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Peeping Puppy

Mad Dog Manor Canine Behavior Consultations

Canine Behavior Consultations

We help dogs (and cats) become the best dog that they can be.

We use positive reinforcement techniques developed from the latest scientific and applied research to produce lasting changes. 

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About Dr. Val

Dr. Val Farmer-Dougan is a Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University's Department of Psychology. She has conducted research, published articles, and provided consultation and interventions with dogs, cats and exotic animals for over 37 years. 


Dr. Val is a 

  • Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)

  • Accredited Dog Trainer (International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants)

  • Fear Free (R)  Certified Professional

  • Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner.

  • AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

She is also a member of the Association for Professional Dog Trainers. 


She is currently the Lead Behaviorist for Pet Central Helps Animal Rescue and Shelter, and also accepts private clients.

Dr. Val, and her team, are happy to help you solve your pet's problem behavior and help your dog become the best dog he or she can be.


  • Dr. Val and her team provide consultations and training for dogs experiencing problem behaviors.  She uses a positive reinforcement approach using the Least Intrusive/Minimally Aversive intervention techniques.  

  • An initial consultation of approximately 90 minutes includes observation of your dog's behavior, and an interview with you. This consultation will allow Dr. Val understand the function of the problem behavior and the reinforcement maintaining the unwanted behavior. She will then work with you to develop an intervention plan. 

  • Training sessions for the intervention plan, as well as follow-up sessions are also available.

  • Please contact us for information on costs for consultations and training sessions. 

Three French Bullgod Puppies

Identifying the function of the behavior.

  • It is critical to observe, carefully interview the family members, and analyze the problem behavior in order to understand the function of that behavior.

  • No behavior occurs "just because". In order to successfully reduce or eliminate the problem behavior, we must determine what is reinforcing that behavior.

  • For example, why do dogs bark at the mailman? No, it is not to irritate you. Your dog wants the mailman to go away....and the barking works (or so your dog thinks!). The mailman does, indeed, go away.  But, picking up a toy, rather than barking, results in the mailman going away, too!


Walking Dogs
  • Once the function and reinforcer for the behavior is found, Dr. Val will work with you to develop an intervention plan.

  • The plan will not only work toward reducing or eliminating the problem behavior, but will provide the dog with a new, appropriate behavior.

  • When we remove a behavior (for example, barking at the door), it is important to give the dog another desirable behavior in its place (going to the mat, grabbing a toy)  that allows the dog to earn positive attention.

Client Reviews

What's Being Said

From our partner program with ISU:

The amazing staff and volunteers doing the Lord‘s work every day and changing lives! It’s such a beautiful thing to witness. ISU students getting valuable, hands on, real life experience both from our vet tech students and those enrolled in Dr. Val’s behavorial classes at ISU. Lessons learned about training/working with/overcoming obstacles for our adoptive and foster parents thanks to Dr. Val Farmer-Dougan and her team.

        -Holly H.

My favorite class I have ever taken! Thank you so much Dr. Val Farmer-Dougan!

-Shelton S.

For many of you that have been following Pepper's story, I am happy to say that today he has officially been adopted and has found his forever home with ME (surprise!). I've always known he was a special dog who would need the right home to take care and understand him, and I'm so proud to be his new mom. A huge thank you to Central Illinois Small Animal Rescue for saving him and to my professor Dr. Valeri Farmer-Dougan for teaching me everything I know and helping make him the dog he is today. Pepper, I can't promise to always know what you need from me or that you'll like every toy I buy, but I can promise to love you with all of my heart and give you the best life a dog can have. I promise you will never be abused ever again and you don't have to be scared any more. Two years is a long time for any dog to be in a shelter but don't worry Pep, Mommy's finally bringing you home

                  -Pillar B.

Contact Me

‪(309) 287-6805

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