Caveat Emptor: Let the Buyer Beware
Dog Trainers are NOT Generic!
Dog training is an ENTIRELY unregulated industry. We do not have any standardized qualifying or licensing requirements. Anybody can claim to be the greatest trainer who ever came along. And indeed, some do. How on earth do you know whom to trust?
When you are searching for a trainer, ask what their training has been. Who have they apprenticed under? What continuing education are they pursuing? How diverse a range of techniques can they choose from? Most importantly, what techniques do they prefer?
An inadequately experienced or overly arrogant trainer, blissfully unaware of what he/she doesn't know, can do more harm than good. I have been hired to undo their work many times. "See me now or see me later."
Under no circumstances will I put an electric shock collar on your pet. I consider these a shortcut for a trainer who lacks finesse and is looking for a quick effect with no regard to subsequent troubles for the unsuspecting owner.
The last thing in the world we want is to damage the trust you and your dog have in each other. Often people wonder if training will make the dog love them less. Let me assure you that I understand this concern. I will do nothing to hurt your dog. What we will do together is establish clarity, which removes uncertainty.
Part of the reason I train in your home is that I want you to see exactly what I am doing so you can learn to duplicate it. You don't have to take up dog training, but I want you to be able to manage your dog as well as I can.
A number of prestigious universities (Harvard, Duke, Barnard, for example) now have well-funded projects studying the mind of the domestic dog. I am following these studies carefully and attending every colloquium I can find. I am active with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and the Society for the Promotion of Applied Research in Canine Science.
I energetically follow the work of practical-minded researchers who believe as I do, that being a great pet is every dog's most important job. It's not about snobbery: it's about effectiveness.