Meet dog trainer, Nathan Woods

Hello friends! Welcome to my blog!

As most of you know, my name is Nathan Woods and, as I explain in the video, I’ve been training dogs since I was 10 years old.

I started by training my family’s miniature poodle, Mindy, to the highest obedience level—Utility. I loved it so much that, over the next 10 years, I taught approximately 3,000 pet owners how to train their dogs. I became the lead instructor at the Richmond Dog Training Center in Virginia and held that position until I left for Santa Barbara.

During that time I also had the opportunity to work for several professional dog handlers where I learned the art of showing dogs. As a result, I’ve led numerous breeds to the AKC titles of CH—Champion; CD—Companion Dog; CDX—Companion Dog Excellent; and UD—Utility Dog

I moved to Santa Barbara in 1999 and started my professional dog training business (formerly Santa Barbara Pet Services) in 2001. I’ve been training dogs here fulltime ever since.

Over the years I’ve discovered that most owners expect far too little from their dogs. Not realizing what their dog is capable of, they don’t encourage the dog to live up to its potential. But dogs, just like humans, are happiest when they are able to do many things well; when they have a purpose in life and abundant opportunities to fulfill it. And humans are happiest when they have a dog who can accompany them in the car, to the beach, on city streets, around children and other dogs, or wait patiently where told, knowing the dog won’t bite, or bark, or lunge, or bolt. In other words, when their dog is a well-behaved companion for whatever activity they’ve planned.

That’s why I’ve chosen dog training as my profession. It’s my purpose and passion to help people bring out the best in their dogs.

I’ve also found that people who invest the time to bring out the best in their dogs, also bring out the best in themselves. Training a dog provides daily opportunities to be present in the moment—focusing on your furry companion, undistracted by problems, worries, texts, emails, or the concerns of daily living. Dog training also develops patience. Owners quickly learn that getting frustrated with their pet only thwarts their training efforts. Dogs—again, like children—learn best when their teacher is calm, relaxed, and confident that their pupil can do what is being asked of them.

Spending time with their dog also gets pet owners outside in nature. And dogs often attract the attention of other humans, giving pet owners an opportunity to be social. Even dog owners who consider themselves shy usually find themselves willing to engage in conversations with someone showing interest in their pet. After all, it’s a shared interest.

A well-behaved dog is also a great mood-lifter. That’s why they’re therapeutic. It’s rare to see a dog who’s depressed. Dogs are so happy to be alive, it’s hard for us humans to be depressed when we’re around them. In fact, I’ve had clients who named their dogs after popular anti-depressants!

Years of working with dogs have convinced me that virtually all dogs WANT to please their owners. It’s up to us to show them how. Patiently. Consistently. With rewarding results.

In this column, I‘ll show you my secrets for bringing out the best in your dog—and yourself. I’ll discuss how dogs learn, the basics of teaching your dog good behavior, how to break bad habits—easily!—and share with you some of the case studies and success stories of my years of working with dogs. If you have a particular topic you’d like discussed, please use the comment box—or send an email to email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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