Positively Dog Friendly Training
Making connections, not corrections!
-Gayle Watson, JD, ABCDT, CPDT-KA
Hi! My name is Gayle Watson and I am certified as a professional dog trainer through the Animal Behavior College where I graduated with honors and I am also certified through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed. I have apprenticed with and then worked as an assistant for Teoti Anderson, a CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP dog trainer in the SC Midlands, before heading out on my own to train dogs. I am also a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a national pet dog training association that advocates for modern reward based training methods as well as The Pet Professional Guild, a guild for pet professionals that advocates for force free methods only. I am constantly continuing my education and keeping up to date on the modern science based reward training techniques and theories. I have worked as a Pet Nutrition Specialist and I am also certified in Dog and Cat First Aid/CPR. During the week days I'm an attorney for the State of South Carolina, but working with dogs is far more interesting to me!
I have always had a love for dogs and it has always pained me to hear of how people had to rehome or euthanize their dogs due to unwanted behaviors. I also realized the disparity between true scienced based training and learning and language behaviors of canines and what the public was learning about canine behavior on popular television. So with the passion and love I have for dogs and the success I have had training my own dogs, I jumped head first into teaching people to understand and train their dogs with love and respect through reward based training methods that are true and proven science based methods. These methods are not those that punish dogs for unwanted behavior but rather reward dogs for wanted behavior (positive reinforcement.) Dogs learn to love training because it's rewarding and fun for them and the entire family!
I have one dog now, Charlie. My dog Teddy pased away on August 11, 2018 from cancer. He was a chow and hound mix and was a special boy that I adopted from a rescue farm. I met him and fell in love with his quirky ways while training the dogs and handlers there at the rescue and couldn't bear to leave him when my work there was done. He has taught me many things and has been my inspiration for wanting to work more with fearful dogs and more challenging dogs such as those with resource guarding behaviors, for example, as well as dogs with disabilities. He is blind in one eye and I have learned to adapt to his learning style. Charlie is a labrador retriever and is my helper at Good Dog! LLC. He is a Canine Good Citizen and he has accompanied me on many assessments of dogs and in many behavior modification sessions. His salary consists of many tasty treats including deer and elk antlers which are his favorites! He was awarded a "National Bark Ranger" bandana for "best behaved dog" on our last guided group hike with 8 other dogs and their people through the Congaree National Park. His main hobby is fetch! He is an elderly dog now and has GOLPP, a neuromuscular degenerative disease. I don't know how much longer I have with him but I'm making every minute count!
I love the great outdoors and have taken all of my dogs through the years on many camping, hiking, backpacking, and water adventures. I focus on using a lot of long line and whistle training methods, establishing a really good recall as well as keeping a trustworthy and loving relationship with my dogs so that I am able to enjoy these adventures outdoors with my dogs.
My other pet family members have included my cat, Squeakers, and my mini lop bunny, Bunz. I lost both of them in 2015 due to age related illnesses.
Meet Feni and Luke.... I would not be where I am today without these two beauties.
I searched for my perfect dog and found Feni through an adoption ad that peaked my interest in the newspaper. I drove out to Winnsboro, SC to meet her and fell in love with the sound of her voice and her beauty and size right away. She was 2 years old and very shy and had been skipped over several times for other dogs by everyone who came to see her because she was so shy. I knew she was coming home with me someday but it would be on her terms. I went to visit her often and she got to know me well and finally came home with me to stay. She was my best friend to the end from that day on. She was my first camping, hiking and backpacking canine companion. She loved the great outdoors as much as I do. She taught me so much about dogs and paved the way for my desire to work with dogs and teach their people how to train and deal with their dogs' behaviors. She taught me about storm/noise phobias and as she aged she taught me about old dog behavior. I was learning from her up until the morning she passed away at my home from brain cancer on February 12, 2011 at the age of 14 and 1/2 years old. She never ceased to amaze me and became in fact the perfect dog. There will be no other dog like her. She lives on in my memories and is greatly missed by many people.
My Lukie Boy was given to me at 9 weeks of age by a coworker who found him sitting all alone at the dump on Screaming Eagle Road in Kershaw County, SC. He was yelping, hungry and covered in fleas. She took him home with her and called me to come meet him. I bathed him there and watched him fall asleep in my lap as I combed off most all of the fleas that were ravaging him. I believe we bonded that moment. He never left my side. He took right away to Feni who was 3 years old by that time. They became fast friends. He was a hound/shepherd mix and taught me a lot about what makes dogs tick. He always had his nose to the ground and taught me that sometimes you just need to stop and smell the roses! He loved the outdoors too and quickly joined me and Feni in our outdoor adventures. He was very laid back and nothing seemed to bother him - another perfect dog! He taught me that patience and consistency are key. Unfortunately, he succumbed to severe inflammatory bowel disease on December 4, 2008 at the age of 9 and passed away at my home. Even while battling his disease he was teaching me to be more vigilant and that quality dog food and nutrition matter so much. He is greatly missed and thought of often.
Teddy, Gayle and Charlie posing while out hiking in the Congaree National Park.
Charlie, "The National Bark Ranger"