us options and ideas that would work for us and Cooper. She was also very professional and patient (especially with that crazy, high-energy boxer puppy he was!). She not only trained our dog but she trained us as well! This wouldn't work if anyone expects to hire a dog trainer and not participate in the training or practice what she is teaching the dog and the dog owner what to do. Successful training is also the result of consistency (not just referring to time but also family members being in-sync when addressing any issue or rewarding the dog for good behavior). Anyone who hires Sally will be happy they did if they follow her advise and commit themselves to training consistently for the period of time needed. We will miss Sally but will sure keep her in mind when we are ready for advanced training once Cooper reaches adulthood. Thank you Sally for all your help! You were awesome! More...
Reviewed on Yelp