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Building Confidence In Your Dog

So you both can worry less and enjoy life more.

Force-Free Dog Training In Waco, Texas and McLennan County!

About The Confident Hound

Our mission is to build confidence in dogs and their guardians so you can both worry less and enjoy life more.

We have approximately 8 to 15 short years with our dogs. Stress, anxiety, fear, frustration, and insecurity can take a toll on health and happiness, shortening that time and diminishing your memories together. You and your dog deserve peace of mind, to feel in control, and to have predictability and harmony in your home. We want you both to worry less, so you can enjoy your precious time together.

For both people and dogs, CONFIDENCE happens when you know what to expect, how to achieve your goal, and believe your efforts will be rewarded. This is why we don’t just train dogs – we teach people how to reach their dog training goals. When you both embark on the learning journey together, your bond strengthens and you learn how to confidently tackle problems as a team. We achieve this through positive reinforcement training methods that are free of force, fear, pain, intimidation, and coercion. We choose this method because it is ethical, effective, efficient, and works for every dog.

Your Trainers

Lisa Corcoran, VSA-CDT

Lisa is a lifelong lover of dogs, learning new things, and solving puzzles. Her background is in Psychology (B.S., Virginia Tech; M.A., Catholic University of America) and she currently works in the veteran mental health research field. Lisa is a graduate with distinction of the prestigious Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior and has been granted official status as a VSA-Certified Dog Trainer (VSA-CDT). Since 2017, Lisa has volunteered weekly at shelters and rescues to rehabilitate dogs looking for good homes.

These experiences help Lisa understand why both her canine and human clients do what they do. Lisa’s detail-oriented nature helps her to identify the cause of your dog’s behavior problems, and her creativity leads to a solution that works for both you and your dog. If you’re looking for a total dog nerd, Lisa is the trainer for you.

Mike Corcoran, CSB-D

Having grown up with dogs that displayed fearful and aggressive behaviors, Mike made it his mission to specialize in helping dogs like these be more confident and content in their surroundings.

Mike’s educational background is in Computer Science (B.S., Mary Washington College; M.S., George Mason University), which gives him a unique perspective of dog behavior problems as being similar to bugs in computer software. Combined with his experience as a rifleman in the United States Marine Corps, where he learned that true leadership doesn’t rely on using fear or punishment, Mike brings a systems-based approach to dog training.

Mike is a Certified Shelter Dog Behavior Consultant (CSB-D) through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and recently completed Michael Shikashio’s Aggression in Dogs course.

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Like most dogs, our dog Ace likes to be a part of all the family activities. With a nearly 100 lbs dog and a very mobile baby, this can be challenging!

My #1 tip to new parents is to give their dog a designated spot to relax - like a bed, cot, couch, or area rug. While your little one plays, toss treats to your dog on their spot. This will motivate them to keep hanging out there. You're also building a positive association with the sights and sounds of your baby playing!

BONUS TIP: Make this spot a safe zone for your dog. If your child begins to approach the spot, intervene and redirect them away from the spot. This shows your dog that their spot is a place they can retreat to and you will hold that boundary for them.

♥️ Share this tip with a parent

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogsandbabies #dogsandkids #dogmomaf #gsdofinsta #wacotexas #dogsofwaco

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🧦 Is your dog a thief?

Our first dog Artemis loved to take socks and rip them apart. At first, we told her 'No' and tried to take them back by force. Guess what? It didn't solve the problem. But one small change did...we started offering her a trade for something tasty!

TRY THIS ➡️ Every time your dog takes an off-limits item, go and get your tastiest treat. Offer them the treat in a closed fist right in front of their nose and let them contemplate the choice. If it's a bargain they accept, they will have to drop the object to get the treat. As soon as they drop the item, throw the treat to the side so you can swoop in and grab the object.

⚠️ Then here's the most important step...Put that object away!!! If it's accessible to them, they will get it again. Work smarter, not harder by keeping off-limits items out of reach. And provide them with an outlet to chew and shred something approved.

LEVEL UP ⬆️ Once your dog has started to anticipate the treat trade game, you can start saying the word drop as you present your treat fist. This will teach your dog both a verbal ("Drop") and visual (✊) cue for the desired behavior.

❓What object might your dog grab today so you can try this training game? 👇Let me know in the comments

🐶 The sweet pup in this video is Tyson at Fuzzy Friends Rescue. He's a friendly, affectionate, and playful little guy - the whole package!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogtraining101 #positivedogtraining #rescuedogsofig #rescuedogsofinsta #rescuedog #wacotexas #dogsofwaco

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What happens when you reward your dog's behaviors? Your dog repeats them in the future!

Video Example: My client and I have been rewarding Ginny for walking close enough to us on walks that the lease stays loose. Now she can't get enough and is basically focus heeling! We reinforced a behavior we liked and as a result it is being repeated.

The first week after the consultation, my clients often say they already see a difference in their dog's responsiveness. This happens because my first homework assignment is to simply reward behaviors they like more often. They were training reactively before working with me, but now they train proactively!

Let's pick one lovely behavior you can catch your dog doing today and reward the heck out of it! Talk to me in the comments and I'll throw an idea your way 👇

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogtrainingadvice #dogtraining101 #goldendoodlelife #dogsofwaco #wacotexas #wacotx #texasdogs

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😁 TFW your dog's chew obsession and your organizing obsession converge

But seriously: I keep this many longer-lasting, digestible chew treats in stock because it is a daily enrichment activity in my house and I recommend the same to my clients.

For only 3 seconds of your time, you can:
✅ Fulfill your dog's need to chew and dissect
✅ Reduce the chance of chewing on off-limits items the rest of the day
✅ Give them a mentally stimulation for 5-10+ minutes.

That's the kind of return on investment I like to see!

My favorite situations to give a chew:
🔹When my dog is just antsy
🔹When I need to focus on work
🔹When I'm moving around the house and I need my dog to not be in the way
🔹When I'm entertaining guests
🔹When we transition to evening relaxtion time
🔹When I first get home and my dog is amped but I just need a few moments to myself

Chews seen in this video are Cow ears, Veal lungs, Codfish skins, Peanut butter bully slices, Dehydrated sweet potato slices, Lamb lung, Tilapia filets, and Nylabone Healthy Edibles. Click the link in bio to get to our Amazon list of favorites for all of these products!

👇 What enrichment solution to unwanted behaviors has become YOUR obsession? Let me know in the comments!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips
#canineenrichment #giveyourdogajob #dogsmoms #dogmomaf #thehomedit #wacotexas #dogsofwaco

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Just a compilation of Ace living his best life 🥰

We adopted Ace when he was about 7 years old. Before coming home with us, he lived outside for nearly all of his life and not by choice.

Ace still enjoys spending time outside, but now it is on his own terms. Nothing makes me happier than watching him enjoy life. Plus, it's a good reminder to me to stop and take in a beautiful sunrise on occasion.

#theconfidenthound #seniordogsofinstagram #rescuedogsofig #canineenrichment #dogenrichment #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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👶🐶 DOG & BABY PREP: Introducing The Stroller

The most common advice given to expecting parents is to bring home the baby blanket from the hospital for the dog to smell. While there's certainly no harm in doing this, it doesn't prepare your dog AT ALL for how their life is about to change.

When we prepared our dog Ace for our baby's arrival, we focused on building positive associations with the new objects (e.g., stroller), sounds (e.g., baby cries), and activities (e.g., being gated out of the nursery) he would encounter on a daily basis. The Treat & Retreat game was our go-to for acclimating him to any new baby gear.

Ace has handled the transition to big brother fantastically! Part of the success is due to his unique personality, but I give us a lot of credit for being proactive and preparing him before our baby came home and life got hectic.

How does your dog react to baby strollers? 👇 Let me know in the comments!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogsandbabies #babiesanddogs #dogmoms #expectingmom #wacomoms #wacotexas

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Puppy training should prioritize socialization

When working with puppy clients under 4 months of age, I do very little "basic manners" training. Why? Because it can wait. You know what can't wait? SOCIALIZATION.

Your puppy has a prime socialization window up until ~16 weeks (max). During this time, they are more open-minded and optimistic about new people, places, object, situations, etc. That window is your critical time to lay a foundation of belief that the human world is safe and fun.

It can be so tempting to teach your puppy sit, stay, come, etc when they first come home. But guess what? They can learn 2+2=4 at any age with relative ease. What's more tricky is trying to teach an adolescent or adult dog to FEEL confident in their daily life. I still make room for troubleshooting puppy problems and learning cues in my training plan, but the emphasis is on socialization first.

If you only have 5 minutes to spare for training at the end of your day, I recommend spending it on proactive socialization rather than teaching your puppy to heel on a leash.

If you have a new puppy under 6 months of age or will be getting a puppy soon, my Puppy Primer guide was meant for YOU! It'll get you off on the right foot so you can make the most of this important time in your puppy's life. Click the link in my bio to check it out!

#theconfidenthound #puppysocialization #dogtrainingadvice #puppyproblems #positivedogtraining #wacotexas #dogsofwaco

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🐶 What Is Tug Of War Good For?

You've probably heard a lot of myths about tug of war, like:
❌ Playing tug makes dogs aggressive
❌ Letting the dog win makes them think they're in charge
❌ Tug of war encourages stealing things

🎉 As a certified dog trainer, I am happy to tell you that you should ABSOLUTELY play tug-of-war with your dog!

🤝 Humans may use tug-of-war to be competitive, but the origin in dogs is actually cooperative. Tug-of-war simulates canines working together to rip apart a carcass. Ever notice that when your dog gets the toy, they run off to dissect it? They're enjoying their meal ration!

Tug-of-war is great for:
✅ Physical exercise
✅ Mental enrichment
✅ Bonding with your dog through play
✅ Redirecting dogs who get mouthy
✅ Meeting their need to chew and dissect
✅ Teaching dogs to carry objects
✅ Teaching dogs to drop objects
✅ Building a foundation for fetch skills
✅ Creating a non-food reward option
✅ And maximum ear floppage 😂

🏆 And by the way - YES, you should let them win often! Who wants to play a game that they always lose? Just remember these rules:
***Always tug side to side or backward/forward, never up and down.
***Only play tug with an item you're comfortable with your dog having.

👩🏼‍⚕️Talk with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about your dog's teeth, but rest assured that playing tug is safe from a behavior perspective!

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #dogtraining101 #dogbehavior #positivedogtraining #mythbusting #tugofwar #playwithyourdog #wacotx #dogsofwaco

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Thank you for voting me the #5 force-free trainer in Texas! Click the link in my bio to see all of the top Texas trainers. ...

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🐶 Enrichment Tutorial: How To Stuff A Dog Food Toy! 🐾

Curious about any of the products shown in this video? Ask me in the comments! 👇

#theconfidenthound #canineenrichment #dogenrichment #giveyourdogajob #dogtrainingtips #wacotexas #dogsofwaco

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🤯 Ready to have your mind blown? Leash training has little to do with the leash.

It's about motivating your dog to stay close to you and being a good dance partner in return. If you need to use the leash to train, you're turning it into a crutch.

So the next time someone says you need to pop the leash to get your dog to stop pulling, send them this video 😎

Shirt and fanny pack are by @woofcultr
who I thank for giving me a way to boldly wear my training philosophy with confidence ♥️

#theconfidenthound #dogtrainingtips #puppytraining #positivedogtraining #leashtraining #handsfreeforcefree

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