DEVOTED DOG TRAINING
Dog Trainer • Oakland, CA • Private In-Home Dog Training
Not taking new clients except young puppies who need basic puppy training, and adult dogs who need general obedience. Not taking any new clients whose dogs need behavioral training (i.e., leash reactivity, resource guarding, separation anxiety, etc.).
ABOUT DEVOTED DOG TRAINING
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Devoted Dog Training is only taking new clients with puppies (basic puppy training), or adult dogs who need obedience training. Not taking new clients whose dogs need behavioral training (i.e., leash reactivity, resource guarding, separation anxiety, etc). Devoted Dog Training is closing April 1, 2020 so Courtney can begin a new role training other dog trainers on a national level.
Devoted Dog Training believes in a holistic approach to dog behavior and training. All aspects of your dog's life—nutrition, exercise, breed traits, household environment, and owner/family lifestyle—can influence behavioral issues. These factors are taken into consideration, and a training plan for your dog is customized accordingly. Every dog is an individual, therefore so are its training needs.
Yes, we are in the business of training dogs. And we are also in the business of changing minds. The process of dog training requires compassion, patience, consistency and advocacy, and caring for our pups teaches us a lot about ourselves. We aim to facilitate human learning just as much as dog learning.
We train humans by giving them the tools to train their dogs.
We ONLY use modern, positive reinforcement techniques. Our training style focuses on building your dog’s confidence through incremental successes on the way to mastering new behaviors. Praise and treats are used to reward and reinforce positive behaviors. We teach force-free, cruelty-free training methods using only safe, humane tools. We NEVER use, or condone the use of, any aversive/punitive tools or methods that will cause your dog fear or pain, such as shock collars, prong collars or choke chains. Aversive methods are not only outdated, they have been scientifically disproven.
Private training sessions. We train in your home, and in the environments that your dog will most commonly experience. Parks and other locations provide real-life challenges to work with, so that your dog will become successful in every environment and situation it may encounter in everyday life.
“My goal is to help as many dogs as possible. I want every dog to live the best life they possibly can.”
COURTNEY BRIGGS, OWNER and TRAINER
Courtney has a lot of practical dog knowledge to share with you! She has worked with dogs for over 20 years, both professionally and as a volunteer. She has worked in animal shelters with all manner of breeds and behavior issues, as an adoption counselor and trainer. Courtney served as Lead Dog Trainer, conducting group classes and private sessions, at a facility in Walnut Creek, CA voted Best Dog Training in the East Bay 2015 by Diablo Magazine. She launched Devoted Dog Training in 2016, and through private lessons, continues to teach positive reinforcement (force-free) dog training, obedience, behavior adjustment training (BAT), puppy socialization, and advanced skills including agility and tricks, scent work, therapy dog training, and Canine Good Citizen training and testing.
Courtney consistently receives accolades for her ease and likability around both dogs and humans, and her ability to translate dog behaviors so humans can understand them. She is passionate about the well-being of dogs, and ensuring that both dogs and humans have a good training experience. Courtney has a special passion for working with pit bulls, and helping fearful/shy/anxious dogs to become more confident.
THINKING ABOUT GETTING A PUPPY?
• Plan ahead. Puppy training can begin at 8 weeks of age. Make sure your trainer will be available when your puppy is ready to start training.
• Puppy socialization must happen before 16 weeks of age, as that's when the socialization window closes. Learn all about the importance of puppy socialization here.
GET IN TOUCH
For rates, and to schedule appointments, email us. Please be sure to proofread your email address to make sure it's correct, so we can reach you.
Scroll through the reviews below to read what happy clients have to say about their training experiences with us.
I rarely, approximately never, go through the trouble of writing a review. However, this one feels particularly necessary, as the experience truly saved my most prized relationship. When I moved to Oakland, I arrived with my 8 month old mini Aussie who was a wreck with the stress of the move and the weeks of road tripping getting here. I worked with Courtney for approximately 6 months. She educated me as much (or more) as she did my dog on behavioral issues plaguing us that were primarily to do with my pups insecurity.
Courtney has helped me discern my dog's nervous system cues, and to apply the appropriate intervention at the appropriate time. This is life changing for a nervous dog and their owner, it certainly has been for us anyway. Courtney has a keen ability to read, interact, and teach a dog (and a human) - it's actually nothing short of wizardry. Both my dog and myself have grown in working with her. We started off with basic behavioral issues and, in conquering those, have advanced to therapy dog requirements and agility mastery.
One of the things I've appreciated most about working with Courtney is her heartfelt presence and effort in building the bridge between dog and human. She doesn't do this by way of denying all of the dog's impulses, but by teaching their humans to accurately perceive and understand them. This puts us, dog and human, in a fluid and rich relationship with one another. The relationship isn't based on the human holding the power through repressive control of their pet but rather on a mutual respect and understanding of each other. This may sound normal or simple, but promise, it's not.
I know as people, that we fall deeply in love with our dogs. It is a certain type of relational stress that effects us when things are going awry with their training/behaviors. Courtney is able to empathetically support a person in this stress with grace and understanding, another thing that deeply endears her to me as a trainer and as a human being. So, if you are seeking some support for you and your beloved pooch, email Courtney! She'll change everything. I promise.
Megan N. Oakland, CA
Courtney is the best! When we first met Courtney, I really wanted to believe non-aversive training would work but was skeptical. Now months later we are SO HAPPY we stuck with Courtney. She helped us understand how our dog thinks, and completely reshaped the way we interact with our dog (and all dogs). We have seen incredible results in our dog's confidence, happiness and obedience. I am so relieved we did not choose another trainer and stuck with Courtney! SHE IS WORTH EVERY PENNY! You are going to get long-lasting results for your investment!
Robyn S. Oakland, CA
Courtney is incredibly patient and kind when working with the human so as to encourage you. She's a skilled teacher as well as a skilled trainer. When we started my 75 lb. pit bull jumped and growled at Courtney when she first came to my house. Now he LOVES HER! She goes the extra distance for her clients. She bought a husky type stuffed dog to help my dog with his leash reactivity with huskies. 100% recommend, especially with the bully/pit bull breeds.
Brittnee J. Oakland, CA
My pup has been meeting weekly with Courtney since he was 4 months old. I've never owned a dog before this one, so I was feeling very challenged and stressed out. In many ways the training is as much for the human as the dog. With Courtney's support and guidance, I've become a more confident pet parent. My pup loves Courtney because she makes learning fun and only uses positive reinforcement. Beyond training, she has excellent communication skills, is timely, and has helped me find quality treats/food and useful canine enrichment activities. We are currently working on training for the Canine Good Citizen test and maybe even becoming a therapy dog with Devoted Dog Training's help!
Bex D. Oakland, CA
We had the great fortune to meet Courtney a few years back while attending Zoom Room's group training classes with our older dog. When we recently decided to get a new puppy, we had A LOT of questions and concerns about navigating the puppy's needs with those of our older dog who had been the sole focus of our attention for 6+ years. Courtney was our first choice to help us. She provided expert advice on the behaviors she was seeing and then demonstrated training techniques we could work on with both dogs together and also each dog separately. We've taken many dog training classes over the years, but many of Courtney's practical tips, resource suggestions, and insights were new to us and continue to helpful to this day. I wholeheartedly recommend Courtney to any new or seasoned dog parent!
Susie W. Walnut Creek, CA
I am so amazingly happy and excited about working with Courtney! Ocean has some leash aggression issues. He is getting better each day with the tools she is giving us. Most importantly, her training is helping me to understand him better. I think it is strengthening our bond, which I didn't expect. I also really appreciate that she is a true pit bull lover, advocate, and ally. I can't sing her praises enough. Thank you so much, Courtney! I've been telling all of my dog-parent friends about you!
Chenelle D. Oakland, CA
I was really worried about finding someone who could actually work with my my recently rescued pup as she's extremely timid and fearful. However, from the moment my fiancé and I met Courtney, she put our fears to rest. She didn't overly promise certain things would happen but she did think she could help us, and she has. Courtney gave me things to work on at home that have helped SO much. Although my dog isn't ever going to be the friendliest, most outgoing on the block, she will now take treats out of people's hands after working on hand desensitization. Courtney is very down to earth and has a really grounded energy (my other two dogs without social issues are huge fans). Everything she has recommended we do has helped. Her advice and experience are invaluable. I credit Courtney with helping my pup to come out of her shell.
Alison D. Alameda, CA
Courtney was great. Our dogs had separation anxiety, and within a few sessions she had done incredible work giving us the coaching and tools we needed to resolve the issues.
Jim G. Oakland, CA
I discovered Devoted Dog Training while walking around the neighborhood (Adams Point, Oakland) and completed a 4-pack of training sessions with Courtney. I was new to dog ownership and training, and found her tips, explanations, and availability KEY in helping me become a more comfortable dog owner, with a dog who loves to sit, stay and wait—especially for the right treat! Definitely planning on more lessons with Courtney in the future to continue to hone our dog and dog owner bond.
Valerie S. Oakland, CA
Thank you so much for your help with Odie! We are so happy with the results! ✭✭✭✭✭ [5 stars]
Alicia M. Concord, CA
The puppy training is a work in progress. The trainer, Courtney, is absolutely spot–on. So far, jumping up has been reduced to a minimum after only two lessons, and having the puppies walking WITH me has excelled. I highly recommend Courtney as she is tremendously well versed in doggy behaviors and how to correct/adjust them.
Charles K. Oakland, CA
Courtney was great. She met with my six-month-old Labradoodle puppy, Charlie, and me for more than a half hour for free [evaluation] and helped us come up with a training plan. Charlie is an exuberant puppy with some anxiety about going outdoors and meeting new people. Courtney inspired us with her calm manner and knowledge of dogs. With her help Charlie will overcome some bad habits—barking and anxiety from overstimulation. Thank you, Courtney.
Claudia W. Oakland, CA
My wife and I have been working with Courtney to improve our dog, Eggs' leash aggression and on-leash anxiety. Courtney has been fantastic. Eggs has improved significantly -- we can now walk him nearer to strange dogs without incident, and he's a much happier guy on his walks. Courtney is flexible, easy to get ahold of and is extremely passionate about her craft. Highly recommend!
Gabriel Oakland, CA
My husband and I adopted our first dog, Pippa, and we had a lot to learn! Courtney was wonderful. She successfully trained us (and Pippa) on positive reinforcement methods and helped us all adjust to life with each other. My husband and I are two busy professionals, but Courtney makes training so easy and convenient! She often came right to our Oakland apartment. We can't say enough good things about Courtney, and we always recommend her to dog park friends.
Erin Oakland, CA
I originally met Courtney over a year ago when training my new French bulldog puppy. Now I have a rescue dog with a few issues to resolve, and Courtney has been amazing! She is very knowledgable about dog behavior and I truly like her positive reward based training style. She is professional, reliable and has a flexible schedule that has worked with my inflexible schedule. I highly recommend Devoted Dog Training!!!
Lori Walnut Creek, CA
Courtney was great with our pitbull. She was very patient with us and our dog. She helped us understand his anxiety, and gave us concrete homework to do after each session. She was also good about working out a convenient schedule for our meetings. Four paws up for Courtney!
Dorothy Berkeley, CA
We originally worked with Courtney in group puppy classes, and loved her approach and knowledge. She is now giving our five month old black lab individual training and is fantastic. She genuinely cares about our dog, and our dog loves her! She shows us, and has us practice, the specific commands and approaches we need to use to address problem behaviors like leash pulling, jumping, mouthing and dog socializing. We really appreciate her ability to explain the psychology and rationale behind each training method as well as helping us recognize, understand and respond to our dog's behavior and cues. In one thirty minute session our lab puppy calmly walked to Courtney multiple times without any leash pulling or jumping—big progress for us! Highly recommend Devoted Dog Training.
Stephanie Oakland, CA
Courtney listens without judgement, truly gets to know the family and the dogs, and trains/teaches in a way that fits best for that group. We are SO happy to work with Courtney at Devoted Dog Training.
Paige Walnut Creek, CA
Courtney is very dedicated and knowledgeable. She trains both the humans and the dogs so they can work together. She is great to work with and has done amazing things to help us with our dogs.
Holly Concord, CA
We have a rescued Cane Corso/pit bull mix who spent the first 4 years of his life as a bait dog. Needless to say he has leash reactivity issues, and we needed help getting Charlie to be more comfortable on leash around other dogs. We started to notice his progress within the first 4 sessions, and every week since has been even better. Charlie is learning to trust us and calm down, and we are becoming more comfortable with reading his body language and learning the tricks to keep him calm when other dogs are near. Courtney is experienced, knowledgeable and a huge advocate for bully breeds. She has been a huge part of Charlie's recovery and transition into a family pet! We can't thank her enough!
Alena Concord, CA
My dog Riley and I are big fans of Courtney. Through many months of agility training and scent work, I always found Courtney to be patient and enthusiastic. She knows her stuff. In every session, I always got what I came for—a tired and happy dog. I highly recommend Devoted Dog Training!
Don Pittsburg, CA
I cannot say enough good things… Courtney makes training fun for the dog and the human. She showed me how to work with my fearful dog, Molly, to make her more comfortable in stressful situations. She even gives homework! I plan on continuing our education with Devoted Dog Training.
Kathryn Concord, CA
Courtney has been instrumental in training myself and my dog. Not only does she have a wonderful connection with dogs, she also connects beautifully with their owners. She is very sensitive to the owner-dog relationship and utilizing the best techniques for you and your situation. I look forward to working with her more!
Lauren Pleasant Hill, CA
Courtney is very knowledgeable, and our two little Pomeranians LOVE her. But most importantly, we are learning how to be responsible dog owners by introducing our pups to new experiences so that they can be calm, happy, positive pups!
Jordyn Dublin, CA
I'm a delightfully satisfied student of Courtney. She helped transform my unruly puppy into a well-behaved, sweet, cheerful young dog who passed her Canine Good Citizen award with ease. Courtney is a talented and knowledgeable trainer with a clear, gentle way of teaching. She is wonderful at breaking down commands to simple, executable steps for swift learning and retention for both dog and owner. Courtney is spectacular...highly recommend her.
Brenda Pittsburg, CA
We've been working with Courtney on scent lessons with our corgi. Our pup has an independent streak, but she gives Courtney her undivided attention! Best of all, Courtney always gives us a better understanding of what motivates our dog, how to keep her mentally engaged, and how we can have better dog-human communication. Our pup loves to work with her, and we continue to see the benefits of training long after each lesson is over.
Natalie Dublin, CA
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Evaluator, AKC Canine Good Citizen
American Kennel Club's Canine Good Citizen program, recognized as the gold standard for dog behavior, stresses responsible pet ownership for owners, and basic good manners for dogs. Dogs who train for and pass the test earn a CGC certificate. Why CGC? Working with your dog on CGC skills, like other types of training, enhances the bond between you and your dog. Some homeowner’s insurance companies are encouraging CGC testing, and an increasing number of apartments and condos require CGC certification for resident dogs.
Mentor, Animal Behavior College
Mentor to dog training students through Animal Behavior College's externship program. Students accompany Courtney on training sessions for both observation and hands-on experience in order to meet their graduation requirements.
Certified, Pet First Aid
First Aid essentials including CPR, preventative care, first aid for injuries and illnesses. Training and certification through the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).
Courtney has tried out a lot of dog products. Below are some of the top tried-and-true favorites she uses regularly, and heartily recommends.
WHAT IS REWARD-BASED, HUMANE DOG TRAINING?
Humane dog training means the use of rewards for desired behaviors, management of undesired behaviors, and a focus on dogs' psychological and physical well-being, which includes enabling the dog's choice. Humane dog training objects to the use of aversive methods and tools, and anything that may cause fear, anxiety, or stress for the dog.
For more information about force-free training, the East Bay group, Humane Dog Training Advocates has great resources on their website: humanedogtrainingadvocates.com.
Devoted Dog Training shares these values, and wholeheartedly agrees with the mission of promoting modern, positive, humane, and science-based dog training methods.
WHY IS PRONG SO WRONG?
The current science of canine learning and behavior clearly shows that using fear and pain to control a dog can have serious negative side effects, including redirected aggression, increased reactivity, and physical injury. Recognizing the harm they can do, many countries have outlawed prong collars, including Australia, Austria, New Zealand, and Switzerland. Shock and prong collars are illegal in Quebec (Canada), and shock collars just became banned in England. Unfortunately the U.S. is lagging behind in banning these harmful devices. However the San Francisco SPCA has a robust anti-prong education program, and Devoted Dog Training shares their commitment to educating the public on modern, positive dog training methods and tools. Our first step is to always recommend front-clip harnesses to our clients. We have tested many, and only recommend the SENSE-ation Harness, which we have available for sale to our clients.
For more info about the dangers of prong collars and why they shouldn't be used, please see: sfspca.org/prong
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DETAILS FOR CLIENTS
GETTING STARTED: CONSULTATIONS
We usually start with a consultation appointment – to meet your pup, learn about your training needs, and discuss a custom training plan with you. Mainly, however, this appointment is for you to determine if Courtney is the right fit for you. The consultation fee is $50. Consultations are 30 minutes, and take place in your home.
LESSON PACKS - EXPIRATION POLICY
Lessons are available in 4-packs, 6-packs and 8-packs, and come with the benefit of saving $50–$75 over purchasing lessons individually. 4-Packs and 6-Packs valid for 6 months from date of purchase; unused lessons are forfeit after 6 mos. 8-Packs valid for 12 months from date of purchase; unused lessons are forfeit after 12 mos. Lessons are non-transferable.
We do all appointment scheduling via email. For scheduling evaluations, appointments, or to reschedule, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. For appointment confirmation, we also use email (simply click the link in the confirmation email we send you). We do not do any scheduling by phone.
• In your email please include a few days and times that you're available to meet over the next two weeks. We'll reply to let you know the corresponding openings available.
• Courtney is usually booked two weeks in advance. Last-minute bookings are usually not available (but it doesn't hurt to ask, especially if you have an urgent training matter).
• We are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
We accept cash, check, Venmo, Square Cash, Apple Pay, and Zelle.
QUESTIONS AND TRAINING SUPPORT
When you're a client, Courtney is available to you to for support and to answer brief training-related questions by email (on a reasonable, as-possible basis). More complex questions/issues may need an in-person demo or a longer discussion, and will likely have to wait until your next lesson. Courtney is also available to current clients for appointments by phone, schedule permitting.
Reasonable requests for refunds are considered on a case-by-case basis. If a 4-pack, 6-pack or 8-pack has not been fully used, the package discount is not applicable. Because in the end a pack was not purchased, lessons revert to the full individual price, and the remaining balance is reimbursed, minus the consultation fee. If for any reason you need to request a refund for a purchased package, whether unused or partially used, a $100 cancellation fee will be deducted from the remaining balance. No refunds given after 6 months from date of purchase.
© 2019 Devoted Dog Training LLC. All Rights Reserved.