Press Kit: Overview
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
This Press Kit is a package of written materials which tell about me: professional dog trainer and behaviorist, Sam Basso. It is intended for use by TV and radio producers, newspaper and magazine editors, web bloggers an publishers in the hopes of educating the public about responsible dog ownership and fair dog laws.
People ask what it takes to be a great dog trainer and behaviorist… To me, this quote says it all…
“The wild animals answer, consciously, no question about their conduct. But once in a while some human belonger to silences who has a heart, that watches and receives, gets an answer” – Sundown, by John Joseph Mathews
I am on that kind of discovery journey. To hear, see, feel and receive what dogs have to tell us. This journey is partly personal, and partly business. This press kit is for you to discover more about my path as a professional, and to use my experiences to benefit our dogs. But there is more: personal details can also be found in the hundreds and hundreds of articles I have written, and in speaking to me about the fascinating world that I have discovered, the world of the dog. I will never know all there is to know, because they don’t tell us all their secrets. Yet, I have learned a few things that you will find useful and fun… Like I have, you will have to discover the dog through living with them, training them, loving them, caring for them, studying them… and letting them do the same toward you.
This Press Kit is a basic outline of some of the wonderful experiences I’ve had along the way, and may give you ideas as to dog stories that need to be told…
Included in this Press Kit are:
FACT SHEET: chronicling important milestones in Sam Basso’s professional dog training career
STORY IDEAS: ways Sam Basso can help educate the public about responsible dog ownership and fair dog laws
PHOTOS: of Sam Basso
EVENTS: List of past, current and upcoming events featuring Sam Basso
TESTIMONIALS: from past customers and others that have worked with Sam Basso
PRESS RELEASES: containing commentary, interesting stories and events involving Sam Basso
Press Kit: Background
Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, providing services to pets and their owners, primarily in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He is known for his fun, kind, intelligent, scientific and humane training methods. Lessons are geared towards practical obedience and behavioral modification for companion dogs. SamTheDogTrainer.com is built on a combination of common sense training, scientific principles, animal welfare ideals, and Sam Basso’s unique personal touch. Sam Basso is unique in that his approach to dog training and animal welfare has such a broad appeal. He has appeared on his own TV show, has been a guest radio expert, gives seminars locally and nationally, publishes a dog related blog, and is active in promoting fair laws for dogs and dog owners.
Founding of SamTheDogTrainer.com
Dogs had been a hobby of Sam Basso’s since 1986.
SamTheDogTrainer.com, as a concept, was founded by Sam Basso in 1996. The idea grew out of three important events. First, Sam Basso was divorced in 1995. As many people do after a divorce, it caused him to examine many areas of his life, including his choice of career. Second, Sam Basso happened upon an autobiographical book, by a well known dog trainer. This book gave Sam the idea that he could turn his hobby into a career. Third, Sam Basso noticed an alarming trend that cities all across the U.S. were considering and passing breed ban legislation. Sam’s outrage over the mistreatment and neglect of dogs by their owners, and the overreaction by the public by banning certain breeds of dog, gave Sam Basso a mission: to educate the public about responsible dog ownership. Out of this was the creation of the concept of a different kind of dog training school. Sam Basso decided the focus of the business would be working with companion dogs and their owners, and Sam Basso would speak out for responsible dog ownership and reasonable dog laws. Sam Basso says, “In order to do a story on me, one needs to understand the reasons why I founded this enterprise, otherwise they can’t really understand my passion for what I do and why I do it.”
Statement Of Values:
1. It is essential to teach the highest standard of animal welfare practices to all dog owners and the public
2. It is humane to own dogs, provided they are properly cared for
3. Dogs have a proper, useful and continuing role to play in the life of humans
4. The domestic dog should be preserved within a variety of breeds and breed types using a combination of modern genetics, finding uses for the different dogs we allow to be born, and deploying dogs for roles ranging from pet to professional work. People take extra care of things they value, so it is important to always set a good example with our dogs, to show their value to society, and give people incentives to be responsible, to show how dogs can be useful
5. All dogs deserved to be well trained, loved, supervised, managed, groomed, contained, and socialized
6. Good care and training practices are always being developed, and we all have a responsibility to learn more so we can do better every day, every year, for our dogs
7. We should focus more on working to prevent problems with our dogs instead of concentrating on treating problems after they have developed, and that includes how we craft and implement veterinary practices, dog training methods, dog ownership practices, and dog laws.
8. We should do all we can to make dogs more welcome and integrated into human society
9. We should never lose touch with the idea that dogs are animals, not furry little humans. Good science should dictate how we deal with dogs, not the latest sensational article in the news media
10. Dogs deserve to be bred, raised, housed, and managed in a scientifically and ethically healthy manner
11. It is important to give time to rescue dogs, including donating services, time, effort, and money… and make it more about the dogs than about who gets credit, to stay out of the drama of personalities, and to ensure that we take care of those least fortunate dogs we encounter
12. It is OK for a dog to be a dog. For example, sometimes it is justified, and even desirable, for a dog to threaten, bite or attack
Sam Basso’s passion is working with companion dogs. This is what interests him the most. According to Sam Basso, there is no ˜one’ way that a person becomes a dog trainer. There isn’t a school or college degree that qualifies a person to be a dog trainer. Some people just grew up with animals. Others started out wanting to be a veterinarian, or they started out with competitive obedience. Sam’s reason? “I just did it because I cared about dogs as pets.” Thus, Sam Basso offers training that is tailored for pet owners.
Here are the services offered:
HOUSETRAINING, PUPPY LESSONS, BASIC OBEDIENCE, ADVANCED OBEDIENCE, EVALUATIONS, BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION, PROTECTION DOGS, and SEMINARS. The common thread among all of the services offered is the focus on practical ownership and management of companion dogs.
Press Kit: Fact Sheet
SamTheDogTrainer.com was Founded in 1996
First customer in 1997. Business was a struggle at first. A lot of new dog trainers aren’t aware of the need to have a passion for dogs, and that being a dog trainer is NOT a way to get rich and famous. It is for the sake of the dogs.
1998: Sam & Tom’s Dog TV begins airing on public access, Channel 29. The show was a weekly educational show about responsible dog ownership and fair dog laws. The show consisted of 100 episodes, each a ½ hour long, airing for a period of 2 years. The show featured guest interviews, educational public service announcements, and other dog related topics.
2000: MCOA (Mastiff Club of America, Rescue, AKC) Guest Speaker in Oklahoma City, OK. This was a national AKC specialty event. The topic was about analyzing aggression and what to do about it.
2000: Guest speaker for Northwest Veterinary Managers Group. This regional veterinary group asked for a business seminar on ideas for making their facilities more people and dog friendly.
2000: Sam Basso begins training with Armin Winkler. Armin is a highly respected K9 trainer, now located in
2001: Sam Basso is invited to be on the Board of Advisor’s for WSU’s Pet Expo. Sam Basso is one of the featured speakers at the event. The Pet Expo was a pet event held at a local fairgrounds, featuring pet product vendors, entertainment, and informative speakers, a free vaccination clinic. The event was covered by the local media.
2001: Sam Basso makes an impromptu speech at a Seattle City Council public meeting concerning their dog bite laws. Sam Basso works behind the scenes with fellow activists, especially those of D.O.G, to devise a new dog bite law and plan for educating the public about the need for changes. Unfortunately, the City betrayed its promises to DOG and passed a horrible dog law that still exists, over the objections of most dog advocates.
2001: Sam Basso is a guest on radio’s Ask The Vet radio show. Sam was a frequent “ask the expert” guest.
2002: Sam Basso is invited again to be a guest on radio’s Ask The Vet radio show
2002: Sam Basso is again invited to be on the Board of Advisor’s for WSU’s Pet Expo. Sam Basso is one of the featured speakers at the event. This event was larger than the previous year, and required a lot of weekly volunteer time for nearly a year.
2002: MCOA (Mastiff Club of America, Rescue, AKC) Guest Speaker in Portland, OR. Topic was Aggression.
2004: SSRR (Southern States Rottweiler Rescue) Featured Speaker in Monroe, LA. Topic was Aggression.
2006: Relocation to Phoenix, Arizona; became Head Trainer for Paws to Play doggie daycare in Scottsdale, AZ; started doing group classes, board and train program, continued doing private lessons; volunteer rescue work. Sam Basso has been interviewed several times by the local TV media concerning pet rescue and pet safety topics.
2008: Bunker The Dog becomes “America’s Cutest Puppy”. Bunker was trained by Sam Basso for this WeTV series, and won this nationally televised contest.
2009: Because of the slow economy, Paws To Play is forced to close up shop. Sam Basso continues to train dogs privately. New business ideas are developed to adapt to the Great Recession, and Sam Basso digs in and does more pet rescue volunteering.
2010: A good year, even in the midst of a lingering recession. New services are developed, a new web page is published, and new products and services are planned for 2011 and 2012. Sometimes hard times are the best times to get better at what you do, to find out who your real friends are, and to keep in mind what is important in life.
2011: Began writing two dog books. They are still in the works. Writing is a very hard thing to do. It takes a lot of research, effort, and time. By the end of 2011, the rough drafts for both books were over 150 pages each. That’s without photos, proper spacing, and so forth. Most likely, they will be broken up into several smaller books and sold as individual topics or as a set.
Press Kit: Story Ideas
Arrange or attend a live radio or TV call in show, or set up a written Q & A column
Studies indicate that up to 9 out of 10 dog owners report some behavioral problems with their pet, with an average of about 5 problems per dog. Of animals taken to shelters, between 50% to 70% are euthanized because of behavioral problems, mainly because of biting. Pet owners have a great need for information and are interested in getting answers to the problems that they face. Many dog problems are left untreated. Most of this could have been prevented.
What do should the public do about dog biting incidents? Arrange a debate!
Sam Basso is an excellent debater and he knows his facts. Breed bans and other harsh penalties ARE NOT the solution to fixing our dog bite problems. Proper pet selection, breeding, socialization, training, and management are the keys to success. According to studies, approximately a third of the public are afraid of pet animals. Even though no one wants to be hurt by a dog, laws shouldn’t be dictated by perceptions of threat, when no threat exists.
Arrange or attend a seminar
Sam Basso is an excellent public speaker. Attendees generally state that his pet seminars were the best they had ever seen.
How do you choose the right dog for your home?
There are many factors to consider when choosing a pet. Sam Basso can give you lots of great ideas on how to pick the right dog.
Animal rights or animal nuts?
Sam Basso states: “Animal rights activists believe that animals are better off wild than domesticated. Their arguments are based upon emotional reasoning, not scientific or traditionally moral reasoning. Their ultimate goal is the extinction of all domesticated animals. That’s why they urge you to adopt a dog from a shelter, to feed your dog a vegetarian diet, and why they are always trying to enact laws to stop the breeding of animals. If they had their way, there would never again be a German Shepherd or Labrador Retriever or mixed breed domestic dog. They would have us stop owning and breeding dogs altogether. Many of the animal rights advocates push an agenda that results in the banning of our dogs in natural areas. They believe that the world is for wild animals, not for humans or domesticated animals. That’s why they oppose using dogs for hunting, breeding, hiking, working, companionship, and dog sports. They will put up with people living with dogs, but they are often against training dogs because they feel that it is unnatural. They are against, or uncomfortable with, using Dominance or Corrections when training a dog. Because of their unrealistic viewpoint on the nature and function of the domestic dog, they make it impossible for people to have truly well trained dogs. It is our job to convert the animal rights activists into animal welfare activists. Many of them have a good heart towards animals, they just are going about helping them in the wrong way. I am an animal welfare activist. I believe in promoting the welfare of all animals, domestic and wild. But, I am realistic about how the world works and I am not trying to create a false utopia.”
Should we ban dangerous dog breeds?
Sam Basso states: Breed-specific legislation doesn’t get at the root of the dog bite problem: the need for proper training and supervision. Any breed is safe when properly trained and supervised; any breed can have abnormal specimens; and any breed can be modified to make it more aggressive. Banning some breeds just encourages people to switch to others.
What makes Sam Basso unique?
Sam Basso is a dog trainer with a mission. Sam Basso noticed an alarming trend that cities all across the U.S. were considering and passing breed ban legislation. Sam’s outrage over the mistreatment and neglect of dogs by their owners, and the overreaction by the public by banning certain breeds of dog, gave Sam Basso a mission: to educate the public about responsible dog ownership. Sam Basso decided the focus of the business would be working with companion dogs and their owners, and on the side, Sam Basso would speak out for responsible dog ownership and reasonable dog laws.
Commentary on any dog related product, service, story or event
Because Sam Basso is so closely involved with pet owners, dog politics and other dog related issues, he is an excellent source for story information. He can also refer you to others in different fields that can also offer expert opinions on a wide range of pet related topics. He is also available for pet product reviews and endorsements.