Heinbaugh, owner of Dog Gone Amazing, travels the northern Nevada region training pets and owners, giving private and group lessons in homes, parks or walking hills using techniques that bring about happiness and peace.
She said her main goal is to see people happy with trained dogs, able to take them off leashes and behave as they should.
“I’ve had people cry because they’ve had such major changes in their life because of the changes in the dog’s relationship between the owner and dogs,” Heinbaugh said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
Heinbaugh has always surrounded herself with canines, she said. The Bishop, Calif. native worked in a veterinary hospital for a year, then moved into veterinary pharmaceutical sales and onto a pharmaceutical laboratory before deciding to open her own business training pets.
She first started pet sitting and dog walking and then started training dogs through programs in Colorado and elsewhere, she said.
“I’ve always had dogs in my life,” she said. “I always wanted to be a vet but didn’t want to take the full courses. I kind of fell into it and I found I’m naturally pretty good at it.”
The blond-haired trainer said her techniques differ from those of famous pet psychologist Cesar Millan. She focuses on behavior and works to have a balance between behavior and obedience.
“There should be a balance between obedience and behavior to have a well-rounded relationship with your dog,” she said. “People don’t understand proper behavior and proper socialization in the beginning and that leads to problems down the road.”
She also said the economy plays a part in the problems she sees with owners becoming frustrated with bad behaviors in their pets.
“People don’t have time for their dogs anymore,” Heinbaugh said. “People are working harder but they still want to keep their dogs.”
Another issue Heinbaugh finds troubling is the proper selection of pets for families, she said.
“You can get any type of dog, but the major thing to think about before selecting a dog is ... the dog needs to fit your lifestyle. You need to research it. I would love to help out with that.”
Heinbaugh has more than nine years of experience in dog training and behavior. She has attended several training courses and plans to expand her business. At the moment, she offers boarding, training, puppy training, board and train packages, private and in-home lessons customized to fit the lifestyle of the owner and dog. She also offers multiple group classes per month in real-life settings, she said. She offers these services to owners in Reno, Sparks and northern Nevada.
Her most popular offering is the “board-and-train” package, which can cost up to $2,900 for a 17- to 20-day program.
The training can offer many types of results, including obedience, off-leash obedience, loyalty, protection and socialization, she said. She also hopes to open www.adventurepet.com, a service much like dog walking, but where she will take pets into hills off-leash on adventure field trips. Costs vary. For more information about the adventure field trips, call 313-5557.
To learn more about Heinbaugh’s training and business, visit www.doggoneamazing.com, or call 742-0022.