• Dog training
About Steve

I graduated with an MA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, studying dog behavior as part of Dr. Sam Gosling’s Animal Personality Research Lab.

I’ve been training dogs since 2002.

I was formerly the Behavior Manager for Austin Pets Alive! and currently the Behavior Consultant for Dogs Out Loud.

I intimately understand the needs of rescue dogs and their owners.

I am currently Head of Training at Howl n’ Woof Dog Daycare.

I’ve used several techniques and methods and know what works, what doesn’t and why.

I truly understand that your life is busy and your lifestyle is unique.

I think that dogs are living, breathing beings.  I will not try to turn your dog into a robot.

Schedule a Behavior Evaluation or Orientation Group Class


Many behavior problems are common to specific lifestyles and situations.  Here are a few examples that might include your own situation.

Are you

…a parent of (human) children?  Click here.

…a recent adopter of an adult rescue dog?  Click here.

…an owner of a puppy or adolescent dog?  Click here.

…an apartment dweller?  Click here.

About the Training and Behavior Work I Do:

I provide Group Classes, Private Training, and Day School  services.  You can meet me and try my services through free evaluation sessions and trial classes.  I work with all kinds of behavior problems, with fear and socialization based issues being my specialty.

Whether through my free or paid services, my goal is to always to give you tons of value.  I want you to get a huge return on your time and financial investment. We will work together to come up with an effective training plan that easily fits into your lifestyle.  I aim to make training fun and easy for you and your dog.  My techniques and methods are reward-based, gentle, and fair to the dog.  I will not compromise on that.  For more on how I approach behavior problems, please read about my P.A.W. system for overcoming behavior problems.

Of course I need to make a living, but I will never let money drive the choices I make.  I will never recommend services to you that I don’t believe will be useful.  I’ll never ask people to pay for “online training courses”.  I’m not going to sell you an e-book of content you can find for free anywhere else.  You will never see ads on my websites unless I fully endorse a product.  I will only link to other websites that I think provide real value.

I have the opportunity to directly improve the lives of each owner and dog that I work with.  I look at these opportunities as gifts.  To exploit them would make me scum.  Pardon the harsh language, but I mean it harshly.  People come to me in need of help and they put their trust in me.  I do not take that responsibility for granted.

I am committed to helping you overcome your dog’s problems.  Because of that commitment, I must insist that you also do your part.  I simply cannot do it without you.

Here is what I need from you:  

  • to understand that your dog is a living, breathing being with a brain, an emotional life, and a unique personality.


  • to understand that ultimately, the responsibility is on you to implement the training plan we agree upon.
  • to not be trying to turn your dog into a robot.
  • to have realistic expectations (no, I can’t train your fearful 7 year old chihuahua to love all people all the time in a 90 min session).
  • to have a sense of humor.

Parents (of Human Children!)

Let’s face it.  Kids take up a lot of time.  Babies cry and keep you up at all hours.  Toddlers and preschoolers throw temper tantrums and need your constant attention.  Older children need to be driven to and from one activity after another.  You’re probably exhausted!  And now you’ve added another responsibility – an uncooperative dog or puppy!  Excessive mouthing, jumping up, house-training, separation anxiety, socializing, “aggressive” displays of behavior – these are just a few behaviors that are often challenging for busy parents.

My goal is to make your life easier and happier.  Contact me or schedule training we will work together to develop a training plan that easily fits into your life, without being overwhelming.

New Adopters of Adult Rescue Dogs

You’ve welcomed a dog in need into your home.  This is a great thing.  Without you,  the dog may have faced a far less pleasant outcome.  Rescue dogs often come from tough backgrounds that may contribute to behavior problems such as poor manners, lack of self-control, excessive jumping, barking or lunging at dogs or people, separation anxiety, fearful or aggressive behaviors.

I have extensive experience with adult rescue dogs through my behavioral work with Austin Pets Alive! and Dogs Out Loud.  I know what the most common challenges are for new owners.  Contact me or schedule training and we will work together to find a training plan that meets your specific needs and gets you closer to the life you are hoping for.

Owners of Puppies and Adolescent Dogs

I feel for you.

Puppies are hard!  They pee everywhere, bark and cry when left alone, mouth and bite with razor sharp teeth, jump on you, chew everything in sight.

And with adolescence (approximately 4.5 months) comes a slew of new issues.  Suddenly, your dog stops listening to you, becomes more independent, pulls on leash, and barks at dogs.  It’s like your sweet little baby has turned into a monster teenager!

I can help you during both puppyhood and adolescence.  I’ll show you how to easily implement an effective training plan into your lifestyle, and how to handle and redirect the hyperactivity common to dogs at these ages.

Socialization is important during both of these life stages!  Start as early as possible.  There are safe ways you can begin socializing before your puppy has received all of her shots!  Contact me  or schedule services to discuss!

People Living in Apartment Complexes

Apartment dwelling dog owners, besides the normal behavior problems, you face some unique challenges.  Barking and separation anxiety issues can disturb neighbors, making them especially problematic (Free tip: Buy your neighbors a bottle of wine and write a nice note assuring them you are working on it!).  Complexes tend to have large numbers of dogs living within their relatively condensed gated spaces.  These dogs are usually walked around the complex on leash, making barking and lunging at other dogs especially challenging for owners.

Of course, you are not immune to common problems like bad manners, lack of self-control, house-training.

Contact me or schedule services and we will work on a training plan that takes realistic consideration of the unique situations that result from apartment living.

A few choice quotes from smart people


“In the time I have spent with Steve, he has unfailingly impressed me with his intense focus on animals and their behavior. His observation skills are sharp, constantly honed, all serving his deep curiosity about animals. Able to grasp both the practical and the theoretical, Steve is a careful and critical thinker who evaluates new information and integrates it thoughtfully into his own approach.  Above all, I consider him to be a true “animal person” who I believe will make significant contributions to the field of animal behavior in the years to come.”

Suzanne Clothier, Instructor, Dog Trainer and author of “Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships With Dogs”.

 

“Steve brings so many talents to the table. In addition to his hands-on expertise derived from working with dogs, he is highly dedicated to understanding what makes dogs tick; as a result of his own empirical and scholarly research, Steve is an expert on the scientific literature on animal behavior and the dog-human connection.”

Dr. Sam Gosling, Professor, Department of Psychology –  Animal Personality Lab, University of Texas at Austin.