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Sam Basso
PHOENIX , AZ AREA: (602) 708-4531
OR, if you are out of this area, inquire about a telephone or e-Lesson
Email: [email protected]

“Your dog’s behavior is partly an expression of the relationship you have with your dog” — Sam Basso

Do you want to understand the essence of my dog training method? The relationship between you and your dog is more important than what or how you teach your dog or what you know. My method is holistic, my method is meeting needs, not any particular formula.” — Sam Basso is a nationally recognized dog behaviorist and trainer with nearly 2 decades of professional experience

Hi,

Thank you for coming to my web page! I wrote all of this for you so you could get all your dog needs met, and know that it was done properly. So, let me take you on a tour of my website, so you can get the most from being here. You are about to invest time and money, and your dog’s life may be at stake, so you need someone good. Because of the popularity of a variety of TV shows, a whole new crop of “dog trainers’ have appeared in the past couple of years. Believe me, you don’t want to hire a novice who claims to be an expert. Let me show you how to hire a dog trainer.

Start With My Video: I produced this video so you could see what I’m really like. Anybody can say anything on a web page, but once you meet them, then your impressions can change. It is kind of like internet dating. You read the person’s profile, email back and forth some, then you meet. That first meeting, you can often tell in the first 5 seconds whether you want to be there… or want to be out of there. Some personalities mesh, some don’t. And with some people, you get a bad vibe about the person. Yes, there are some creeps in the dog training world! I’ve met them!!! I’m not kidding… you’ll find them as you check around the internet. Some have no idea what they are talking about, being too new to be asking people to give them money to train dogs. Some are kind of dorky, or good with dogs but not with people, or they can’t relate to you or your situation, or don’t like your breed of dog… and a hundred other things that should rule them out. So, trust your gut. You might find you don’t like that dog trainer. Plus, I want you to see this video shows a dog I was working with at the time. You can see she is happy, vibrant, willing, obedient, and not made into some kind of robot. From watching her, you can get some idea of how I feel about dogs, and how they feel about me. (By the way, I see that someone else is calling their videos “Sam The Dog Trainer”… so if the video isn’t me, it isn’t me, ok?). If you like me, then…

Watch Another Video: This is me teaching this same dog her first swimming lesson. This is me in action, working hands on with this dog and the owner. I get in the water with the dog (just like I get in there and work, hands on, with every dog and owner). She had never been in water before, and started out quite scared. People just assume dogs can swim. That isn’t true. Dogs drown in pools all the time. Also because this dog was afraid, I had to do an ongoing evaluation of how things were going, and then explaining to the owner what was going on. A dog that panics can easily go under. It is important to be able to read your dog, even if it is in a swim lesson.

Find Out Who I Am: For me, this is not a part time hobby, but a full time passion and career. Dogs are my life. Read my Press Kit section at the top of the web page. You will see the chronicle of my history and some of my accomplishments. Dogs have always been a love of mine, and I turned that love into a career in 1997. I have spent countless hours to learn what I know today. I have also been a guest speaker, at events, on the radio, and on TV. And I always have a project in process. I set goals every year, and it can take months and months to bring those things from just an idea into reality. Right now, as you read this, I’m working on several new projects, some of which won’t be finished this year. You can also find out how long a web page has been around, which is a clue to how long someone REALLY has been a dog trainer. Try http://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp . Type in samthedogtrainer.com and see that I started my web page a long time ago. I make no outlandish claims of omniscience, or the ability to read dogs minds like a psychic, or to have secret methods, or to puff up the number of years in the business. I started this web page in April 1, 2001 using Microsoft Front Page. It was my first shot at doing a web page. I took a class at CompUSA and figured it out. Back then, I was doing Yellow Pages, newspaper ads, a monthly newsletter, etc… all of which I knew were going to become obsolete as the web got bigger. By the time I left Seattle I had a very large marketing budget, I was spending $750/ month on just Yellow Pages ads… and now the Yellow Pages are obsolete, and I’m glad I had an established web page. Even so, it is some proof that I’ve been around for quite a while. Many new dog trainers have come into existence around the country in the past couple of years after watching Cesar Millan on TV, and after losing their jobs in this recession. They are still novices, yet making claims that they’ve been training since the time of Moses, and all kinds of other unbelievable stuff. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true… it probably isn’t. Also, you may note that I don’t currently own a dog… I’m one of those dog trainers that doesn’t own a dog… for now. I also can’t foster any dogs. Reason? I was divorced and I came away with a ton of bills, which I’m still paying off. So, what I need to do is to work as many hours as I can, early in the morning until late at night, any day, and almost every day of the week. You can’t give a dog proper attention with those kinds of hours. One day, I’ll get a dog again. This isn’t the way I wanted it, but it is the right thing to do. This will be the longest stretch that I’ve ever gone without owning a dog. It’s not fun, but it is the moral thing to do.

Meet Some Dogs I’ve Trained: Meet Bunker, Buster, Beanie and Tessa. These are some case studies of the types of situations I have worked with. This will give you a good idea of how I work, too. This is the real deal, not that “dog whisperer” kind of stuff you hear about on TV. My approach is all about quality, not quantity, or rushing dogs through a program. Everything is customized to your specific situation.

Read My Articles: I write a LOT. There are hundreds of behavioral articles at this web page. I also have a blog that comments on current dog related news called PoochMaster. At my blog, which I started in 2005, I have over a thousand additional articles, ranging from celebrities with dogs, to behavioral articles, to current opinions on everything from dog maulings to dog law. If you read about it in the news, I have probably commented on it, or something similar, at my blog. You will note that lessons are focused and packed with relevant information.

Read My Testimonials: Anybody can say anything on the internet… we all know that. You know that every web page is a marketing tool to sell something, in this case, dog training. So, let’s be honest about that, as well. I WANT good students! I like the dog training world. Yet, how do you sort out what people say? For example, breeders will sell a dog with a guarantee against hip dysplasia. They will say in the sales contract that if your dog gets hip problems, then you can return the dog and get a replacement dog. It is a worthless guarantee. No one is going to give away their dog. It is a marketing gimmick. So, you’ll find guarantees that trainers can fix every problem… and we know that isn’t true. If every problem could be fixed, then zoo animals wouldn’t die, trainers wouldn’t be killed by elephants and killer whales, and famous celebrities wouldn’t die of drug overdoses after going through expensive drug rehab programs. So, it is kind of worthless to be banking on any kind of guarantees of service, or training results, etc. The real way to know what you are dealing with is through live testimonials. I just don’t have the time or the temperament to do marketing gimmicks. You can tell from my articles here that I’m pretty blunt. I get to the point. On this web page, every testimonial is REAL. I didn’t make these up (you can’t say that is true with some trainers). I can always provide current REFERENCES… I can give you numerous phone numbers and names to call to check me out. This is Sam The Dog Trainer, not Acme Dog Training Services. You are looking at hiring ME, not some company, not someone’s assistant. The dogs you see in the photos are dogs I actually trained. (A good way to check out a photo: go to Google Images, upload a competitor’s photos, and see where they originated. You’ll see a lot of phony baloney photos from other trainers, dogs they never trained). If all the photos look like they are staged, that they were purchased from a photo company, you have to ask why, right? If there aren’t any up close photos of the trainers… isn’t that a bit strange? I want to see a person’s face. That tells a lot about a person. I’ve met a lot of strange people over the years in the dog world… I remember one time where the guys were drunk, their facility was beat up and filthy, and their place and the grounds smelled like stale dog urine everywhere… I got out of there. You know and I know you can sometimes tell you are dealing with a creep just by looking at them, or after about 3 sentences come out of their mouths. If the trainer and his employees look like thugs out of prison, then you should be concerned (I’m being totally serious here…). If the woman is a bit loopy, then heaven forbid if the dog gets aggressive. If the bulk of their photos throughout their web page don’t look like they were taken in Phoenix, are they even real? If the photos look years out of date… something is also wrong. Testimonials are supposed to be about proving credibility, not faking your credentials. I WANT you to talk to my references!

Decide What Kind Of Training You Need: Are you looking for a dog? Do you already have a puppy? Are you looking for obedience training? Maybe your dog has a problem and needs an experienced behaviorist (that’s me). Or you just want an evaluation, tune up, or other type of help. ALSO Read My Articles: I have tons and tons of information here. It would take you many hours to read all of the information I have here. Find My Prices and Rules: At the bottom of the training and behavior pages, I have links to let you know all those details. I am up front about all of those details. I don’t have some fancy sales pitch. I lay it all out there and let you decide. I don’t have a training “facility” by choice. I prefer to train in the real world, which means in your home, neighborhood, and other real world situations. This is the best way for you to get a properly trained dog, and for you to learn situational awareness, knowing what is going on around you, and what to do if an emergency arises.

Do A Search: If you are looking for a specific topic, try typing in a keyword in the Search bar at the top right of the Home Page. I have articles on many topics. More than you might realize. For example, note that, unlike a number of my competitors, I DO NOT use harsh methods [PLEASE READ: Sixteen Corrections You Should Never Use On A Dog ; or Let’s Talk About Electric Collars]. Or maybe you want tips on getting a new dog [PLEASE READ: Free Tips On Getting A New Dog ]. And I have hundreds of other topics you might be interested in. Try a search!

Understand My Training Approach: First, I am a “soft” trainer, using the “leverage” of my expert understanding of behavior to get results, instead of a “hard” trainer who uses blunt force, and in some cases using terror, to get a dog to obey. I’m just not in this in order to harm any dog. And while it is good to obtain a leadership role with your dog, we can do that in ways that are good for your dog, and in ways that won’t bother your conscience when it is all done. We will  discuss principles of behavior, the natural forces of behavior, that we can employ to cause your dog to want to do proper behaviors. This way we get lasting results. Second,  I am not a “method” dog trainer. My approach is holistic, meaning that I look at the entire situation of your dog (medical, physical, environmental, social, etc.) and not just focus on one part of the problem. Sometimes that means working in cooperation with your veterinarian to address a contributing medical condition, or sitting down with the entire family to work out strife which is upsetting the dog, or seeing how all the dogs in the home are contributing to why your dog is peeing in the living room. A master trainer tries to assess the overall need, not just try to implement their favorite dog training tool. The most difficult dog students I encounter are those that think they already know what dog training is all about. That also includes dog rescue volunteers. They are expecting from me a rigid, expected course of action. And it totally frustrates them when that isn’t what I do. It’s kind of like working with someone who expects you to punch the other guy in the face, when instead you go up and make friends with him and so there isn’t a fight at all. Further, I don’t choose to work with every person that wants to hire me, usually it’s going to be people who shouldn’t own a dog at all.

Make A Quality Decision: I regularly do follow up on current and past students. It is normal for there to be significant improvement on every dog I work with. The one exception is when I assign homework, and the student doesn’t do it. And then when I do follow up, they are upset that nothing has changed… and then they blame me. Strange as that may seem, it is the reality for about 1 out of 100 people. You need to understand that you will not get the best out of me if you just nod your head at everything I say, pay the money, and not do the homework. Please, do not hire me if you are that type of person! Please, find your dog another home if you aren’t going to be a responsible dog owner! Be a person of good character: hire me for the right reasons, take good notes, do the homework, stay in touch, take advantage of the free follow up, and keep me informed of your progress. I want you to succeed. I will always go above and beyond the call of duty to help you. I don’t want you or your dog to fail. Don’t make your dog fail by being lazy or flaky. Be the kind of dog owner your dog deserves.

Contact Me: I love all my students and their dogs. I’m easy to reach. Email me. Call me. Text me. I’ll get back to you. Maybe you have some specific needs that you can’t find on the web page. Or you need a referral to someone for some specialized service. I know a lot of people, and can oftentimes point you in the right direction. Here is more information on Sam The Dog Trainer in Google On the other hand, this is not the place to start a debate about dog training philosophies. Yes, I love talking about animal behavior. Love it. But, I just don’t have the time to debate people via emails or phone calls regarding this or that. This is a business for serious students with dogs that have immediate needs. If you are asking about your dog, then you are my priority. If you are looking for a debate, and it isn’t about a dog of yours and you aren’t looking to pay for professional assistance, then this isn’t the place for you. You need to find a mentor, like I did years ago, pay them, listen, and learn from them. As the old saying goes, there is a reason why we have 2 ears and one mouth. You need to pay your dues to get to this level, and it isn’t going to happen by debating others, it is going to happen through your hard work, training with other experts, and over years and years of professional study and field work. Please respect my students time and needs.

Set Up Lessons: Let me know what you need. Tell me a bit about your dog and situation, your schedule, and approximate location. I’ll probably ask you some clarifying questions. Then, we’ll set up our first meeting and work out a regular schedule. I’m prompt at getting back to people. I should say that I take one day a week off, usually Saturdays, to go hiking. And I like taking in a weekend movie. So, the phone is off during those times. I also usually don’t answer calls during lessons, so as to not be rude to my students. Other than that, I’m right here and I’m going to get back to you as soon as I receive your message.

Locations Serviced: Ahwatukee, Anthem, Avondale, Buckeye, Cave Creek, Chandler, Chandler Heights, DC Ranch, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Glendale, Goodyear, Laveen, Litchfield Park, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Peoria, Phoenix, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Sun City, Sun Lakes, Surprise, Tempe, Tolleson

Sam Basso is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist, in the Phoenix/ Scottsdale metropolitan area. He’s known for being fun, kind, intelligent, and humane. Sam Basso has a unique personal touch. He has appeared on his own TV show, been a guest radio expert, gives seminars, publishes a dog related blog, does rescue volunteering, and is active in promoting animal welfare and fair dog laws.