Springfield Dog Photographer meets Westfield Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant!
Going forward, Lily Raven Photography will be featuring local small businesses that offer services for people and their beloved pets. If you have a favorite business that you love- be sure to let us know!
This month our featured business is Paws of Nature Family Dog Training and Jill Haley Rose!
I have known Jill personally for several years now, mostly due to my involvement in helping local rescues and shelters. When it comes to looking for a qualified dog trainer or a behavior consultant, it is not easy to figure out who to use or even what to look for and can be quite overwhelming. It takes some due diligence and sometimes asking around to get to the right person who will help to resolve the issues, and not make them worse. My take on training has always been that there shouldn’t be any force used, no shock or prong collars, it has to be positive. I want to find a trainer that is also going to be compassionate and love dogs in general, as my dogs are my family. But enough about me!
Jill has a long history of working with dogs, as she has been involved with animals, especially dogs, pretty much her entire life. Jill has volunteered and worked in various animal shelters, a veterinary office, and with countless private training clients. Jill attended and graduated the Academy for Dog Trainers in San Fransico, CA in 2002, and earned a Certificate in Dog Aggression with Honors.
Jill explains that her interest in dog training and behavior stemmed from her very early experiences as a young teen seeing countless dogs under the age of 2 being surrendered for behavioral reasons. Her desire was to be on the front-end vs. the back end and help these dogs and their families resolve behavior issues BEFORE they end up giving up on the dog.
As with many jobs in the service industry, having a desire and enjoyment working with people is a must, as it isn’t just about the dogs. One must take into consideration the dynamics of each particular family and home environment. There is never a one size fits all approach. Jill’s years working on the front lines in various shelters, including five years at Dakin Humane Society in Springfield, MA, has given her the ability to listen carefully, be compassionate for all involved, and come up with many solutions for each unique situation. Seeing her client’s relief and happiness as their dog begins to blossom and make positive changes and the joy between the dog and their person as they work together as a team feeds her passion for what she does.
I asked Jill if she could recommend something that the readers can do at home with their dogs when it comes to playing and training.
“-I find the vast majority of dogs are bored. Even if they get those awesome hikes and long walks, they still have a brain that desires some mental challenges. Put aside 10 minutes a day - turn off the TV, turn off the phone - and teach your dog something fun or new. Even if it’s something that may take a week or two to learn, get out those treat/ toy rewards, and work together as a team. Whether it’s learning how to do a formal behavior like Stay or something cute like rollover, your dog wants to learn and be rewarded throughout the process. Keep it fun, positive, and a special time each day for both of you.”
Jill has two dogs of her own - Diego and Pixie.
‘’-My big boy Diego – he’s my working dog. He loves mental challenges so spending time working on canine freestyle moves or more complex behavior chains is our fun time. Pixie, my little girl, she loves snuggling together on the couch or playing fetch or chase me games with her toys.”
Of course I had to take some beautiful portraits of Jill's pups!