What comes to mind when most people hear someone say that he/she is a dog trainer? What comes to mind when most people, In general think of dog training? Answers to these questions are as diverse, and just as multiple as the individuals responding. My education, skills, hands-on training, and varying results through trial and error has provided me a vast amount of insight, and a long list of do’s, and don'ts.
I break training down into compartments, usually in this order: Teaching, Training, and Proofing. Training cannot begin with a dog that is absolutely clueless as to exactly what it is that you are saying. “What do you mean”? It is vital that the dog understands the direction/ request being given, and the desired reaction that should be taken. In other words ; Action= Request , Reaction= Dog performing what is being requested. This requires that the dog be shown what reaction should result following your action,(request given), and let me put emphasis on this, “Dog Be Shown In The Most Loving, Kind, And Humane Methods Possible." The nicer the training methods are, just that much more happier, eager, enthusiastic, and willing the dog will become. I want training to be as much fun, perhaps more, for the dog as it is for me.
Over time many methods of dog training have weathered the sometimes controversial opinions of trainers, and like any other industry, the dog training industry has grown in leaps and bounds, filled with ever changing methods, new discoveries, and new technology. I welcome ideas, and I am always learning, and excited about learning. Most importantly I embrace THE FACT that it's an absolute must that the owner(s), & handler(s) of the dog become educated about dogs, and trained in proper handling , and communicating with dogs as well. Some people choose to send their dogs away for training, in hopes that the dog returning will be that finished product that they need only give a simple command and get the desired effects. Others choose to buy a dog that has been already trained, and they too have the same expectations. All of these choices are fine, as long as the owner/ handler realize that just as well, there will be a phase of this type of training that requires that they learn the proper handling techniques of these dogs.
I am often asked, "How Do You Train A Dog"? "Can I Do It Myself"? "Should I Hire A Professional Trainer"? "How Will I Know Who Is The Right Trainer"? My answer is, "Although there are fundamental methods to dog training, each dog is different. Dogs need structure just like us humans, and dogs pretty much learn through behavioral conditioning, as well as from other dogs, (i.e. socialization). Many psychologists, Pavlov, Skinner etc. have done scientific research using "Operant, & Classical conditioning" with dogs , and other animals. "Operant conditioning" is widely used by most, if not all trainers. You have reward based training, & aversive training. I strongly recommend that any dog owner carefully does research into dog training, & dog behavior, get as much information about dogs, and dog training before working with a dog trainer, whether, or not his/her claim is "I Am A Professional Dog Trainer",, presenting you with a litany of credentials. A "Good Trainer" is a trainer that has professional education in the behavior of canines, their physical, mental makeup; and has the ability, skill, talent and a God given "Gift" of insight to "Read" that particular dog he/she is training. Specifically, finding, and using the correct tools, (Ideally a mixture of Training Methods / Behavior Modifications, combined with correct timing) tailored for that dog will create a positive, happy, and eager response, thus resulting in desired reactions from the dog"! My goal is to have you, myself, and your dog become a"Team" that will work together to achieve the results that you are looking for as a responsible, loving dog owner. Always bear in mind that ultimately, the better trained, and more well mannered your dog is, just that much more freedom the dog will enjoy.
Remember- "A Trained Dog Is A Free Dog"
I'm Ron Myers, Owner & CEO/ Head Certified Professional Dog Trainer of Unique K9 Services. I have over 30 years of extensive experience training dogs and with my title as a Certified Dog Trainer, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Certified Master Dog Trainer, and Certified Canine Specialist I have become one of the many great trainers in the industry.
Two of my very knowledgeable mentors are Grand Master Trainer Anthony Jerone, of Anthony Jerone's School Of Dog Training, & Career Inc.(www.dogschoolny.com), formerly The Academy Of Canine Education, Forest Hills, New York, whose skills as a professor, and Grand Master Dog Trainer are absolutely extraordinary. His portfolio/ credentials are quite impressive, ranging from his work as a Soldier with military dogs, and his work with NYPD Transit Unit, K-9 Division. Mr. Jerone's skills, talent, and expertise is presented in his seemingly effortless work with dogs, and his ability to teach, and train other trainers. This next gentleman,... I cannot say enough about!! Whether in the classroom, or on the training field, he leave's all of us with jaws agape!! A True Guru in the industry whose skills are absolutely astounding, and breath taking is Professor/ Dog Trainer Lance Woodley, nationally, and internationally renowned, of Skipton Dog Training Center, and Compatible Canine in Boston, Massachusetts. As forementioned, I cannot say enough to describe this profound, outstanding Professor/ Dog Trainer. He is A HUGE figure in the Schutzhund circuit. I am at awe whenever I observe these "GREAT TRAINERS" at work, both in and out of the classroom. The opportunity to learn under the teaching, and supervision of these two men, has not only been a privilege, but an honor.
I employ inductive methods, with a combination of reward based training, carefully utilizing aversive training methods, combined with "Classical", and "Operant Conditioning", using a loving gentle hand, consistently building drive and motivation in each dog. I pay close attention as to never change/ damage the dog’s personality, nor break the dog's spirit, or create an unwilling student. I strongly believe that training should be fun for the dog, and it’s owner, therefore, I am not an adherent to the school of “pull and jerk”, I do not want to create a robot, nor a dog that is reacting out of fear, rather a dog whom is "Happily/ Enthusiastically" doing what is asked. A dog cannot do what is asked of he/she until it understands what is being asked. Therefore, training is broken down into phases, 1.Teaching, 2.Training, and 3. Proofing.
So, all being said, I am looking forward to working with you and your dog. In closing,
Remember – “A Trained Dog Is A Free Dog”.
CDT, CPDT, CMDT, CCS.