Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long have you been a dog trainer?

    I began professionally training dogs in 1996.

  2. What types of dog training do you provide?

    First, I am a dog behaviorist. Here’s a good example… Behavior modification work is more like being a sports psychologist…. maybe dealing with a sports player that has a fear of success, or gets scared playing in front of crowds, or has an anger problem on the court, or is having issues with balancing the sport with his marriage.

    As a dog behaviorist, I am an expert in helping dogs that have abnormal repetitive behaviors, emotional disturbances (aggression, anxiety, fearfulness, panicking, depression, and often involves digging out medical reasons for behavioral problems), and a wide variety of stress related behaviors. I   sometimes coordinate with a veterinarian to address medical the medical causes of abnormal behaviors. Some people call me a “dog whisperer”, but I don’t like using that term because it is used by many companies as a marketing gimmick. I am an experienced, respected, professional Dog Behaviorist.

    Second, I am also a dog trainer, which is different than behavior modification work in that it is a lot like being a tennis coach who teaches students to swing rackets, explains the sports’ rules and strategies, and introduces fitness techniques, etc.  So, training a dog is like building skills to do something… thus, I teach things such as obedience, therapy dogs, and scent/ tracking.

  3. Do you work with puppies, or just adult dogs?

    I work with dogs of all ages and breeds.

  4. Do you train dogs to do therapy work?

    Yes, absolutely. A number of my students have become active therapy dog handlers.

  5. How would you describe your approach to training?

    Every lesson is individualized, for the dog, owner and situation. I assess the entire picture: dog, owner, and situation, and will come up with a recommended plan of action. We then implement the plan. I also follow up to ensure success.

  6. Do you do a boot camp / board and train type of program?

    I’m philosophically opposed to the idea of “boot camps,” because harsh methods and environments are central components of their approach.

  7. If we begin lessons, how does this work?

    Generally, I will conduct an initial in-person evaluation (although I do offer online services), after which I’ll set up one or more sessions. This, of course, depends on your goals and the results of my evaluation.  In-person lessons will be typically start at your home. But, some lessons require working in public. So, we will coordinate times and dates.

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  9. How would you describe your approach to training?

    Every lesson is individualized, for the dog, owner and situation. I assess the entire picture: dog, owner, and situation, and will come up with a recommended plan of action. We then implement the plan. I also follow up to ensure success.

  10. How did you learn to do what you do?

    It always starts with having dogs of your own that you live with, care for, and train. I took numerous classes. Eventually found a mentor to train with. I studied, and continue to study, animal behavior science. Experience built working with real dogs and real owners. And nearly 20 years of animal rescue/ welfare volunteering has shown me the bad side of what happens when people, dog trainers, and society don’t know what they are doing.

  11. How are you different than most other dog behaviorists/ trainers?

    I do this out of a love for dogs and people… it is a career, a passion, and a cause. I have a lot more experience and knowledge. I am good with dogs and people. I can provide plenty of references. I don’t use any marketing gimmicks. I am well known in the animal welfare/ rescue community, donating many hours every week to save homeless animals. I cannot stand by and see animals suffer: I know too much, and so I feel a moral obligation to improve the lives of dogs in our community. In other words, I’m a well-rounded animal expert, and I can draw from many years of life experiences and study to figure out what is going on with your dog, and to provide humane solutions.