Do I use food as a reward? Do I believe in "just reward" training? Do I use a choke collar? What are my dog training methods? What does training mean anyway?


Two serious baseball fans, Tri and McBee

My answer: It depends. I'm a "depends" trainer. I've been training dogs since 1972. I have between 800 and 1,000 appointments a year, and just like people, all the dogs have different personalities. My methods for an Italian Greyhound shaking in fear in a corner are certainly going to be different than the approach I take for a Rottweiler that looks in the mirror, sees God and wants to eat my kneecap.

About 60% of the calls I get are for behavior problems. I train by catering to the needs of what will work most humanely, effectively and quickly (in that order).

Training
might mean preventing one dog from urinating in the dining room and teaching another dog to do search and rescue for missing people.

I've worked with some of the best dog trainers out there, including Brian Kilcommons and Mathew Margolis. I'm a member of the the Rockland Sheriff's Dept K-9 Search and Rescue unit. In fact, my dog Michelle is responsible for finding two people alive. I am one of the founders of the Amigo Search and Rescue K-9 unit and I've been a dog handler at Westminister at Madison Square Garden. I have taught group classes for the Humane Society and Bide-A-Wee in NYC, and have trained a dog for an off Broadway play and for videos.

I'm a strong proponent of well-mannered dogs and have been correcting and preventing unwanted behavior since the 1970's. I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world because I love what I do.

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