Unfortunately, your dog can’t tell you anything except through its behavior. And your dog is learning all the time – both good things and bad. So now it’s time to realize that the problem behaviors represent an opportunity to teach him what you want him to do instead.

The new science of dog training is based on learning theory, positive reinforcement and non-coercive (force-free) techniques. These techniques create a foundation of trust with your dog and promote lasting results. I never use shock, choke, prong or pinch collars, or any technique that may increase fear, stress and anxiety.

So why doesn’t your dog behave the way you want?

There are two big reasons.

The first reason is your dog doesn’t understand English. Yep, it’s true. They have no clue what you are saying. What dogs are expert at is learning to read your body language. They’re no better at reading human minds than humans are. In fact, your dog is learning something every time he interacts with you, it’s just often not what you want him to learn!

The second reason is that your dog doesn’t ever think he’s doing anything wrong. All he can see is someone who’s yelling and flailing his arms around over something that seemed totally natural for them to do in that moment. And yes, that even means eating your new shoes, peeing on your expensive couch and being aggressive.

Why your dog's behavior isn't the only
problem you want to solve

Your dog needs to trust that he can rely on you to guide him into making good decisions. So an important problem I help frustrated dog owner’s solve is how to build a relationship of trust in a simple, loving way the DOG can understand. By having a clear picture of what you want, you can consistently convey this information to your dog.

Can I really give my dog loving feedback about
it's behavior when it's acting up?

While how your dog was socialized early on, genetics and impulse control play a role in your dog’s behavior; fear and anxiety are at the root of many chronic behavior problems. Unfortunately, your dog can’t tell you anything except through its behavior.

So it’s up to you to learn how to remain calm and in control while not taking their behavior personally. And realizing that unacceptable behavior problems represent an opportunity to show them the behavior you want instead.

Helping you and your dog learn to behave
differently is what I do best

I understand what it’s like to have a pet with behavior problems. I rescued a dog with acute fear, anxiety and protective aggression. I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve also worked with animals with behavior problems since 2005 and I’m a certified IAABC Associate (International Association of Applied Behavior Consultants).

I have completed all coursework for a Master of Science in Applied Animal Behavior Science and Family Counseling for Companion Animals. And I was blessed to work with one of the top veterinary behaviorists in the country, Patrick Melese, DVM, DACVB. During my 5 years of clinical practice with him I saw hundreds of families with dogs and cats with serious behavior problems.

How I help you and your dog live in harmony

Dogs love me because (I love them!) and whether in person, by phone, or over the internet, I teach their owners how to listen to and communicate with them. Owners love me because of my compassionate, non-judgmental approach to their situation.

If I suspect your pet has an underlying medical condition that is causing the behavior problem I will advise you how to rule that out first. We’ll also consider if a trip to your primary care veterinarian for behavior medication might be a good idea.

What chronically unacceptable behavior
are you experiencing with your dog?

The following is a list of canine behavior problems that I can help you with. The good news is that many of these problems can be successfully addressed with an appropriate treatment plan, practice and patience

Fears and Phobias

Destructive behaviors

Unruly behaviors

House soiling


Stereotypic and compulsive disorders

Ready to get professional help for your
dog's chronic behavior problems?

Francine has 3 ways you can work with her: At your home, by phone or online.

If you live in San Diego and surrounding cities you can have Francine visit you at your home. If you live outside the San Diego area Francine can just as effectively help you through phone or online.
No matter how you choose to work with Francine, you’ll get a behavior consultation for your pet that includes:

Follow up is important…

Based on what you’re experiencing when implementing Francine’s plan you may need additional support. You can request either an email ($25.00) or phone ($50.00/half hour) follow-up with Francine for up to 1 month from the date of your consultation. After that, follow-up appointments are $135/hour. Follow up is typically critical to the successful resolution of most cases, but how many follow ups and how often is very dependent on the problem, the patient(s) and you!

Frequently asked questions about dog
behavior consultations...

Francine will start by learning as much as possible about your family and your pet with a specific focus on the presenting behavior problem(s) through the Behavior History Form that you will complete. By reviewing that document she makes a behavioral assessment. This means that she’ll determine exactly what the problem(s) is and why it is occurring, so that she knows how to solve it. She’ll then develop a treatment plan to solve the behavior problem. This is the focus of the consultation.

Then, she’ll take you step-by-step through the treatment plan, teaching you how to make the changes necessary to help your dog. These include physiological interventions, environmental changes, behavior modification exercises, and a discussion of training aids and behavior products that may be imperative for success. After the consultation she provides you with a written summary of what was discussed, along with detailed instructions on specific behavior modification exercises.

I can help by phone or online because in part, I am teaching YOU what to do with your dog. Obviously when obedience cues and behavior modification protocols are involved, I will need to coach you. We can do this online as well.

Even if I see your dog in person I will not try to elicit bad behaviors. If you have a video of your dog’s behavior problem I would be happy to watch it. But, I don’t need to see the problem in action to make an assessment. I rely on the Behavior History Form to do that. That’s why it’s so important to complete that fully and completely. We want to stop your dog from practicing undesirable behavior(s) as soon as possible.

If you are patient, motivated, capable, and have time in your schedule to work with your dog, most behavior problems can be improved with my help. Success depends greatly on the people carrying out the treatment plan (your compliance) and on the individual dog. The prognosis for your pet will be discussed at the time of your consultation after the dog has been evaluated.

That’s up to you. The more effort you put into the work required, the more results you should see. It’s also up to your dog. Every dog is an individual and learns at a different rate. This is where your patience comes in. The severity of the problem and how long it has been going on also play a key role in how long it may take for the problem to resolve.