Hi, my name is Carol Sumbry, I work with dogs and their people in person in the Southeastern Wisconsin area and remotely through virtual consultations all over the country and even in the world – with clients in the U.K and other countries. Many area veterinarian s refer their clients to me for work.
No behavior issues but just want a great relationship with your companion? Great! How can I help? I am well known for my work in making teaching your dog fun and rewarding exercises that improve your bond and your relationship!
High energy dog? I love teaching guardians about enrichment, energy draining fun exercises that improve your bond to make for a happy dog and happy home!
Behavioral issues? I am referred by many veterinarians and other professionals as I am best known for my expertise in the areas of anxiety, stress and trauma, helping dogs with fears, anxiety, behavioral issues and even aggression. This includes both shy, fearful dogs and also dogs that exhibit reactive barking, lunging and aggressive behaviors.
I am a trauma informed professional that takes a holistic approach to dealing with stress and trauma in dogs. The stress response system in all species is the same and dogs can be impacted by stress and trauma much like humans. Many dogs today suffer from anxiety. Studies estimate over 70% of dogs suffer from some level of anxiety/stress. Many dogs living in our world today have truly experienced deprivation, chronic stress and or even trauma – from losing their home to cross country transports and more! Dogs react to stress and trauma too! My passion is helping lower anxiety and improving the quality of life for these dogs and their people through a holistic approach to dealing with fear, anxiety, stress and trauma.
As an Associated Certified Behavior Consultant, I am part of an VERY ELITE group of behavior professionals. There are only about 200 certified behavior consultants in the US certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (www.iaabc.org) and I am 1 of only 4 certified in the state of Wisconsin. This certification included hundreds of hours of behavior counseling and seminars and continuing education.
I am a Certified Family Dog Mediator (FDM). I am proud to be part of a progressive, elite group of training/behavior professionals that are changing the way we view dogs and our relationship and our work with them! The FDM certification provides a comprehensive, holistic approach to training and behavior consulting. While I have always taken a holistic approach to canine behavior, the FDM certification raises the bar by incorporating a view of our dogs and their behaviors through the science of applied ethology.
This approach focuses on improving our understanding of our canine companions, enriching their lives and improving their welfare while we view a dog’s needs and behavior based on the L.E.G.S.*model (Learning/Environment/Genetics/Self). We must consider all these factors that shape a dog’s life in order to fully understand the dogs we share our world with. This fully rounded approach developed by applied Ethologist Kim Brophey helps us not only better understand our companions and improve our bond/relationship but also helps us better address training and behavioral issues. (*Ethologist Kim Brophey’s Dog L.E.G.S.® model of comprehensive canine science has been endorsed by prominent canine scientists such as Raymond Coppinger and embraced by reputable dog trainers worldwide).
I am also a Certified Dog Trainer with over 2 decades of experience. I have also fostered dogs for over 2 decades and am the Dog Training/Behavior Manager at a local humane society, where I have been worked for almost 2 decades!
I was voted Top Trainer in The Milwaukee Journal’s Top Choice Awards for Greater Milwaukee in the past! We are fortunate to have many good trainers in our area but I am very grateful for those that nominated and recognized me for this incredible honor for my passion and my work.
I am an assessor/evaluator of therapy dogs through the following organization – The Alliance of Therapy Dogs organization. I also serve as a the Wisconsin representative with Whippet Rescue and Placement and the Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue and work with other rescue organizations.
I am a Certified Meditation Teacher who believes in looking at dogs and behavior with a holistic approach. (See more under Meditation and Dogs). I look at the whole dog as well as the dog’s needs and his life to help you have the best relationship with your dog while meeting your dog’s needs also. I am also a force free trainer that follows the science of how all dogs learn and do not use any aversive methods or correction as science has taught us again and again that all learning should be positive and pain free much like teaching a toddler!
I would like to share a little about my journey to working with dogs with you. I think some people are born animal lovers. That’s me. I got my love of animals from my dad. We often visited our local shelter and I always brought home the neighborhood strays until their owners could be located. I grew up with poodles but have fostered almost every breed out there over the years, specializing in shy/fearful dogs and dogs with behavioral issues. I even fostered a 2 legged dog that was rescued from a puppymill! As an adult, when I was ready for my first pet, I knew it had to not only be a dog that needed a home but also a dog that wasn’t going to have an easy time finding a home. I rescued a senior cat named Charmin who lived with me until her passing. I also my first dog from a hoarding situation. “Angel” was a very shy Greyhound and my love for sighthounds continued as I adopted a Whippet and an Italian Greyhound. I went on to foster hundreds of dogs, mostly shy, special needs or dogs with behavior problems and went on to adopt more over the next decade including several dogs from puppymills.
I work with dogs of all sizes! I have personally shared my home with large dogs and in the last decade small dogs (yes they can learn too!) and am also well known for my work with herding dogs, another one of my favorite breed groups! Then again I love the terriers too! I have yet to meet a breed I didn’t enjoy working with!
In addition to enjoying life with my canine companions for most of my life, I also foster, support and help several non-profit animal rescues. Serving as the WI representative for the Italian Greyhound Club of America, a national organization dedicated to rescuing dogs in need, I have fostered, trained, rehabbed and rehomed HUNDREDS of dogs in the last 2 decades. I also foster and train dogs for a local shelter where I work, Elmbrook Humane Society, and several other rescue groups including Greyhounds Only, Whippet Rescue, Papillion Rescue and Min Pin Rescue to name a few. While fostering racing Greyhounds in the past, I only worked with the shyest dogs known as “spooks” to help them gain confidence and make them more adoptable. Each foster experience has given me unique hands-on experiences with understanding our canine companions. The dogs have taught me more than any book or seminar I have attended.
Although over the years, I have enjoyed therapy work, agility and lure coursing with my canine companions just for fun. I do not compete with my dogs. They are companions who share my home. My main goal is to have a well adjusted companion, a strong bond with my dog and a mutually enjoyable relationship through coaching and relationship building. I enjoy helping other animal lovers learn how to have a companion of their dreams and a close bond!
Working in rescue for over 2 decades and in the shelter environment, I have seen so many dogs lose their homes through no fault of their own. These dogs were “very good at being dogs”. They jump, dig, bark and do all the things that make them a dog! We expect them to live in OUR human world with very different rules than their world so it is our responsibility to teach them how to do so and to do that in a manner that is kind, compassionate and humane. I am dedicated to that mission.
I offer options for relationship and science based training in an effort to keep dogs in their homes for life as well as behavior consultations for dogs with behavioral issues and aggression. Far too many dogs are surrendered to our shelters or abandoned and I would like to be part of the solution to help dogs and their people to have a LIFELONG, mutually rewarding relationship. Dogs can make our lives whole and I look forward to sharing my love of animals with you and your companion!
I offer private lessons, classes, and behavior assessments/consultations at Petlicious Dog Bakery. I also do in virtual sessions, phone consultations, behavior assessments/consultations and teach classes at Elmbrook Humane Society in Brookfield, WI.
Contact me to see what options are best for you and your companion’s needs.