Free Phone Consultation

Contact me now to discuss training for your puppy or dog

Want to get started with obedience training for your puppy or solving your dog's behavior problems? You can call or send an email through my Contact page.

Please take a few minutes to read some real-life experiences with my dog training services. San Francisco Dog Trainer Jeff Stallings YelpsI work hard to ensure my clients are 5-star satisfied. (Be sure to view the filtered yelps at the bottom of the page.)

Why choose a CCPDT-accredited trainer?

About the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers

Veterinarians generally prefer to refer patients to trainers who have attained the CPDT-KA (knowledge assessed) distinction.

I first earned this nationally-recognized certification in 2012 and after attaining the necessary continuing education in 2019, am certified through 2022. This credential requires years of experience; references from veterinarians, colleagues and clients; and a formal examination to confirm expertise and proficiency in dog learning theory, canine husbandry, and ethology—the scientific study of animal behavior.


CCPDT certified

Off-Leash Adventures

Parks and preserves for exercising your dog au naturale

One bonus of dog training is that a well-trained mutt enjoys more freedom in off-leash settings. San Francisco Dog Trainer Jeff Stallings' Training PhilosophyI have researched and hiked many gorgeous Bay Area beaches, parks and preserves that allow well-trained dogs off-leash. So take a hike with your best friend while enjoying the Bay Area’s ample natural beauty.

Santa Cruz Dog Training and Canine Behavior Consulting

By Jeff Stallings (CPDT-KA)

My name is Jeff Stallings, owner of Better Nature Dog Training and accredited by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. I work in and around Santa Cruz, providing at-home services between San Jose and the Monterey peninsula.

I train puppies and rehabilitate dogs using positive reinforcement and other natural means of behavior modification. My humane and holistic approach takes into account each individual dog's situation, including breed, background, temperament and—very importantly—household environment, to guide you towards a more gratifying, healthy relationship with your four-legged friends.

Training is an on-going process of growth and understanding between you and your canine companion. In the privacy of your home or in outdoor areas and parks across the Bay Area, we’ll examine how each interaction with your dog builds upon and enhances desired behaviors. I create custom dog training programs and then stay in close contact with you until you've achieved your goals.

San Francisco Dog Trainer Jeff Stallings and his sidekick Otis
San Francisco Dog Trainer Jeff Stallings Glacier National Park / September 2012

Together, we'll focus on positive communication and calm leadership to address:

Dog training via clear communication with your best friend

Dogs are spectacular communicators, their “words” formed by rumps, heads, legs and, most notably, tails and ears. Observe any two dogs (or a park full of dogs) greeting and interacting, and you’re watching precise and complex conversations regarding social order, invitations to play, instructions to stay away, etc.

Together, we'll exlpore how you can take advantage of this dog language (and the dog’s capacity to sense human emotional energy) to clearly tell your dog what you want her to do and know. I draw on a number of different methods, depending on the issue at hand:

Otis has earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen award
My dog and co-worker Otis, recipient of
the AKC Canine Good Citizen award.
  • Puppy training, such as the sit, lay down and stay commands—as well as trick-training for older dogs—is best accomplished with classic “operant conditioning”, or positive reinforcement.

  • Potty training is fast and effective when you set your home up for success then consistently follow “no mistake” guidelines.

  • To teach more advanced commands such as heel (not pulling on the leash), off (not jumping on people) and recalls, we’ll combine simple tools—training collars, short leashes and long lines—with specific, behavior-modifying exercises.

  • Serious behavioral problems, such as aggression, fearfulness and separation anxiety, require more intensive work, both on my part and yours. A specific training plan depends on each dog’s particular circumstance, and in some cases I'll refer out to a veterinary behaviorist.

Teaching you to train your dog

My training style takes advantage of many aspects of dog behavior—the way they think, learn and communicate; their ability to read our emotions; social behavior; and so forth—to rehabilitate and train dogs.

Dog butt-sniffing painting
This Brazilian oil painting is my constant reminder of the importance of dog rituals. Read more about why you should encourage this important canine greeting.

Following a free in-depth and informative phone consultation, I focus on helping you more effectively interact with and train your dog. After appointments, I am available by text, phone and email to answer questions about shaping and molding the relationship between you and your dog into a more perfect union.   

I work with clients all over the San Francisco Bay Area and in the Santa Cruz area. Please contact me for more information or to schedule an appointment.

For more information about my dog training methods, please read through the training philosophy section of this site and check out my training articles on my Dog Blog.




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