A well trained dog is vital to the success of any professional dog trainer's business. A trainer's personal dogs are like his/her business card. They tell you a lot about the talent of the trainer and what kind of relationship your trainer creates with a dog. Ask to see your trainer's dogs in action. Do they do what they are asked with confidence and enthusiasm?
In addition, they are in part his/her continuing education. As there is no nationwide certification or license needed to call yourself a dog trainer and no governing organization to require continuing education, it is often the professional dog trainer's own motivation to train, title and compete with their personal dog that keeps them up-to-date on advances in their field. While dog training is an "art" it is also firmly rooted in a science called learning theory so new and improved information is continually available.
A calm, obedient demo dog that trusts its handler is also vital for the training and rehabilitation of client dogs; not only to model appropriate behavior and to serve as a distraction in training but to help the dog reactive dog to overcome its fears and aggression.
Feist du Loups du Soleil (Feister aka Puppawuppagus)-10 year old Belgian Malinois
You might recognize his handsome smile from the Muttamorphosis logo. Besides being one of the most accomplished working dogs in the USA, Feist is also my service dog. His calm steady presence helps fearful and reactive dogs relax yet he can up his intesity level on cue to offer dogs a training challenge when they are ready. Besides advanced obedience, Feist also throws away trash, retrieves household items and finds lost keys and other items. He is often used to demonstrate the play skills and rules needed to begin using toy or tug rewards in training. Ask to play with him but be ready, he may be ten years old but he will shake your socks off!
Blue Cedar Stuck on You (Gooey aka Screwball)-1 year old Sport Dog Mix
Gooey is our most requested demo dog. Her friendly, outgoing attitude and never-ending appetite make her an ideal "employee". Gooey's talents range from socializing puppies, running the bounce out of high energy dogs and assessing the level of aggression in dogs displaying dog to dog reactivity. Despite her happy-go- lucky personality, she has an intuitive sense of the other dog's intentions and is often the one who has the final say in determining if a reactive dog's behavior is fear based or true aggression. Clients get to feel just what it is like to work a truly food motivated dog when they get to practice with her...warning, watch your fingers!
Villier des Contes D'Hoffmann (Villier aka Sil-Vilicon)-7 year old Belgian Malinois
This boy is a beast and I say that with the utmost affection. Villier was imported from France at the age of four. He was trained with harsh method and both his body and his spirit showed it. Villier's renewed attitude towards training and his strong bond with his handler are proof that it is never too late to benefit from the power marker training has on communication and the relationship between dog and handler. Having this powerful boy as an ally makes me feel safe wherever I go. While Villier will not work for anyone but me, he is an invaluable part of our business as he offers a medium level of challenge for leash reactive dogs. When you see the scars on his neck from his previous training yet observe his proud bearing you will realize just how resilient our canine companions can be.
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