Reactive dog and puppy training for Baltimore area dogs and guardians.
Certified Training Consultant – Rachel Ash, CTC, CPDT-KA, SAPT
Her determination to specialize in fear, aggression, and reactivity was fostered by her years working as a trainer at the Maryland SPCA and her desire to help her fearful pup, Maya. Her experience working with the more challenging shelter dogs, teaching reactive rover classes to the community, and creating a puppy class curriculum focused on preventing fear-related problems in the future molded her vision for Pawsitive Behavior Solutions, LLC. Her experience as a pet parent of a fearful, reactive dog gave her the perspective needed to be a source of support and empathy for her clients.
When Rachel isn’t helping dogs and guardians build stronger bonds through training, she watches British crime shows while cuddling on the couch with Maya and enjoys nature hikes with other dog-obsessed professionals.
Why Train with Pawsitive Behavior Solutions?
Dedication to education and professional development with five canine behavior certifications
Commitment to practical, force-free training methods that are rooted in science
Specialized knowledge and experience with fear and aggression- based behavioral challenges
Rachel’s passion for working with fearful and reactive dogs stems from her life with her rescue dog, Maya. Maya was a foster-fail that after being rehomed multiple times at an early age, became profoundly fearful. Once Rachel earned her trust and she felt comfortable in her home, Rachel knew that Maya would not be able to tolerate another rehoming. It was an adoption that came with mixed emotions – she was delighted to have her as a companion but overwhelmed at the prospect of lifelong management and training.
Maya is now a senior, and her training goals have taken a backseat. Her full-time job is now lounging in the sun on her orthopedic bed, de-stuffing toys, and antagonizing the neighbor’s dog through the fence. A perfect life for a retired reactive dog!
Rachel’s life with Maya has given her a unique insight into the challenges that come with living day in and day out with a fearful, reactive dog. This experience has better equipped her to help her human and dog clients live happier lives.
Rachel’s Approach to Training
Understanding why your dog does what they do is the first step in tackling sometimes frustrating and overwhelming behaviors with empathy
Set your dog up for success by rearranging the environment to keep everyone safe and prevent your dog from rehearsing problematic behaviors
Address unmet needs and provide outlets for normal doggie behaviors so they have a greater tolerance for things that might concern them
Execute simple, tailored exercises to change the way your dog feels about things that frustrate them or cause them to feel fear
Why Positive, Force-Free Training?
It’s Effective, Evidence-based and Ethical
Humane, force-free training is a form of training in which we reward the dog for desired behaviors with things they value – food, play opportunities, and real-life rewards. The dog learns that what we want them to do pays off well, so the desired behavior becomes more reliable.
The science behind animal learning tells us that rewarded behaviors are more likely to recur. That, combined with setting up our environment to set our dogs up for success, will prevent your dog from rehearsing the behavior we want to change.
It is well documented that the use of force, intimidation, and pain can inhibit learning and instill fear in our dogs. When attempting to modify a dog’s behavior, the priority is always to create a positive, safe environment to foster learning while preserving the human-dog bond.
Professional Development & Credentials
Pawsitive Behavior Solutions, LLC
Owner and Operator
Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed
Certificate in Training and Counseling, the Academy for Dog Trainers, LLC
The Aggression in Dogs Master Course
The Aggression in Dogs Master Course Complete Canines, LLC
Licensed Family Paws Parent Educator
Family Paws Parent Educator Training Program, Family Paws, LLC
Certified Separation Anxiety Pro Trainer, Julie Naismith Training and Consulting, Ltd.
Behavior Consultant Mentorship Program
Pet Harmony Behavior Consultant Mentorship Program, Pet Harmony, LLC
Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers
Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
Pet First Aid and CPR Certification