Ruff to Ready Dog Training
Founded by Amanda Lunsford
Multi-Certified Dog Trainer and Behavior Consultant
Amanda Lunsford has extensive experience and education with fearful and aggressive behavior cases. She is trusted and referred to by veterinarians, rescues, and other pet professionals. Amanda has been running her dog training business since 2019. During that time, she has worked with rescues to help evaluate dogs for placement, and has transformed multi-dog households to help dogs and humans live happier together. She is passionate about giving “ruff” dogs a second chance. This happens by getting them ready to live in a human world.
Amanda is an advocate for kind, fair, and clear communication with animals. Animals and humans should work together as a team, as well as constantly learn more about each other.
“What is love except another name for the use of positive reinforcement? Or vice versa.”— B. F. Skinner, Walden Two
Unfortunately, the reality is that life can be stressful, but Amanda does everything in her power to make all animals and humans comfortable with the training process. Her clients are encouraged to ask questions and tell her if they feel that the suggested skill will not work. Through clear and open communication, we can build happy and safe lives.
“A person who is punished is not less inclined to behave in a given way; at best, he learns how to avoid punishment.”B. F. Skinner, Beyond Freedom and Dignity
Ethics & Education
Amanda follows the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. She believes continued education and regulations in the animal industry are key factors in order to improve animal welfare. Most states do not require any sort of background check, education, or regulation for handling pet animals. Unfortunately, this can be a safety risk, because dog owners trust pet professionals’ advice about an animal that is capable of inflicting severe damage on humans.
“With over 4.5 million dog bite injuries reported each year in the United States, dog bites continue to be a significant public health concern.1 Children are at high risk for dog bite injury, with many incidents reported at or near a victim’s home.2 The current global pandemic has necessitated virtual learning, and children are spending more time at home. The latest report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the frequency of dog bites reported that 800,000 individuals sought medical attention for a dog-bite injury in 2001.3 These numbers are expected to surge due to stay-at-home guidelines during the current pandemic.”Scientific Report: “Dogs are more pessimistic if their owners use two or more aversive training methods” by Dr. Rachel A. Casey, Maria Naj-Oleari, Sarah Campbell, Dr. Michael Mendl, and Dr. Emily J. Blackwell
Dog Training Methods
Amanda relies on science-based training methods to address the reason for the animal’s behavior, rather than changing the animal’s behavior without acknowledging their ability to learn new behaviors instead. First, Amanda identifies the stressors that cause the behavior problems, then builds a training plan simple enough for the humans to comfortably incorporate into their daily lives. She believes this training should be a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Similarly, she does not believe in heavy use of punishment or fear-based training methods.
Amanda focuses on a team effort involving: the dog, dog guardians, and others involved with the dog. This is so she can offer the best chance of success. Amanda takes a 3 pronged approach when developing a training plan. She will look at the safety, the quality of life for both the humans and the dogs, and the resources that are available within the dog guardians’ time, budget, and lifestyle.
Productive training can’t be accomplished unless the needs of the animal are met – both physically and mentally. Repetitive or aggressive behaviors can be linked to poor animal welfare and a lack of socialization.
Amanda provides training and behavior consulting in Jacksonville, FL, where she lives with her husband and daughter. She is currently getting her bachelor’s degree in Animal Science in order to continue her own education. This (and more) is so that she can provide the best and most up-to-date info to her client. Her end goal is to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of training and behavior modification.
Before becoming an Apprentice Trainer for Ruff to Ready Dog Training, Tami Steinle spent over 35 years in the customer service industry. Her 2 boys grew up, then she got involved in animal rescue work. Over the last 10 years, she has fostered over 120 dogs and now serves as Director of a rescue for small dogs, Papillon Pals.
She has hosted many dogs, all with their own personalities. The dogs often needed medical or behavioral rehabilitation. Tami worked with local trainers to provide this. This led her to Amanda, which then became a beautiful friendship and work relationship.
She has seen so many dogs in her rescue due to a lack of training from the previous owners. Once she realized that one training style doesn’t work for every individual dog and situation, she learned different techniques, methods, and when best to use and adjust each one. These skills have been essential to helping the foster dogs, as well as their future guardians.
To further these skills, she has partnered with Amanda to learn, grow, and help others become better pet parents. Her hope is to make training both fun and as stress-free as possible so that her clients can build a strong relationship with their canine companion and enjoy their lives together.
Who she is
One of her favorite quotes is, “She believed she could, so she did.” She is a very “now” person. Because of that, she ran a marathon after her first 3 mile mud run (after never running before). Never having spent a night in the woods by herself, she then hiked the Appalachian Trail for nearly 200 miles. Her husband was always there to cheer her on with any “out there” ideas. He has supported her over the last 20 years…no matter how many dogs she brings home from the shelter.