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Our Training Philosophy

Dog training is all about forming a cooperative relationship with your dog.

Willing, eager, compliant, smart, mannerly. Listens and follows directions!  A dog who is polite, easy to live with and fun to take everywhere with you.  


Our goal is to teach your dog how to listen and follow directions from the whole family using reward-based methods that do not rely on physical strength or intimidation.


Our instructors will give you the tools you need to build communication and a satisfying relationship built on mutual respect and trust through kind and gentle training.


We will show you how to understand your dog, how to teach your dog to understand you, and how to fit training into your busy schedule. Above all, training should be FUN and build confidence and a great relationship!



Be patient.  Be kind.

It's all about relationship.

For more information, visit "Welfare in Dog Training"

"If you find yourself saying NO to your dog, take a look at what you would rather see, so you can say YES instead."  - Grisha Stewart

Our Mission

To provide a warm, friendly place where people can come to learn about dogs and training.

To educate dogs and their people with the utmost of respect and fairness
using positive, pet-friendly methods which enhance the human-animal bond.


To do our best to help people understand our canine friends' unique nature.
To appreciate them for who they are, and help them become the best friends they can be
so they will be loved and cherished family members for their lifetime.


To create a pet-owner relationship built on trust and respect and give pet owners
the tools they need to be better owners for future pets as well as the ones we meet today.


To encourage the adoption of homeless pets and support area shelters and rescues through
adopter training classes, volunteer and staff training, behavior assessments, and behavior support.


To promote responsible dog ownership and bite safety through public education.

To stress the importance of decreasing overpopulation and homeless pets, proper veterinary care, grooming, healthy diet and proper mental and physical exercise.

And to do our best to be a shining example of responsible pet ownership and pet-friendly training wherever we go.


- Carol & Dana Byrnes - owners, Diamonds in the Ruff

"The way you train and teach is informative, thoughtful, insightful, positive, to the point, patient, uplifting and highly effective. You all make training fun and relaxing. It's a stress-free environment. Thank you for that!"



The best thing about the above comment?  It's from an inmate at the Pawsitive Dog prison training program at the Airway Heights Corrections Center lead by Diamonds in the Ruff instructors.

Helping your dog become the best friend he can be.

"I sure do enjoy the classes…it makes me really love my dogs!" 

- Gwen Sanders


"We support the use of scientifically-based methods of training and behavior modification, and we promote interactions with animals based on compassion, respect, and scientific evidence." 
- The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior

Click here for Recommended Reading

For more information, we invite you to view these position statements from professional organizations:

Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) approach - The Association of Professional Dog Trainers Position Statements


American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior:



Pet Professionals Guild Position Statement on the Use of Shock in Animal Training:



Pet Professionals Guild:



Joint statement by the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and 9 other organizations:

RSPCA Position Statement on Electronic Training Devices:



Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers:



British Veterinary Association:



Canadian Veterinary Medical Association:

The Ethics of Effectiveness and Minimal Intrusion: Why We Consider This Issue
2013 - James O'Heare -

"Interventions are judged not only by how effective they are narrowly in terms of the impact of the intervention on the target behavior, but also in a broader ethical context of the impact on the individual as a whole and, to a lesser extent, even on the guardian, the professional and the field as a whole. Obviously, effectiveness is an important feature of an intervention, but if we make effectiveness the only criterion by which we determine the appropriateness of an intervention, we risk failing to consider some other ethical objectives.


Friedman (2009) makes the very important observation that effectiveness of an intervention is insufficient as a criterion for the use of aversive stimulation. It is widely agreed upon among those from a wide variety of philosophical orientations that treating others in an invasive or highly intrusive manner, where it is unnecessary to do so, is morally problematic. We recognize ethically that the autonomy and dignity of others deserves respect. It is a cornerstone ethical principle in the helping professions that we implement the least intrusive intervention available. We are ethically obliged to construct interventions that are not only effective but also minimally intrusive. It is better to explicitly acknowledge and ground our discussion in ethics rather than ignore the reason we explore this topic to begin with.


The companion animals we deal with in our profession are vulnerable parties in the professional relationship we establish with them and their guardian, much like young children are in counseling relationships between a psychologist, a child and their parents. Companion animals cannot provide informed consent regarding the interventions that we choose to implement for them. Therefore, the responsible technologist ought to be dedicated to ensuring that the interests of the companion animal are carefully considered and that the animal is accorded respect for their dignity by intervening in a minimally intrusive manner (Association of Animal Behavior Professionals, 2008, principle 2.02; Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2004, guideline 4.07). An effective behavior change program that helps the companion animal build their repertoire of adaptive behaviors is in the animal’s interest, but effectiveness is not enough.


Aversive stimulation produces well-known side effects (see Sidman, 2000, for a general overview) that may influence the target behavior but can also cause serious secondary problems that may not be considered if one looks at the level and trend of the target behavior alone. Any question about the effectiveness of aversive stimulation must also look at the broader effects on the individual. In this regard, I (O’Heare, 2007, pp. 261–265) have argued that harsh punitive interventions do not “work” in this broader context."

Excerpted from 
The least intrusive effective behavior intervention (LIEBI) algorithm and levels of intrusiveness table: a proposed best practices model. Version 5.0  James O’Heare, MLBC, CABC, CDBC, AABP-CABC Association of Animal Behavior Professionals,  O'Heare, J. (2013)
Retrieved from

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