Training

Blue Man Dog Training

Bringing a rescue dog home is an amazing, exciting experience. However, even with the best intentions – after all the work you’ve put in choosing the right dog and preparing your home – it is all too common for problems to arise.

Maybe the dog barks non-stop or cries at night; maybe he/she isn’t as perfectly house-trained as you thought; when you walk, the dog is pulling on the leash or lunging at other dogs; or perhaps the dog is shy, scared, or growling and even nipping at you or at visitors to your house.

Some problems may be easily resolved, others require more work, but in either case, it is definitely best to address any issues before they escalate or become ingrained behaviors.

Training

Blue Man Dog Training

Bringing a rescue dog home is an amazing, exciting experience. However, even with the best intentions – after all the work you’ve put in choosing the right dog and preparing your home – it is all too common for problems to arise.

Maybe the dog barks non-stop or cries at night; maybe he/she isn’t as perfectly house-trained as you thought; when you walk, the dog is pulling on the leash or lunging at other dogs; or perhaps the dog is shy, scared, or growling and even nipping at you or at visitors to your house.

Some problems may be easily resolved, others require more work, but in either case, it is definitely best to address any issues before they escalate or become ingrained behaviors.

What We Offer

Whether you already have the dog or are considering adopting one, we offer a lot of free information on our website to help you with your dog.

  • New Dog Help
    Did you just adopt, or are planning to adopt a new dog? Here you’ll find a wealth of information that will be invaluable to you and your new dog.
  • Behavior Q&A
    Some of the most common issues that people have with their dogs are addressed here, and where you can find help.
  • Crate Training
    There are many benefits to crate-training your dog. If you are not sure why or how, here we give a step-by-step guide.
  • House Training
    We all know that puppies need house-breaking, but it is very common for adult dogs entering a new home to need a refresher course. Whether you adopted a puppy or older dog, here is a guide to ensuring your house remains a pee-free zone.
  • Training Session
    Still having trouble with your dog? If you’re looking for more personalized help or are dealing with real behavior problems, we also offer private training sessions, fully geared towards your specific situation and the solutions.
  • New Dog Help
    Did you just adopt, or are planning to adopt a new dog? Here you'll find a wealth of information that will be invaluable to you and your new dog.

  • Behavior Q&A
    Some of the most common issues that people have with their dogs are addressed here, and where you can find help.

  • Crate Training
    There are many benefits to crate-training your dog. If you are not sure why or how, here we give a step-by-step guide.

  • House Training
    We all know that puppies need house-breaking, but it is very common for adult dogs entering a new home to need a refresher course. Whether you adopted a puppy or older dog, here is a guide to ensuring your house remains a pee-free zone.

  • Training Sessions
    Still having trouble with your dog? If you’re looking for more personalized help or are dealing with real behavior problems, we also offer private training sessions, fully geared towards your specific situation and the solutions.

  • New Dog Help
    Did you just adopt, or are planning to adopt a new dog? Here you'll find a wealth of information that will be invaluable to you and your new dog.

  • Behavior Q&A
    Some of the most common issues that people have with their dogs are addressed here, and where you can find help.

  • Crate Training
    There are many benefits to crate-training your dog. If you are not sure why or how, here we give a step-by-step guide.

  • House Training
    We all know that puppies need house-breaking, but it is very common for adult dogs entering a new home to need a refresher course. Whether you adopted a puppy or older dog, here is a guide to ensuring your house remains a pee-free zone.

  • Training Sessions
    Still having trouble with your dog? If you’re looking for more personalized help or are dealing with real behavior problems, we also offer private training sessions, fully geared towards your specific situation and the solutions.

When looking for a trainer, it is crucial to consider what kind of experience they have. At Blue Man Dog, we have many years of experience specifically in bringing home rescue dogs of different ages and temperaments, and we have worked through every dog-problem imaginable, over and over again. We have almost certainly experienced your exact situation. It has taken trial and error and each other’s support, but we’ve figured out the best ways to resolve the issues that tend to arise, and how to improve your relationship with your dog.

Our private sessions are in person, with you and your dog. We recommend an initial 90min consultation ($125), followed a week later by either a 60min follow-up session ($75). After 2 sessions, you should be on the right path and have the tools to continue working with your dog yourself. Of course, you can always request further sessions with us, and we will be glad to continue to work with you as needed.

A part of the training session fee goes to Blue Man Dog to rescue and care for more dogs.

Our Training Philosophy

At Blue Man Dog, we have come together not only through a shared love for animals, but also through a shared understanding and interest of dog behavior and psychology. Each dog is unique, but each dog is also a dog, and in today’s society it can be all too easy to forget this and think they respond to us in a human way.

We all approach the solutions to behavioral problems beginning with the same premise; whether Pitbull or tiny, fluffy Poodle, all dogs need and deserve consistency, stimulation/exercise, socialization, and discipline in order to thrive, and all dogs respond well to strong and clear leadership.

Being a successful leader is not just about laying down the law, it is about connecting with your dog, and doing things together to strengthen your relationship. With us, you will learn how to communicate with your dog in a language they understand, and how to be the leader they seek.

Our techniques are not just theories; they’re practical solutions to everyday situations. We have practiced them in real-life, with every kind of dog imaginable, day after day, year after year.

Here are just a few of the most common problems we can help you with:

  • Leash-walking problems; such as pulling, and leash-reactive and leash-aggressive dogs
  • Fear
  • Separation anxiety
  • Aggression, towards people or dogs
  • Nipping or being mouthy
  • Excessive barking
  • Poor socialization (with other dogs and/or humans)
  • Basic obedience
  • House & Crate training
Request a Training Session

Our Team

Mia Gyzander

Mia Gyzander

I have worked with horses and dogs for over 30 years, and in the past decade alone, hundreds of dogs and dog owners. I evaluate and rehabilitate shelter dogs to get them ready to be adopted. I tackle everything from extreme fear, to anxiety, to aggression.

I often work with leash-walking problems; reactive/aggressive/fearful, and prepare owners and dogs to come hiking with me and my pack, which helps to improve skills in social settings. The key to success is understanding how dogs think and react and why, and how to change unwanted behaviors together.

In my session, I start talking about dog behavior and why the issues and miss communication happen; then we work with you and your dog together. You will go home with a new set of skills to change the way you do things at home, and out on your walks, to improve your relationship with your dog and resolve problems with a new way of thinking.

Trainer License # ABC22225

Mia Gyzander

Mia Gyzander

I have worked with horses and dogs for over 30 years, and in the past decade alone, hundreds of dogs and dog owners. I evaluate and rehabilitate shelter dogs to get them ready to be adopted. I tackle everything from extreme fear, to anxiety, to aggression.

I often work with leash-walking problems; reactive/aggressive/fearful, and prepare owners and dogs to come hiking with me and my pack, which helps to improve skills in social settings. The key to success is understanding how dogs think and react and why, and how to change unwanted behaviors together.

In my session, I start talking about dog behavior and why the issues and miss communication happen; then we work with you and your dog together. You will go home with a new set of skills to change the way you do things at home, and out on your walks, to improve your relationship with your dog and resolve problems with a new way of thinking.

Trainer License # ABC22225

Julia Burtenshaw

Julia Burtenshaw

I have worked with all kinds of dogs, including timid/inexperienced ones and dogs with biting histories that were due to be put down. My approach is gentle but firm and is based on years of practical experience of working with animals, big and small.

Leadership or discipline does not mean that your dog should be scared of you, quite the opposite; it means that your dog should trust you to make the decisions that are best for the pack — that’s you and your dog. Then the dog can relax and follow your lead, or come out of his shell, or stop defending you or himself on walks etc.

I take a very logical and explanatory approach. I will not only show you the techniques for dealing with unwanted behaviors, but also to explain why particular methods of addressing these behaviors do or do not work.

Julia Burtenshaw

Julia Burtenshaw

I have worked with all kinds of dogs, including timid/inexperienced ones and dogs with biting histories that were due to be put down. My approach is gentle but firm and is based on years of practical experience of working with animals, big and small.

Leadership or discipline does not mean that your dog should be scared of you, quite the opposite; it means that your dog should trust you to make the decisions that are best for the pack — that’s you and your dog. Then the dog can relax and follow your lead, or come out of his shell, or stop defending you or himself on walks etc.

I take a very logical and explanatory approach. I will not only show you the techniques for dealing with unwanted behaviors, but also to explain why particular methods of addressing these behaviors do or do not work.

Julia Burtenshaw

Julia Burtenshaw

I have worked with all kinds of dogs, including timid/inexperienced ones and dogs with biting histories that were due to be put down. My approach is gentle but firm and is based on years of practical experience of working with animals, big and small.

Leadership or discipline does not mean that your dog should be scared of you, quite the opposite; it means that your dog should trust you to make the decisions that are best for the pack — that’s you and your dog. Then the dog can relax and follow your lead, or come out of his shell, or stop defending you or himself on walks etc.

I take a very logical and explanatory approach. I will not only show you the techniques for dealing with unwanted behaviors, but also to explain why particular methods of addressing these behaviors do or do not work.

Samantha Swanson

Samanta Swanson

Every dog looks to an alpha dog or pack leader for the structure and rules of behavior, and a successful trainer recreates that intimate relationship. In my opinion, a dog that is acting out is actually a dog asking for help – just in the wrong way.

I’ve worked with many dogs and problems, sometimes extreme, and sometimes behavior that is slightly “off” and may seem like a small problem, could actually be the root of a much larger, growing problem.

Having my own dog who falls into the hyperactive category, I have become a master of the dog park, helping my girl (and others) learn the best way to use the dog park, including simple etiquette, encouraging ideal play-partners, and avoiding bad energy dogs. After your initial training, you are welcome to join my dog park playgroup.

If You Want To Read Our Full Bios, Click Here!

Photos by Rita Earl Photography

Samantha Swanson

Samanta Swanson

Every dog looks to an alpha dog or pack leader for the structure and rules of behavior, and a successful trainer recreates that intimate relationship. In my opinion, a dog that is acting out is actually a dog asking for help – just in the wrong way.

I’ve worked with many dogs and problems, sometimes extreme, and sometimes behavior that is slightly “off” and may seem like a small problem, could actually be the root of a much larger, growing problem.

Having my own dog who falls into the hyperactive category, I have become a master of the dog park, helping my girl (and others) learn the best way to use the dog park, including simple etiquette, encouraging ideal play-partners, and avoiding bad energy dogs. After your initial training, you are welcome to join my dog park playgroup.

Request a Training Session

Photos by Rita Earl Photography

Testimonials

Claudia and Adam

Claudia and Adam

I contacted Mia for help with my 4 ½ year old German Shepherd. Adam was leash reactive outside of the house and would scream, air bite and bark at all moving things when inside the car. I felt awful that my dog was so stressed and anxious upon leaving the house. In the past 2 years we had worked with 5 trainers and worked with positive reinforcement. All dog trainers pretty much made the same suggestions: use treats to get your dog to listen, continue to reinforce basic obedience, use a harness to control the pulling and slowly build up to long car rides. These are all good suggestions but needed tweaking.

The problem is that we had been doing all of that. Adam knows sit better than most dogs and will mind all basic commands while at home. After 1 session with Mia, and her positive encouragement of “human leadership,” I had a clear understanding what my role was in providing mental activity for my dog so he wouldn’t have to be wondering what he was supposed to be doing. Mia made it clear that it was not optional for Adam to walk behind me, it’s his job to stay behind. I was allowing him to walk in front of me and despite using a harness, a Martingale collar, a prong collar for a short time, stopping and having him heel, he pulled. In 1 session, Mia taught me how to teach Adam where he needed to be when we left the house. She taught me how to lead him and it has been wonderful. It has been 6 weeks now and everyday just gets better.

Through her coaching (I only needed two sessions and literally experienced a 180 with my dog) me and my dog can now leave the house stress free. People no longer fear me and him. He is no longer walking me and I can enjoy taking him for car rides and leisurely walks.
We are forever GRATEFUL and APPRECIATIVE for Mia’s commitment to working with humans and animals. You just need to quiet your brain and follow her directions. If you get the tools she suggests and follow her lead you will get results within a couple of weeks.

Testimonials

Claudia and Adam

Claudia and Adam

I contacted Mia for help with my 4 ½ year old German Shepherd. Adam was leash reactive outside of the house and would scream, air bite and bark at all moving things when inside the car. I felt awful that my dog was so stressed and anxious upon leaving the house. In the past 2 years we had worked with 5 trainers and worked with positive reinforcement. All dog trainers pretty much made the same suggestions: use treats to get your dog to listen, continue to reinforce basic obedience, use a harness to control the pulling and slowly build up to long car rides. These are all good suggestions but needed tweaking.

The problem is that we had been doing all of that. Adam knows sit better than most dogs and will mind all basic commands while at home. After 1 session with Mia, and her positive encouragement of “human leadership,” I had a clear understanding what my role was in providing mental activity for my dog so he wouldn’t have to be wondering what he was supposed to be doing. Mia made it clear that it was not optional for Adam to walk behind me, it’s his job to stay behind. I was allowing him to walk in front of me and despite using a harness, a Martingale collar, a prong collar for a short time, stopping and having him heel, he pulled. In 1 session, Mia taught me how to teach Adam where he needed to be when we left the house. She taught me how to lead him and it has been wonderful. It has been 6 weeks now and everyday just gets better.

Through her coaching (I only needed two sessions and literally experienced a 180 with my dog) me and my dog can now leave the house stress free. People no longer fear me and him. He is no longer walking me and I can enjoy taking him for car rides and leisurely walks.
We are forever GRATEFUL and APPRECIATIVE for Mia’s commitment to working with humans and animals. You just need to quiet your brain and follow her directions. If you get the tools she suggests and follow her lead you will get results within a couple of weeks.


Robin and Al

Robin and Al

Our excitement about adopting an adorable new dog (Al) for our 10-year-old son quickly turned to anxiety when the pup began growling at our son, along with showing other signs of fear aggression. We hired a reputable trainer to help Al overcome his aggressive behavior, he sat at our house for an hour and tossed treats, but Al barked at the trainer continuously. The trainer told us that Al will never be a “family dog,” which broke our hearts. We decided we had to give Al back to the shelter because we couldn’t keep an aggressive dog in our house.

Fortunately, we were blessed to meet Mia through Downtown Dog Rescue, and as a last resort we gave our dog to Mia for a week to see if she could help him become less aggressive. And, miraculously it worked! Mia’s unique technique of having well socialized dogs teach troubled and scared dogs to trust people, truly worked! When Al came back home, he was much better, not perfect, but good enough to keep!

Mia told us that another outgoing dog would be ideal to add to the family if possible since it would help Al greatly. A few months later, we got a wonderful dog that Mia helped us find, super social Picha. And, over the years, Al has gotten to be a truly cuddly, “family dog!”

Thank you, Mia, for our beautiful pups!!


Robin and Al

Robin and Al

Our excitement about adopting an adorable new dog (Al) for our 10-year-old son quickly turned to anxiety when the pup began growling at our son, along with showing other signs of fear aggression. We hired a reputable trainer to help Al overcome his aggressive behavior, he sat at our house for an hour and tossed treats, but Al barked at the trainer continuously. The trainer told us that Al will never be a “family dog,” which broke our hearts. We decided we had to give Al back to the shelter because we couldn’t keep an aggressive dog in our house.

Fortunately, we were blessed to meet Mia through Downtown Dog Rescue, and as a last resort we gave our dog to Mia for a week to see if she could help him become less aggressive. And, miraculously it worked! Mia’s unique technique of having well socialized dogs teach troubled and scared dogs to trust people, truly worked! When Al came back home, he was much better, not perfect, but good enough to keep!

Mia told us that another outgoing dog would be ideal to add to the family if possible since it would help Al greatly. A few months later, we got a wonderful dog that Mia helped us find, super social Picha. And, over the years, Al has gotten to be a truly cuddly, “family dog!”

Thank you, Mia, for our beautiful pups!!


Ron and Ajax

Ron and Ajax

I adopted Ajax, a three-year-old Pit/Rott mix, from DDR shortly after adopting another dog from them a few months earlier. Ajax, while a perfect match with my other dog, had some “issues”. He was frightened easily and was not used to leash walking and had almost no experience with riding in cars.

Ajax had to be picked up and placed in the car whenever I wanted to take him with me, and then he would hide his head behind me while we drove. On walks, Ajax was a constant puller, appeared a bit aggressive towards people and other dogs we would meet or even see.

I contacted Mia and she arranged a training session up at Griffith Park. There I learned how to walk a dog. Mia trained me, not the dog. I had many questions that she answered patiently and clearly, on a wide range of concerns regarding many areas of dog ownership.

The session proved a tremendous success. Since then, I have maintained contact with Mia and have kept her updated on the dogs progress and have even brought Ajax up to several of the Griffith Park Pack Walks.


Ron and Ajax

Ron and Ajax

I adopted Ajax, a three-year-old Pit/Rott mix, from DDR shortly after adopting another dog from them a few months earlier. Ajax, while a perfect match with my other dog, had some “issues”. He was frightened easily and was not used to leash walking and had almost no experience with riding in cars.

Ajax had to be picked up and placed in the car whenever I wanted to take him with me, and then he would hide his head behind me while we drove. On walks, Ajax was a constant puller, appeared a bit aggressive towards people and other dogs we would meet or even see.

I contacted Mia and she arranged a training session up at Griffith Park. There I learned how to walk a dog. Mia trained me, not the dog. I had many questions that she answered patiently and clearly, on a wide range of concerns regarding many areas of dog ownership.

The session proved a tremendous success. Since then, I have maintained contact with Mia and have kept her updated on the dogs progress and have even brought Ajax up to several of the Griffith Park Pack Walks.


Jessica and Rick

Jessica and Rick

I heard about Mia through a friend that was participating in her Griffith Park pack hikes. I have a foster dog, Rick, who clearly has some leash reactivity issues, so I reached out in hopes this may be a good for him. When I would walk Rick, I would constantly be tugging on his leash to get him to a “heal” position; if he saw dogs, some people, bicycles, skateboards, motorcycles, loud cars… he would go bonkers.

Mia met with us and walked me through being a stronger leader for him. She made me realize he needed me to be in control and to look to me for guidance; which also meant our formation shifted a little, as he needed to be behind me with no tension on the leash.

She introduced me to certain tools (specifically noise-makers) to distract when unwanted behavior arose, so attention would naturally go to handler and then move forward. This is all still fairly new and we’re working on these skills daily; but, wow what a difference a few weeks has made! I wish I’d found Mia sooner!


Jessica and Rick

Jessica and Rick

I heard about Mia through a friend that was participating in her Griffith Park pack hikes. I have a foster dog, Rick, who clearly has some leash reactivity issues, so I reached out in hopes this may be a good for him. When I would walk Rick, I would constantly be tugging on his leash to get him to a “heal” position; if he saw dogs, some people, bicycles, skateboards, motorcycles, loud cars… he would go bonkers.

Mia met with us and walked me through being a stronger leader for him. She made me realize he needed me to be in control and to look to me for guidance; which also meant our formation shifted a little, as he needed to be behind me with no tension on the leash.

She introduced me to certain tools (specifically noise-makers) to distract when unwanted behavior arose, so attention would naturally go to handler and then move forward. This is all still fairly new and we’re working on these skills daily; but, wow what a difference a few weeks has made! I wish I’d found Mia sooner!


Paul and Sheila

Paul and Sheila

After rescuing my latest Pit, (Sheila) I found out about Mia and her Sunday organized hike and so much more. Spending time with Mia and the other hikers has given me (or trained me) to be so much more confident with my dog.

Sheila and I have a really cool bond because of the hiking and I realize I have so much more work to do thanks to Mia. You gotta be consistent, patient and loving. Mia is a wealth of information and she shares it with everyone!


Paul and Sheila

Paul and Sheila

After rescuing my latest Pit, (Sheila) I found out about Mia and her Sunday organized hike and so much more. Spending time with Mia and the other hikers has given me (or trained me) to be so much more confident with my dog.

Sheila and I have a really cool bond because of the hiking and I realize I have so much more work to do thanks to Mia. You gotta be consistent, patient and loving. Mia is a wealth of information and she shares it with everyone!


Erick and Gus

Erik and Gus

Samantha has been incredibly helpful to our challenging dog Gus. She’s incredibly patient and thoughtful. She has helped us tremendously with him who is displaying aggressive behaviors in certain situations. It’s been an amazing experience, and Gus have made a lot of progress, and we are learning as we move along. We are so happy to have found her!


Erick and Gus

Erik and Gus

Samantha has been incredibly helpful to our challenging dog Gus. She’s incredibly patient and thoughtful. She has helped us tremendously with him who is displaying aggressive behaviors in certain situations. It’s been an amazing experience, and Gus have made a lot of progress, and we are learning as we move along. We are so happy to have found her!