Should I trust this trainer?
As a longtime dog show exhibitor and enthusiast, I learned a critical concept that applies to every dog: If you control what the dog is paying attention to, you have control of the dog. This ends up being a fallback position you’ll learn to rely on when you want to get your dog to stop chasing a child in the backyard…to stop barking at the front window…to stop worrying about the bicycle coming down the road.
Teaching you to reclaim your dog’s attention is a cornerstone of my training. I will show you specific and practical techniques and I’ll make sure you know how to perform them on a moment’s notice.
Many of you are taking on rescued dogs with uncertain backgrounds. Please do not trust a fearful or aggressive dog to a novice trainer. I train trainers: I am head of Canine Behavior and Training at Mt. Ida College. I have worked with many confusing and distressing problems, so your dog won’t be my first.
A Game But Not a Contest
The unparalleled British dog obedience competitor Sylvia Bishop began training her obedience exercises as games when she discovered that the old yank and jerk methods were ruining her relationships with her dogs. If you can show a dog that he has solved a problem and performed a skill correctly in the context of a game, you can celebrate with your dog and congratulate him for his brilliance. I love training in this framework because both dog and handler feel competent, and the dog knows what he has to do to be right. And that is exactly what we are trying to accomplish.
I have been privileged to learn from other prominent trainers including Annemarie Silverton, Andi Vaughn and Teri Arnold. Though these trainers are experts in competition obedience, their deep understanding of dogs provided me tremendous avenues to explore with pet dogs.
There is no value in my making it look like I have a magic wand. It doesn’t matter what I can get the dog to do: it matters what YOU can get the dog to do. I’m going to give you the tools to get your dog under control and begin to believe that you can trust him again.