beagle high fiving woman owner

Dog Training with Pawsitive Focus

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Hollywood Feed’s Silent Auction benefiting local rescues and shelters was a way for us to give back to the community during the holiday season. Proceeds were donated to the following rescues and animal shelter partners:

One of the items you could bid on was CEO for a Day at Hollywood Feed, and Stacy Ramsdell was the top bidder and generous donator to the above shelters and rescues! Learn more about Stacy and her incredible dog training business she founded, Pawsitive Focus.

Dog Training with Pawsitive Focus

Pawsitive Focus is a dog training company founded by Stacy Ramsdell in 2007. Pawsitive Focus offers in-home dog training, as well as virtual with a loyal fan base of dogs and their owners.

About the Ownera woman with her two aussiedoodles in her home

Stacy has two Aussiedoodles of her own, Wrigley and Joppa, which are both 5½ years old. One is her husband’s service dog and her other dog goes with Stacy to her training sessions. When Stacy first started Pawsitive Focus, she would bring Alec, her Beagle. “People thought that was really cool because they were like, wow you can teach a Beagle this stuff? They’re so stubborn!” says Stacy.

Prior to pursuing dog dream ambitions, Stacy went to school for finance and economics. Stacy wanted to be a veterinarian when she was younger, and completed some vet tech school. She did an apprenticeship with a dog trainer and combined with her knowledge from vet tech school and her finance degree, to successfully started her dog training business.  She met her husband, now retired military, and has kept Pawsitive Focus active in multiple cities for 16 years.

Originally, Stacy is from South Dakota but moved around quite a bit. She started Pawsitive Focus in the Dallas area, then went to Jacksonville, North Carolina; Houston, Texas; back to Jacksonville, North Carolina; then, to Raleigh, North Carolina, until she finally landed in Southaven, Mississippi! Stacy started up Pawsitive Focus in each city she moved to. For some, this may seem draining. But Stacy saw it as a way to build new relationships and stay in touch with past clients and their dog training progress by texting, phone calls, and video messages.

She also offers virtual training, which started back when COVID-19 pandemic hit, but continues to be a valuable part of her business so she can keep in touch and help clients even after she has moved cities.

Virtual versus In-Home Dog Training

Offering both in-home and virtual dog training makes Pawsitive Focus more accessible to dog owners with different needs. “Being in the owner’s house gets to the source of the issue and having the owner involved is huge,” says Stacy. Helping to place the owner’s hands on their animals for cues, working in their environment, and physically being there to relate and support the owners are major benefits to in-home training versus virtual. In a virtual session, Stacy will use one of her dogs as an example for hand placement and show technique work.  It allows for effective results with inside manners and cue training without the owner having someone physically in their home.

If the dog has reactivity issues, especially outside while on walks, Stacy isn’t present to really get the full picture of the environment that is causing the dog to react, which is a disadvantage of the virtual training. She can only see as much as the camera allows her. “Being inside and doing the basics can be an easier fix, but doing reactivity training is harder over virtual,” says Stacy.

Getting the Family Involved

young girl petting a fluffy white dog

Stacy believes dogs are family members and training is a family event. Getting the kids involved with training is a great way to teach them respect for animals early on in life. “Getting the whole family involved with dog training is huge. And having the kids be the major trainers is very positive,” says Stacy. Stacy will see more and more parents sit back and have the kids be the main trainers because it teaches them problem solving in a positive light. It also teaches them how to approach a dog the right way, which can help with animal safety in the future.

Pawsitive Focus in the Community

Stacy loves getting out in the community to teach dog training. She’s taught Mother’s Day Out classes, numerous elementary school classes, and people at dog events how to approach a dog with the focus on always asking the dog’s owners where they can pet the dog. At the end of the class, the children received a certificate. For older kids, she will teach them what a sacrifice item is and how to use that item– for example, a belt– in case they are in a situation where a dog is being aggressive and trying to attack them.  She also finds a way to help with Therapy Dog training utilizing local nursing homes.  It’s so refreshing for the residents to know they are providing valuable input and look forward to our sessions.older woman sitting down playing with a brown fluffy dog

Dog Training Offered

Stacy offers a variety of dog training services. The first option is the 10STOP Obedience Program. This includes:

  • 10STOP keeps your dog’s focus on you through mid-level distractions by utilizing control positions. Includes all 5STOP items, additional tools & techniques.
  • Assistance/Service Dog and Therapy Dog preparation require the 10STOP and may require more sessions as needed.
  • Meet & Greet Consultation and 1st Session (up to 1 hour 30 minutes)
  • 9 (60) minute sessions +Sit/Sit Stay +Down/Down Stay +Come/Recall +Name/Attention +Loose Leash Walking
  • Non-Aggressive Behaviors: (potty training, jumping, barking, counter-surfing, chewing, stealing, and more.)
  • Focus through mid-level distractions +Heel +Calm meetings +Physical boundaries
  • Preparation for Canine Good Citizen Testing

The other training program offered is the 5STOP Obedience Program. This includes:

  • The 5STOP is designed to get your dog’s focus on you. The in-home training sessions provide you with the knowledge to train your dog.
  • Meet & Greet Consultation and 1st Session (up to 1 hour 30 minutes)
  • 4 (60) minute sessions +Sit/Sit Stay +Down/Down Stay +Come/Recall +Name/Attention +Loose Leash Walking
  • Non-Aggressive Behaviors: (potty training, jumping, barking, counter-surfing, chewing, stealing, and more.)

Learn more about the training services Stacy offers at Pawsitive Focus on her website.

Stacy also offers smaller, virtual consultation packages and obedience training sessions. Stacy likes to tell dog owners the basic/beginner training is what you wish your dog knew yesterday: loose leash walking, potty training, sitting for treats, and other safety cues. The more advanced training when you have more time are the things you want to do with your dog like taking them out in public like an outdoor café, service dog training, working with older people or children and branching out into the community rather than just your home.

What is the Canine Good Citizen test?

young dog looking up at an older manThe Canine Good Citizen (CGC) is a certification program that evaluates dogs in everyday situations. Stacy has a good track record- the dogs that have prepared for the test during her class have never failed the test! She does not offer the test herself, but will help your dog prepare to take the test. The CGC is a good certificate to have if you need to bring your dog into certain spaces, like a workout facility or a place of business or even a school. It is different than being a service dog. Stacy can tell if a dog will be able to pass the CGC or not. A task Stacy has found dogs have a hard time with is being left alone for three minutes without their owner. This has become especially harder since COVID-19 and dog owners were home all the time.

Favorite Hollywood Feed Dog Training Products!

Stacy says she goes to Hollywood Feed in Southaven and Olive Branch but has gone to a Hollywood Feed in almost every place she’s lived. She will ask the employees, what’s new in the trainingtreats, and toys that she can try out. She loves the Hollywood Feed lung bites as training treats, the PetSafe Easy Walk Harness, and the Kurgo seatbelt harness tether. Stacy loves telling her clients about how useful and important that product is for when your dog is in the car. The KONG classic and stuffing it with a delicious treat or toy to use as a tool to keep your dog busy when you aren’t around is another helpful training tip from Stacy and something you can easily get at Hollywood Feed.  She also loves the fact that Hollywood Feed offers the Hollywood Feed Promise: if your pet doesn’t love it or if you don’t love it, we will gladly replace or refund it.




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