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Welcome to Loose Leashes Dog Training

Dogs with Dog Walker

About Dana Conway

Passionate. Patient. Persistent. Pet-lover. These are just a few of the characteristics that describe me. I know each animal is different, and I’ll work with yours to give them the specific guidance they need. Whether you’re thinking about getting an animal, have a new pet, or already own a pet with behavioral problems, I am here to help.

I have been rescuing dogs since I was 10 years old when we found a mama cat with babies in our yard and we contacted the local rescue to help us. That was the beginning of my life in the animal rescue world. Long story short, my mother became the president of that rescue and I helped her for the majority of my adolescence until adulthood with both cats and dogs (although dogs were always more of my thing!) when I moved to Florida and started rescue here. First I volunteered at the Humane Society where I worked with the most unadoptable dogs that had no manners at all and were aggressive. Then I volunteered at Second Chance Rescue, did the same there, and I have been a huge part of Sophie's Circle for 5 years now. Basically my entire life has revolved around dogs, and the most troubled ones were always the ones I wanted to work with most, because seeing the light just go off in their head is simply invaluable.



"Mental exercise tires a dog physically more than physical exercise does."

Anatole France

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Balanced Training Vs Force Free “Positive Reinforcement”
Dana Conway Loose Leashes Dog Training

Balanced Training Vs Force Free “Positive Reinforcement”

This is probably one of the most important posts I’ve ever done. There is the crisis going on right now in the dog world with balance training (which is what I do) vs positive reinforcement- force free training. There are people out there, trying to make other people believe that force free training and positive reinforcement training works to stop unwanted behaviors. There are trainers out there giving people, false hope and false information about how to train dogs using nothing but high-value treats. As great as that might sound on paper it does not work. And I know for a fact that it does not work, because all of those people have been to those types of trainers, and then came to me as a last resort when it’s failed, or those dogs end up being surrendered to the rescue that I work with- all saying the same thing—- “I’ve tried everything!” Unfortunately dogs that don’t care about food when they are fearful or aggressive do not benefit from this type of training, and redirecting a dog with food or praise does not work for truly aggressive, or reactive dogs or dogs that have zero food, praise, or toy drive when they are in an ugly state of mind. When food appears it’s a reward. Let’s face it. When you take food out your dog knows it’s doing something good. So when your dog is doing something bad and food appears, you are teaching it that it is doing something good regardless of what you think that you were doing. Trust me. I love dogs more than anybody in this whole entire world, and I would love for it to work. I would love to stop leash reactive dogs with food, I would love to be able to help fearful dogs with food, and I would love to stop bad behaviors using really good treats, hugs and kisses. That’s just not how it works. Not all dogs want food and not all dogs want love and affection. If you want a behavior to stop, something negative has to happen. Not a time out where the dog has no idea why it’s in time out. A one second, properly applied punisher. A non emotional correction. If I were speeding, and a police over told me very nicely to please not speed again, I am still going to speed. If a police officer pulled me over and gave me a five dollar speeding ticket I’m still going to speed. If a police officer pulled me over and gave me a $300 speeding ticket I would stop speeding because the consequence has become valuable. This is how the world works. We learn that behaviors are wrong due to the consequences that we get from doing them. Once we make positive choices we can get rewards. I know I can’t change the world and I can’t change the people who already drank the Kool-Aid, but every week I work with 10 to 15 dogs and I change their lives for the better. I train dogs to behave in highly distractive environments and not just inside their homes. I help dogs to make better choices and teach humans how to actually “love” their dog in a way that makes the dogs happy. The world is filled with very neurotic dogs right now. Dogs can’t sit still, dogs are on edge all the time. Dogs react over every single thing. I truly believe that the Internet is to blame because everybody does their research that way and this FORCE FREE nonsense is ruining dogs. I can tell you first hand, after working with thousands of dogs that balanced training works. Hope this video helps you to understand the difference.

Bad Dog Good Dog

Years ago I had an idea to write a children's book to educate children that there are no bad dogs, but only dogs that need training. With the help of good friends the book came to be and is now published. All proceeds go to the rescue that I am highly involved with, Sophie's Circle. I am lucky enough to read my book to different schools along with my dog Lesh, the main character who was a rescue that I rehabilitated and trained. 

About the book:

Lesh and Lucy both find a home, but what makes the difference between a "bad dog" and a "good dog"? Only time will tell. This delightful children's book shows that there are no bad dogs, just dogs that have not been trained.

The story is based on the 2 dogs below, Jessie on the left (who in the book is called Lucy) and Lesh on the right. Both of these dogs were rescues from Sophie's Circle and both had MAJOR behavioral and fear issues when I took them in, with proper training they have become the best dogs ever and I love them more than words can say.

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