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A Pawsitive Approach for Positive Results ™

Dedicated to strengthening the human-canine bond.

Bringing out the best in your best friend using a humane, force-free approach.

Since 2005, certified dog trainer and professional canine behavior consultant Joan Hunter Mayer has been helping humans and canines alike with pawsitive, practical solutions to everyday challenges. Using humane, proven approaches to dog training, Joan helps her local Santa Barbara clients and virtual clients from all over learn how to get the best out of their best friends. The skills she teaches empowers you to enhance the bonds you have with your dog, and make the world a friendly place for all inquisitive canines.

Aussie Standing Outdoors Smiling

Using only humane, force-free methods, Joan provides customized training for your dog and you with excellent, proven outcomes. You’ll learn easy-to-replicate techniques and skills that bring out the best behaviors in your best friend. Work with Joan in person, via online video conferencing, or a combination of both – whatever works best for your inquisitive canine and schedule.

Inquisitive Canine - Down Stay Dog Training

Virtual behavior coaching easily sets you up for success, using the convenience of your computer or phone. Customized plans help you reach your goals wherever you are. Getting started is simple and super convenient! 

two doodle mix dogs wearing harnesses on ranch

As both a certified professional dog trainer and dog mom, I have searched for products that my dog gets excited about, while being practical, affordable, and above all, functional. After years of being inspired by dogs and their humans, I am thrilled to offer my own designs and creations to fellow pet parents. (All items sold through our Amazon Store.)

Have questions about your dog’s behavior? The Inquisitive Canine team answers pet parent questions and offers suggestions to help reach your goals.

Terrier mix sitting at window

Separation anxiety is a heartbreaking condition that affects about 1 in 6 dogs in the United States. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety can exhibit some or all of the following behaviors when their humans are gone, or even as they are preparing to leave the home.

inquisitive canine joan hunter mayer and ringo

The Inquisitive Canine, founded in 2005 by certified professional dog trainer and human-canine relationship coach Joan Hunter Mayer, is devoted to offering humane, pawsitive, practical solutions that work for the challenges dogs and their humans face in everyday life. We are dedicated to barking with the dogs, cheering for the humans, and having fun!

Jun 26, 2022
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Joan gave us our social life back! If anyone has a dog with separation anxiety, they know what I mean. We had many ups and downs throughout the last year but Joan always stayed positive and cheered us on. We are in such a better place because of her and the work that she does. It is hard not to feel alone in this process but having Joan and knowing that she has been through the same training with her pup helped us to stay positive. The advice we received from other trainers that don't specialize in separation anxiety made the problem worse. I am so happy that I kept searching and stumbled on her website because I would have never known a program like this existed. I am so grateful for everything she has done for us and Penny! Thank you, Joan!
Janice Zazinski
Mar 28, 2022
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Coach Joan is a powerhouse of small-business savvy. When I started my own dog training business, she helped me to focus my priorities and attention, to develop my mission and vision, tailor my services, and devise marketing strategies. Our sessions together have been packed with her boundless ideas and creativity. I always felt like Coach Joan was there specifically for me and my business — she is an incredible listener! No matter where you are on your small business journey, I recommend you work with Coach Joan to further your goals. At the top of my "always to-do" list is to plan to consult with Coach Joan throughout the entirety of my career.
Barbara And Sweetie Pie
Aug 24, 2017
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Joan is all about positive reinforcement, including clicker training and tone of voice when working with your dog, which is the only kind of training I believe in. We adopted a rescue dog with many fear issues, dog reactivity on leash, and separation anxiety. Over time, these issues have lessened by building a trusting relationship. The biggest change is that our time out and about is less stressful; she now looks to me any time she sees a person or another dog as she knows she will get a treat. Like magic, new and scary things result in something yummy. Through lots of work, she has grown very comfortable around other people, to the point where we go visit residents in a nursing facility.
Maureen And Digby
Aug 17, 2017
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I contacted Joan on the advice of my vet because I needed help training my golden retriever, Digby, to be a service dog for a family member. Joan was great: extremely knowledgeable about teaching Digby the necessary new skills, patient with me when I forgot what I was supposed to be doing, and always thinking about how to solve problems Digby may encounter in his future as a service dog. Plus she is a kind person who loves and understands dogs.
Sharon And Lily
Aug 16, 2017
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I have taken several classes through Adult Ed with Joan Hunter Mayer and also a private class. Joan is very thorough as she has the first meeting with just the dog owners. It is a was helpful to meet together first without the dogs. During classes, she shows great control of the situations and is firm but positive in her response to the owners and dogs.You can tell she loves what she does as a career and it pays off for both the owners and dogs. Joan always has very helpful suggestions for all problems and situations. I will enroll again this fall in more classes as I feel she is a very effective dog trainer for both dogs and their owners.
Catherine And Luna
Aug 11, 2017
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My dog Luna and I had the pleasure of working with Joan in both her group class entitled, “Dog Training and Life Skills for Our Canine Friends” and through private training. Luna and I had recently completed a cross-country move when I noticed some behaviors that were concerning to me, like her appearing anxious and fearful in a number of new situations. My little girl also had a tough time listening in our new home and needed a refresher course on dog manners! Luckily, we turned to Joan who was able to help us with both, as she is truly an exceptional dog trainer. From our very first meeting with Joan, it was clear that she would go above and beyond in trying to help us. I really appreciated her asking us about our unique situation and long-term goals for training while brainstorming ways in which we could achieve these. Joan was always incredibly hands on and so enlightening! In both our private training session and through the group class she was able to describe to me how to effectively engage with Luna so that training was productive and fun. I learned to recognize “triggers” that might upset Luna and how to avoid them through positive distractions. Joan also taught us a number of techniques to practice so that Luna could master basic skills and build upon others. These included techniques like increasing the time or distance when Luna was asked to “stay”, or showing us ways to master good on-leash walking. After each of our sessions together it was clear to me that not only is Joan an exceptionally knowledgeable trainer, but her gentle nature and endless patience are also invaluable for the work that she does. Thank you so much, Joan, for helping us transition to our new home in dog-friendly CA!