A Note from Dr. Valli – Synergy Snapshot

A Note from Dr. Valli – Synergy Snapshot

Happy New Year everyone! As customary this time of the year, new resolutions are made. As such, we have made a resolution to kick off the new year with a renewed vigor by writing new articles about animal behavior, and behavior-related topics, for all of you to read and enjoy. A lot has changed with our practice since our last blog article. Previously, we were doing house call consultations only, and running classes out of dog daycares and boutique pet stores. While we enjoyed doing that, we really wanted a place that we could call “home”. After almost a year and a half of searching, we found a location in NW Portland that worked very well for us, and we named it the Synergy Behavior Center. While we still do house call consults, most of our consultations, classes, and other events are now at the facility. Now we have a great variety of services that we can offer to the Portland-area pets and their people. We have been in our Behavior Center for just over a year, and we and our clients are loving it! Several people have asked us to write about how the different parts of our practice fit together, so here’s a quick description. All of Synergy Behavior Solutions’ team members have the goal of providing compassionate and experienced behavioral care for clients and their pets. All of us have also had personal experience living with a pet who is not behaving the way that we would like. Through working through how to help them, we can relate to what clients are going through. We also...
Trainers Need Training Too!

Trainers Need Training Too!

I have been assisting with our Reactive Rover classes for several years, but recently I had the opportunity to join the class as a student with my own dog, Ferrous. I love being a student. Not only do I get to spend time with my dogs, which can be in short supply as a trainer, but it gives me a chance to fine tune my techniques and get feedback from my peers. Even though I had been to the orientation a hundred times, and (hopefully) had all the basic skills being taught, I was eager to take my seat on the first night. I enjoyed talking about my dog and commiserating with the other students. We all had dogs who were angels at home, but acted in ways that scared and embarrassed us outside of the house by barking, lunging and growling at every dog they saw. It felt good being among people who were going through the same thing, and knowing I wasn’t being judged. It felt good to practice the skills being taught as well. No matter how well you think you know something, practicing the basics can never hurt, especially with a good instructor like Scott watching. To my relief, he didn’t point out any glaringly bad habits or sloppy technique that I had developed. When it came time to bring our dogs the next week, I was just as nervous as everyone else. What if Ferrous lunged every time he saw one of the other dogs? What if he couldn’t stop barking? Worse yet, what if he wouldn’t even eat treats when we were safely...

And so it begins…

Welcome to Synergy Behavior and Beyond.  🙂 As we enter the blogosphere, we are excited to share with you a wide variety of subjects about behavior and training and about having a pet in the Portland area. Since all of our staff are going to participate, the postings are bound to be interesting and vary quite a bit from writer to writer. We plan to review toys and training products, discuss issues related to living with a pet in Portland, talk about how to solve pet behavior problems and hopefully get to share some neat ideas with you. We hope you enjoy it! –...