Hilary Bolea, Certified Professional
Welcome to the site of Old Town Dog Behavior. I provide dog obedience training, puppy kindergarten and owner education with in-home consultations in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. I have six years of experience in helping people with their dogs, and helping prepare dogs at animal shelters to find loving homes. Whether your dog is bouncing off the walls or cringing under the couch, I can help you restore harmony to your home, and reconnect with your loyal companion.
My approach is grounded in creating a balanced relationship between you and your dog, and clear boundaries for your dog’s behavior. Whether or not you are aware of it, you send your dog hundreds of messages each day about which one of you is in charge. Here are a few questions to help you assess your own situation:
- When you take your dog for a walk, which one of you goes out the door first?
- On your walks, which one of you walks in front?
- When a guest arrives, which one of you “greets” the visitor first?
- Do you talk to your dog in a high, excited voice, like you would to a child?
- Do you pet your dog to “calm it down” when he or she is showing signs of agitation?
- Do you wrestle or play tug-of-war?
You may find, as we work together, that you are unintentionally communicating to your dog that he or she rules the roost.
The good news is that dogs respond quickly to changes in leadership cues -- usually more quickly than people learn to change the cues they give. We can take advantage of your dog’s hardwired inclination to follow a pack leader to bring about the behavior changes you want.
One of the most rewarding things I hear from my clients is that, after working with me, they spend more time with their dog because they enjoy their dog’s company more. That’s the best thing any dog -- or dog owner -- could ask for.
Common Problems I Help My Clients With
- Leash pulling
- Excessive barking
- Obsession with play, getting attention, or a particular toy
- Fears and phobias