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Welcome to Rocky Junior's Dog Training Service!
Serving Pierce and South King Counties since 2015

Hello!  My name is Jeff Salter.  Since March of 2015 my dog, Rocky Junior, and I have been offering private, in-home dog training and behavioral help in Pierce County and South King County.  We "Speak Dog,"  meaning we truly understand dogs and only work with them in ways that won't harm or frighten them.  We're the polar opposite of all the "dominance" and "balanced" people out there who call themselves trainers. 


We will never hurt your dog.

Instead, we will help your dog recover from its fears so your dog can live a happy, fear free life.

Isn't that the life everyone should have?


If your dog isn't fearful, we'll help you create a confident, happy, talented dog.

For over 8 years Rocky Junior and I have been almost exclusively working with fearful, reactive (what some would describe as "aggressive") dogs and their owners.  This is difficult, challenging work that has to be done right, with therapy rather than force or punishment.  I never meant for my business to involve so many fearful dogs on our roster at any given time, but for some reason the needs of area dog owners took us in that direction.


There's nothing better than helping a dog recover from its fears, so it no longer has to live a life of fear.  It's so wonderful seeing these dogs become happy, confident dogs.  Their gratitude is immense, as is the relief I see from their formerly stressed and worried people.  But we're not all about fearful dogs - I do love working with puppies and adult dogs who don't have issues, so don't hesitate to get in touch!

So, how did we get to where we are today?


When I was a young boy, 7 or 8 years of age, I got a job as a paper boy, delivering The Oregonian newspaper in my tiny hometown of Athena, Oregon.  It was a morning paper, so I had to be up at 4am every day to prep for my route, get the route done, come home, shower, have breakfast and go to school.  Aside from learning a lot about responsibility and work ethic, I also learned a lot about pets.  On my route I would frequently encounter stray cats and dogs, though some, I am sure, were just forced to live outside.  These little ones were, for some reason, drawn to me, and I to them.

I always spent a little time with each of my early morning friends, and started buying cat food and dog biscuits to bring along.  Sometimes my friends would follow me on the rest of my route, then home - but my parents wouldn't let them stay.  If they were around when I got home from school, I had to take them home, or where I had found them, which always made me cry.  Without exception, though, our secret friendships continued, and even at my very young age I learned something important:
Dogs are very much like toddlers, and I thought the same of cats.

I just knew it was wrong to hurt them, or to treat them with anything but love, kindness and understanding.

Over time my father softened his stance on pets, and allowed me to keep and take care of some of the stray cats I found.  Two, Thomasina and Packer, lived to be 15 years old.  We had our family dogs, too.  The first was Blazer, a small mixed breed dog, followed by King, an English Springer Spaniel, and a couple of Labs later on.  Living with and taking care of these dogs reinforced even more my strong thought that dogs were like toddlers.  When my father, God bless his soul, would yell at the dogs (or worse), I could see the fear in the eyes of the dogs.  I hated seeing the dogs feel so scared, because I knew they were child like, and I cried every time my Dad made my dogs afraid.


Then, and now, my moral center tells me that doing anything at all that could harm a dog in any way was wrong.


My father just didn't understand.  I have wondered since then if something was amiss in his moral compass, just as I am amazed at all the forceful trainers who don't seem bothered at all that they are hurting dogs.  


After serving as a Military Police officer in the U.S. Army, I became a police officer in Coos Bay, Oregon.  It was there that I was first exposed to pro dog training, in the form of training police dogs.  Four years later I became a police officer in Tacoma, Washington, and continued with police dog training there.  10 years later my career ended, due to a serious back injury, and I wasn't sure what I'd do with the rest of my life.  I knew dog training and animal welfare would be a part of my future, so I began to study, study and study more.  I wanted to know as much as humanly possible.

After training dogs on a part time basis for years, I finally became a full time training professional in January of 2009.  I did so because I'd been forced in 2006 to learn how to help my first Rocky recover from his intense fears and phobias, which caused highly reactive and aggressive behavior.  I thought if I could help Rocky recover and become an ambassador for not only Rottweilers, but all dogs, why shouldn't I help as many dogs and owners as I can?

Read Rocky's Story Here



Be Careful In Your Choice Of Dog Trainers

Did You Know Dog Training Is Unregulated in all 50 U.S. States?

Unfortunately, this is reality.  Anyone can get a business license (or not) and call his or herself a dog trainer.

There are no required qualifications, no mandated education, training or certification.


Remember when I mentioned that, as a young child, I was convinced that dogs were very much like toddlers?

Scientific studies have proven that dogs are cognitively similar to 2-3 year old children!

(Berns, 2012-2016)

The most glaring similarity is in the region of the brain responsible for complex thinking skills.  In humans this region doesn't fully develop until age 26.  In dogs the region never develops, so dogs never develop complex thinking skills like rationalization, analysis or discernment.  As a result, dogs cannot understand punishment.

Dogs are toddlers for life, no matter how long they live.  We need to treat them accordingly.


So, what happens when you shock, choke, hang, strike, hit or yell at your puppy or dog?

You have violated the trust your dog puts in you.


You hurt your dog and could cause it to become fearful, reactive or even aggressive.  Even if you think you don't see these consequences in your dog, you have, at the very least, damaged your relationship with your dog.  A majority of dogs exposed to forceful, punitive training practices develop PTSD, and will explode within the following months - prompting many to not see the connection between "training" and the horrible consequence.

Sheila came to us after her dog, Jake, became reactive to dogs and even attacked another dog.  We did skills training, followed by extensive Reactivity And Fear Therapy (RAFT) with Rocky Junior.  You can see how far Jake came - he's not only not reactive to dogs anymore, he's highly focused and well behaved in public!

Unfortunately, hurting dogs is what most trainers in the Puget Sound Region region do.  They shock, choke, hang, hit and yell at dogs, as if their abusing dogs is somehow normal and necessary.


It's not.  These people don't possess modern, science based knowledge about dogs or effective, humane and ethical force free training practices.  They believe in the fully debunked "dominance" or "alpha theory," and do not have the skills to train without using force and punishment.  I think some of these people are just making a mistake, due to a lack of knowledge, but I also feel that many of these "trainers" are bullies in real life.  This is what happens when an industry is unregulated.  Anyone can proclaim he is she is a dog trainer, or worse, a "behaviorist."


For the sake of you and your dog, you have to stay away from these people.  Keep in mind, dominance and "balanced" trainers (who also use punishment) rarely advertise HOW they train.  Ask questions.  Read reviews and thoroughly investigate web sites.  Don't let anyone tell you that shock collars (which they will call "ecollars"), prong collars and choke collars don't hurt.  They do. Scientific evidence backs this fact up, and in my practice I help at least 30 fearful dogs per year who became fearful & reactive because of these abusive training practices.


Here's an ARTICLE so you can better understand dominance training and why you should avoid it.  Like the plague.

Rocky Junior has been working with me since August of 2011, when he was just 12 weeks old.  He's done thousands of lessons with fearful, reactive dogs and has helped save the lives of over 300 fearful dogs.

Rocky Junior understands dogs better than most dog trainers.

We both truly understand dogs.  We help dogs become free of fear and live HAPPY lives.


We know how to train dogs and how to give them the therapy they need to get better, without using any sort of corrections or punishment.  It can be done, but it takes an awful lot of knowledge, skill, flexibility and dedication.   

We Are Fully Dedicated To Helping You and Your Dog, and Doing It The Right Way!


We will work with you and your dog(s), 1 on 1, and come to you to get the work done.  Training is a partnership, and we'll educate you well before we even start working with your dog.  We will help you achieve success!

"Life with your dog shouldn't resemble some sort of dystopian boot camp."


Mutual respect based on clear communication and kindness set the stage for cooperation and peace.


Read The Article Here.

Read Rocky's Story Here

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