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Claire Costagliola

Feral dog nerd, dog mom, dog trainer, and owner of Intrepid Tails, LLC

About me:

I love dogs and spending time outside. It just so happens that most dogs also really love spending time outside. So I had to find a way to spend my time combining these things. That's how Intrepid Tails happened.

 

I love complicated jargon, complex concepts, and longwinded explanations, but I also love idioms, colloquialisms, metaphor, and simple, straightforward, and concise ways of explaining complicated things. I find there is lots of room for both ways of talking about dog our dogs' behavior without losing nuance or compromising ethics.

The story of Intrepid Tails

Intrepid Tails started as a dog hiking company. That was it. That's all we did. The whole schtick was wandering around the woods with a bunch of off leash dogs. Like I said, I like being outdoors. Dogs like being outdoors. Match made in heaven. But me, being the hungry hungry caterpillar that I am when it comes to information about dogs kept tweaking my service as I learned more to better serve my clients. The progression from dog walker to dog trainer came naturally as I continued my education on behavior, ethology, and wellness, because I kept bumping into a repeating problem. The kicker that leaves a pain in the ass of dog parents everywhere who want to just go out and enjoy the world WITH their dogs.

 

Our world is not built for dogs.

 

Even in parks and on hiking trails, we silly humans have lots of silly human rules that are antithetical to natural doggy instincts and behavior. Our dogs have no innate or inherent understanding of how our world works. They are, in fact, sentient beings, meaning they have thoughts, feelings, and opinions, but being that they are dogs they have no concept of good and evil, right and wrong. There is fun or scary, happy or sad, joyful or angry. They do not have morals. That being the case, it means those thoughts, feelings, opinions are based in a dog's way of being, not a human's way of being. To us it often seems utterly absurd, but they Need (capital N because this is non negotiable) to express their doggieness.  How to meet your dog's Needs and help them feel happy and confident without it happening at the expense of others' right to peaceably exist in the world is often no small feat. But when it comes to adventures, that's what I do. From a recall you can count on, to appropriate behavior when encountering other dogs and people on the trail, to finding comfort at your campsite, to even more advanced skills like joining you on your paddleboard or boating excursion, I've got your dog's, and by extension your, back.

How we work - our philosophy

Science based
Wellness centered
Committed to continuing education

I spend no small amount of time and energy learning the science behind how behavior works. Any time I use a euphemism or metaphor, there's a scientific explanation behind it. I'm more than happy to talk your ear off about it.

Every training program or protocol I use starts with ensuring that the dog's regular routine meets their basic needs by not just meeting their basic calorie, rest, and shelter needs, but also by allowing them to safely express their natural doggieness. Then if training is still desired I ask: does this benefit the dog? If yes, I proceed to ensuring that training is happening in such a way that both you AND your dog are willing and enthusiastic participants.

There is always more to learn. Always. I will never stop expanding my knowledge on all things dog. Behavior, body language, physiology, training protocols and games- I will never know it all. None of us will, even if we dedicate our entire lives to study. And there's always new information, new science, new technology. But damned if I'm not going to try to learn it all anyway.

 
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