Thursday, September 10, 2015

How one dog trainer uses essential oils to help make training a happier experience.

Cheryl Flemming, owner of For the Love of Dogs Training, LLC, is a certified dog trainer in the Portland, Oregon area, specializing in clicker training.

Her philosophy centers around building trust through positive training and reinforcement. She is an avid user of essential oils. We recently had the pleasure of interviewing Cheryl to learn about how she uses Earth Heart products.

Earth Heart – Under what circumstances do you use a natural calming product in your dog training? 

Cheryl – Many people come to me because their dogs are overly reactive to their environment, sometimes to other people and often to other dogs. I use clicker training as a way of building a bond between owner and their dog and success often hinges on having both focused. I encourage the use of a product like Canine Calm for these dogs and the owners too. By helping to calm a reactive dog it very much helps him/her to focus on the training tasks in a very natural way.

I will also spray myself with Canine Calm particularly when I’m meeting a new dog that I don’t know, or a dog that I’ve worked with that is particularly reactive. It really helps set a positive tone from the very start of a session.

In my training classes we often have a room full of barkers to start. Again, by using Canine Calm it helps everyone naturally settle so the dogs can focus on the training. Our first sessions are often done behind a barrier and I’ll spray the barriers as well with the Canine Calm to provide a natural soothing environment.

Earth Heart – I understand you have several of your own four-legged friends. Do you use natural products with them?

Cheryl – For sure. One of my dogs is afraid of thunder. I’ll spray Canine Calm on her pressure wrap and underneath her ears. It works every time. I have a client who also uses the product when his dog goes to the vet. Vinny is very afraid of his vet appointments so he gets Canine Calm on his pressure wrap and the vet also uses it and the vet assistants on themselves to help calm Vinny and give him a positive atmosphere.

Two of my dogs have problems traveling. I use Travel Calm anytime we have to go for a ride. I’ll use it before we get in the car. Sometimes I will spray Travel Calm so it “floats” in the car – it calms me down too!

I strongly encourage my clients with reactive dogs to use it on themselves and their dogs. Often we don’t realize how tense we humans are and that tension goes directly through to the dog.

Earth Heart - Do you use any of our other essential oil products?

Cheryl – I have a King Charles Spaniel and she is very low to the ground. In Oregon it is very wet so she gets rashes on her belly. Guard Well works wonders to clear it up. I love the Buzz Guard for myself, particularly when we visit the Coast where it can be pretty buggy.

When I pet sit dogs at home I will use a diffuser with the Earth Heart blends. I’ve also used just lavender but I find the scent to be a little strong for my liking.

Diffusers are great for vet offices and groomers to create a “spa” like environment for dogs. I’ve seen so many dogs have anxiety in both these situations so using the relaxing benefits of essential oils is so valuable in these normally stressful situations.

Earth Heart – Be totally honest, have you had any bad reactions from using these products?

Cheryl - I have never had a dog that has had a bad reaction but I know it can happen. If essential oils are not used in the right concentration they can create a problem. It’s why I use Earth Heart products. I know they have been well tested over many years and with over 20 years of experience Vicki knows her essential oils. This is so important.

I hate using chemicals on any animal if there is an alternative. I explain to all my clients that these products are truly natural and not chemical-based.

Earth Heart - Do you think people are skeptical about using essential oils?

Cheryl – People in Oregon are really open minded to all natural products. I tell people who have any concerns to try it on themselves first and that almost always alleviates any concerns or skepticism. The products all smell really good and I think that really helps people see the difference with chemically-based products. I was a skeptic myself but I have seen such amazing results with these products that I’ve become a true believer. My clients have really truly benefited and most important our pets are happier and less stressed and healthier.

Cheryl, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today! You can contact Cheryl Flemming with any questions about these products or any of her training philosophies at 503-318-8548 or email her at