Dog Training & Rescue

Pet ownership is increasing, and a large number of dogs that are adopted or rescued come with issues. Many of the dogs surrendered to shelters or picked up as strays had owners who didn’t anticipate the inconvenience, noise or expense that comes with dog ownership. Some people do not bother to train their dogs until behavior problems arise. Even then, I believe it’s never too late.

Training – The Best Gift of All

darla-connecting-with-k9s We give our dogs treats, toys and affection, but for a long, happy life together, training is the best gift of all. I believe dogs need motivated, structured, mental & physical exercise on a daily basis to stimulate their mind and body in order to be balanced. Once their energy is drained, especially in working breeds, then we can expect them to learn easier. We, as caregivers, need to realize it is a life-time commitment to care for and train our canine companion.

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As a lifelong dog lover I have had a passion in training and rescuing dogs for over 30 years. It is wonderful to see a dog who was formerly unruly or kept outdoors, now living indoors as part of the family because he’s better behaved. Watching a dog who was previously frightened of people, accept petting and treats from strangers is truly heart-warming. Dogs who have been dog reactive all their life, now seek attention from and interact willingly is amazing to watch. A lot of dogs are misunderstood and just need structure, given boundaries and a job for them to feel important. I truly believe it’s never the dog and they do not train themselves!

Consider very carefully, your dog’s life as a whole. He’s meeting your needs and loving you unconditionally, but are you meeting his needs emotionally and physically, on a daily basis? Are you seeing issues of anxiety, aggression, resource guarding, or unruliness? Each dog learns at his/her own pace. Therefore, you cannot put a time limit on training. I can teach you how to better communicate with your dog, with basic obedience or behavior modification.

Rates & Services

Training to Fit Your Needs

stdarlaI offer in home, one on one training. Creating better behaviors in the home is where it all begins. My approach to dog training is addressing the state of mind of your dog, rather than strictly focusing on creating rehearsed behaviors. I am much more concerned with creating a happy, healthy, balanced dog than creating a dog that simply knows a few obedience commands.

If your dog needs more one on one training and you’d like to have a good foundation to work on then consider enrolling your dog in my board & train program. There are a few options to choose from. Check out my Services page for details.

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Wanting to adopt a new dog? I may have a lead on that perfect dog from a shelter, private rescue or private owner. It is very important that your energy level is matched up with your new best friend to prevent chaos. As a guardian to your canine friend, it is important to realize “the big picture” for a lifetime of pleasure for all involved.

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Dog Socialization – Pack Walks

I host pack walks every Wednesday evening from 6-7 p.m. and Saturday morning from 10-11:30 a.m. at Dorris Ranch in Springfield. We meet at the start of the bike path and walk a total of 2 miles. All dogs remain on leash and no on leash greetings. If your dog is reactive or vocal, you especially need to come. We have many that walk with us who have dogs that were very dog or human reactive and now can walk calmly with the pack. I will assist as needed. We practice various training exercises along the walk and at our halfway point. Come join us and experience the power of the pack!

darlapackwalk Explore my site to discover useful training tips, rescue pups, and the training services and benefits offered by Connecting with K9s.

Be a responsible caregiver for your pet.
Put an end to pet overpopulation, spay & neuter.

Please adopt from your local shelter or rescue organization.

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AllisonandJoey“Connecting with K9s was such a Godsend! Before Darla worked with Joey, we couldn’t go on a walk without the fear he may try to nip at strangers, chase after cats or bark at other dogs. After one training session with her, he was able to control himself, walk on a loose leash and was looking to me for guidance and support. The change was phenomenal! Because of the training we received from Darla, Joey was able to be placed in a foster home while I went to training with the Army. Which would not have even been a possibility earlier due to his behavior. Thank you for everything!!”

Allison & Joey

hurley“My husband and I found Connecting with K9s after our mastiff/shepherd mix Hurley began showing signs of fear aggression and anxiety, especially with strangers. It had come to the point we stopped having people in our home. Although we had tried to extensively educate ourselves about the pack mentality and dog psychology, we were obviously missing something. Darla proved to be a true gift to our family! Darla not only is here to train and rehabilitate dogs, but to do the same with their owners.