I'm here to help you!

Hi, I am Debbie Schaefer, owner of The Well-Mannered Dog. Training is a partnership in which you and your dog learn how to communicate and understand each other.  My job (which I love) is to join in this partnership and guide you through the training process. 

Because your learning is just as important as your dog's.  You will be supported with visual demonstrations, written handouts and video examples of the training.  In addition, I am here for with both phone and e-mail help between lessons.

We Use Positive Reinforcement Training Methods

Training is at its best when dynamic scientific and humane training methods  are implemented for teaching both the owner and dog.    We never use techniques that cause pain, fear or stress (choke chains, pinch, shock collars or physical or verbal corrections). This also means you will be treated warmly, with kindness and in a friendly fashion. Although owners learn how to train their dog using positive methods, they also learn how to set effective limits and how to humanely change rude behavior.

My vast experience is hard to beat. 

With over 37 years experience working with dogs and their people.  This means I know how to get the results you want so you can have a dog you can trust to behave at home and in public.  I have extensive experience working with all types of dogs, their unique difficulties and personalities and my knowledges has been tested by The Certification Counsel For Professional Dog Trainers. 

I believe education of our peers is important:

I have been a speaker at the:

1997, 1998, 1999 - guest speaker on the Lewis & Bark Radio Show
2002 Association of Pet Dog Trainers’ Conference. 
2004  Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference. 
Aug. 6 2015 Speaker at EWEB  – reading body language – what to do if you are attacked.

I Believe in Continuing Education and have attended:

1993 Behavior Rx The Art of Counseling Pet Owners 3 Day Course
1996 Looking At Aggression Seminar presented by John Fisher
2000 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2002 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2004 Chicken Camp- Discrimination Workshop
2004 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2006 Chicken Camp- Cueing and Criteria
2009 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference and Symposium of Fear and Anxiety
2013 Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference
2015 Clicker Expo
2015 The role of nutrition in behavior therapy by Dr. Lore Haug
Jan. 2016 Clicker Expo
May 2016 Creating Your Dream Team – with Michelle Pouliot
2016 – Puppy Start Right Program
2017 Clicker Expo

Ha! That is just some of my education.  The list just keeps going.  

Our humble beginning

I started training dogs as a child and I competed in competition obedience.  As an adult I studied training and how it applied to the family pet.  I studied, behavior, body language, learning theory and so much more. In 1987 I began teaching pet owners just like you to train their own dogs and in 2003 I became the first local trainer to be a Certified Professional Trainer.  What is all comes down to is I have a ton of experience and I am very qualified to help you.

I believe in giving back to the community and have:

Been Vice President, Education  and Pet Therapy Committee chairs for Humane Society of Cottage Grove (mid 1990’s) 
Chaired the APDT Member Relations and Services Committee (2000-2002) 
Helped Greenhill Humane Society implement temperament-testing for shelter dogs. 
Established a  program for local shelters dogs in need of  training and enrichment (2013 – 2014). 
Volunteered on Animal Care Committee (2015 – 2016)

Dog Training in Action

at the Well-Mannered Dog, we believe positive reinforcement training gets the best results
The Well-Mannered Dog training classes

Our training works even if you don't consider your self to be a dog whisperer

Memphis 13.JPG
Memphis was in the yard when she spotted a skunk. She took off running to introduce herself. I frantically called and she turned on a dime and came running back to me. She was 5 feet from the skunk when I called. That makes all the training worthwhile.
— Mimi Koza
“Hi Debbie, I want to thank you for all you are doing to help me and my fellow dog lovers to provide a structured, safe, and loving environment for our four legged friends! Malyshka and I are really enjoying our training sessions and we are both growing in confidence. Cheers,”
— Alayne Switzer
training heel @ The Well-Mannered Dog