The owners at SNIFFERS Doggie Retreat have a long history of animal training. They met each other while working at Smithsonian National Zoo, where they cared for and trained animals on a daily basis. In addition to working with and training exotic animals including marine mammals and wolves, Hillary and Laura both grew up riding and training horses for both competition and pleasure. With Bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology, both with an emphasis on Animal Behavior and Physiology, and experience working with dogs on a daily basis since 2008, they have developed a successful dog training program! SNIFFERS believes that building a trusting relationship, helping the dog to gain self-confidence and make good choices through basic training and socialization is the key to resolving many common behavior problems. The focus of our training program is to help dogs and their owners live a fulfilled and stress free life together. The relationship that is built between a dog and it’s family is the most important aspect of training. Solid communication is the foundation to any good relationship. Our training program provides a “language” to communicate clearly with dogs. Many times, the source of a behavioral problem is a lack of clarity for the dog. We teach owners how to clearly communicate what is wanted, as well as what is not with their dog. We know that clearly rewarding good choices creates a dog that is well behaved when at liberty and is motivated to listen. Each dog that we work with is treated as an individual. There is no one size fits all program. Just like people, every dog learns and is motivated differently. We prefer to teach by motivating dogs to learn. Our approach with behavioral issues is to resolve them from the root of the problem. We know that laying a solid foundation and obtaining fluency in desired behaviors creates lasting results and balanced happy dogs. For this reason, the length of our program varies from dog to dog.