Training and Philosophy

About the Trainer

Stacey Shamburger - Owner/Trainer
Stacey has 15 years of dog training experience with an emphasis on formal obedience training.  She has a life-long love of dogs and a passion to ensure all family dogs are well-balanced companions for their families.  Her experience includes being a trainer  with Capitol Dog Training Club – Silver Spring, Md. Stacey became involved with this obedience club for her Rottweiler, Kita.  Stacey was involved at various levels at the club ranging from training assistance during classes, administrative duties, as well as, obedience trial duties.  Stacey became further involved by training basic and advanced basic courses to the public through the club, and competing in obedience trials.  Stacey was also involved with Birmingham Obedience Training Club where she taught basic and advanced basic courses to the general public and BOTC members, and continued in competitive obedience and rally.  She has completed 2 CDs and 2 RNs and won a variety of awards within the Southeast.  She also was the club's Public Relations Director and the Co-Director of Training.  Stacey is a Professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP), the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Rottweiler Breed Club, and an AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator.  Stacey has had the opportunity to meet and learn from Cesar Millan, the "Dog Whisperer".


     Dogs are simple creatures that need only a few things to be happy and healthy.  They need regular exercise, discipline, and affection from a strong but calm pack leader.  They also need rules, boundaries, and limitations guiding all their behaviors in your home.  Just like children, dogs need restrictions on their actions in order to be a well-balanced member of the family. 
     Dogs are animals, not human beings.  They have instincts that they follow and trust.  Every dog pack has a leader, known as the alpha animal, which leads the other members of the pack. The alpha is the one who makes decisions for the entire pack. All the other members of the pack form a hierarchy of dominance and submission where everyone has a place.
     In your home, you and your family become your dog's pack, as do any other animals you may have. It is your responsibility to establish yourself and your family in the alpha position. If you fail to do this, your dog will do it as a natural behavior because to him/her there must be a leader at all times. Many people assume that they are automatically in charge just because humans are superior to animals.  Not true, leadership is a learned behavior and it’s up to you to teach your dog the difference.
     Our training philosophy is to teach the dog from an instinctual basis.  Meaning we use how the dog naturally and normally interacts (instinctually) with his environment and other animals he encounters to teach him what behavior is expected from him.  Our methods are varied and completely customized to each dog.  We use multiple types of techniques, tools, and teachings to motivate the dog to succeed and excel.  There is no one way of training a dog; a good trainer uses what works for each dog in order to get the instinctual best from that dog.  It may be treats, squeaky toys, corrections, high-pitched tones, training collars, different energy, pack leadership, etc.  However, no matter what is used a calm balanced leader will always be instinctually respected and followed.  So the true key to motivating your dog is to lead clearly and consistently. 
     Therefore, we teach the owners how to be good pack leaders, read body language, understand energy, and how to motivate their dogs.  We first teach the owners the knowledge they need to be successful trainers of their dogs, then we work with them to put that knowledge into practice by providing hands-on help and instruction.  By teaching our classes this way, we help owners to create lasting relationships with their dogs that are balanced and healthy.  And owners leave our classes with a tool box of skills and knowledge that they can take forward into the continuing education and training of their dog.