About Me

5/31/14

My name is Sara Scott. I have recently re-located from San Diego, CA to Salt Lake City, UT.

I am currently available on a private basis to consult and troubleshoot behavior problems in dogs or to teach new, desired behaviors, tasks, or tricks.

Normally, I also teach grooming classes and am currently seeking an affordable space to offer these and other classes again. If you have or know of someplace that can accommodate a portable tub, has drainage, electricity, hot/cold water available…let me know! Spread the word!

Most importantly, here is why (or why not) you would like to hire me (or attend my classes). I think every trainer should provide these to any potential students to avoid any surprises.

* If you are coming to me for help with an animal, you will already be interested in positive-reinforcement methods only. I do not support the use of choke chains, prong collars, shock collars, hitting, or yelling at animals. For problem behaviors, we first seek to manipulate the environment to avoid troublesome situations. Next, we work on teaching new replacement behaviors. Following that, we work on motivating an animal to use those replacement behaviors.

* You are willing to read/watch recommended books/videos.

* You are willing to do your assigned homework.

If this is you, then you will appreciate my approach to modifying old behaviors and teaching new ones.

Training dogs is actually more accurately defined as working with and teaching dog owners. I could (and have) trained dogs only at a Humane Society. This is quite simple to do.

Observing and watching the way a pet fits into the lives of their human families varies so widely that it requires both dog and people skills. I have a bachelors degree in Human Communication from the University of Utah. I’m proud to write that because I had some very strong and influential professors of which I still admire and stay in touch with to this day. I intensely studied families from a systems point of view and still think that the entire picture needs to be taken into account when trying to modify the behavior of any family member (one of those members being a canine).

It is not enough just to modify a dog’s behavior if there is not agreement among a family at large. I have experienced this first hand and like to bring the topic up in advance to avoid disappointment in me as a trainer. I can often see the challenges and confusions an animal might have in a particular human family, but it may require some changes in the family to truly make a change in the animal.

Pricing and contracts:

Behavior Modification Issues
For behavior modification issues, there is a $200 consultation fee. I come to your home and gather information by discussing the issues, meeting the family, the pet, and observing the entire layout of the house. I may either have a plan in mind on the spot, or it may require that I go home to do some research and/or more thinking about the issues. I provide a written assessment and recommended course of action. I am always asked, “How long will it take to change the behavior.” The answer is always that it really depends on a particular animal. And, sometimes the answer could be…it may not change. I do not think that all behavior is perfectly changeable. My own dog, for example, will probably always want to chase a cat. This first-time consultation usually lasts about two hours.

Following a consultation, you have a few options: Private home lessons, phone consultation, or field trips (private training in a different location; loose leash walking in a public location for example).

I don’t obligate owners to sign up for a certain number of visits. I am not seeking ‘clients for life.’ If all you need me to do is help you past a particular behavioral issue, that is great. I am happy to be of help. You can hire/let me go any time you a) don’t feel like I’m helping or b) feel like we have achieved your goals. I think that’s the way it should be.

If I can interest you in ways to go further with your dog in either a dog sport or fun activity that involves challenging your dog with learning new skills–great!! They are so much fun and I hope you’ll enjoy any classes that I offer.

If you would like to become a trainer yourself and would like some tutoring, I’m happy to help you get started!

Other prices:
In-home training: $100/hr. Min. of one hour. Can be used for behavioral issues or just “I want to teach my dog a new trick or behavior,” or “I want you to tutor me about more advanced training.”

My location: $60/hr. You bring your dog to me and we work on anything you like. Min. one hour.

Phone consultations: $60/hr. Can be broken up into 15 min. increments. You will receive an invoice at the conclusion of the call. Sometimes a call is all it takes.

Email consultations: $25/response. If it’s something easy and related to a meeting we’ve had, I’m always fair and will not charge. If it is something new and requires me to research and really consider a response, then a charge applies.

Cancellations

No call/no show – Full amount of session.

Last minute cancellation (w/in 24 hours of appointment) – $25 cancellation fee.

Early notification – no charge.

One thought on “About Me

  1. Hi there,
    I’m looking for an animal care/dog grooming education for my 15 year old foster kid. Great kid, loves animals and needs to learn to take care of herself. We are in San Diego. Can you stear me towards any person or course that might help us?

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