Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Dealing with dog aggression, pulling on the leash, puppy training, potty training, and all other dog behaviors that owners want to change.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. There are a lot of really bad trainers out there giving terrible advice. Ask lots of questions, read lots of reviews online, be sure what any perspective trainer tells you makes complete sense and if it doesn’t make sense keep asking questions until it does. Many experienced trainers start at $1500 (or considerably more) to train a dog. I keep my prices low to make my services available to as many people and dogs as possible. I love what I do and I do this because I am passionate about improving dog/owner relationships.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. The primary reason most people have dogs is to share affection. Unfortunately for many dog owners, the thing a dog needs the most out of a relationship is not affection, but rather structure. The key to a happy and healthy relationship with your dog is finding the right balance that meets the primary needs of both you and your dog.
Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?
A. What type of corrections do you use to discourage behavior? Do you use e-collars? What type or rewards do you use to encourage behavior? Do you use clickers, treat, or markers in your training?
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. I AM THE ONLY TRAINER YOU WILL FIND THAT WILL GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE SATISFIED WITH THE SERVICE I PROVIDE. If we meet and you are in any way unhappy with the session I won’t charge you. I do not guarantee results, but do guarantee satisfaction with the service I provide. No reputable trainer will guarantee results. There are far too many variables. I know that I can show you what you need to do in order to get your dog to do what you want him/her to do. I have no idea if you are going to be able or willing to do what I show you needs to be done.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. It brings me great joy to know that the work I am doing is improving the quality of the lives of a dog and owner.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How do I keep my dog from pulling on the leash? Never let the leash get tight in the first place. Once the leash gets tight it's all over, your dog is in control. When the leash is loose your dog has to look to you for direction. When it's tight he's in control. You have to act before it gets tight by giving a correction to keep the leash loose.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. I really like the dogs that are extremely people aggressive and want to eat me alive. I greet them in a very non-confrontational way for the first time, and then within five minutes we are best of friends. I love that.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Group classes and individual training serve very different purposes. Classes are good for socializing your dog around people and other dogs. If you want to learn to read your dog’s behavior and respond so that you can change specific behaviors, you won’t learn that in a class. In a class there isn’t enough time to show each owner how to read their dog’s specific signals and find an effective way to communicate their expectations to their dog, so the information tends to be more general in nature. Every dog and owner are different. Not all dogs respond to the same types of correction or reward and not all owners are able to deliver all types of correction in a way that gets results. Effective training requires modifying the training methods to find what works for both you and your dog. In a one on one session I will first show you how to make sure your dog takes his/her direction from you. Then you will learn how to respond to specific behaviors your dog has in a way that will reinforce the behaviors you want and stop reinforcing the ones you don’t want.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I just moved and I was looking for a career change. I very much enjoyed my work, but was not passionate about it. I asked myself the question, "If I could do anything I want to do, what would it be?" My answer was work with dogs!
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I learn a great amount from each dog I train! It's amazing how much we can learn from dogs. They live in the moment. I also read lots of books on dogs.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. Do you use treats for training? No, to me treats add an obfuscating layer. I don't want my dog to respond to me because she thinks she is going to get a treat. I want my dog to respond to me because she respects me as the lead and wants to please me.