More on dog behavior
Learning canine communication skills
By Olivia De Valk
Stevens Point resident Sarah Jo More knows a lot about dogs.
More started her business, More Dog Behavior, in September 2020 to help bring her knowledge to the community.
More Dog Behavior is not a traditional obedience class. Instead of teaching dogs to sit and stay, More focuses primarily on dog psychology.
“I focus a lot on calm energy, slowing the dog down, and really slowing the human down as well,” More said. “What I need to know is what state of mind is your dog in? What are they feeling and how can we help them feel better?
Whereas an obedience class teaches the dog to sit and stay, More teaches her clients how to communicate with their dogs.
“It’s never really about the dog. It’s about the human. It’s a lot of information to understand basically how dogs communicate. The virtual sessions are really helpful for that,” More said.
First time clients meet for one hour, either virtually or in-person with More. In these first sessions, More helps the dog owner understand the habits they are creating or continuing in their dog.
More’s interest in dog psychology isn’t just professional. She owns two dogs of her own, Fran and Gerdie.
When More first brought Fran home several years ago, she hadn’t yet learned about dog psychology.
In a few weeks Fran was biting More’s ankles, nipping and chasing her.
More reached out to a friend who trained hunting dogs. The friend advised her to give Fran work.
More and her husband, Michael, were already taking Fran on a run every single day. They couldn’t imagine that more physical exercise was the kind of work that Fran needed.
What Fran did need was mental work.
“Mental work is sometimes more important than physical activity. There’s so much mental work that people don’t think about,” More said.
Both of More’s dogs, Fran and Gerdie, are calm and fulfilled since she started working with them, seeing this was what made her want to start More Dog Behavior.
“What I love to see is a high energy, anxious dog, that people really thinks needs to go on a run right now, or go into a field and run loose or go on a ten mile hike to drain energy. I honestly like to show them what the dog actually needs and it’s just standing there, waiting, slowing down,” More said.
For more information, visit www.moredogbehavior.com.