Dog Training and Behavior Consulting, LLC

Laura Donaldson, PhD, CDBC, KPA CTP

Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, IAABC
Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Lead Behavior and Training Consultant,
Cayuga Dog Rescue

Contact Me for More Information

Creating a Confident and Focused Dog

The Control Unleashed® program has successfully helped many dogs, including pet dogs needing more focus and confidence as well as dogs training for performance sports such as agility, herding or fly ball.  For more information, please see the CU2® page on this website.  To register, use the website's contact form or email me directly. 



“Training is a lifelong process of befriending the dog — a process of mutual understanding and care that is most fully and satisfyingly through gentle and considerate means.” (Stephen R. Lindsay)

For millennia, people have believed that the Four Sacred Directions balance the world and signify completion and wholeness. Four Paws, Four Directions Dog Training & Behavior Consulting, LLC emulates this belief by using a positive dog training philosophy to facilitate the social and spiritual relationship between canines and their human companions.  Four Paws, Four Directions Dog Training & Behavior Consulting emphasizes positive, force-free dog training that gives dogs confidence and makes them eager participants in the learning process.  This approach to training helps owners and their dogs work together harmoniously.  Dogs learn life skills and good manners— everything that a canine good citizen should have—and humans learn more effective ways of communicating with their canine partners.

I am a nationally certified dog behavior specialist as well as a certified professional dog trainer.  Many dog training "certifications" are little more than certificates of completion issued by the same organizations that a trainer paid in order to gain their education.  In contrast, the IAABC is a completely independent organization whose goals are to standardize and support the practice of companion animal behavior consulting through rigorous peer review and continuing education (please see the "What is a CDBC?" page for more information on why this certification is so important).  IAABC certification means that my credentials have been carefully vetted by an independent board; that I have accumulated hundreds of hours (and now approaching several thousand) worth of hands-on experience; and that I have been deemed professionally and ethically qualified to consult with owners about all their dog's behavior issues.  In addition to being a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, I am also a certified professional dog trainer.  I graduated with distinction in 2007 from the Karen Pryor Academy for Dog Training and Behavior, a demanding program requiring both knowledge and skills assessment as well as work with multiple species of animals -- in my case parrots, chickens, llamas and cats.  I am also currently the lead behavior and training consultant for Cayuga Dog Rescue, one of the oldest dog rescues in the Finger Lakes region.  

I have had more than 15 years of experience in addressing all sorts of behavior issues in dogs: barking, destructive chewing, over-arousal, anxiety and fear as well as reactive or aggressive behavior towards other dogs or humans.  I also work with dogs suffering from separation distress.  Separation distress is a behavior problem that owners often find difficult to address on their own.  My approach to all these issues is multi-dimensional and utilizes the latest scientific knowledge about canine cognition, learning theory and animal behavior to restore an harmonious relationship between dogs and their human companions. 
The force free methods I advocate are the preferred training methods of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and their effectiveness has been validated by an impressive body of scientific research.  My service areas include the greater Ithaca New York area, including Tompkins, Cortland and Tioga counties -- and, on occasion the greater Elmira, Syracuse and Binghamton areas.  

    Four Paws, Four Directions Dog Training, LLC is fully bonded, insured and registered for business in NYS

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