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Maureen Backman, MS, CTC, PCT-A is the owner of Mutt About Town, which offers private dog training services in the San Francisco Bay Area. Maureen’s particular strength is combining her knowledge of counseling along with her studies in animal learning and behavior to help humans understand how to communicate and work with their dogs. She is strongly committed to using only force-free training methods. She is also the founder of The Muzzle Up! Project. Through partnering with local businesses, rescues and trainers, not only in San Francisco but across the world, Muzzle Up! aims to educate the public about dog behavior, safety, and why we don’t need to fear muzzles.
She graduated with honors from Jean Donaldson’s prestigious Academy for Dog Trainers, is certified in training by the Pet Professional Guild, and has a master’s degree in rehabilitation psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
• We use only positive reinforcement training, which is scientifically shown to produce long-lasting, effective behavior change.
• We work with you so you feel involved in your dog’s learning.
• We make training fun for you and your dog.
• We design a training program that fits your family’s needs and lifestyle.
• We are committed to continuing education to ensure best practices. What’s more, our affiliation with the Academy for Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild allows us to tap into the expertise of some of the leading figures in the positive reinforcement training field.
“We don’t “cause” animals to behave in the sense that physicists cause liquid to boil by turning up a flame. We can only set the occasion for particular behaviors; the animal’s response to our cues is up to the animal….
Originally posted on The Muzzle Up! Project:
In the months since the launch of Muzzle Up! Online, I’ve noted a theme among all my clients: The program’s benefits extend far beyond the primary goal of muzzle training. While not surprising,…
Since becoming a professional certified dog trainer, I’ve encountered and worked with many fearful dogs. One myth I’ve heard over and over is the idea that dogs shouldn’t be afraid of certain stimuli. Unfortunately, this cognitive roadblock interferes with both…
We hired Maureen to help out newly adopted senior dog, Polliwog, who was having some predatory instincts towards smaller dogs. We met at our home and she taught us some exercises to help Pollie with impulse control–getting her to pay attention to us when her deep doggie brain instinct is “SMALL FURRY CREATURE, MUST CHASE AND EAT!” She also met with us at the dog park to see exactly what was going on with Pollie around other dogs. That was super helpful because that was exactly what we needed help with: the real life situation at the dog park when a yappy little dog gets up in Pollie’s face. Maureen was patient, kind, commanding, and well-educated. She was very communicative via email for any questions I had and was quick to assess Pollie’s personality, strengths and limitations. Maureen only uses positive reinforcement and as a result, Pollie was enriched and stimulated by our sessions. We began to see results pretty quickly. Any training is a process with a dog, but Maureen made it much easier and more pleasant. I would call her again if any other issues come up with Pollie.
Maureen was a lifesaver for us! We were in need of someone to take care of our dog who had a bad case of separation anxiety during our vacation. We were thrilled to find Maureen who took wonderful care of our Pumpkin. Pumpkin had a fabulous time going for walks at the beach every day and making new friends with other dogs. And during our vacation, we would get lovely photos and updates from Maureen which put our minds at ease. Pumpkin also had other needs including having to take medication and being reactive to motorcycles and strange men which Maureen handled with ease. Maureen’s experience, love and warmth with dogs provided a safe and fun home for Pumpkin. When we went to pick her up, Pumpkin was excited to see us but I think she was also sad to leave Maureen.