About

Tovah Riester & Project Potential

About Tovah – Harrison, AR Puppy Training Expert

Project Potential owner and aggression expert Tovah Riester is a graduate of Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers, the most highly regarded and rigorous school available for dog trainers. She is also a graduate of Pat Miller’s Reactive Rover workshop, has achieved Fear Free certification, and is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. Tovah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Spanish, and continues to pursue Spanish fluency. She is particularly interested in and actively studies cognitive development in dogs as part of her commitment to behavior problem prevention.

In addition to helping adult dogs overcome their fear and fear based aggression she is committed to helping puppies get the socialization needed to prevent fear and aggression before it develops. She appreciates the hard work foster parents put in to raise puppies outside of shelter environments to maximize their chances of successful long-term adoption and offers free support to foster puppies. If you are a foster parent to puppies please reach out.

In the rare moments Tovah is not training dogs she enjoys practicing aerial circus performing arts.

About Tovah

Tovah Reister Puppy Trainer

Project Potential owner and aggression expert Tovah Riester is a graduate of Jean Donaldson’s Academy for Dog Trainers, the most highly regarded and rigorous school available for dog trainers. She is also a graduate of Pat Miller’s Reactive Rover workshop, has achieved Fear Free certification, and is a member of the Pet Professional Guild. Tovah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a minor in Spanish, and continues to pursue Spanish fluency. She is particularly interested in and actively studies cognitive development in dogs as part of her commitment to behavior problem prevention.

In addition to helping ault dogs overcome their fear and fear based aggression she’s commited to helping puppies get the socialization needed to prevent fear and aggression before it developes. She appreciates the hard work foster parents put in to raise puppies outside of shelter environments to maximize their chances of successful long-term adoption and offers free support to foster puppies. If you are a forster parent to puppies please reach out.

In the rare moments Tovah is not training dogs she enjoys practicing aerial circus performing arts.

Branson MO Puppy Training Expert
Branson MO Puppy Training Expert
Branson MO Puppy Training Expert
Branson MO Puppy Training Expert

Den’s story: The inspiration behind Project Potential

Tovah rescued Den, a Mountain Goat Herding mutt, when he was just 5 weeks old. Like the typical Ozarks puppy parent, Tovah had heard lots of “shoulds” about how to raise her new puppy. Among them: She should take him to puppy class. She should make sure he got lots of socialization.

So she took Den to puppy class and she dragged Den all around town to “socialize” him, not really understanding what she was doing, how to do it well, or how much of it was needed. Like any pet parent with a new puppy, she did the best she could as she understood it.

And like many pet parents she found her strategies to teach Den how to be a well behaved dog inside were going well but outside the home these strategies were not working at all. Den grew up into a challenging adult dog. He barked and lunged at other dogs when on leash. He barked and growled at strangers from half a block away. He was fearful of car rides and stayed anxious everywhere Tovah took him. When Den was still a puppy  Tovah was struggling to help a foster dog with similar issues. She worked with a balanced dog trainer who’s strategies sometimes got better behavior but over time her foster dog became less noisy but much more aggressive. Tovah knew there had to be a better way to get her puppy true help.

Tovah’s mission to help Den overcome his fear-based aggression issues eventually led her to become a positive reinforcement dog trainer. Den learned to handle life more smoothly, but the process took years of consistent, professional level training. As Tovah learned, the fear based training methods she used on Den when he was a puppy were not worth the psychological side effects of fear and aggression later in life. There is no better way to prevent fear and aggression than well executed, early puppy socialization, when puppies’ brains and personalities are malleable. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Based on her own story Tovah has dedicated her career to helping dogs with fear and aggression as well as prevention through early socialization for puppies, believing her talents, skills, and knowledge are put to the best use in preventing other dogs and people from the near-tragedy she and Den experienced. When we learn better we do better.

She and Den now live happily with Luke, a Chocolate Lab who is a well-adjusted Canine Good Citizen and Beerus, a rescue kitten.

Branson MO Puppy Training Expert

Bringing out your pup’s potential through positive training

The whole point of early puppy socialization and training is to build happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved dogs. Given that goal, it’s only logical that we would rely exclusively on positive-based, force-free training methods. The science of canine learning theory and training has come a long way in the last several decades, providing us solid, effective training methodology and results without the use of fear, coercion, or pain. If using outdated methods requiring pain or fear is not necessary for achieving great results, we cannot justify their use with dogs of any age, let alone impressionable puppies.

Branson MO Puppy Training Expert

Bringing out your pup’s potential through positive training

The whole point of early puppy socialization and training is to build happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved dogs. Given that goal, it’s only logical that we would rely exclusively on positive-based, force-free training methods. The science of canine learning theory and training has come a long way in the last several decades, providing us solid, effective training methodology and results without the use of fear, coercion, or pain. If using outdated methods requiring pain or fear is not necessary for achieving great results, we cannot justify their use with dogs of any age, let alone impressionable puppies.

The Project Potential guarantee

While we cannot guarantee specific behavioral outcomes for your puppy or adult dog—both because it’s impossible to guarantee the behavior of a living animal with free will and because doing so is considered an unethical practice by professional training associations such as the Pet Professional Guild to which we belong—we can and do guarantee we will:

  • Create a training and socialization plan customized to your needs and your dog’s learning curve and cognitive development.
  • Deliver as much relief from current aggression problems as possible, as quickly as possible.
  • Do everything in our power to help your puppy grow up to be a calm, confident dog with strong social skills adaptable to any situation.
  • Use only the most up-to-date, scientifically sound, force-free training methods.
  • Treat you, your dog, and your home with the highest regard, respect, and care.
Branson MO Puppy Training Expert

Does your dog scare you or your veterinarian?

Branson MO Puppy Training Expert

Does your dog scare you or your veterinarian?

Academy for Dog Trainer's Graduate
Proud Member of the Association for Force-Free Professionals
Fear Free Certified Professional
Proud Member of the Association for Force-Free Professionals
Proud Member of the Association for Force-Free Professionals
Dog Tec Business Code of Ethics Pledge

Aggressive dog training in Harrison, AR, including food, grooming, and veterinarian aggression

    

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