Canine Perspective’s FAQ
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Watch the videos below to get a feel for who I am as a trainer, as a person, and whether or not my philosophies resonate with you. You may also click on the Reviews tab on the top menu to see all my Yelp, Facebook, and Thumbtack reviews in one location.
What Training Methods Do I Use?
I stopped using prong collar– not completely, I still incorporate every now and then is very rare, but I stopped using prong collar as soon as I learned Richard Hines’ method of electrical collar training simply because it is so simple and effective to use. I love electronic collar, makes things very easy for the dog and for the clients.
Trainers on the positive reinforcement only spectrum will tell you that trainers like myself are lazy and that we are using punishment as a way to coerce dogs to respond and that we don’t want to take time to teach your dog how to behave or how to perform their obedience reliably. The simple truth is positive reinforcement only training will not work in like a good 99% of behaviour cases, especially aggression cases.
In regards to obedience– not that your dog won’t learn the obedience, but the obedience will not be at the level of reliability that a trainer like myself would want. If someone approaches me and said he has a dog that’s out of control, who has no impulse control, cannot focus and they need to learn how to walk appropriately on a leash and stuff. They go, “I just want to use positive reinforcement only.”
I would say, “No. Dude, you can look around and you could find another trainer, but I will not train your dog,” because I know positive only will get that dog so far and it is not going to be [chuckles] very far. I will tell you that, to be honest. I’m not going to put my name out there on the dog just because they’re like, “Oh, I will pay you. Just use these methods.” I go, “No,” because when I train a dog, I have a certain standard that each dog needs to meet.
If they don’t meet that standard or if I’m being told, “Don’t use these methods because I don’t want to do that with my dog,” thenI go, “I don’t want to put my name on your dog because your dog is a walking billboard for my work.” If they’re out of control, people are like, “Who trained your dog?” Then you are going to say me and I’m not going to look too good.
I am primarily electronic collar based e-collar– very effective, very efficient, very simple and very reliable. Especially, if you want if you want off-leash obedience. That’s the only way I would do off-leash training is through electronic collar. If you prong or slip chain, what have you, once you take that leash off– unless your dog is very disciplined, you’re only going to have so much control.
The dog goes, “Oh, you’ve clicked off that leash, now there’s no physical link between us and I can blow you off.” I am a big, big advocate for electronic collar training. What else I like is that it’s rate of transference is very high. That’s just a fancy way of saying that when I work with your dog and I train them– let’s say, to walk on a leash and you see me do all this stuff with your dog.
Then I hand the remote and leash to you and I say, “When this happens, you’re going to do this, you are going to press this button.” That the dog responds to you just as well he or she does to me and it’s about 85-90% of what I just did, transfers over very easily. This is how when I work with that are reactive or dogs are just have no directional focus that I go from week one to week two and you see a complete difference– because it’s very simple to use.
We can always next the dog. That’s never a problem as long as we were using the right collar for each dog. Then also, when working behavior cases, this electronic collar allows me to fix cases that before I did the electronic collar, I could not even think about trying work with.
They would have been a nightmare trying to get these dogs to where I want them to be. An electronic collar takes away a lot of that conflict, a lot of that frustration. Everybody’s neutral, there’s no– it is not punishment, we are not coming in to make your dog yelp or anything. It’s simply a means of communication that dogs understand. What training methods I use? I know them all, but I am for the most part, predominantly electronic collar based.
Can I Guarantee Results?
I can’t be like, “Take one step this way and lay down” type of stuff. I can tell the dog to lay down, but little nuances and movement, I can’t have the dog do. But with human aggression, I can do that. I can tell someone like, “Come in, don’t make eye contact, move around there and have a seat, and then we’re going to do this.”
With guaranteeing results, it’s really all upon how much are you willing to do. I always tell potential clients during consultations, I can only take you as far as you’re willing to go. If we want high reward, there’s high risk. But then there’s also a lot of work that needs to be done. When we’re dealing with dogs that are anxious, or insecure, or very fearful, we have to go through some uncomfortable phases.
Putting the dog under pressure, putting the dog under stress. In many cases, especially when I’m dealing with human aggression, pushing the dog to the point where we see that aggression in a controlled environment with me, and working on through it.
That makes a lot of people uncomfortable, and it stresses out a lot of people, because seeing their dog under all that stress– It’s their baby, it’s your baby, which is completely understandable, however–
I like to think of it as first day of school when I got dropped off in kindergarten, what have you, I bawled my eyes out. I cried, “I don’t want to be alone, blah, blah, blah.” However, my mom was like, “All right, you’re going to school, I got to leave for work.” I threw my little spiel. Then I got over it, and I made friends, and I built confidence. It’s a similar thing.
You’re putting your dog under that stress so that they can get over it, build confidence, and learn how to deal with these stresses in a much more acceptable and healthy manner, as opposed to just biting and attacking.
Can I guarantee results? It really just depends upon on how much work are you willing to do, are you open to other methods? I get a lot of people who have been to five or six trainers, who were strictly food-only trainers, because they told them, “Yes, we can get all this done, blah, blah, blah” and it doesn’t work.
They spend years or thousands of dollars on these trainers to no results. Then, finally, they find someone like myself, and I go, “Yes, I can help you, but we’re not going to do food anymore because, obviously, that hasn’t worked. We’re going to do electronic collar. Some people say yes and some people say no. That’s perfectly fine. It’s their dog. They can continue however.
But in regards to guaranteeing results, you do the homework, you get the results. You don’t do the homework, you’re not going to see anything. I’m not a miracle worker, kind of. [laughs] Just solely depends on how far you want to go.
Do You Only Train Aggressive Dogs?
I know it all and I know how to crate train a puppy, potty train a puppy, foundation obedience with food, of course. I do all kinds of training. I can even do protection training, it’s just, that’s not really my focus. I’m more so about fixing aggression as opposed to teaching aggression but if I get someone that really wants to do it and I know the client and I know they’re responsible, they will do their homework and stuff, then I’ll do that as well. I do more than just aggression training.
What Is Your Certification?
It’s just studying other trainer’s videos, reading books by Cesar Milan of course, Sophia Yin, Ian Dunbar– There’s a couple other trainers that I read their books. That’s pretty much where the bulk of my knowledge comes from is mostly experience and then some insight from other trainers. Don’t get pulled into the whole certified trainer stuff, because even people that go to college and get PhDs on animal behavior and stuff like that, still, unfortunately, cannot help you.
You don’t know how many times I myself or my mentor, Richard Heinz, went to these people or to clients’ homes who have worked with animal behaviorists that had all these certifications and stuff yet the dog was still biting people, the dog was still fearful. They weren’t getting anywhere. Of course, then we come in and we’re able to get the dog into a better place and to help rehab them.
So, it’s just a piece of paper, and to be honest with you, when I first started looking into becoming a dog trainer because my dog, Xena, herself was a very fearful dog– She wasn’t aggressive but she’s very fearful. If you try to pet her, she would shrink down and try to disappear. I wanted to help her so that’s why I branched out into dog training and really started looking into it.
I did a lot of research online. Then there were online sites where you could take courses and then they would send you off to work with someone. It was like $10,000 (USD) and stuff like that. I was doing a lot of research, trying to find somewhere to learn how to become a dog trainer. I end up working for a corporate pet store, a big franchise. Ended up being their dog trainer for a bit. [sighs]
They send me off to do their training program and– Which I honestly didn’t learn anything from that time that they sent me. They sent me off somewhere for two weeks. I was under another trainer, their head trainer for the area. Essentially, all we did was read out of a book that I had already read previously as part of the program. We just simply re-read it, had nothing to do with dog training. It was about wolves and all this other stuff and genetics.
I don’t want to say I think I got no hands-on experience, but I got literally only 15 minutes of working with a dog and getting critiqued, and that was it. Then, they set me back to where I was going to work and I essentially had to just learn by teaching myself and teaching my dogs. There really wasn’t any formal training. Actually, when doing my research for the online courses, for this course that was like $10,000, someone had posted in a forum that they had also– They actually did that program.
They did that $10,000 program and they ended up working for a pet store, much like I did. Everything they learned, the pet store stuff, was [laughs] the same exact thing as the online course, which was nothing. I was like, “I am so glad I did not spend all that money.” It would have been terrible, it would have been a terrible investment. It’s just a piece of paper. My certification comes in all my reviews that you may find on Yelp, Facebook, Google Plus and Thumbtack.
Ask anybody that’s worked with me, that is my certification. It’s just that hands-on experience, and of course, the results that I bring to people. Other than that, I did study with Richard Heinz, the Miami Dog Whisperer, who’s had over 20 years of experience in dog aggression, who’s worked with some crazy, crazy cases. You can look him up on YouTube, Richard Heinz, the Miami Dog Whisperer, and you’ll see.
I’ll be in some of those videos as well. I was with him for three months and I amassed such a great supply of knowledge. Being with him for three months, every day, following him around, picking at his brain, asking him questions and just watching him work. “Do I have any formal certification?” No. “Did I go to any academy?” No, but please feel free to watch my videos, look at my reviews, and that itself is my certification.
Why Do You Only Do In-Home Training?
But if you’re a novice and you’re just learning how to do certain things and stuff, group classes, I don’t like them because I don’t get enough time with people, everybody’s got different questions, everybody has different scenarios with different variables. It’s just nearly impossible to cover everybody, what everybody wants and give everybody their money’s worth.
The other thing is with people coming to me, the obedience doesn’t transfer too well. Many of my clients did not know, even though I would show them and reenact and say let’s imagine this happening, they wouldn’t take it and transfer it home. I will show how to do certain exercises and like three, four classes in, they’re still having trouble with it, on something that’s a very easy subject and they’re like, “Could you do a private session with us so that you can show us?”
I got that a lot. I was like, “Well, if people aren’t taking what I’m teaching them and aren’t being able to apply it easily, then why am I going to keep doing this? Because I always end up going to their home anyways.” I was like, “Why don’t I just make myself home to home base?” This way, it’s one-on-one, completely private unless whoever you invite is there or whoever is going to handle the dog is there.
You get my complete focus and also I can teach you how to work with your dog in your setting, so you’re able to apply it later on in the week when I’m not there and get to be able practice it as opposed to try to remember like, “What did he say during class?” Because we cover a lot of ground during our training sessions. But that is why I do strictly home to home currently. During the summers, I’ve been doing group classes for socialization reasons, and we’ve done a couple of training things in there, but that’s not that’s not what I would say I’m really based around. It’s just strictly home to home.
Who Are Your Influences?
I stopped really using his approach. Now you’ll find snippets of him and you’ll definitely see his influence on me when I talk and when I teach certain things, however, I stopped using strictly his method because one — Cesar’s been doing this for 25 years now, 20-25 years. He’d been doing it a very long time. I myself work with dogs for 10 years and I studied him relentlessly when I first started out.
I would watch something and I’m like, “How did you do that?” I would rewind it, watch again, rewind it, watch again, rewind it, watch again until I picked it up and then just replicated it. I can use a slip leash to great effect just like he can. However, what I found with people is — I’m teaching you how to act a certain way or be a certain way which is very difficult for people to do. Some people just have a very soft demeanor so getting into be — have a nice confident presence and stuff like that, it takes time.
People always fall back into old habits, especially when we have a very confident dog with a very submissive personality of a person. A person with a very submissive personality are very difficult to work with. He’s a great influence on me. My other influence would be Richard Heinz, the Miami dog whisperer who is on the lines with Cesar in the way of thinking and stuff. Like, think like a dog, psychology on and everything, except he’s adapted it to remote collar training, not just with behavior, but his level of obedience and what he can achieve in just a short amount of time with the remote collar is incredible.
I studied with him for three months down in Miami, Florida. Best money I’ve ever spent to advance my knowledge because when I was looking strictly at Cesar’s methods, I came across two dogs, one was a severely nervous case and the other was a severe aggression case. I was very limited what I could do. We made progress, but these two dogs were definitely on a different level and I started to seek out how can I advance these dogs even further?
I saw a lot of YouTube videos, a lot of other trainers: Tyler Muto, Jeff Gellman, Sean O’shea. I think those are the top three. Ian Dunbar, Sophia Yin are a couple other ones. They’re a very, very small percentage in terms of influence on me as opposed to Cesar Millan and Richard Heinz. Then, as I started to seek out more answers, I came across Richard and I was like, “I watched all your videos. I was able to decipher certain things,” that when I’m watching I figure out what he did and that advanced my knowledge a lot.
I contact them and I was, “Okay, would you be able to do an internship?” They said yes, so then I spent two years working and saving money. In 2013 or 2014 September, I traveled down to Miami, Florida and I spent three months with him, following him around being the shadow and working with them one-on-one to work with my dogs, and just talking back and forth about dog behavior. I definitely learned a tremendous amount of information because he’s been working with dogs about 20 years as well within that theme of time frame. Those would be my two biggest influences and Pancho says, “Thanks for watching.” [chuckles]