About

About Sam The Dog Trainer

Founded in 1996, Sam The Dog Trainer is a private, Phoenix-based company that provides on-site and online dog training services specifically designed to enhance the relationships between dogs and their owners.

Sam Basso, founder and owner, is a highly respected and much-sought-after professional dog trainer and behaviorist. Sam is a well known and respected dog trainer and behaviorist for the entire metropolitan area. You can see, by searching the internet, he asked by the local TV media about dog issues. is well known in the animal rescue world, and the Founder of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. He is co-founder of PATCHES, a project to build and operate a privately run animal shelter to supplement what Maricopa County does. He does expert witness work for attorneys. He has a partner in another business to offer specialized therapy dog training and support to various organizations. He publishes the blog, PoochMaster. He doesn’t use harsh training methods. He has trained all ages and a wide variety of breeds in all parts of town. Working with dogs is his full time job, so he is in the vicinity of your place almost every day. Setting up lessons is as simple as letting him know what you are dealing with, and then arranging an evaluation or lessons, from puppy lessons, to obedience, to behavior modification. He can do lessons at most times of the day, and sessions will be scheduled in relation to where my other appointments are each day (because he has to plan a weekly route, and HATES being late).

What’s more Sam plays a central role in Arizona’s dog rescue reform and fair dog laws movements, and is a frequent authority guest on TV and radio shows and national dog seminars and conferences. Tens of thousands of dog owners subscribe to his thought-provoking – and entertaining – blog.

But most importantly, for nearly 20 years, Sam has successfully “transformed” dogs of all ages and breeds – in spite of their many challenges – into well-adjusted, loving and obedient family members in Arizona and beyond.

He’s accomplished this using his own holistic, innovative and customized approach called “The Basso Method,” a unique system that takes complex canine performance and management science principles and applies them in fun, humane, intelligent, and easy-to-understand ways.

Sam explains it like this, “I’ve learned that in order to really help dogs and their families, I must consider and assess all of the medical, physical, environmental, and social factors which may be helping or hindering their chances for success. That’s why I use a holistic approach designed to uncover the root causes of the symptoms, or behaviors. For example, I’ve consulted with dog owners who are extremely upset that their adult dogs are still regularly peeing on their rugs, in spite of their best efforts to stop it. To address these types of situations, I’ve consulted with vets to rule out medical issues; met with all family members to work out stress factors inside the home; or changed the dynamic between the “peeing” dogs and other animals in the house.”

Meeting with AZ Governor, Doug Ducey, concerning Therapy Dogs in schools
Meeting with AZ Governor, Doug Ducey, concerning Therapy Dogs in schools

Have a question? Need guidance on what’s best for your dog? Want to learn more about Sam’s training services? No problem…

Feel free to email or call Sam at 602.708.4531, and he’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Please also review My Rules

The Basso Method: Sam’s Five Core Principles

Sam credits much of this success to his adherence to the following five foundational tenets.

  1. Successful dog ownership begins with happy, low stress relationships between dogs and their owners. Joyful and comfortable dogs are simply easier to train. Given this, it’s important to ensure that dogs are comfortable and contented throughout the training process.
  1. Obedience performance requires a mastery of skills. Well-trained dogs don’t happen by accident. Rather, they are well trained because they understand what’s being asked of them and are capable of doing so. This takes time, effort and patience, and some dogs take longer than others. Thus, excellent trainers don’t ask dogs – or their owners – to do something before they’re ready.
  1. One-size-fits-all dog training rarely works well. In addition to being highly skilled and experienced, trainers must adapt their techniques to fit their dogs’ size, personalities, intelligence, breed and more. As such, one of the most important parts of the training process is the initial evaluation, because this provides trainers with valuable insights into dogs’ behaviors and skills; their medial history; their owners’ concerns and goals, and more. Based on the results, a well-thought-out training plan can be developed and implemented.
  1. Ethics and animal welfare matter. Excellent dog behaviorists are experts at animal behavior, and don’t use “blunt force” training techniques, which are not only ineffective, but cruel. That’s why the Basso system was designed around using “a light touch” in all interactions with dogs.
  1. Great dog trainers start with passion and energy. Like most professionals, excellent dog trainers and behaviorists, possess a great deal hard-earned knowledge and skills. However, to be truly successful in this field, trainers must also love and respect dogs and love their work. Dogs are trained best by people who love and respect dogs; have the passion, patience and energy to persevere through the process; and who can relate authentically with owners.

Have a question? Need guidance on what’s best for your dog? Want to learn more about Sam’s training services? No problem…

Feel free to email or call Sam at 602.708.4531, and he’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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