Struggling with your dog’s reactivity, aggression, or anxiety?
Certified dog behavior consultant Holly O’Brien, CPDT-KA, CDBC can help.

Scroll down to learn more about Holly and available behavior services.

Contact Holly: holly@tiptoptails.com or 616.298.4757

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Holly O’Brien has 14 years of experience working with clients and their dogs. Holly believes everyone has their idea of the “perfect dog,” and she loves helping clients to get their perfect dog with her gentle and effective training methods.  She is particularly interested in working with dogs with reactivity and other behavior issues, and is the lead instructor for our Reactive Rover class.

In October 2019, Holly attained the prestigious title of Certified Dog Behavior Consultant from the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, after submitting multiple behavior case studies for peer review and demonstrating competency in several core areas, including a thorough understanding of animal behavior, the science of learning and behavior modification, and critical thinking and reasoning in performing client assessments and developing behavior modification plans. As a CDBC, Holly specializes in the prevention, management, and modification of challenging behaviors in dogs.

Holly also is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), a Canine Good Citizen evaluator, and a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild. She attends professional education seminars regularly to stay current on dog training and behavior so she can help her students achieve their goals. When she isn’t training dogs, Holly enjoys spending time with her husband, their little girls Jocelyn and Savannah, and their dogs Lucy and Rosalind.

Human Reactivity

Is your dog fearful of new people? Have they nipped at a stranger or friend? Would you like to increase your confidence handling your dog around other people?

Our Human Reactive Rover class addresses:

  • How to read your dog’s body language
  • Keeping your dog calm and focused around people
  • How to introduce your dog to new people
  • How to keep your dog and others safe

Busy schedule or not ready for a class? No problem! Individual lessons are available.


Dog Reactivity

Does your dog lunge and growl at other dogs during walks? Are you afraid to walk your dog? Has your dog tried to hurt another dog?

Our Dog Reactive Rover class covers:

  • Understanding the “how” and “why” of reactivity.
  • How to read and handle your dog on walks.
  • Skills and strategies for confidently walking past other dogs.

We also offer Reactive Rover 2.0 classes for graduates of Reactive Rover who are muzzle trained. Our Real World Kalamazoo class includes field trips to practice managing your dog in the real world, including walking with (and past) other dogs.

Busy schedule or not ready for a class? No problem! Individual lessons are available.

Individual Consults

We offer individual consultations and packages to address behavior issues like:

  • Kids and dogs interactions
  • Getting along with another dog in your household
  • Barking and growling when people come to the door
  • Resource guarding over food, toys, or other items
  • Snapping or growling over being petted or groomed
  • Fear and anxiety, including separation anxiety

We will work one-on-one to create a customized learning plan that fits into your schedule. Please note that your consult may or may not include hands-on training, depending on what is appropriate for your dog and the specific circumstances of their behavior case.

Learn more about consults and lessons.


Safety and Resources

Keeping everyone safe is the first priority when dealing with a behavior issue.  Please use these tips and resources until we can meet and create a personalized plan.

  • Harnesses and head halters can enable you to walk your dog while feeling in control.  Check out the Freedom Harness and the Gentle Leader.
  • Gates and crates can keep your dog contained and separated from visitors, other pets (especially when feeding), or problem areas like the front door.
  • Muzzles can allow you and your dog to relax around other people and dogs.  Learn how to acclimate your dog to a muzzle from the Muzzle Up! Project.
  • For suggestions on safe interactions between kids and dogs, check out Family Paws.
  • Better understand your dog’s body language with the book Doggie Language.