Julie has been working with dogs in many capacities for over 30 years. From dog owner and rescue volunteer to running the Ashland Dog pound, there isn’t a bad behavior or homing challenge Julie hasn’t seen. For eight years Julie took in lost dogs and managed everything from intake to either owner return or adoption. She assessed the health and temperament of the dogs, rearranged kennel assignments as needed, made sure every dog got exercised, searched for their owners and actively pursued adoption for each dog needing a home. It didn’t always go as planned, and she had to trust her gut a lot. The dog she found hardest to place was Nala, who eventually went on to be adopted by Julie and is now apart of Good Decisions’ training team. As a dog owner, Julie struggled with her first dog Dewey. Julie got Dewey when he was so young, he was destructive (he peed and pooped everywhere) and she struggled to find the answers for herself and Dewey. Having dedicated her life to dogs and having multiple dogs, Julie household was very structured from the begining. Every dog had his/her own crate and place to go, which made it easier to cut down on the shenanigans and keep from having any inner pack fighting. Always having provided the indoor structure for her animals, Julie was drawn to the balanced style of training. As she began researching and reaching out to individuals across the Unites States to learn about balanced training, she has met some amazing mentors and went on to learn from Victoria Smith with Take the Lead K9 Training, Sean O’Shea and Laura Morgan from the Good Dog, and Jeff Gellman of Solid K9 Training. Now, Julie has found tools, resources and solutions for owners who are struggling with their dogs. Today, Julie is building stronger relationships between dogs and humans, and ultimately helping dogs not only stay with their owners, but be included in their lives!
Jana's journey with dog training began like many others, with her own dogs' bad behaviors. In 2008, she adopted her second dog, a black and tan coonhound named Maggie Rose, who had major separation anxiety. She howled and pooped if left unattended in her crate or a confined space without another dog or human present. She peed on rugs, blankets and dog beds, and she counter surfed. Fortunately Jana did provide a ton of structure on daily walks, but inside there were minimal rules and boundaries. With no where to turn to for answers, her first dog Kenleigh, a shepherd mix, started questioning her leadership and became fearful in a ton of situations and eventually became fear aggressive. For five years Jana tried things that had no long-term success/value, Kenleigh became bratty, pushy, and possessive, while Maggie became more entitled. The sixth year they arrived at their darkest days with inner pack fighting. Then just a few months later in 2014, Jana met Julie, and together they began their journey into the balanced training world. By 2015, Jana lost Maggie to cancer and Kenleigh became an emotional wreck. Kenleigh's companion, who she was co-dependent on, was gone, and it forced Jana to take a really hard look at fixing the relationship between herself and Kenleigh. With tons of structure and boundaries, the relationship between Jana and Kenleigh is much improved, but to this day, Kenleigh continues to push Jana to get creative when solving behavior issues in dogs.
Lilly first met Julie, when Julie was the administrator of the Ashland Dog Pound. At just 10 years of age, Lilly expressed an interest in working with dogs and wanted to volunteer at the Ashland Dog Pound. Since Lilly was too young to volunteer on her own, she accompanied Julie during all of Julie’s shifts. During these shifts, Lilly learned all the ins and outs of working at a dog pound and was introduced to new dogs every day. It was evident right away that Lilly had a gift for reading dogs and was eager to learn. Lilly has worked with Julie ever since. At Good Decisions Dog Training, Lilly maintains the rules and structure for dogs as she provides daily care for the animals (feeding, kenneling, walking, etc.). Lilly also assists during private training sessions by filming or working dogs.
Jeff brings an important dynamic to Good Decisions Dog Training by working with dogs that are not comfortable with men. Jeff helps to train and transport dogs.
Nala’s journey in dog training actually started when she found herself at the Ashland Dog Pound. Nala was adopted out from the pound several times, and to no fault of her own, the adopters failed her. Nala eventually went on to be adopted by Julie, and was integrated into a very structured home life with the rest of Julie’s pack.
Nala has been helping dogs since … By being a positive influence, she teaches dogs how to stay calm or gain confidence in everyday situations, both inside the home and outdoors. Nala assists Julie with socialization for board and train dogs as well as socialization during private training sessions. Nala is instrumental in helping dogs exist together peacefully on and off leash.
Cali is a very attentive and high energy dog that also was failed by her first owner. Being left unattended outside, Cali jumped a fence and punctured the lungs of a little dog, which left her on Omaha’s dangerous dog list and being rehomed. Fortunately for Cali, she was taken into a rescue. However, for years the rescue kept her in boarding, because they didn’t know how to place her with fosters. In boarding is where Cali met Julie. Julie was a huge advocate for Cali from the beginning and pushed for getting Cali out to events and on TV so Cali had at least a chance to find her forever home. During that time several people expressed interest in Cali, but none followed through. Once Julie had room to take in Cali, she did! With lots of structure, boundaries, rules and guidance, Cali ups the game a bit with Julie on private socialization sessions. Cali brings a higher energy to the session than Nala does, which is sometimes needed & more beneficial than a calm dog presence.
Ardy Jo & Kenleigh
Little Ardy Jo began exisiting with dogs the day she was brought home from the hospital. At just weeks old, she was part of daily structured walks. Her parents implemented rules and boundaries with Ardy and the dogs that taught her at 3-5-months-old not to initiate any interaction with dogs and to go about her own business. By 8-months-old she began helping with kiddo counter conditiong exercises as well as place exercises with distance, duration, and distraction both in the home enviroment and outdoors.
Kenleigh assists Jana during private sessions and e-collar demonstrations. For more of Keneligh's story, see Jana's bio.