First Paw Forward was established in 2010 and is operated by trainer Dana Hutchins.
Why Choose Us?
- We Know How to Have Fun! My training and personal life is focused on fun, stress-relieving activities that enrich the mind and body of both dog and owner. I want to pass that onto you!
- Method. I teach by the principle of LIMA – the Least Intrusive Minimally Aversive methods are used to train your dog in an effective, humane, dog-friendly way. Not everyone does this. They suck. People should do what works for dogs.
- Knowledge. I know the difference between popular reality show fads, traditional trainers with outdated training methods, and modern, science-based, positive dog training that works. I can help you understand how to train correctly in a down to earth way. And I keep up with professional continuing education courses every year so that my clients benefit.
- Experience. I have worked with puppies through seniors and all breeds, and we know how to effectively communicate with our clients and can lead you to succeed in your goals.
- Excellence. We can’t promise to be the better than the rest, but we hold a commitment to being the best we possible CAN be for the sake of our clients.
- Integrity. We know we are changing lives, and we take that seriously! Our client relationships, our professionalism, and our commitment to the latest in science-based training methods is our priority.
- Partnership. We have relationships with other positive dog professionals, and if it’s not our area of expertise, we can refer you to a trusted professional.
- We are people friendly! Not all dog trainers are, and that doesn’t make them bad trainers, but it can make it hard to work well with them.
- Professional Member APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers)
- PPG Pet Professional Guild Professional Member
- Member MAAPPPT (Mid-Atlantic Association of Professional Positive Pet Trainers)
- C.A.T.C.H. Mentor Trainer
- AKC CGC & STAR Puppy Evaluator
- Veterinary Assistant – P.A.W.S. Pet Acupuncture & Wellness
- SPCA volunteer and member of the training and behavior “Green Team”
- Volunteer professional trainer/behavior consultant for SEVA GRREAT (Golden Retriever rescue of SE Virginia)
- Organizer of the “Meetup.com” group “Positive Dog Trainers”
- Red Cross Pet First Aid Training Certification
- Professional hobby breeder at Frantone Golden Retrievers
- Usui Reiki Master
- Karuna Reiki Practitioner II
- Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist & CHEK HLC
Activism and Contribution
We support organizations active in protecting the dignity of the human person. We are involved in humanitarian and arts non-profits and give 10% of our proceeds to these organizations. Organizations include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU, National Action Network and more.