As our name suggests, Positively Simple Dog Training focuses exclusively on positive, reward-based training that is easy to learn, simple to implement, and rewards good canine behavior. Our mission is to promote good communication and strengthen the bond between humans and their pets as well as to empower owners with the skills necessary to become the effective, benevolent, and kind leaders their dogs need. What sets us apart from other dog training services is the personalized service and abundant resources our clients receive that work to solve their problems and improve their skills.
All dogs are not alike, so to pigeonhole a dog's behavior by using stereotypes about his breed, for example, only serves to superficially change a behavior. Although there are known behaviors that apply to canines, each dog is different. Thus, he has a different viewpoint on the world based on his life experiences. It is that individual viewpoint that is at the core of his personality that we uncover & use to modify his behavior.
As the founder and owner of Positively Simple Dog Training, Meg Nichol was born and raised in Michigan. She grew up with her Beagle and two cats. She always refers to her Beagle as her best friend of 14 years.
After graduating from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business, Meg worked in the banking industry before migrating to sales. In the late 1980s, Meg decided to leave the Midwest and relocate to Sarasota, Florida. She eventually entered the competitive field of pharmaceutical sales, a career she successfully pursued for nearly two decades.
Throughout her life, Meg always has had an affinity for shelter animals. Since 1992, she has welcomed three rescued cats and two shelter dogs into her home, not to mention several foster dogs.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Charlie in 2004, Meg volunteered with local shelters to assist in the rescue of homeless and stray animals from DeSoto County, Florida. It was during this time that she took in Daisy, a female Florida Brown Dog, who had been found wandering the streets. The one-year-old pup had been quarantined at a makeshift shelter due to a suspected case of Bordetella.
Meg volunteered to bring the dog home to foster her until she recovered. Nine years later, Daisy, who was later diagnosed not with kennel cough but, instead, with a lingering case of hiccups, is still a part of the Nichol household.
Meg's ongoing work in the rescue community inspired her to add to her family. She adopted another dog named Tristan, who suffered from a 90 percent loss of vision in both eyes due to "retinal detachment," according to the ophthalmologist who examined him for the rescue group in April 2005. The Havanese puppy had been dropped off at Miami-Dade Animal Services by a breeder and was rescued by Chesed Rescue in West Palm Beach just hours before he would have been euthanized.
Meg drove Daisy, who had trouble socializing with other dogs, across the state to meet the six-month-old pup, and the two dogs became instant friends. She considers Tristan to be her "dog's dog" and just takes care of him for Daisy. Happily, Tristan's vision was fully restored when his own veterinary general practitioner in Sarasota decided to treat the blindness with high-dose antibiotics, as she did not see any detached retina in either eye. Within weeks, the first sign of his vision's return happened when Meg noticed him chasing a butterfly in the backyard!
Spending as much of her free time with animals as possible, it wasn't long before Meg became frustrated when her employment obligations began to hinder what she came to believe was her true calling. It was then that Meg made a life-changing decision to leave the pharmaceutical industry to become a professional dog trainer. She credits the dramatic career change to a flourishing passion for working with animals that gradually began to take precedence over her full-time pharmaceutical sales position.
A graduate of the accredited Animal Behavior College (ABC), Meg completed extensive curriculum studies that included a year-long internship with ABC-certified mentor trainers and hands-on work at area shelters.
Since becoming an ABC-certified positive dog trainer and launching Positively Simple Dog Training, Meg has herself become an ABC mentor trainer and joined the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and The Pet Professional Guild (PPG) while keeping up her continuing education credits (CEUs). She has also completed her studies in training therapy dogs and has become an ABC-certified cat trainer!
She is committed to changing people's minds about using outdated, aversive training techniques such as dominance theory and alpha-role training, as they do more harm than good, especially in the hands of nonprofessional dog trainers, i.e., the general public. Instead, she hopes to influence people's thinking to embrace the well-documented and proven methods of positive, reward-based dog training. Hence, she sees herself as a people trainer in addition to being a dog trainer.