Round Rock's In-Home Dog Trainer
Welcome! My name is Leighann, and I'm the human behind Koinonia.
Dogs have interested me since childhood, but without a family pet I had to get creative to be around them. In 2001, I began dog-sitting and in 2003 I transitioned to in-home, home-style boarding. Years of boarding have given me experience with many different sizes, ages, breeds and personalities.
Training and behavior modification have also been long-time fascinations for me. In 2009 and 2010, I had the privilege of Foster Training for Service Dogs, Inc. Those months were pivotal stepping stones in my training career, and the private lessons I received from their staff of professionals launched me into the reward-based dog training world. Seven years later, I volunteered as a Puppy Raiser and spent three months getting an in-depth look at making puppies successful.
In my free time, I enjoy cooking, singing with the Round Rock Community Choir, reading and watching suspense-filled TV dramas with my family.
Continuing Education and Completed Courses of Study:
- June 2014: Assistance Dog Training for Professionals Workshop, Service Dogs, Inc.
- April 2015: Real Solutions to Canine Behavior Problems, Pat Miller
- June 2015: Pet First Aid and CPR Certification; Austin Pet First Aid
- May 2016: Advanced Dog Training Topics, Ken Ramirez
- July 2016: 4-Day SIRIUS Dog Trainer Academy, Dr Ian Dunbar
- February 2018: Sociability vs. Aggression in Dogs, Sue Sternberg
Koinonia uses reward-based training techniques for all dogs and problems. I believe this philosophy is more than than a way to train; it's a way to communicate and live successfully with dogs on a daily basis. My approach seeks to correct the cause of behavior problems (not just the symptoms) and prioritizes a dog's emotional well-being.
To read more details about my philosophy, check out these entries from the Koinonia blog:
- Proactive Planning versus Reactive Responses
- What Should My Dog Do Instead?
- Break it Down: Fast, Fun, and Effective Training
- The Almost-No-Work Way to Fix Behavior Problems
"What's up with that name?" Glad you asked! Koinonia (koi-no-nee-uh) is Greek and speaks to the idea of fellowship and togetherness.
- Communication is at the heart of my love of training. There is something beautiful about taking a dog with no shared vocabulary, and teaching him that certain words, signals, or scenarios mean specific things for his behavior.
- I also cherish togetherness, and desire to see dogs and their families spending as much time together as possible. I advocate for training because I believe that well-behaved, well-socialized dogs enjoy richer lives spent with their families compared to their uneducated counter-parts.