When did you begin training dogs, and what credentials do you have?
I began training at California K9 Academy 20 years ago. About six months into my first experience there, I started my small business, Good Dog K9 Training and Services, LLC. I am certified with Animal Behavioral College and also a mentor for other trainers who are training in the process of earning their certification.
My daily training includes learning from well-known trainers who use positive reinforcement methods, such as Karen Pryor; Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.; Susan Garrett and many more. Of all the things I have learned while training humans and dogs, the most important is that if you aren’t having fun, you probably aren’t training. So training with me means you will be learning how to create fun and games, utilizing things your pup already inherently does while simultaneously teaching them.
What services do you provide, and which services do most people ask for?
Since 2002, I have helped an enormous number of people and their dogs with group obedience classes as well as personal, private lessons. I am sought-after for providing personal lessons for behavioral problems such as barking, jumping, fear, anxiety and many other dog problems that arise.
My group obedience classes always bring everyone into a great mood, which is a reflection of what learning looks like. I can always tell when a puppy or adult dog is building confidence and learning, because it is happy and knows what it’s owner wants of it. It is a very special relationship being built for life.
Can you give a highlight of something you have accomplished in the dog training realm?
So far, I have trained for seven veterinarians in the Los Angeles areas. They have asked me to help train their personal pups because they saw the results in the dogs who came into their offices from clients who had done training with me. Four have done private lessons, and four have taken my group obedience classes (one veterinarian did both private and group training).
It is my passion to bring out the best in every dog and human I can, because I understand how important living life and having a good dog is.
A local resident asks:
My 8-month-old black Doodle, Billie Eilish, is a bundle of energy to walk. How can I get things under better control so she isn’t pulling me down the street?
Learning to walk on a leash begins when you first bring your puppy home, by putting a leash and collar or harness on to desensitize them to the feeling. You set up your dog for success by going slowly inside the home, without distractions. Once your puppy has had all of its shots, you take it on its first outdoor walk. It will be a very short walk, because the objective isn’t distance, it is experiencing the sights, sounds and smells and slowly acclimating to them. Meeting other dogs is best done off of a leash, in a yard, where they can play freely.
If you have been taking your dog on long walks, you can shorten the walks but make them more frequent throughout the day. It’s like learning to skate: take your time and don’t try to master it all in one lump. Learning to stand on a perch is also a great way to reinforce your puppy to stay beside you. Again, you would start this procedure inside, and it might take a couple of weeks to really make it imprint into your dog. Perch training contributes to a better “Stay,” as well as helping your dog to engage its hind legs on command, such as asking it to back up when you come through the door instead of being a “speed bump,” in the way.
If this is done at an early age, on a daily basis, multiple times, your puppy will learn that the “reinforcement zone” (where you are giving the treats for being next to your leg) is more rewarding than pulling you down the street.
There are many other factors to teaching your pup to walk nicely on a leash. Perch training is one of the many things I can teach you and your dog. Taking one of my monthly obedience classes here in Burbank–Toluca Lake is a great way to practice with other great pups!