Take the Lead K9 Training, created by Victoria Smith, focuses on creating balanced relationships with humans and dogs through leadership, obedience, behavior modification, and socialization. Behavior problems develop from a lack of structure and leadership in the relationship between humans and their dogs. Take the Lead K9 Training provides a detailed look at what makes a functional and relaxed home environment for the entire family. The first step to changing your dog's behavior is understanding that your behavior will have to change, too! Everything we do speaks something to our dog, and it is important for us to understand that we influence both the good and bad behaviors that we see. The key to creating a successful dog-human relationship is that the training you learn continue to be applied, even after our sessions are over-- think of dog training as not a set of tricks, but a continuous lifestyle, and you will have a great relationship with your dog. You CAN have the dog you've always wanted-- they are always ready for us to take the lead!
Owner & Trainer
Hello everyone! My name is Victoria, the owner and trainer of Take the Lead K9 Training!
I have dedicated my life to helping owners and dogs reach their full potential and achieve maximum fulfillment in their relationships! Like many of my clients, my dogs were nowhere near perfect, and actually had some very scary behaviors. I understand what it is like to feel hopeless-- thinking that you might have to give your dog away or that you might have to put your dog to sleep, because I have been in that position before. My dogs used to fight regularly, injuring each other as well as causing stress and anxiety for myself and my family. Not only did this create a strain and hardship on my relationships (affecting my personal and work life!) but it was also emptying my wallet with many trips to the vet to stitch up injuries. I made it my mission to figure out how to fix this problem--clearly what I was currently doing wasn't working! Through lots of studying, hands on practice, influence from other trainers, and soul searching I developed a unique approach to understanding dog behavior that solved my problems! I learned how to actually communicate with my dogs in a way they understood; I learned that I had to change my behaviors if I wanted to see change in my dogs. I began to learn how to read my dogs' body language and energy--the shift in behavior that would lead up to a fight. I discovered that I couldn't just be a lover, but that I needed to be a leader in order for them to be comfortable living with each other. I defined the triggers that caused problems, became more aware of the way they interacted with each other, learned A TON about dog psychology, and found out what it would take for them to live calmly around each other: they needed to follow my guidance, which would provide rules and boundaries. I was able to communicate with my dogs on a whole new level, and develop an even stronger and more in depth relationship with them than I thought possible. They began to defer to me, instead of just act on their first impulse--they finally saw me as their leader and someone they could trust to keep things nice and relaxed. They started to allow ME to make the decisions--imagine that? ;) My training method and lifestyle works so well that I have since adopted 2 more dogs, who also had wrap sheets which included biting humans and dogs, and have resolved their issues! (Not to mention my whole pack helps me help OTHER dogs reach their full potential!) I totally understand what it is like to keep trying things, searching for answers, but never finding the results you are looking for while you’re struggling with dangerous behavior in or outside of your home. I want to help people understand why these things are happening and how to fix it! We can work together to solve your problems, too! My life goal is to create calm and balanced dogs, relaxed home environments, and a highly satisfied and empowered owners. If you are ready to transform your dog and transform your life, I am ready to help!
I look forward to hearing from you!
**Victoria is a canine specialist with a BS in Psychology from the University of Central Florida. She is a member of The International Association of Canine Professionals, fully licensed and insured, and a veterinary assistant. She continues her dog training education by attending seminars and workshops around the country. She has attended and is now teaching modules at multiple Train the Trainers, which are unique workshops focusing on balanced training methods and behavior modification, taught by Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 Training (canine aggression specialist and host of “What Would Jeff Do?” radio show) and Sean O’Shea of The Good Dog Training and Rehabilitation (an internationally-recognized dog trainer and dog behavior expert who has studied with and assisted Cesar Millan). She also attended Tyler Muto's Conversational Leash Work & Dogmanship Through Feel Seminar and Chad Mackin's Pack to Basics Socialization Workshop.