Learn to train the smart, humane way

and have fun doing it!

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About Joanne Ometz

Combining science-based Positive Reinforcement training methods with true knowledge of Dog Body Language, and informed by Neuroscience, I work in highly effective ways to solve behavior problems and teach you to train your dog to prevent new ones from developing. And we will have fun doing it!

My background in Social Work means I love working with both dogs and people. You will learn dog training techniques in a positive, supportive environment, free of judgement and criticism.

I am the go-to referral for several Durham veterinarians, as well as Barnes Supply Company.

I offer individual lessons, group classes, workshops, and in-services in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough.

Please note that if you have been using a choke, prong, or shock collar for training, I will only work with you if you turn over the equipment to me. Such equipment interferes with positive, lasting behavior change and is used at the detriment of your relationship with your dog. Training with aversive equipment and techniques can make training go slower. According to Dr. Ian Dunbar, the founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, “To use shock as an effective dog training method you will need a thorough understanding of canine behavior, a thorough understanding of learning theory, and impeccable timing. And if you have those three things, you don’t need a shock collar.”

I do not accept dogs for “Board and Train”. If your dog needs training, YOU need training. If I do all the work, you do not reap the benefits of learning skills to apply throughout your dog’s life, along with the better relationship that training brings.

All people are welcome regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender identity or sexual orientation. All breeds are welcome, from Chihuahuas to Pit Bulls, to Great Danes.



I offer a free 15 minute phone consultation to briefly discuss the issues and how I can help.

When we meet I do a thorough 1-1.5 hour assessment, including behavioral observation, health and behavioral history, and observing your dog’s movement for signs of any physical discomfort. Pain can affect behavior!

After that, we discuss options for improving your dog’s behavior, which may include training, changes to the environment, and suggestions for questions to ask your veterinarian.


Individual sessions focus on training and other positive techniques to improve both your dog’s behavior and your relationship.

The Dog Lady’s innovative classes include Kinderpuppy (8 weeks up to 5-6 months), Beyond Kinderpuppy for older puppies, Better Than Obedience I and II, and Kids and Dogs Training Class. See our Classes page for more information.

Free hour-long workshops on a variety of dog-related topics, held at various locations in Durham. Classes held at The Dog Lady in West Durham.

Skype/FaceTime consultations are available for those outside of the Durham area.


Individual Sessions:
In Home Assessment: $80/hour (1-1 1/2 hours)
Individual Sessions: $75/hour

Group Classes and KinderPuppy:
Better Than Obedience: $130/$150/6 sessions
(includes book, clicker)

KinderPuppy: $130 (includes book, clicker)

I am able to take one client at a time who pays only what they can. They must have adopted a rescue dog and truly be in need of this option.  Please check availability before first session.


Positive Reinforcement or Shock Collar: What’s the Difference?