What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
Thanks to the internet I can communicate with the nation's top trainers, If I don't have an immediate answer, I know where to go to get it.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
I was born an animal lover. When I was about 12 or so I read Karen Pryor's book, "Lads Before the Wind", about her experiences becoming a dolphin trainer in the 60's. What she learned about rewarding the positive and ignoring the negative totally changed my way of thinking toward training. When I grew up and started breeding dogs, I did a lot more research on genetics, nutrition, and behavior. I was surprised to find out that Karen Pryor, author of the book I'd read all those years ago, had popularized 'clicker training', based on what she'd learned, and that her training methods were being used by dog trainers, horse trainers and yes, dolphin and elephant trainers as well! I was appalled at the cruel behavior still being advocated by so many trainers, and decided I wanted to be 'part of the solution'.
What types of customers have you worked with?
The most common behaviors I train is how to walk calmly on leash, and how to sit for greeting,
The most common behaviors I teach owners is to only say a cue once, 'sit', not several times, 'sit, sit, sit, sit, SIT!'
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Postive training techniques are far more effective than punishment based methods. Look for the desired action and reward it, ignore any undesired behavior, and the dog will naturally do what gets it a reward. The dog enjoys learning, and it's more fun for the owner. :-)