About Morgan Stebbins, DMin, LMSW, LP
Hi! I'm Morgan Stebbins, owner of Cold Spring Dog Training. Although in my professional life I'm a Jungian psychoanalyst and professor of religious studies, I've been a dog lover my whole life, getting my first puppy at 7 years old! However, I didn't learn about formal training until coming to Cold Spring and meeting Gayle Watkins, the famous and brilliant trainer and breeder of champion Golden Retrievers. She is remembered by so many in Cold Spring: for 15 years she taught generations of dogs to listen to their owners! Unfortunately for us, she relocated to beautiful North Carolina.
After a few years studying with Gayle and then doing year-long programs with Michael Ellis and Denise Fenzi, I decided to continue Gayle's great classes through the Philipstown Rec. I felt that it was too important a service to the community to let the classes end. It can be a helpless feeling to love your dog but not really know how to communicate...and a good training program allows that beautiful connection to flourish - in a way that's beneficial to both of you as well as anyone else that might meet your dog. We lost our home at Phil/Rec due to the popularity of their children's programs - but we are now located at St. Basil's Academy - and we are very thankful for their generosity to our community and program.
It should be noted that we use an R+ (positive reinforcement) methodology at Cold Spring Dog Sports. This has been found to create the strongest bond between handler and dog and allows the dog to progress very quickly. However although R+ is based on powerful cognitive principles involving a dog's choice, it is in no way permissive. An owner/handler is responsible for the dogs well being and safety as well as their behavior - and this means the safety and comfort of others: we have found that this method gives precise results while still encouraging creativity in the dog.
About Denise Fenzi and the Fenzi TEAM Titles
Denise Fenzi is the queen of the online training realm called the Denise Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. She is a leader in the R+ dog training world and has won numerous titles and championships including in the dog-protection sport called Schutzhund. It was previously thought impossible to train a dog to the highest standards without the use of e-collars, but she has shown us otherwise!
Denise developed a titling program called Fenzi Team. It combines a range of important dog sport skills that are useful for any handler and give a foundation for any sport. After training in our class, handlers can submit a video to be evaluated for titling by the Fenzi judges. More information can be found in the following link.