Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. My dog is not house"broken".
Where and when do you want the dog to do his "business" and I teach you how to teach that behavior.
My dog is impossible when the doorbell rings.
What do you want the dog to do when the doorbell rings? I recommend teaching the dog to go lie down on something (an old towel, a dog bed , your old t-shirt). I will teach you how to train your dog to do exactly that and make it happen when the doorbell rings.
My dog always pulls on the leash.
Using only rewards I can teach you how to train your dog to walk in the "Heel" position.
Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.
A. I helped a couple train their Highland White Terrier to limit his barking when someone came to the door.
I taught a couple how to accommodate the 5y/o dog to the new kitten, it took about an hour.
A mom and her three small children were overwhelmed by an exuberant lab pup. They learned how to play calming games with the pup so there were no more injuries.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Before committing money, be sure you are comfortable with the trainers techniques, both in the way of training modalities and the way they are taught.
Finding yourself explaining to yourself or others that what you are doing to the dog isn't abuse, is a pretty clear sign that it is abuse. (see Milgram Experiment)
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. The big secret is "What does my dog want?" The easy answer is food and that's a great start, but What does he want most? Does he go wild with a ball or a frisbee? Is "TUG" a great game for your dog? Those can all be used as rewards along with chest rubs and belly scratches. Once we know what the dog wants all we do is manage the dog's environment so he gets what he wants as a reward for doing what you want.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. "What do you want your dog to do?" We proceed from there.
Don't frame your question from "my dog..., I want it to stop."Say, what you want the dog to do and when do you want him to do it. "When the doorbell rings I just want him to sit there." I specialize in teaching you the theory behind the training as well as the training. I encourage the entire family to participate.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Every dog is treated as an individual. Just like people, different dogs learn with different styles. I am comfortable with all of the positive training methods and and will give you the opportunity to learn new ways to communicate with your dog and learn how your dog is communicating with you.
Dog training also involves people learning new ways of looking/seeing and some simple physical skills. I am an expert at training people.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. Helping people solve problems with their dogs so both the dog and the owner can win. Helping people learn that a well trained dog is a happy dog because he knows what to do, when and where to do it and that gives a dog a great feeling of security.
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. Is my dog too old for training? NO! If your dog is finding new and creative ways to drive you crazy he is obviously ready to learn. You now need to choose, do you let the dog self teach? or do you decide to take charge of what the dog is learning?
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. This is my retirement job/entertainment. I spend 20 hours a month at the local shelter helping train my home town's strays. I really like working with them and we do a lot of "loose leash". I also introduce all the strays to "clicker training" beginning with either "go to mat" of "leave it".
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. Almost 85% of the animals surrendered to shelters have behavior problems listed as a cause for the surrender. I'm hoping to improve things for the owners, the dogs and the shelters. I strongly support the AKC-Canine Good Citizen program and frequently donate my time as an evaluator to various canine charities.
I recently became a presenter for the "Doggone Safe-Be a Tree" program which is aimed at preventing dog bites to children.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I stay active through involvement with the American Kennel Club, "Canine Good Citizen" program. This past year I coordinated The Randolph Dog Day event with vendors from around the state and conducted the Evaluations for CGC certification.
I can not do a CGC evaluation on a dog that I have helped train. I will help you set up with another evaluator.
I am a professional member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the publication "Chronicle of the Dog" contains frequent articles by the leaders in the field of dog training and canine behavior. There was an article in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue about me as the organizer of the new Massachusetts Canine Professional Club.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. Positive dog training is becoming universally recognized as being very effective and helps create both a well behaved dog, and a calm dog that knows how to act because he has been taught exactly what to do when he doesn't know what to do. The opportunity to spend time with your dog learning together; sit/stay, come, go find, down/stay, stand/stay, leave it, all of it fun for both of you. With the basics under your belt, the sky's the limit; competition/participation in activities like agility, obedience, mushing, as relaxed as having your dog lying at your feet while you enjoy a coffee and morning paper some future Sunday. Recently European military and police have been demonstrating K-9 work with exclusively clicker trained dogs with great success and performances that are blowing people away!
Q. Describe your most recent project, what it involved, how much it cost, and how long it took.
A. I helped a client begin working with her puppy to become her service dog. The training went very well, but the pup's temperment was not suitable for service dog work. When we re-homed the dog his new owners were "blown away" with his excellent behavior and focus
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Not complicated just unusual.
My initial quote is for two sessions because I can't teach it all and you can't learn it all in one session. It's also too much for the dog.
Follow up sessions are negotiated, factoring in time, frequency, distance ....
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. I do advise people becoming dog trainers. I am a Mentor for The Animal Behavior College and provide hands on training instruction for their students that have completed their book work.
I try to make all my clients, dog trainers. I am being paid for teaching you to become your dog's trainer.