PAW Outreach & Education

Special Community Events

PAW Hosts Free Training Session on
Becoming Your Dog's Leader
Who's leading who? In many cases, it's the dog leading the owner, both literally and figuratively. Attendees at a recent PAW adoption show at the Ellicott City Petco learned techniques for gaining the respect of their dogs during a free demo led by Melissa Berryman.

Ms. Berryman, who has worked with 2,000 dogs, is founder of Dog Bite Alternatives, a new organization that offers education and solutions to dog owners, communities, and shelter/rescue groups. "As a former shelter manager," she said, "I dealt mostly in crisis situations and remaining within their families. My emphasis is on coaching people to be better leaders."

She explained a key difference between what people and dogs want from their relationship: "We want companionship, but they want leadership." While demonstrating the "Leadership walk," Ms. Berryman commanded the full attention of the dog by giving continuous verbal and nonverbal feedback.

Often, it is because of a lack of information, and a lack of feeling protected by his owner, that a dog will try to bite in an attempt to control his environment.

When a dog exhibits a problem such as nipping or pulling on the leash, work with the dog until you "win" - until you demonstrate that you are the leader and the dog can trust you to protect him.

To arrange to have PAW at your community event, contact

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