You have to develop
your own skills
Because there are no legitimate professional state licenses or governing bodies that oversee Dog Trainers most trainers work under more seasoned trainers. Yes, there are some schools out there like in Texas and Ohio that teach basic skills but you have to develop your own skills and that takes years.
In my case I trained under John Toutloff of ABC’s of Dog Training in North Lauderdale, Florida. He has been training dogs in obedience, housebreaking and protection since 1965. He is able to take on any canine challenge. After a lot of thought he agreed to train me 1-on-1 in Florida and has taught me his proven methods. He has shown me a lot about what I know about being a professional dog trainer. I will always be grateful that he took me on. He is my primary mentor. I’ve also taken instruction from distinguished multi U.S. Schutzhund Award winner Beth Bradley of Beth Bradley Dog Training, Denville, New Jersey, as well as took instruction from dog trainer Larry Krohn of Pakmasters, Knoxville, TN and Edward Przybylski of Working Dog K9 Academy, Frenchtown, NJ. Both are well-respected professional trainers and Ed “The Master Rehabilitator”, as he is known throughout the industry has appeared on Animal Planet and has rehabilitated thousands of dogs throughout his illustrious career. Most recently I trained under highly sought after professional dog trainer, Richard Heinz. He is The Miami Dog Whisperer and his company’s name is Dog Force 1 out of Miami, Florida. Mr. Heinz clients includes a long list of celebrities. Mr. Heinz uses positive and e-collar methodologies. I took instruction from him in both positive and remote collar on and off-leash training. These are just a few. I have studied the works of Koehler and Saunders to Dunbar, the Monks & Milan and I will always continue to seek betterment.
My undying love for dogs my whole life lead me down this path.
My first dog Sonny, a silver and black German Sheppard was the son of a junk yard guard dog my father owned. Sonny was brought home as a puppy in 1968 the same year I born. We grew up together and he was my beloved buddy. At age 7 he contracted a new, rare disease. Sonny was the second reported dog in the United States to contract this disease. It was terrible to watch him get sicker day by day with no cure. We eventually had to put him to sleep. It devastated me and I cried for days. It was the Parvo Virus and it was finally recognized in 1978.
As for dogs well they don’t chose us, we chose them. When purchasing or adopting a dog the new owner says they will “commit” to this dog forever. But then something happens…the dog get bigger, becomes “too much work”, the owners have to move, a baby is born. Now they say the dog is a “problem.” They have to as many say “get rid of it.” But is it? No, of course not. Dogs get “dumped” at the pound, given away on Craigslist (some unknowingly become BAIT DOGS for fighting dogs) or let loose in another neighborhood and that is how the owner decides to solve their “problem.” How terrible! How inhumane!
Moreover, dogs facing euthanasia that have been labeled to have “Behavior Issues” by the families who no longer want them is also very troubling to me. Unless they have a mental illness like Cocker Rage (very few canines have this) I truly believe all dogs can be trained or rehabilitated. So, that is another reason why becoming a trainer was so important to me so I can help those families keep their dogs. However, the trainer, setting and tactics must be right for it to happen. But most importantly….the owner must be committed to doing the work. The trainer, the owner and the dog is what makes up “the team”.