Friends of MESSY, it’s time for some big news.
MESSY Dog Training is moving to Iowa!
I (Alex) recently got engaged to my wonderful fiancé, Connor. Connor moved about a year ago to the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area for work. I will be moving this summer to join him down in Iowa. Unfortunately, this means I will not be renewing the lease on my current building in Mankato. I’ve LOVED working with all of you in Mankato for the past two and a half years that MESSY has been open. I’ve been able to grow and learn as a trainer thanks to your help, and I hope I’ve been able to help make a difference for you and your dogs as well. Working with owners and their dogs to have better communication and a happier relationship is such an incredible passion of mine, and I thank each and every one of you for letting me share in your training journey with your dog.
Even though MESSY will no longer have a physical building in Mankato, that doesn’t mean we are going away! You can still always reach me via email, Facebook, phone, or any other way you’ve communicated with me before. I’ll be available for virtual consults (which have their own exciting opportunities – more on virtual consults to come soon!) as well as coming back to Mankato to visit family and friends, so private lessons or seminars can be set up on occasion. Our new online classes have also started to launch. Take a look at our current free class, Effective Reinforcement, by registering on our website. More online classes on an exciting platform for online learning are also on their way!
Cedar Falls/Waterloo – I look forward to joining you soon for in person consults and training.
Please reach out to me with any questions. MESSY classes in Mankato will end the week of May 20th, so you still have plenty of time to take a class before I move! If you are interested in something and don’t see it on the schedule, send me an email and we will try and make it work.
I’d also love to help direct you towards trainers more local to Mankato who can assist you with further training, if continuing with me for virtual lessons are not best for you and your dog.
I’m sad to leave this wonderful community in Mankato and the friends (human and dog) that I’ve made, but I’m looking forward to the adventures to come.
Earlier this week on Facebook we announced that we now have our first online class. This class is currently *free* as an introduction into the future on learning online with MESSY Dog Training. Check it out here:
You can also access it for the time being by simply creating an account using the "log in/register" button in the website header.
I created Effective Reinforcement to help dog owners delve into what is reinforcing for their individual dogs. Without some sort of reinforcement that the dog desires, it can be very difficult to motivate your dog - leading to difficult and frustrating training. This course is divided into four sections:
Each section consists of bite sized information so that dog owners (such as yourself!) can easily refer back to it without searching through a lot of information on a web page. There's also a free PDF that comes with this course to serve as a worksheet for working through what reinforcers are best for your individual dog!
This course is the first released in our upcoming online training series since it makes a great starting point for all training. If we don't know how to best motivate and reinforce our dogs, all the rest of the training we do down the road has to potential for frustration (human or dog) to sneak in due to a lack of effective reinforcement.
If your dog is easily excited about everything except you when you are training, or if you are looking to revamp your reinforcement ideas, you will definitely want to check out Effective Reinforcement. We are always here via email to assist you further, or if you have any feedback on the online course itself.
Have a topic you would like to know about via online learning? Drop us a comment below!
Hello friends, old and new! This blog has been in the works for a long time, and I am so excited to finally share all the content that's always popping into my head (or out of my mouth when I'm around dog trainers)!
My name is Alex, and I've been training dogs since my 4-H days when I started working with my mix breed dog, Mya. Mya was my "crossover" dog and a dog that I learned SO MUCH from - I will forever be grateful for her and my experiences in dog training and the dog world because of her! She's just a few weeks away from turning 12 now, so she is mostly retired from agility and other competitions and is enjoying the life of a spoiled senior dog.
A few months ago I was able to fulfill my dream of owning a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, and added Windigo to the family! Windigo is named after Isle Royale National Park, a place near and dear to my heart after backpacking across the island. He's currently 9 months old, and full of energy and "nonsense" as he's frequently reminded! He's being trained for obedience, rally, and agility competitions in the future, as well as whatever fun tricks or sports present themselves along the way.
Outside of dogs, I am a graduate student working on my Master of Public Health degree, participate in historical re-enacting, and try to spend as much time in the woods as possible. My fiance and I enjoy camping and hiking, and of course the dogs love it too! My love of science and my love of dogs collided when I began to learn about the science of learning, and how we can apply it to better the lives of our dogs. I also LOVE teaching.
Drop a comment or send an email with suggestions for anything you'd like to see on the blog. I look forward to sharing more musings on life with dogs and scientific training with you in the future!