Lisa, who are you & why should I trust you?
My name is Lisa Rapacki. I am a human woman from planet Earth with a bit of a potty mouth a ton of experience with dogs.
I love dogs. Dogs are great.
I love training dogs, too. I've been training dogs for over 15 years and have four precious mofos of my own.
I could go on trying to convince you of how awesome I am at dog training (if I wasn't busy actually training dogs) – but for all you know I could be an egomaniac. I prefer to let my results speak for themselves, so I recommend you check out my clients' testimonials instead.
What is your training philosophy?
Dogs are sources of joy and unconditional love. They can be one of the best parts of our lives. BUT they can be a hella source of stress when ill-behaved.
My goal as a trainer is to help you change unwanted behaviors that drive you insane so you can ENJOY your best mofo friend!
“meh” dog training and my dog training.
- Effective training is FUN.
Even dogs with serious mofo behavioral issues benefit from training that incorporates a sense of play (who wouldn't rather play games than do chores?)
- Effective training comes from a place of AUTHENTICITY.
I am at my best – as a human being and as a trainer – when I'm authentically myself. When I come to work every day, I bring my authentic self and all the quirkiness (and sailor's mouth) that comes with it. Your dogs don't respect fake-ass people any more than you do.*
* If you DO like fake-ass people, I probably won't be your cup of tea.
- Effective training is KIND.
I work at finding the balance between consequence and kindness. Some dogs need a simple no, some dogs need to be placed, some dogs need a leash and collar correction, some dogs need a pinch collar. What that looks like for you and your dog all depends. The key is to communicate your desires to your dog without physical punishment or bullying.
Training begins with lots of treats – treats for doing anything at all correctly. Over time, treats are reserved for perfect behavior – the perfect sit, the perfect recall. Finally, it moves to a variable reward system, with random treats. They may get a treat several days in a row, or maybe they may not get a treat for 2 weeks. This keeps them “on their toes” and solid in obedience.
- Effective training acknowledges that dogs and their families are all DIFFERENT.
- Training that fits organically into your everyday life is training you will use.
- Creating training games that align with the learning style of the individual dog is an essential part of my training process.
- I strongly encourage clients to make the training process their own. Take what works (and what is FUN) home and share it with the whole household. Focusing on your (and your dog's!) favorite training games establishes consistency.
You mentioned 15 years experience. Can you elaborate?
What is your Experience? – Click for the BOOM.
- Obedience & Behavior Modification Graduate, Cavalier K9 Dog Training
- Two-Year Apprenticeship, Nicely Trained Canine
- Certificate, Debbie Kaye Super Sniffer Dog School
- Certificate, Wendy Volhart Dog Nutrition
- Certificate, Diabetic Alert Dog Training
- Training Staff, Dogs Deserve Better, Smithfield, VA
- The Foundation for Service Dog Support Evaluator
- AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator
- Therapy Dogs International (TDI) Evaluator
- Therapy Dog Work with Veterans, USO of Hampton Roads and Central Virginia
- Therapy Dog Work with Prisoners, United States Penitentiary Lee
- Therapy Dog Work with Residents, Local Retirement Homes
- Volunteer Educator on Dog Safety with Elementary Students, Cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, & Suffolk Public School Systems
- Volunteer Educator, Dog & Children Reading Program, Virginia Beach Library
- Volunteer Training & Fostering, Ruff Road Pet Rescue, Portsmouth VA
- Volunteer Work at Local Animal Shelters
- 15+ Years Private Training with Clients, Individual & Group Classes
- Kennel & Daycare, Owner, Cities of Norfolk & Portsmouth VA