about

Trainer & Methods

Your trainer

Tess Morgan, CTC, CCUI, SAPT, FPPE

Certified Trainer 

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Tess worked with dogs at the BC SPCA, the Toronto Humane Society and in veterinary clinics before earning her Certificate in Training & Counseling through the world-renowned Academy for Dog Trainers, an intensive two-year program where she graduated with honours. Following her education at The Academy, Tess went on to study behaviour modification for dogs with separation anxiety under expert Julie Naismith, where she earned her certification as a Certified Separation Anxiety Professional Trainer. Tess is also a Licensed Family Paws Parent Educator and a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor.

Tess is passionate about using the most progressive and evidence-based methods to train dogs and prides herself in offering effective, integrated and non-judgmental support to the families she works with. She is committed to continuing education and regularly attends conferences and courses to expand her knowledge.

Training methods

Treat Yourself Dog Training uses reward-based methods and takes a holistic approach to modifying behaviour. This means we treat you and your dog as individuals rather than using a one-size-fits-all training plan for everyone. This also means we aim to make training fun for you and your dog, focusing on building engagement, communication and a strong human-animal bond.

Depending on the dog and the presenting problem, we use methods such as:

  • Positive Reinforcement: teaching dogs that behaviours we like are more rewarding than behaviours we don't

  • Proactive Management: arranging the dog's environment to prevent the practice of problematic behaviours

  • Desensitization and/or Counterconditioning: changing how the dog feels about a trigger to decrease fear, aggression or reactivity 

We do not use the following methods:

  • Devices that cause pain or discomfort such as choke chains, prong/pinch collars or shock/e-collars 
     

  • Old-school methods that are not backed by science
     

  • Methods designed to scare or intimidate dogs into complying

Resources on the fallout of aversive (painful or scary) methods:

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Position Statement on Humane Training of Dogs

BC SPCA Position Statement on Animal Training

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviour Position Statement on Humane Dog Training

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