About Me Hello! My name is Megan Danitz and I am the owner/trainer for Full Pawtential Dog Training. I'm glad you have come to this page to learn more about me and what I do.
I started Full Pawtential in 2007 after graduating from Animal Behavior College. I grew up in Southern California and moved to Colorado in 2007.
From a very young age I wanted to be a dog trainer and loved to teach my Aussie all sorts of fun tricks and agility. Some called me a "dog whisperer" before there was a famous "dog whisperer" on TV. As long as I can remember, I have loved all animals. I grew up with horses, cats, rabbits, ducks, chickens, fish, ferrets, turtles, and even a sheep! My mom always joked that I'd rather spend time with animals than people. I was able to connect with all types animals in a way that others around me could not. Even my mean rooster, Kramer, would sit happily on my lap and watch TV with me.
As a young adult, I got into corrections (yes, jail) as a career field. I loved my job but I never forgot about my dog training goals. I learned about Animal Behavior College in 2005 and decided to enroll. I thought that ABC would give me a shot at fulfilling my dreams. When I graduated from ABC in 2007, I started Full Pawtential Dog Training, LLC. From there, I began to build a client base and trained dogs part time for about 13 years. During that time, I became a Deputy at a local Sheriff's Office and began to promote through the ranks. As my position at the Sheriff's Office became more and more important (Sergeant, academy instructor, recruit trainer supervisor, etc.), I found that I could not dedicate enough time to my dog training clients. On several occasions, I had to turn clients away because I could not accommodate them. I knew I had to make a choice to slow down my dog training business or leave the Sheriff's Office. In 2021, I made a big change and took my dog training business full-time and resigned from the Sheriff's Office.
Throughout my childhood and as a young adult, I've had some very special dogs too! When I turned 18, I knew I was old enough to adopt a dog at the local shelter. I ran down to the shelter and fell in love with a small Jack Russell Terrier. I had visited him several times on my lunch break from work. On my weekend, I ran to the shelter to adopt him. He had been euthanized already. I asked the shelter employees why and they said, "You didn't want that dog, he was ferocious!" I sat in the shelter, looking into the cage that once housed my soon-to-be friend. Sitting there, was an adult Dalmatian. He had a worn collar with a piece of frayed rope dangling from it. I asked the shelter employee about this dog. They told a story of trying to catch him running the streets for "months". The man said, "you don't want that dog, he's crazy!" I adopted him. When I got him home I realized, HE WAS CRAZY!! Hobie was a jumper, a chewer, a barker, a digger, a bolter. He lifted his leg and peed on my friends when they were in my house. A couple years after adopting Hobie, I enrolled in Animal Behavior College. Long story short, Mr. Hobie lived a very long life with me and is one of the reasons I am so knowledgeable now.
Another dog I had, Maddox (2010-2020), was a behavioral and medical nightmare. He had severe food allergies that resulted in chronic GI issues, he had color dilution alopecia so his hair was thin and sensitive. His food sensitivity led me through a gauntlet of elimination diets. He could not eat treats without having issues. He was poorly bred and was anxious and fearful early in life. As he matured, he became highly reactive. Maddox was the dog who taught me the most about proper socialization. In 2010, there was emphasis on socialization in dog training but not "proper" socialization. I learned the hard way not to flood scared puppies in a dog park!
Although I have learned a lot in 16 years, I believe I should always be learning and growing. I am a "crossover trainer". This means I started out balanced methods and then crossed over to positive / force-free methods. I found that positive punishment, fear, force, and intimidation lead to behavioral fall out (general apathy, aggression, avoidance). I now prefer creating trust and using rewards to reinforce wanted behavior because I have seen much better results.
I have always considered animals my family, friends, and even my children. Hurting an animal to train them isn't something I can do. Luckily, it's not required! I can show you how to use proven, science-based, force-free training methods and be MORE SUCCESSFUL than punishment-based training.
I am drawn to ”difficult” cases and dogs who have been turned away by other trainers. I highly enjoy taking on clients who have already used balanced trainers and feel like they need a change in approach. I network with other trainers and veterinary behaviorists so if you are not in my area or need other resources, I can help with that also.
I currently reside in Highlands Ranch with my wife and our dog, Whiskey. I adopted Mr. Whiskey him from a Texas shelter when he was about 7 years old (2021). Whiskey suffers from separation anxiety and he is dog- selective. I enjoy working with him every day to make him the happiest dog on earth! You can see Whiskey and I cruising around town in search of Puppuccinos. You won't miss the giant chocolate lab head out the window drooling all over my car!
Recent continuing education seminars/webinars 2021/22: "Pattern Games in Urban Environments" by Behavior Vets "Look At That (LAT) Game: A Revolutionary Conversation" by Behavior Vets "Fear Free Movement with America's Vet Dr. Marty Becker, DVM" "Susan Clothier: Goodness of Fit" 3 part series Constructional Aggression Treatment Webinar Series, Part 1, 2, 3, and 4 with Lauren Novack & Kellie Snider of Behavior Vets The REALLY REAL Relaxation Protocol by Suzanne Clothier Applied Ethology Webinar Series with Kim Brophy @ Behavior Vets Biome, Brain & Behavior: The gut microbiome-behavior relationship with Dr. Kathy Murphy