On Good Behavior LLC

Training for Dogs, Coaching for People | New Puppy Scams

I want to share some business and personal updates with you. But first, a little back story.

Two years ago, I thought I was going to need a new career due to a nerve injury in my foot. I started thinking about why I love my work. Besides my love of dogs, two things stood out for me: I love facilitating light bulb moments and I love supporting people and dogs in discovering their full potential.

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As a health geek and former research scientist (the Ph.D. is in Immunology), I started investigating careers that combine my passions, but nothing seemed quite right until I read Chris Kresser’s work on health coaching. Health coaching made immediate sense to me. I could use my teaching and coaching skills to help people in an area that I care deeply about.

The year I spent in the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program was full of synergy with what I know as a dog trainer. Find what is right and build on it. Recognize strengths. Build motivation. Create a safe, non-judgmental learning environment. Infuse learning with play and laughter. Recognize the value of tiny, incremental steps forward.

It’s no coincidence that my business is called On Good Behavior. I am fascinated by behavior change. I’ve long recognized that, as a dog trainer, I teach people how to change their own behavior so that they can change their dog’s behavior. As my clients often say “You’re training me!” Being a good dog trainer requires knowing how to motivate, teach and coach both species.

Studying coaching methodology took my people training skills to a new level. I have always been in tune with my canine clients, but now I’m more aware of where their human counterparts are coming from. What do they value most about their dog?  What makes training fun for them?  What is working for them already that they can build on?

While I was seeing dog training clients and preparing for my health coaching practical skills exam, I was also working on my own health. Surgery had fixed the nerve entrapment in my ankle, however, I had residual chronic pain and also an autoimmune problem that was causing systemic inflammation. Fortunately, being in a functional medicine health coaching program meant that I was being exposed to many varied approaches to healing. I resisted some at first as being too “out there” or too big a commitment, but once I accepted that I needed to make changes to recover, there was a leap forward in my healing. I went from needing a bar stool at the kitchen sink to do dishes and only being able to walk a block or two, to hiking up mountains and walking on the beach. And of course, playing with my dog!

My husband always jokes that my answer to any question is “Why not both?” and that is my answer now to what I do for a living: I train dogs and I coach people. It is gratifying to watch new puppies grow into valued family members, to help rescue dogs who bark at every sound learn to calm down and trust their owners, and equally gratifying to walk alongside clients who are learning to take charge of their own health and recovery.

So, I hope the world is ready for a dog trainer who is also a health coach and visa versa, but that’s what I do, and I’m loving it!

Update on Private Lessons and Classes:

There have been many changes this year due to COVID. I’m currently seeing dog training clients the following ways:

  • Video consultations using Zoom
  • Outdoors in person with masks on, either in the agility field or at your home or garage
  • Indoors in my office (sunporch with high ceilings and open windows) with masks.

Agility classes will resume in the spring.
Agility lessons are available year-round weather permitting.

My New Favorite Toy:

I resisted buying a treadmill for years, but when Cash pulled the same muscle for the third time, I pulled the trigger.

The treadmill will make it easier to build him back up to full strength. He already loves being on agility equipment, so he took to it readily. Now he gets on it on his own multiple times a day and noses the start button—he hasn’t actually learned to turn it on, but that could happen!  
Click on the photo to see the video.

Quick Tip: Be Careful on online puppy scams.

Does that ‘breeder’ online seem to good to be true? Does she have just what your are looking for so long as you pay for shipping today?

How to Spot a Puppy Scam Online

There has been a huge surge in puppy scams this year. Treat puppy buying like you would online dating. Be careful with your heart and your credit card! Expect that, like dating, it will take time and patience to find just the right breeder or rescue group. Ask questions, get references, and if something seems fishy, it probably is.  

Health Coaching: 
I finished my ADAPT Functional Medicine Health Coach certification in June and will be sitting for the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching in February. You can read about my coaching services here. 


  • I am seeing clients by video over Zoom
  • I will resume in person coaching outdoors when the weather warms up.
  • I will also be running an Anti-Inflammatory Diet Group this spring. 

You can read more about health coaching in the news here.

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