Sam provides training and behavior modification for puppies and adults in Phoenix / Scottsdale areas. No electric collars. No harsh methods.
Dogs with behavioral problems are often banished, such as being left alone in the yard, or in a crate for too many hours, or locked away in a room, or shunned. Not only does that not fix the problems, it actually makes them worse. Isolation is destructive to a dog’s personality.
I worked with such a dog last week. A 3 year old, male miniature Poodle mix. The behavior of concern was the hiding. He would randomly just leave the room, go down the hall, into the Master Bedroom, and hide in a far corner of the closet behind the clothes.
After the Evaluation, I explained how we would be able to turn this dog around. We discussed how dogs learn, and how to manipulate how dogs feel. I explained proper behavioral theory, in an easy to understand manner. I then gave them an 8 Point Behavior Checklist. We then discussed how to better manage this dog to reduce stresses that also might be triggering this flight and hiding behavior. I explained how our objective was to make this a happy dog, every day.
I spoke with the owner, after the first week, to get an update. Then again the following week. The dog has made tremendous progress, isn’t hiding, and is acting more relaxed. Everyone in the home is participating in the assigned homework, which is why things are moving along so well. This situation has been turned around. He has stopped the hiding, and the owners are much happier.
Training is best started the first day you get your dog. Yes, we can fix things later on, but it is harder to do, especially if the owner has been doing a lot of wrong things for a long time. Let’s work together to prevent problems, and to not let the behavior problems you are already witnessing get even worse.
This is why it is a good idea to start lessons even before you get a dog! I offer preparatory lessons and consultations for dog owners, to get them ready for a new dog. For example, it is easier to house train a puppy if you start out right during the first few hours the puppy is home. Many times, I have met with owners a week or two before the puppy was to come home, so they knew exactly what to buy, and what to do. Every time, the house training went smoothly. It’s also why I recommend starting Basic Obedience at 4 months of age, instead of waiting until the dog is 2 years old and out of control. Fewer mistakes, fewer problems to solve.
Every dog/ owner team needs a Game Plan. I interview you to discuss your goals, evaluate your dog and your family situation, and then give you a step by step program to get you there. It won’t happen by chance. And having an expert, who’s been where you are, experienced or seen what you’re encountering (many times over the years), makes all the difference between success and failure.
I can “see” into the future, and know where a behavior or technique will lead 2 or 3 years out… both in a good way, or in a bad way. The idea is to prevent the problems, not fix them after they’ve already taken root. It’s kind of like the old saying, “If you find yourself in a hole… stop digging!”
I have heard many lifesaving dog training stories from my past students.
A Husky I trained had gotten loose from the owner, running towards a very busy street. An emergency! Consider this: Huskies, and their mixes will take advantage of you if you let them. They are not robots. Only this time, the owner’s daughter saw it happen, ran out the front door, called “Sit”… and the dog stopped in her tracks a few houses away and sat and stayed. The daughter then calmly went up to her, clipped on the leash, and led her back home. Training saved that dog’s life that day.
I have saved my own dogs lives with training over the years. On hiking trails. In busy urban situations. Everyone who has a dog will one day encounter a situation where a dog will disobey or get itself in trouble, and then the difference between tragedy and happiness, will be the amount and quality of training you’ve invested in your dog. That’s a fact. Police dogs run off, so do guide dogs, therapy dogs, hunting dogs, and pet dogs. They are dogs, and if you spend enough time in the field, off leash, or if your equipment breaks, or someone isn’t properly supervising, you will eventually be faced with this kind of emergency.
You will be panicked and lost if your dog is untrained. If your dog is trained, then you have stacked the odds in your favor that you will get your dog back safely.