Amy Cook, Ph.D. has been training dogs for nearly 25 years, and through Full Circle Dog Training in Oakland, CA, has been specializing in the rehabilitation of shy and fearful dogs for over 15 years.
She is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant through the IAABC, a longstanding professional member of the APDT, and was one of the first trainers nationally to become a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through independent evaluation.
Amy returned to school in 2006 to get her PhD in Psychology from UC Berkeley. Her research focused on the dog-human relationship and its effect on the problem solving strategies dogs employ.
What My Students Are Saying
Don’t just take it from me, let my students do the talking!
While working under Amy’s guidance, I started to feel more confident about any potential triggers that we could come across.
We started to enjoy our relaxed (!) walks together opposed to my dog being frantic looking for things to sniff, stare or pounce at.
We learned so much in this class and will continue to practice our skills and grow confidence and appropriate behavior. Thank you, Amy!Anya K.
The concepts of behavioral change just aren’t easy to grasp. We have been working for years now in our attempts to affect change in our easily aroused Aussie.
I felt I was quite familiar with the concept of “threshold” as an example. In this class I feel I am finally starting to get it!
Amy’s analogy of the traffic signal (green/yellow/orange/red) when talking about thresholds has been invaluable. I use it daily. Thank you, Amy, for your thoughtful input and your support throughout this class.Sandy H.
All the “exercises” suggested during the course are aimed at helping dogs overcome their fear and they really work.
The most valuable thing, to me, was the reminder about keeping under threshold.
Also extremely valuable was that I was able to arm myself with good information to be able to tell people that I knew what I was doing when I “comforted” my scared young dog instead of “making her snap out of it.”Sarah G.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Play Way?
Is your dog brilliant at home but shuts down at the show? Does he bark and lunge at people or dogs? Is she afraid of the teeter? Does he seem generally stressed out?
All of these common behaviors can be addressed through understanding basic rehabilitation principles! For a pet dog, dealing with behavior challenges is a good idea. For a competition dog, it is non-negotiable. Our goal is to make your dog enthusiastic about performance (and life!) so he can enjoy himself!
The Play Way is Amy’s method of helping shy and fearful dogs overcome these issues to live a happier, less-stressed life. Rather than focusing on food, as many do when working with these dogs, Amy has established a more nuanced rehabilitation process that revolves around play.
She believes play is a much more reliable method of judging a dog’s true behavioral thresholds, while being equally effective at changing the dog’s conditioned emotional response to particular stimuli.
How do online classes work?
Online classes are composed of lectures, videos, and images created by Amy for that specific course. Students can join each class as either a Gold, Silver, or Bronze student. Each level includes a different amount of participation.
All levels have access to all lectures, videos, and images.
Gold members receive their own forum, where they post videos and receive direct instructor feedback. Other students can follow along by watching videos submitted by Gold students and reading the instructor’s responses. Both Gold and Silver members can also participate in the student forums and ask questions.
Bronze members receive read-only access (you can read everything, but can’t comment).
Online classes are a great way to work on rehabilitating fearful, shy, and reactive dogs because they allow you to work at the dog’s pace and expose the dog to new situations as they are ready for each new stage of learning.
All of Amy’s group classes are currently online classes hosted by the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy.
Are you available to come do a seminar near me?
Amy presents seminars on a variety of positive training and performance sport topics with a focus on helping fearful, shy, and reactive dogs. She presents a limited number of seminars per year.
To see upcoming events, see the events page.
If you’d like to book Amy for an event, please contact her here.
Do you do private lessons?
Yes. Amy offers private lessons on a limited basis in the Oakland, California area.
What if I have a question not answered here?
If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please feel free to email Amy directly via her contact page.