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Fargo dog training – Pawsitive Vybe

I’m always looking for different ways to train, socialize and exercise my dog. I love bringing him to new places, teaching him new tricks and watching him interact with other dogs. That’s why I brought the mutt along to a frisbee class in July with Pawsitive Vybe of Fargo – we had a blast!

Abby Cline uses positive reinforcement training with her dogs and her clients’ dogs through Pawsitive Vybe in Fargo. When I’m training dogs, I use a combination of rewards and corrections, but I’ve always been impressed by the relationships Abby has with her dogs. They are very focused, and it’s obvious they are having tons of fun.

Ace, by the way, loves Abby! She’s all about treats and throwing things – woooooooo!

My experience with Pawsitive Vybe – Fargo

Abby is an enthusiastic, patient trainer, and I recommend her to anyone who wants to build a better relationship with his or her dog.

My mutt Ace has an extreme obsession with retrieving. He will fixate on one object, totally unable to break his concentration from it. I was hesitant to bring him to a class that involved retrieving because I thought he would be a total lunatic.

Good thing a tennis-ball-obsessed mutt is no problem for Abby!

Whenever Ace became obsessed and fixated on a disc, it immediately became out of play or “dead.” Abby would then distract Ace with a new disc. If he continued to fixate on the original, she would literally wait him out until he happened to glance up at her. When Ace made eye contact, he was rewarded.

I really admired Abby’s willingness to work with my dog on his “issue.” No other trainer has challenged Ace in this way. We are definitely going to consider signing up for some fun classes with Abby in the future!

Positive reinforcement dog training

Cattle dogs blue heelers balancing on exercise ballsPositive reinforcement dog training means rewarding the dog for “good” behaviors and ignoring the dog for “bad” behaviors.

A reward could be a treat or just paying attention to the dog. Abby rewards dogs by giving them something they want such as a toy, access to outside, greeting another dog or sniffing a tree.

She also uses consequences for unwanted behaviors.

“If you bite me during play, play stops, game over,” she said. “That is no fun.”

Is positive reinforcement training the best way to train a dog?

Abby believes positive reinforcement dog training is the best option because no pain is involved.

“I don’t feel that I need to inflict pain on my dog to get a desired behavior,” she said. “If I have to hurt my dog to get them to do something, then I don’t think my relationship with them is very healthy.”

She also said that although correcting a dog for unwanted behavior does work for some dogs, behaviors are more reliable when they are taught with positive reinforcement. She said anyone would be able to see this by watching her interact with her dogs and her clients’ dogs.

“Ever since Cesar Millan, everyone thinks they need to ‘dominate’ their dog,” Abby said. “It’s not about that. You and your dog are a team, not the boss and employee. You learn together, and you work out problems together. You can’t fire your dog.”

Abby is a lot more consistent and patient than the average dog owner, though. For most people, it takes months and months to get the desired behavior using strictly positive reinforcement.

During the frisbee class Ace and I attended with Pawsitive Vybe, all the dogs were extremely excited and not always under control. Most of the dogs barked or whined when it was not their turn to work. At one point we had all the dogs tied to trees while we practiced throws without them. Every single dog barked nonstop, including Ace. This bothered me.

Abby encouraged us to ignore the barking. We definitely did not reward our dogs, but if a dog barks and barks without some kind of consequence, the behavior is reinforced because barking is fun!

If a dog barks every time she is tethered, she is conditioned to continue the behavior. I would rather immediately correct my dog for barking or avoid putting him in that situation all together.

Dog sports with Pawsitive Vybe

Abby and I are in the same business – encouraging dog owners to be more active with their dogs.

“Active dogs are healthy dogs!” Abby said. “Dogs that are active live much longer than couch potatoes.”

A huge reason people are getting rid of dogs is because they say they don’t have the time to exercise them, Abby said. “Our dogs ask us for very little, the least we could do is give them a ‘job,’ something to look forward to.”

Since each dog has its own athletic strengths, Abby suggests dog owners assess what those strengths are.

“If your dog loves to run, try agility or lure coursing,” she said. “If your dog is very driven by their nose, try tracking or earth dog. If your dog loves to retrieve, try frisbee or dock diving. There are dog sports for all dogs.”

Training offered with Pawsitive Vybe – Fargo

If you are bored with traditional obedience classes, I hope you will check out Pawsitive Vybe. Abby is full of energy and the dogs just love working with her.

Personal lessons with Pawsitive Vybe are always available by appointment.

Abby also offers six-week group sessions for $75 per session. The fall/winter classes include:

Interaction I and II

The interaction classes help dogs learn how to behave on and off leash in different environments.

K9 Trix

The dog does not have to be an athlete to sign up for K9 Trix. Some of the tricks taught in the class will include targeting objects, object discrimination, leg weaving, backwards scoot, walking backwards, pedestal work, ball work and pretty much any parlor trick you can think of.

Contact Pawsitive Vybe – Fargo:


YouTube – Here is my favorite video of Abby and her dogs

Email: [email protected]


Have you ever trained with Pawsitive Vybe? Do you prefer positive reinforcement dog training?

This was not a paid review. I did watch and participate in two Pawsitive Vybe classes at no cost.

Two of Abby’s dogs are shown in the photo above. Three of her clients’ dogs are pictured below.

Boy the brown and white American pit bull terrier catching a frisbee
Mack the Boston terrier carrying a Frisbee in Fargo
Ruby the brown and white Australian shepherd carrying a frisbee


Sunday 24th of October 2010

I use positive reinforcement with my dog Sylvie and it's working really well. Before I enrolled in this clicker class I was jerking her leash and being stern whenever she'd bark and lunge at other dogs. Since her problem behaviors arise from fear, this only exacerbated the problem. I recognize that corrections work for some people, but I am not serene or disinterested enough to give corrections in a calm, neutral mood. For me, it's tough not to get stuck in the moment of the negative behavior, and I'll still be disappointed by it even when Sylvie has probably forgotten what she did that made me mad.

So I try to bring her into situations where she will behave well, and then I reward her for it. Then I'm proud of my dog and our bond is strengthened. Each day I give her new challenges, like today we walked through a crowd of screaming children in Halloween costumes at the mall, and she was able to stay calm. Good girl!

I really like your blog, Lindsay. Ace sounds like an awesome dog. But I'm sure you already know that :)

Lindsay Stordahl

Sunday 24th of October 2010

I am the same way. I tend to get too frustrated and aggressive with my corrections. When this happens my sensitive dog really begins to shut down. However, I also have to be careful about getting too happy and overexcited with my voice using positive reinforcement because then Ace gets too excited and we can't accomplish much:) So, the answer is somewhere in the middle. Calm, positive reinforcement and calm corrections that do not cause fear or pain.


Thursday 14th of October 2010

Abby sounds like a good trainer for both the owner and the dog. It's good to hear support for the human dog teamwork approach. I'm in my college dorm so I'm not allowed to have my dogs here with me and I miss them but atleast I know they are getting plenty attention from my Mom and Dad back home. Reading your blogs always make me feel better when I miss them so thank you Lindsay.


Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 14th of October 2010

I'm sure they miss you too!

Amanda Steiner

Tuesday 12th of October 2010

I believe in positive reinforcement, but I don't believe it works 100% of the time. I think to teach new behaviors, you need positive reinforcement, but to correct current behaviors, you need to use corrections. My dog came to me with all sorts of bad behaviors, and I don't think any of them would have went away by me ignoring them.

I would be interested to see how Abby would work with my dog in the dog sports. Although his prey drive is super high, he really isn't into chasing toys or fetching. I'd would like to see if she would be able to get him into it.

Lindsay Stordahl

Tuesday 12th of October 2010

Well in addition to ignoring a behavior, you could also use desensitization, re-directing and distractions. But I agree that corrections are needed at times.

I think Abby would be able to get Eli interested in chasing a frisbee. Although, if retrieving is not his thing, maybe there are other sports he'd be better at.


Monday 11th of October 2010

Abby sounds like an amazing trainer. I think positive reinforcement is always the way to go. I don't believe inflicting pain is ever ok, whether it's dogs or children you are dealing with. I also agree that "acitve dogs are healthy dogs."

Lindsay Stordahl

Monday 11th of October 2010

Well, people also have to remember that corrections do not have to cause pain. I see nothing wrong with saying to my dog in a calm voice, "Hey! That's enough." There's also nothing wrong with saying this to your child. However, it is very easy to become too aggressive, even with verbal corrections.


Saturday 9th of October 2010

I LOVE Abby's classes-- I took a class with Abby and my then-foster dog Lola. Lola knew basic commands, and while we did work on those in class, what Abby really taught me was how to build a relationship with my dogs. I recommend her to anybody who asks me about a dog trainer. Abby's 1:1 attention (even in a group setting) and enthusiasm makes class fun for both dogs and owners. I'm excited to hear classes are being held this fall!

Lindsay Stordahl

Saturday 9th of October 2010

Hey Amy, thanks for sharing your experiences with Abby and Pawsitive Vybe! I also admired her one-on-one attention even in a group setting.