Meet Your Trainer: Rachel Brix, BSEd, CPDT-KA

Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen. – Orhan Pamuk

Living with another species can be a real challenge. But it can also be fabulously fulfilling. And if you’ve come to this page, you already know both of these things. So let’s talk training!

I’m Rachel Brix, and I love dogs. I love advocating for and helping dogs, too, which is why I do what I do, and I’ve been a professional dog trainer since 2010. And I take it seriously enough to be sure I’m educated, credentialed and up to date on the latest science and the kindest methods.

But, unfortunately, the dog training industry remains unregulated, and education and certification is strictly voluntary. So it can be tough choosing a good and knowledgeable trainer since outdated methods – and the trainers who use them – are still out there.

I’m committed to doing what’s best for dogs and the dog training industry, which is why I train using reward-based training methods, and why I’m certified through the top independent certification organization, the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers  which requires continuing education. And to further solidify Percy’s commitment to being fear free and force free, I am also a Certified Fear Free Professional, which requires continuing education as well.

And the leading organizations committed to canine behavior and training and veterinary behavioral science also support reward-based training:

  • Association for Professional Dog Trainers (APDT)
  • American Veterinary society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB)
  • Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT)
  • International Association for Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC)
  • Pet Professional Guild (PPG)

Studies show reward-based training is not only the most effective way to train, but also the most fun and healthy for your dog! Reward-based training, or positive training, isn’t bribing dogs with treats. It’s motivating our dogs to learn. And when they get it right, we reward them for it rather than punishing them for what they get wrong.

Reward-based training also means we don’t have to worry about negative behavioral and emotional effects from harsh methods like shock collars, prong collars, leash jerks, squirt bottles, yelling, etc.

This is not to say harsh and outdated methods don’t work, because they do. But everyone and everything responds to kindness. Who likes to be yelled at? Who likes to feel pain? Who likes to be scared? We don’t. Dogs don’t either.

In training and in life with dogs, harmony with another species is our goal. So besides a positive approach, another major component to Percy’s training is Enrichment. Adding Enrichment to compliment your dog’s training plan helps to improve his overall responsiveness and success with training, his overall quality of life and your relationship and communication.

I’m also committed not only to keeping current with our evolving industry, but also to the respectability of the profession; therefore, I’m a longstanding active member in both the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and Pet Professional Guild. And I regularly publish professional articles (Click here to read Rachel’s articles) in our industry’s top training publications and have spoken at professional conferences.

We help you and your dog communicate better to improve your lives together!

Modern dog training is:

    • Reward-based, humane, compassionate and kind
    • Investing time and commitment into improving communication between you and your dog so both of you have your needs met
    • Educated and experienced in contemporary canine science
    • Incorporating enrichment into training programs and providing for dog’s needs as individuals
    • Creating a relationship based on connection and communication, pursuing harmony and happiness for both dog and human

Modern dog training isn’t:

    • Based on fear, coercion, punishment, pain
    • Trying to dominate, intimidate and control dogs to submit, ignoring emotional and physical welfare
    • Operating on outdated information or incorrect to canine science
    • Believing faulty science about “being the alpha” or that dogs are pack animals thereby creating an adversarial relationship between human and dog
    • Ignoring dogs’ species-specific and individual needs in favor of human goals for dogs

Further Reading

The power to control one’s outcomes is essential to behavioral health.– Dr. Susan Friedman