Golden Retriever Dog Training Huntington Beach, CA

I met Remy when he was an 8 month old puppy in San Clemente, California. He was your typical goofy Retriever that needed training for his safety and or his parents sanity.

His dad, Phil, called me in panic because Remy started rushing out the door. He had this favorite walking trail that he was always eager to get to. However, to get to that trail, you had to pass a couple VERY busy roads. One day, he rushed the doorway and slipped through Phil’s fingers. Phil yelled for him to come, but Remy was wild and free! He booked it to the trail, while Phil prayed and ran after him. Phil and his wife were thinking about getting him training because there were a couple other behaviors he started to do that were driving them nuts. This event was the final straw.

On top of doorway bolting, Remy was an extreme leash puller. Giving his mom, Jenny, rope burn each time they went on a walk. Walks started to become more of a burden and Remy had SO much energy to burn off. Remy also had a thing for counter surfing, but would only do it when mom wasn’t paying attention. Jumping on guests because he was SO excited to meet a new human.

While I was doing their assessment- One of their main concerns, and the most common concern I get, is they didn’t want his personality to change. They didn’t want him to be a robot. I told them that that is good news, as I am not that kind of trainer. I explained the importance of having an obedient dog, “For safety and sanity reasons.” And how equally important it is for the dog to be HAPPY and WANT to listen to their owners. Not because they have to, but because they want to.  They chose a training package that was right for them and we got to work! Remy came to UPK9 Orange County for a Board and Train.

I started by teaching Remy the fundamentals: Good, Break, and No. These three words

Here is what Phil had to say after training:

Remy rocking his Place command and looking way cute!

“We have an 8 month old retriever who is a typical puppy with lots of energy and a mind of his own. While we adore our dog it was frustrating because he wouldn’t listen or obey very much so we wanted to get him trained with obedience training. We interviewed a number of trainers and chose Kristine Stortroen with Unleashed Potential K9 Orange County. Bottom line… she is an amazing trainer with proven methods and she has tremendous passion and heart for what she does. The results of the training far exceeded our expectations and we are absolutely thrilled with how well trained our dog is now. She trained and addressed every single obedience concern we had with our dog. Major concerns we had included darting out our front door and running down the street and playing “keep away.” Now he sits patiently with the front door open until he is asked to come outside. His leash manners are flawless. He walks right by our side and walks with him are so much fun! No more tugging, no more jumping on guests, no more counter suffering, no more unwanted jumping on furniture (unless he is invited). But the best part about it is our dog loves doing what he learned from Kristine. Other dog owners will watch you with envy as your dog listens to you and is well behaved. Kristine will love and care for your dog as if it is her own. She has a HUGE heart for dogs! Kristine has my highest recommendation and my utmost confidence in her training methods. I guarantee your dog will meet or exceed your expectations like ours has after training with Kristine!”

– Phil

Golden Retriever Dog Training Huntington CA
Remy enjoying off leach freedom at the Huntington Dog Beach.

Remy the Golden Retriever went from goofy boy that had no manners, to goofy boy WITH manners. After his Board and Train, I taught Phil and Jenny everything he knows and how to reinforce and maintain his good behavior. After 4 lessons with the HUMAN, they were confident and able to take Remy on the adventures he deserved.

That’s right, my job isn’t done until the humans know what to do. Now they can live a life of balance with their happy pup. They can go hiking on the San Clemente trails with off leash reliability. Remy listens to his owners and his HAPPY to do so. 

Remy at work with Phil
Remy at work with Phil

Remy even gets to go to work with his dad now!

Here is what Jenny had to say after the training:

Kristine Stortroen has changed our lives with our 8 month Golden Retriever puppy, Remy.  Before we hired Kristine, life with Remy was typical of life with a 8 month old puppy. There was frustration, anger over things he would do and stress in trying to manage him.  He would chew everything in sight-shoes, rugs, and even the baseboard. He was difficult to walk and would pull us down the street choking himself the entire way, stopping at every bush.  He would lunge at people and other dogs who walked by. He would wander off into the bushes where there have been known to be rattlesnakes. We realized when he started bolting out of the front door that we needed help with training our dog for his own safety and our peace of mind! 

Kristine came highly recommended through our community Facebook group and lived up to all of the recommendations made.  She is extremely passionate about training dogs and it shows. She took a tremendous amount of time getting to know us and Remy.  She explained to us that her goal is to create a healthy and positive relationship between dog and human through the proper training and obedience of both dog and human.  

She approaches her training in a very positive way and we saw how much Remy enjoyed working with her. We did a “board and train” program. She would send regular video updates  in which we could tell how happy he was to be “working” for her and could see the progress. We were amazed! After 4 weeks with Kristine, Remy came back to us a well trained and obedient dog.  He no longer bolts out of the front door and instead sits and waits to be released. He walks on “heel” right beside us with no more tugging or pulling on the leash. He is able to walk past distractions (bush, dog, people) with a focus on us and not on the distraction.  He is even able to sit and watch our cats eat their food without charging them and eating it for them.

I highly recommend Kristine to train your puppy or dog.  Her methods are very effective and fostered a positive change in life with our dog.  He came back to us so proud of what he had learned and accomplished and as a result life is so much more enjoyable with Remy.  Kristine has truly changed our lives with Remy for the better and we look forward to a fulfilling life with him!”

– Jenny

When you choose Unleashed Potential K9 Orange County as your trainer, you become a part of the family. We don’t just train your dog and say goodbye. We train YOU. The most important part. We teach you how your dog thinks, why they do what they do, and how to get them to choose YOU over everything else. We work on your relationship with your dog and show you how to truly Unleash their Potential.

I offer FREE Assessments to go over what YOU and your dog needs to build a successful relationship and obedience that lasts long term: 530-513-1456

Does this sound like your dog? Give me a call to get a FREE Assessment so we can get you on the right track!

How’s your dog doing? I just got off the phone with Santa and it wasn’t the best of news.  Wayne did not make the nice list this year. Watch Wayne as I tell him the news, he doesn’t  take it very well.

No worries tough, we know exactly what to do, to better Wayne’s situation. Over the next couple of days I’m very sure Santa will be impressed and reconsider.

Is your pup on the naughty list like Wayne? If so, let’s get get him/her on the nice list and start the New Year off in the right direction so you and your dog can have a great year!

No matter what your situation is,  We Can Help!

If your in the LA or Orange County CA area and looking for Dog Training give us a call at 530-513-1456 or email

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“You train with Shock Collars?!”

This is the response I usually get from my friends and family when they see a remote in my hand and a collar on a dog. This is followed by an uncomfortable pause as they are trying to process it all. It only lasts about 5 seconds as their eyes are shooting between me and the dog I am training. Their facial reaction goes from terror, to confusion, as they are trying to process it all. Then, 10 times out of 10, this is what comes out of their mouths next:

“He is so well behaved, but… SO HAPPY.”

You see, we as human beings have been taught our whole lives to stay away from electricity at all costs. So it’s only normal to react the  way that you do. It’s instinctual.

So why on God’s earth would you ever put one on a dog?

My response: I don’t use Shock Collars. Confused? Thought you might be. I prefer the term remote collars, as the collars we use do not emit a dangerous electric shock like some people would lead you to believe. Nor do they burn the skin.

The Truth

There has been a massive misconception on modern day remote collar training. The misconception is based off of emotional response and not facts.

What do they emit then? Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS).

There it is, there is that word- Electrical!

Before you freak out, here me out for a second. Electrical doesn’t automatically mean that it’s a SHOCK. Did you know humans use TENS on themselves daily to RELIEVE PAIN? That’s right, TENS has no injurious consequences and is often used to manage chronic pain in humans.

Then what’s the difference between an electrical shock and a TENS? 

I am glad you asked.  

The Difference

SHOCK: Electric shock is the sudden application of electric current to a living organism with sufficient strength and duration to produce a convulsive or thermal effect (IEC) with injurious exposure consequences (Reilly 1998). Typically electronic shocks occur when mains electricity (house outlets) accidentally travels through an animal’s or human’s body on its way to ground.

This is a completely different effect of what is happening with an electronic training collar.

TENS: TENS collars have no injurious effects, cannot “burn skin”, and do not act as “electric shocks” to the skin. In fact, people use TENS on themselves to RELIEVE pain. 

Another Source

According to The Art of Raising a Puppy (A book all dog owners should have),  The Monks of New Skete had a change of heart on this modern training tool once they understood the evolution of this product:

“There was a time when we were decidedly uncomfortable with using remote collars in training except in the most serious cases, when behavioral modification was essential to saving the dog’s life. The first electronic collars in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s offered only one level of intensity, which produced a very unpleasant shock to the dog. It was a crude yet seemingly effective tool in breaking behavior such as car-and livestock- chasing as well as in training hunting dogs who could withstand the intensity of the stimulation. Its relevance to more routing obedience training was less apparent, since it was clearly an aversive tool, a genuine “shock” collar. Why use such a device when the only stimulation one could give was “Wow!”? By today’s standards the progenitors of the modern remote collar were rough and one-dimensional.

As with most technology, however, where one tool begins at an initial, foundation level, it paves the way for progress that quickly transforms the tool into something more sophisticated and profoundly different. Think of the field of medicine: Surgery was initially performed with knives and saws but has now evolved in breathtaking ways, with lasers and microsurgical tools serving the healing process. Ask a person who has had his cataracts removed through laser surgery, for example, what it has meant to his quality of life, and you will get some idea of what’s at stake. Granted, surgeons must be trained to use these tools effectively. Still, where would we be without them?

This technological evolution also applies to remote collars (sometimes called e-collars), and as a result, we’ve rethought our view on them……”

“…. After attending several seminars and speaking at length with bona fide masters of this tool, we found the evidence compelling, and it’s worth describing in some detail. Gone indeed were the days when the e-collar was one-dimensional “shock” collar; instead, we saw how it transformed into a multidimensional training tool, providing precision, reliability, and versatility to trainers, owners, and dogs alike. Unlike in the early days, today’s remote collars have a wide range of stimulations, from very low, (almost imperceptible) to levels that are strong enough to correct and gain attention in highly distracting circumstances without harming the dog. The handler can control the amount of stimulation in extremely subtle ways, primarily by associating a very mild stim with a command. In fact, the trainers we saw had their devices set to a slight tingle, and the dogs displayed no discomfort during the sessions. Indeed, to reassure ourselves, we asked to experience the normal-working-level stimulation on our own hands. It was barely perceptible and in no way painful.

More interesting to us, however, was how the dogs responded to the stim and the pedagogy the professionals used. The dogs seemed to understand very precisely the association of the stim with the various commands, and as we observed the trainers we saw repeatedly how they used a “tapping” technique that facilitated the association. They still embodied body language and voice effectively, with plenty of positive reinforcement and quiet encouragement, but what made the biggest impression on us was how they used the stim as a direction instead of a correction- a way of “tapping the dog on the shoulder” to indicate what was required. The results were impressive indeed, a skillful blending of grace and technique that belied any trace of heavy-handedness. The dogs we observed seemed happy and not stressed. What we witnessed demonstrated compellingly how remote collars could be used skillfully to train a dog in on- and off- leash obedience; the approach was cutting-edge in terms of training theory.

At this point we were forced to ask ourselves, if such training is really more effective at the same time as being less stressful than conventional training, if it leads to greater freedom between owner and dog, and if the dogs respond well to it, why shouldn’t we incorporate it as a tool in our own approach? Not using remote collars simply because some folks might misunderstand or judge us poorly isn’t sound reasoning. Having paid attention to the debate for years, we believe that the most vocal critics of remote collars are those who are ignorant of how they can be used and who have had little or no hands-on training with them.”

The Art of Raising a Puppy – Monks of New Skete Pages 248-249

Our Goal

At Unleashed Potential K9, we chose to use this tool as a training aid in partnership with our positive training methods, not because we need them. No dog needs a remote training collar just like no person needs a wireless smartphone but in a great system the results are often undeniable and amazing.  We look at this tool more like training wheels and clear communication with the dog not a crutch or bandaid. We chose to use modern technology with modern day positive methods to enable both the owner and the dog to work in harmony. This is just one tool we use ALONG with our proven training methods to build an amazing relationship with your dog.  It is a tool that we phase down off of when the owner and dog are ready. We do not sell these collars without proper education and hands on experience.

The misconception and lack of education of this tool often creates a problem for modern day training.                

We encourage you to contact us TODAY for an assessment by simply clicking here

You can see first hand what they feel like and how they can be used in a very humane, kind and motivational way.

Find a trainer near you by simply clicking here.

Live local in Orange County or surrounding areas? Reach out to me for a FREE assessment:


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