Training Philosophy

Behavior modification, training, and more

Training Philosophy

Flexible Pet Solutions focuses on just that: being flexible!

Group Tricks

Group Tricks2

Individual solutions are vital to the success of pets and their guardians, as a unique team. Building a real relationship leads to trust, clearer communication, and mutual respect which helps make any challenge easier to tackle.

As pet owners, we would never expect to care for a fish the same way we care for a human child, and we should similarly apply appropriately different techniques and psychology to the respective species we keep as companions. The overlaps that lead to success across species include patience, consistency, kindness, mindfulness, and consideration of your pets needs. “Bad behavior” is easier to prevent than correct, so the earlier you develop a great relationship with your pet(s), the better! That said, it’s never too late to improve your communication and build a better bond.

Sometimes, welcoming a pet into our lives means making lifestyle changes; some are obvious, like having a litter box inside for a cat or ensuring good health with regular veterinary checkups, but many lifestyle changes that lead to peace and happiness require a creative expertise. Adding cat trees and wall platforms may delight one cat, but not another. Going on a hike with a confident, well-socialized dog can be a lovely team-building experience, but for a timid or insecure dog it may be overwhelming, overstimulating, and even (worst-case) traumatizing. There is no ‘one right way’ to rehabilitate or train pets, just like there are many approaches to living a well-balanced life as a person. My pack and I are here to help lead by example; you and your pet are partners, and while mistakes will happen, you’ll learn how you can move on together, a little wiser about how to succeed.

There’s a great saying: “The only thing two dog trainers can agree on is that the third one is wrong.” Techniques and tools may vary from team to team, but real results based on strengthening your relationship with your pet are my main priority.



Flexible Pet Solutions’ lead trainer, Dr. Donnelly West, has been training human-pet teams for over two decades. Though she took some time off from working with rescue groups to complete her PhD in Genetics, she stayed peripherally involved in behavior modification training and understanding reactivity in dogs. Seeing her own beloved dogs and cats advance in age led to her increased interest in the blossoming field of pet fitness and rehabilitation programs. Donnelly is currently an American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) evaluator and AKC FIT Dog 1 certified instructor and Animal Behvior College Mentor. She is also a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and always strives for using the least intrusive, minimally aversive (LIMA) strategies with all the species she handles. Donnelly incorporates philosophies from yoga, mindfulness meditation, tai chi, and animal behavior studies in to her programs. She continues to research and integrate new techniques for the human-pet team as the art and science of animal communication advances.

Training2 Sherie Lisbona is a guest trainer and recent Animal Behavior College graduate. Sherie has been training and working with dogs for many years and always strives to learn more. Sherie independently offers training, walking, boarding, and adorable photo shoots. Book a session with Sherie: sherphotography.SL at gmail

Training2 Dezi Fulton is a guest trainer who specializes in complex behavior chains. Dezi uses their special skill set to train service dogs but can also break down behaviors for pet dogs. Dezi also offers custom pet portraits and designs. Design with Dezi: DesireeFultonDesign at gmail

Training2 Andrea Constantine is a guest trainer who integrates human psychology with dog training. She is currently completing her Animal Behavior College program and is excited to help people and dogs. Her focus is on building community and helping folks achieve balance with their dogs. You can find more about her events and training here