In Home Dog Training

Holistic Dog Training 

Why Holistic?

Holistic Dog Training encompasses the understanding of behavior, the teaching of skills, the assessment of subtle body energy, nutrition, and the exchange of energy/communication between animal and human.

Dana uses an innovative “Elemental Approach” to prescribing balance in your dog. By applying the concept of elements, which are thriving and innate in all living things in nature, we have a greater perspective of harmony in your dog and what it takes to bring she or he into balance in order to live optimally.

Your Dog’s Basic Needs & Considerations:

  • Air: Thought, Focus, Creativity
  • Fire: Love, Motivation, Drive (instinct)
  • Earth: Constitution, Routine, Habits
  • Water: Ease, Flow, Play

Included in your first session:

  • Behavior – the science behind the unwanted or desired behavior
  • Skills – a reward-based approach that respects your dog’s unique needs and methods of communicating
  • Nutrition – how nutrition not only can affect behavior but overall well-being and longevity
  • Enrichment – covering play, exercise, love, socialization, and all things in between
  • Energy Balance – an assessment of your dog’s chakras (energy centers) and a re-balancing of those chakras with Reiki and shamanic healing
  • Animal Communication – psychic/telepathic communication with your dog for an enhanced perspective of the situation


Beginning The Holistic Way

In Holistic training, we recognize that the best time to start is right now. 

 I have worked with easy dogs and problem dogs on every type of behavior issue. Don’t be afraid to make a phone call, even if you’ve waited years to resolve a problem. Many of my clients simply haven’t known what to do or where to turn – that’s where Empowered Dog Training comes in! Our holistic approach is compassionate, wise, and filled with knowledge and common sense that will leave you feeling empowered in your relationship with your dog. 

P.S. – My favorite clients are not dogs but PEOPLE! People who love to learn. Dogs are the easy part. 🙂


Examples of typical client dogs I have worked with:

  • A young rescue dog who was afraid to go outside and pulled horrendously. He did his business, afraid of all the noises, then pulled his owners back to the house. Often he would have accidents in the house.
  • A shy, adolescent female rescue whose owner wanted to learn tricks and build confidence for a future in agility.
  • A sweet senior rescue who had anxiety in the city. Her owners didn’t realize that her body language was trying to tell them she was nervous on the busy streets.
  • A rambunctious young male who jumped on his owners so excitedly that he frequently ripped their clothing.
  • An anxious dog who barked and lunged at strange dogs on walks but was perfectly sweet at home.
  • Two smart and happy large dogs that were terribly (and commonly) ill-mannered in the house – jumping, bolting through doors, leaping off furniture, never coming when called. 🙂
  • Two sweet rescue siblings who not only needed an improvement in house-manners, they wanted to learn some fun skills and new tricks to keep them busy.
  • A puppy whose typical puppy antics drove their family nuts until they were taught all about “typical puppy behavior” and given strategic solutions for management and learning.
  • A well-mannered dog who needed some fine-tuning of skills and behaviors in order to become a therapy dog.

NOTE: I do NOT work with serious dog aggression cases. This includes bite cases. Aggression cases where a dog has bitten another dog or person, which required medical care, should be seen by a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), or if one is not available, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (IAACB). 

Skills you can learn – 

  • The Basics: sit, down, come (recall), wait, targeting, leave it, heel (stay by me)
  • Beyond Basics – REALLY “stay,” target different things, retrieve, pivot on things, lots more fun!
  • How to be a therapy dog (be well-mannered enough to visit seniors and children and make them feel loved and happy)
  • Walking well on a leash
  • Tricks
  • Foundations for performance sports

Other things we address – 

Common behavior problems such as:

  • Nuisance barking
  • Mild separation anxiety
  • Jumping on strangers
  • Fear reactivity / shyness or anxiety


dog training

First Paw Forward’s Elemental Approach to prescribing balance in your dog

What method of skill training do I use?

Positive, force-free, science-based learning. That means that a bunch of really smart science-y people did studies to find out the most effective and efficient way to train your dog in a way that doesn’t hurt them physically, emotionally or psychologically. In other words – IT WORKS. And it happens to be FUN for both you and your dog.

We will use a clicker in most cases, because of its efficacy in training.


Initial Sessions are $211 for 90 minutes

A 3-session followup training package is $333*

*Reiki sessions are available as an add-on service for $45 


Important Policies:

Session packages: Sessions must be used within 3 months of purchase; any remaining sessions after 3 months are forfeit without refund. Should you wish to continue training after this time you will need to purchase additional sessions. 

Refund Policy: We do not offer refunds. Should you purchase a package and decide you no longer desire training after an initial session, your remaining sessions are forfeit without refund

Schedule Appointment

We service the Far West End/Short Pump/Wyndham area, Western Henrico, Midlothian and Richmond City. Ask us about parts of Hanover, Eastern Henrico, Chesterfield, and Goochland before booking.


Subsequent sessions are $141/hour or $360 for 3 sessions.


Is this training right for you? Let’s get to know each other first! Email or call (804) 719-1PAW for a complimentary phone consult. 


AKC CGC Testing:

As an AKC CGC Evaluator, I offer CGC testing for a nominal fee. Testing is done at either Stony Point Shopping Center or Bass Pro Shops. Contact me below for questions and to schedule an appointment.

Learn more about the CGC test here


Quick Questions? Reach out!