Train with Emma

Emma Kesler CPDT-KA is a terrier behavior specialist who has been conducting live online sessions and behavior consultations for nearly a decade. To be considered as a client with Emma Kesler CPDT-KA, please read the following page carefully, then fill out a client intake form.

I specialize in training terriers and work with clients all over the world.

Benefits of Terrier-Specific Training

Terriers are often considered “naughty dogs with selective hearing.” The reality is, it is possible to train your terrier and achieve impressive results if you use terrier-specific training methods. Without terrier-specific training methods, most will experience a friendship with their terrier, but they will not share a working relationship. When the working relationship is missing, a terrier will frequently be confused, unsure, and won’t see the value in things they don’t understand. They will then by default revert to instinctual behaviors that can appear “naughty.” This situation can become a bit of a downward spiral in some cases, because the human side of the equation may begin to put limitations on the dog for safety, and without the ability to effectively communicate, they may even feel pressure to use punishment to manage unwanted behaviors. This dynamic can limit the long-term relationship. Why not learn how to communicate effectively with your dog, instead? A terrier trained with terrier-specific methods will be calm, confident, and will not only listen to you, but will crave working with you. Terriers are wildly intelligent and can be the most incredible co-pilots, if only we know how to get the most out of them.

Benefits of Live Online Training

Terriers are very sensitive to environment and changes in routine. When a dog trainer comes into your home, your dog may respond when the expert is present, but often things go back to normal when the trainer leaves. So you had to clean your house, and your dog still won’t listen to you! Now you don’t have to clean your house if you don’t want to (no judgement here) and your dog will respond to YOU. In my live online training sessions, I teach you how to work with your dog in “real time” when your dog is just being themselves at home. I am known for my ability to understand terriers; and to customize training programs to most effectively help the dog at hand succeed. You will not only learn how to train your dog yourself, but you will receive the necessary coaching to feel confident living your daily life with your dog. Terriers keep life interesting, and nothing is better than feeling confident knowing that you know how to react to situations as they arise. The benefits for terriers of live online training are so immense that I ask local clients to do the majority of their lessons remotely too.

Emma has such insight into the terrier brain and how they perceive things. It has been an exciting experience to see Tory’s responsiveness to the training.

J.N.

Working with Emma has been nothing but amazing! We are finally able to connect with our puppy and enjoy him. He is so much calmer and relaxed.

M & R

Emma’s approach is very different from any other training instruction, in-person or book, which we have experienced (it is similar to learning a new “language” but way more fun!).

C & M

It’s amazing over the last couple of weeks how many people have said that Roscoe is very calm for a puppy! I think your lessons are doing the job!

A.O.

Life with a welsh terrier is not always easy, but with Emma’s help we have learned it can be very rewarding. And whenever I have doubts about something, need advice, or have successes to share, Emma is still the one I turn to first.

D & A

Emma has a real understanding of and appreciation for the terrier approach to life and she finds ways to work with your dog rather than against him or her. Emma is great with the owners too. She understands the extra challenges that come with some breeds and she is encouraging and supportive to people and their pets!

C.M.

Live Online Training Sessions

Anyone around the world can work with me. Each consultation/session is $120 USD and includes:

  • Live Training: A scheduled fun one-on-one 45-minute coached session, via video chat, from the comfort of your home.
  • Custom Homework: After your session, you will receive a PDF of your homework that is tailored to your and your dog.
  • 1 Week of Unlimited Support: For a week after your session, you can ask me questions via email and text message relating to the lesson, and you are encouraged to send me videos to review.
  • Easy Tech: All you need is an iPad, computer, or cellphone + internet connection. I’ll explain the rest!

CORE PROGRAMS

1 planning consultation + 4 training sessions

Planning, prevention, proper routines, and critical early training. Train a puppy who is ahead of the pack!

How it works:

The initial consultation: The first meeting is a consultation where we will discuss your lifestyle and I will go through recommended gear and home set-ups. This consultation is conducted whether or not your puppy is already home, but please note, It is ideal to do BEFORE your puppy comes home.

A month of critical early training: The following 4 sessions, done weekly over the course of a month, are care and training based sessions. I pack a lot into this program and am very experienced at helping you get your home routines streamlined, in addition to covering a huge amount of ground in critical early training. Throughout this program, you have access to the ability to text message and email me unlimited questions during your month of training. You will have full access to an expert throughout the critical first month of care, socialization, and training. Getting organized and setting off on the right foot is truly invaluable with a terrier.

Why to Take Training Seriously, BEFORE your puppy comes home

Getting a puppy is a busy and exciting time. I recieve many inquiries from owners before their puppies arrive and frequently people prioritize training only after the first few days are a struggle. That will always be a juncture where training suddenly seems necessary and urgent! I am a professional full-time trainer. If you can, please apply leaving some flex time to get into my roster.

I do not mind helping people unravel challenges developed over the first few days home, however, clients who start before their puppy comes home tend not to have to do this extra work. Remember that behavior is learned, and practice can happen hundreds of times in only a few days.Puppies will practice what comes naturally to them; it is not their fault.

Each consultation/session is $120. This program has 1 consultation and 4 sessions, totalling to 5. Payment for the program can be made in full, or be paid per-session.

1 planning consultation + 4 training sessions

This program is perfect if you have not done my puppy foundations. Maybe you just brought a dog into your life, or you raised your terrier and now want to approach training in whole new, terrier-savvy way.

  • Help your terrier understand how to live happily with you
  • Learn great daily routines for a relaxing life with your terrier
  • Avoid common mistakes that can lead to long-term serious terrier behaviour problems
  • Learn how to capture the focus of your terrier, and create a strong work ethic from your terrier
  • Walk away with a strong training foundation with your terrier
  • Address any current challenges

How it works:

The initial consultation: The first meeting is a consultation where we will discuss your lifestyle and your dog’s history. I will also go through recommended gear and home set-ups.

A month of training: Once we have completed the consultation, we can begin training! The training foundations program is done over 4 sessions, which are scheduled weekly over the course of a month. I pack a lot into this program and am very experienced at helping you get your home routines streamlined, in addition to covering a huge amount of ground in foundation training. For adult dogs, this foundation training is usually paired with strategies to address any pre-existing challenges you are having.

Challenges?

Adult Foundations consists of 1 consultation and 4 training sessions. This is standard to build a strong foundation for the average adult terrier through this program. Because the program is customized, and for adult dogs who have not yet done terrier-specific foundations, it is expected that part of the work will be to address current challenges.

Please note that if your challenges are strongly established, numerous, and/or serious, I may recommend additional sessions to address concerning challenges. I am always upfront ahead of time.

Each consultation/session is $120. This program has 1 consultation and 4 sessions, totalling to 5. Payment for the program can be made in full, or be paid per-session.

1 planning consultation + 4 training sessions

A terrier who will have strangers exclaiming, “wow, what a highly-trained dog!”

Create the terrier you never thought was possible — one that doesn’t pull on leash, comes when called, and loves their crate. Establish advanced routines that will make life simple and enjoyable with your terrier.

How it works:

For puppies (prerequisite Puppy Foundations): Once a puppy is 12+ weeks old is usually the time that the average owner takes their puppy to group puppy classes, and it is coincidentally around the age problems start to arise in terrier pups who haven’t gone through a terrier specific program early on. However, if you have done my Puppy Foundations, you will be well ahead of the pack, and we can begin introducing more complex skills at this stage. Advanced Terrier Foundations teaches you and your dog real-world skills and builds upon the strong foundation we built in Baby Puppy Foundations.

For Adult dogs (prerequisite Adult Foundations): Now that you have established a strong working relationship with your terrier, we can get to task on real-world skills and build upon the strong foundation we built in Adult Foundations! This is a very exciting time and where training gets really fun and progresses very quickly. Training programs are always customized on your needs, but usually this course involves lots of leash-walking training, advanced crate training, work on terrier self-control.

A stable, confident, well-adjusted dog.

Each consultation/session is $120. This program has 4 sessions. Payment for the program can be made in full, or be paid per-session.

Prerequisite: Puppy OR Adult foundations

Whether you just want to have fun with your dog and tire them out; or you have dreams of competing in agility — you’ve come to the right place! No equipment is involved, unless you are very keen and would like to make or purchase a jump. This is a wildly fun course that will provide you will excellent handling skills and routines that you can also use at-home for the rest of your dog’s life to tire them out indoors on those rainy days.

I have developed this session based on years of working with families. in this single session I lead your child/children through the fundamentals of being a kid around dogs! My goal is to help young people be confident about dogs, know how to have safe and fun playtime with dogs they know, learn what service dogs are, and to become savvy and confident about how to react to dogs. This session is equally valuable for children who live with dogs, and those who don’t. *This session can be gifted to families with children. Friends are welcomed to join!

Special Topics

Think you can’t go hiking with your terrier? Think again! I am passionate about helping people do more with their terriers!

My Welsh Terrier Miles was the first DMWYD (Do More With Your Dog) Trick Dog Champion, and the first Welsh Terrier to earn the AKC’s Trick Dog Performer (Champion) title! I am passionate about the benefits and fun of trick training and highly skilled in teaching terriers tricks.

I have worked closely with top breeders for nearly a decade. I am aware of your needs and highly respectful of your privacy. I always work with privacy contracts. Common topics include: lead skills, focus, ring confidence, crate training, travel challenges, physical conditioning, retirement transition and assessing homes for co-ownership.

I am skilled in developing exercise and conditioning programs for terriers to obtain optimal physical health. Healthy dogs are relaxed, too. Finding suitable ways to physically wear out terriers can be tough, and having a backyard often isn’t the solution! I have helped create easy to implant fitness programs for conformation dogs, canine athletes, and family pets alike.

I am skilled at handstripping, and at coaching owners to strip their terriers at home. There are many misconceptions about handstripping — that it is painful, that it should only be done by a professional groomer. If done with proper training and techniques, handstripping is NOT painful and has many benefits:

  • Waterproof coat
  • Glossy coat
  • Less itchiness, less reaction to common allergens
  • Your dog will feel safe and relaxed with proper training
  • You will save money
  • Your dog will look amazing

I offer private coaching on how to clipper your terrier.

    • Breed-savvy haircuts
    • Save money by grooming your dog yourself
    • Easy to do!
    • Desensitize your dog so they aren’t anxious or fearful

Behavior Consulting

Initial Assessments are 60-90 minutes via video chat and include:

  • Live Help: A scheduled, relaxed, in-depth video chat. Feel free to include your family and/or children, provided everyone is safe and comfortable. Don’t worry if you aren’t technologically savvy, I am experienced and can help you get set up.
  • Custom Documentation: A comprehensive PDF assessment after our discussion, providing you with clear information about your case.
  • 1 Week of Unlimited Support: One week of text message and email support. No lingering questions left unanswered.
  • Expert Referrals: If your case will benefit from professional referrals, I have a wide network of resources and referral professionals to guide you to.
  • If Training is Suitable: If follow-up consultations and/or a training program is best for your case and you are ready and comfortable to proceed, subsequent consults/sessions are 45 minutes long and are $120 each.

Reactivity, fear, strange behaviors, nipping, chasing, multiple dogs multiple problems? I am skilled in assessing your dog(s) and developing a plan for any challenges you might be facing. I am passionate not just about approaching specific problems, but also, about teaching you how to better understand and work with your dog so that you can handle both current and new challenges as they arise.

Please fill out an Intake Form and mention at the end that you are seeking behavior consulting.

Are you a “failure” if you are concerned for your family’s safety with your terrier? Is your terrier “damaged” or abnormal?

If you are asking yourself these questions, the answer to both is likely “no.” Terriers are euthanized every year because families end up in over their heads, and feel like they have nowhere to turn. Fear and shame often play the ultimate roles in whether a dog is rehabilitated or not, and they shouldn’t. You should feel supported if you are struggling. In every case I have approached, the client’s worries about safety were valid. It takes courage to reach out for help. I offer an assessment that will rate a dog’s potential for rehabilitation, and will give a clear and expert layout of what such a program would entail. This is a document that allows you to determine if you or your family can take on rehabilitation, or if it is more ethical to connect with the breeder or a rescue group to consider re-homing. In the later case, having an assessment form from an professional will be an asset for your dog’s future.

Intake Form for At-Risk Assessments

Emma's Approach

More About Emma

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer – Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) through the Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). I have held this industry-leading certification since 2014. I am an active member of The Welsh Terrier Club of America (training writer and webmaster), The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (Professional Member since 2014), and the Dog Writers Association of America (Professional Member since 2014, and 2017, 2018 & 2019 Competition Judge). I have been awarded 3 prestigious Maxwell Awards through the DWAA. My own Welsh Terrier started out the most unlikely training prospect. You can read more about his story on our About Page, or throughout this blog. Today, Miles has over 70 titles in performance, and holds the record for being the most titled performance Welsh Terrier internationally of all time.

Emma and her Welsh Terrier “Miles” competing at the 2020 Masters Agility Championship at Westminster in NYC

Client Stories

“When I brought my Welsh Terrier puppy home at 9 weeks of age, I had 2 goals that I wanted to accomplish: good behavior and good socialization. I had been following the milesandemma.com website for several years. Having had a previous Welsh, I was amazed how well behaved Miles was. So when I found the article ‘Train with Emma,’ I immediately sent her an email.

The on-line sessions started the first week. The instruction is simple and seems to build one week at a time. Each session is reinforced through written homework and videos. This is so important since the execution has to be done correctly by the owner. Emma has such insight into the terrier brain and how they perceive things. It has been an exciting experience to see Tory’s responsiveness to the training. Whatever she learns seems to become imprinted very quickly into her brain.

I also enrolled Tory into puppy obedience classes locally to provide her with socialization. At the beginning and end of each session, time was allowed for socialization. She did well with all the puppies no matter how big or small. However to my surprise, she became very resistant to the training method used at the local class and seemed to shut down. It was this experience that made me realize that terriers need a special approach in their learning, which is what Emma offers.”

“We are very happy with and very grateful to Emma for all the help and training she has given us with our 9 month old Welsh Terrier puppy. Let’s just say that the nickname we used to have for our puppy before we started working with Emma was ‘monster’. He used to be very restless all the time in the house and outside of the house with behaviors such as: biting our pants and coat sleeves when we would be walking him outside, biting the leash all the time, grabbing things in the house and chewing on them, going potty in the house and in his crate (even while eating and on top of his food!) and generally needing attention and supervision from us at all times. We were spending all of our non-working, non-sleeping hours completely revolved around him, yet at the end of the day it felt like we barely accomplished anything, we were exhausted, didn’t have time for each other, and to show for it we were still not on the same page as our puppy. Needless to say, we were in despair, feeling hopeless and not really sure how to handle him. We tried everything; reading books and doing searches upon searches in google, watching videos on youtube and even started training with an ‘old school’ trainer. We were getting mixed information from all the different sites and no solution to our problems which created even more confusion and despair. We couldn’t communicate with our dog. We only lasted 2 sessions with the ‘old school’ trainer that was teaching us that it was really us against the dog and we had to clarify to him who was the boss. After our second session, our puppy was showing signs of shutting down and being more distant from us while sometimes he was afraid (forcibly refusing) to come next to us in case we harm him while using one of the ‘old school’ training methods. After seeing that we were really alarmed and started looking for a new trainer and that’s when we were fortunate enough to stumble upon Emma. Working with Emma has been nothing but amazing! We cannot believe the amount of change we see in our puppy in just over one month of working with her. We are finally able to connect with our puppy and enjoy him. He is so much calmer and relaxed and he seems to be enjoying his life and be himself without causing trouble. There is no more biting of our pants and the leash, no more going potty in his crate, the accidents in the house are close to non-existent, no more restlessness, walking well on the leash next to us without force and no biting and destroying of stuff in the house. We now leave him in the house in our living room or in the office room when we are there and he is free to walk around without a leash and do what he wants and he has been behaving very well. It used to take at least 15-20 minutes to go potty when we would take him out, now he goes within 2 minutes of going out! We couldn’t be any happier with the amount of progress and the short time we were able to achieve it with our puppy. It turns out Welsh Terriers don’t really react well to pressure and trying to be on their side (instead of on top of them like a boss) and cheering them, reinforcing the good behaviors works very well with them. At least that’s what has worked with our puppy. They are such intelligent and unique dogs. It’s amazing how fast our puppy has been picking up on things once we removed any pressure from him and started trying to make things fun for him (and for us) working the way that Emma has been showing us. Not only are we more relaxed and happier, but it is very obvious that our puppy is happier and trusts us much more. We are really looking forward to continuing training and connecting more and more with our puppy.”

“Thanks to Emma, my husband and I understand our Welsh Terrier, Knox even more! We found Emma through our breeder and decided to reach out to have a refresher course in Welsh Terrier puppy speak. It had been 15 years since we had a Welsh Terrier puppy and we wanted to make sure we started out our new puppy with on a good, solid foundation. Well after a grooming experience that labeled our puppy ”wild” I quickly reached out to Emma. She put together a plan to help desensitize Knox to being groomed (side note, he wasn’t wild at all…just not used to being brushed, which is logical) along with a few other exercises in foundation training. I can’t tell you how happy we are with the results and that is based on the brushing ALONE! What a complete difference from just 4 weeks ago…it’s almost unbelievable! We can now get near Knox with a brush and brush him without him wiggling away or trying to eat the brush.

Additionally, it has been really helpful to understand what motives our puppy and his inner Welsh Terrier mind. Emma’s approach is very different from any other training instruction, in-person or book, which we have experienced (it is similar to learning a new “language” but way more fun!).

Her approach has proven that training a terrier is very different from training other breeds. Emma’s understanding of the breed and seeing her and Miles working together, is inspirational and makes me want the same for Knox and us. In such a short time Emma has become such a valuable resource. We look forward to learning more from Emma and Miles in the years to come!”

“It’s amazing over the last couple of weeks how many people have said that Roscoe is very calm for a puppy! I think your lessons are doing the job!”

“Even before we got our Welsh Terrier puppy, Oliver, we read stacks of dog training books. We had a plan and we felt completely prepared to raise and train a puppy. But when we brought Oliver home, our wild terrier puppy did not seem to fit any of the descriptions in the books, and none of their tips or methods seemed to be working. Even a trainer that we brought in did not offer us effective solutions. We quickly became frustrated and felt like we’d taken on more than we could handle. Oliver was labelled as “a terrorist”, a dominant puppy, or the worst of the litter. Not knowing what else to do, I reached out to the author of my favourite blog for help.

Emma was a lifesaver then, and continues to be, even a few years later. She helped us to understand Oliver better, and has given us invaluable information about terriers, training, grooming, nutrition, useful products – you name it! It is so comforting to have someone to turn to that understands exactly what we are going through.

A little while later, when we spontaneously adopted a senior Airedale, Millie, it was Emma I turned to for advice. It was also Emma that I emailed back and forth in the middle of the night while I worriedly lay up with Millie after her cancer surgery, and it was Emma that supported us after Millie passed away a few months later.

The special bond that Emma and Miles have, and what they have achieved together is so inspirational for other full-strength terrier owners, us included. Today, Oliver is almost 3, and still has wild moments and a few bad habits that we need to work on. But he is calming down with age, has become quite affectionate, and seems to have bonded with us in his own way. Life with a welsh terrier is not always easy, but with Emma’s help we have learned it can be very rewarding. And whenever I have doubts about something, need advice, or have successes to share, Emma is still the one I turn to first.”

“Emma has a real understanding of and appreciation for the terrier approach to life and she finds ways to work with your dog rather than against him or her. Emma is great with the owners too. She understands the extra challenges that come with some breeds and she is encouraging and supportive to people and their pets!”

“With my partner, we decided to get a Welsh terrier and as this breed is not very popular in Bulgaria, we started searching the net for more info. That’s how I found Miles & Emma. First I read the blog, then at some point I decided to write her a mail and seek advice if the breed is right for us. Emma replied immediately with a lot info and resources where we could find answers to our questions. It was probably 2 years later that we finally got little Welsh and of course I wrote to Emma again. She gave us hints on house breaking, crate training, grooming and many other topics. Emma also shared with us links to articles, blogs and other online resources that helped us get relevant info quickly. Our Arie is now a little over a year old and I am still every now and then turning to her for advice when I am not sure what is the best way to handle a situation and I know that I will get the best possible support right away.”

Emma Kesler is a CPDT-KA

What makes a CPDT-KA Different?

The CPDT-KA designation is not a certification that is “bought.” Here are the steps towards becoming a CPDT-KA:

Proven 300+ hours of paid dog training services to a variety of clients, within a 3 year term.

Once experience hours are verified, the candidate becomes eligible for the exam.

The exam is scheduled ahead of time and conducted at a secure testing facility. Candidate may not bring notes and is observed by a monitor throughout the entire test.

The exam is 4 hours, 250 multiple-choice questions.

There is no course to prepare candidates for this exam.

IF a candidate passes, they then must prove ongoing growth and knowledge in the form of 36 highly specific approved Continuing Education credits every 3 years.

There are only approximately 3,000 CPDT-KAs worldwide.


About the CCPDT

"Until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals.

Many schools teach dog trainers and offer certifications for their specific programs. These certifications, therefore, reflect the teachings and quality of a specific school. Other organizations offer take-home tests for “certification.” These canine professionals are not monitored to ensure they are completing the test without any assistance or collaboration nor is the testing process standardized. This unprecedented process was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest association of dog trainers in the world, founded by noted veterinarian, behaviorist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar.

A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviorists worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination. The Professional Testing Corporation was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards. The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers exists to be the industry leader in defining and maintaining competency in the dog training and behavior profession, and The CPDT-KA continues to be the only NCCA accredited credentialing examination available to dog trainers.


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