top of page

Masks Required Indoors

While mask mandates are in the past, the fact remains that the novel Coronvirus, which is highly transmissible and has killed over 1 million Americans, is still very much present in our world.

I am an immunocompromised person, and always have active clients who are immunocompromised.  It would be incredibly irresponsible of me to expose myself to risk, which would then expose my clients to risk.  

Therefore, I do require that everyone present at indoor lessons wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth.  


No exceptions will be made to our mask requirement.  


If a client or other person refuses to mask properly the LESSON WILL IMMEDIATELY END.  I will leave and you will not receive a refund. 


If you or a family member is displaying any signs of illness prior to a lesson, please contact me to cancel.  You will not be charged for the cancellation.  I will do the same for you.

We hope to see you soon!  Your patience and understanding are appreciated.  Updates will also be posted on our 
Facebook Page


Please go to our page, click "Like" and "Follow."  After you have clicked "Follow", click on "Follow" again and select "See First."  This will allow you to see all of our posts.  If you do not select See First you may not, in all honesty, see any of our posts in your News Feed.  We post about training lessons, dog training philosophy, post links to dog training and behavior articles, and also have a large video library that could be very helpful to you.  And it's all free!

Welcome to Rocky Junior's Dog Training Service!



Based in Tacoma, we offer the very best in private, in-home dog training and behavioral resolution.  Most importantly, we only practice humane, ethical, science-based training and Reactivity And Fear Therapy (RAFT) that is positive and force-free, so we can help you create a happy, talented, fulfilled dog who will be an absolute joy and a big part of your life.  Why is this important?

Because Dog Training is an Unregulated Business in all 50 states, and as a result, many dog trainers are uneducated, unqualified and use dangerous training methods. Think shock collars, prong collars, choke chains, yelling, hitting, choking, etc.  Dogs are sentient, very sensitive creatures who are, cognitively, on the level of a 2 or 3 year old child.  Using "dominance" or "balanced" training on a dog is a good way to damage the dog and make it fearful.  About 25% of my business is helping these kind of dogs after a punitive, forceful kind of trainer damaged the dog.  Sadly, anyone can get a business license (or not) and become a "dog trainer."


Navigating the field of available trainers and doing your due diligence so that you hire a safe, educated, and talented trainer who will not harm your dog physically or emotionally should be of paramount concern for you.  Why?

A high percentage of "dog trainers" in our area practice "alpha" or "dominance" training.  This method of training dogs is abusive, not rooted in science and is dangerous, creating a high risk of your dog developing serious behavioral problems, including anxiety, fear, reactivity and even aggression.  This fact is not personal opinion, it's a result of actual scientific studies.  It's reality.

If your dog is fearful or reactive or suffers from other moderate to severe behavioral issues, you've found the right help.

Jake the pit bull had problems with impulse control and aggression towards other dogs, and Jake's owner enrolled him in training after a biting incident.  Jake went through a full round of obedience training, then RAFT-1 sessions with Rocky Junior.  Look at how far Jake's come!

Dominance and balanced "trainers" use shock collars (which they often call "E-Collars"), prong collars, choke chains, physical force and harsh treatment.  Their approach is based on a debunked theory, nearly a century old, that told us dogs are like wolves and that we must dominate them and be their "alpha." Anyone who tells you that this is what you must do is wrong.  Positively, absolutely wrong.

Animal Behavioral Science studies, conducted by psychologists and animal behaviorists, have consistently debunked the "alpha" theory, in respect to dogs and wolves, as well as repeatedly concluding that modern, force-free, positive reinforcement training is the only safe way to train dogs, as well as other animals.  

Additional studies have found that using aversives (shock collars, prong collars, choke chains, force, punishment - "alpha" training) in the training process causes behavioral problems in dogs, including aggression.  One study, which followed several dozen police dogs in training, found that shock collar use resulted in an 82% risk of aggression, prong collar use resulted in a 74% risk, choke chain use resulted in a 52% risk, and the list goes on.  Even if the trainer only yells at the dog or uses minimal physical force, aggression can still result.  Proponents of this type of training claim "it works" and will deny that their training is damaging.  What happens is that the dog is frightened and hurt by the training and will become submissive and withdrawn because of fear.  Meanwhile, we've essentially given the dog canine PTSD.  At some point, the dog will likely begin to exhibit fear-based behaviors, including aggression.  This can take two to five months, so owners often do not make the connection between "training" and the consequences - but they are very real.

Professionals have known for decades that force-free, positive training is the only safe, non-harmful way to train animals.  Unfortunately, the emergence of Cesar Millan as a TV personality led to legions of people believing the "alpha" theory and adopting abusive training practices.  Millan has set us back decades, ensuring more and more people harm their dogs in the name of "training."


Since they cannot speak to us, dogs express their feelings through behavior.  A dog's behavior is almost entirely a result of what people have done for them or to them.

Dogs (and people) can be put into one of four different behavior categories.

SOCIAL dogs love and trust everyone.

SELECTIVE dogs have a few friends they trust, but don't want to engage with others.

TOLERANT dogs won't act out in the presence of other dogs, but they feel fearful.

INTOLERANT dogs display fear, in the form of reactivity and even aggression.

One must understand Canine Psychology to truly understand dogs and why we must practice modern, force-free training.  In 2016 a study was released that shone a bright light on something I'd always believed, as a lifelong, force-free, positive trainer.  This year-long study, conducted by a psychologist and three animal behaviorists, sought to determine what age of a human being has a brain similar to that of a dog.  When I do first lessons with clients I always tell them about this study, and see if they can guess the answer.  

So, what do you think?  10 years old?  15?  5?  20?

The fact is, dogs have a brain that is very similar to that of a 2 to 3 year old childNow, there are obvious differences, as we can teach dogs to do all kinds of amazing things.  But when it comes to discipline, punishment or harsh treatment, dogs are just like toddlers - neither has the ability to properly process and understand discipline, punishment or harsh treatment. 

This does not change with age.  Dogs will retain that toddler-like mind for their entire lives.  This is why it is so important to never discipline, punish or treat your dog in a harsh manner- and this includes training.  Kindness, positivity and patience are crucial!

Here's an ARTICLE (opens in a new window) so you can better understand dominance training and why you should avoid it.  Like the plague.

We believe Knowledge Is Power, and our thirst for knowledge through proven animal behavioral science is never quenched. 
Our pledge is to DO NO HARM, and our goal is to help you create the most talented, confident, happiest dog possible.

There are between 80 and 100 private dog trainers in Pierce County and south King County.  Want to know how many we would recommend as safe, knowledgeable professionals who will only use positive, force free methods and not harm your dog?

3.  Yes, you read that correctly, 3, out of 80 to 100 trainers.  Aside from the recommended 3 trainers, everyone you could choose from either practices alpha training, sometimes called "balanced" training, uses some sort of aversive in training, or lacks experience and knowledge.  Here are the only trainers we can recommend:

Rocky Junior's Dog Training Service, Tacoma

Manners Unleashed Dog Training, Puyallup

K9 Confidence Dog Training, Orting


Rocky came to me on October 4th, 2006, after escaping a 6 year life filled with abuse and neglect.  As a result, Rocky was a highly fearful, aggressive dog - the worst I had ever seen.

I dedicated my life to helping Rocky overcome his fears and become the great dog he was meant to be, using only positive, force-free obedience and behavioral adjustment training.  It took 4 months of three lessons per day, but we achieved complete success.  Rocky became a happy, confident dog who loved life and everyone and everything he met. 

To read more of Rocky's amazing story, CLICK HERE.  To Contact Us, CLICK HERE.

bottom of page