My career in dogs started in 1975 by taking my first dog, a Sheltie named Buffy, for training at the local recreation dept. We were fortunate enough to win the trophy for 1st place on “graduation night”. My instructor thought I might do well in a real AKC dog show in the novice division. Sure enough, we won three straight first places at three different dog shows to earn what is called CD (Companion Dog). We went on to earn what is called a CDX (Companion Dog Excellent).
My next two dogs were Golden Retrievers. I took them to the highest levels of obedience earning their Utility and OTCH (Obedience Trial Champion) titles, winning multiple first places, high in trials and perfect 200 scores along the way. My golden retriever, Chico, won the Open Division of the “World Series” of dog training. I also competed with my Border Collie Striker who also did exceptionally well winning multiple high in trial's.
My wife Anna also competed and excelled in competition obedience. Her dog EZE was the highest ranked Sheltie in the country three years in a row and fourth highest all breed.Together we toured many regions of United States competing in major dog obedience tournaments sponsored by Gaines dog food as well as competing in many areas of Canada.
Not comfortable with the jerk and praise methods of the time I started researching the Animal Behavioral Sciences to find more humane and effective approaches to modify dog behavior. Ivan Pavlov (Classical Conditioning) and B.F. Skinner (Operant Conditioning) were the big names in the literature at the time. Reading this material, one of my most important discoveries was the power of positive reinforcement using a conditioned reinforcer to communicate precisely with animals! Although scientific principles were already being used with other animals in TV commercials, dolphin training etc), I started applying this, for me, new information in the late1970's with my own dogs. I was pleasantly surprised how quickly and willingly they would learn using what we now know as Animal Learning Theory. I started teaching classes based on these scientific principles of Animal Learning and Motivation and it was well received. Fortunately there were many curious people locally and across the United States and Canada. We started getting invited by various dog clubs to conduct seminars using, for me, this new knowledge of animal learning and training in competition obedience.
Now this information is so readily available with books and seminars by such great dog trainers and behaviorists like Dr.Ian Dunbar, Jean Donaldson, Dr. Patricia McConnell, Dr. Pamela Reid and many others.
Ethology, the study of animals in their natural environment, also influences my philosophy on how animals learn and behave.
Great information in the work of Ethologists, James Serpell, Ramond Coppinger, David Mech (Wolves in their natural habitat), Dr. Eric Klinghammer Wolf Park (Wolves in captivity).
After retiring from competitive obedience I taught home obedience classes for the recreation dept in Adrian Mi. Although there is a lot of value in group classes, I quickly found I really couldn’t help people with serious dog behavioral problems in a class setting. Too many dogs in class with only enough time for the basics!
As a result I started my in home private dog training & problem behavior consultation business. Realizing that every dog and owner is different, I can more effectively address their problems in the dynamics of the home where they live.
I also get tremendous satisfaction consulting the Lenawee Humane Society and area rescue groups with adopted dogs having serious behavioral problems. The Humane Society and rescue groups do a phenomenal and thankless job with these abandoned dogs. However, some of their problems do not surface until about a month or two after these dogs are in their new home. These dogs need a lot of specialized individual attention.
Dealing with complex dog behavioral problems requires extensive knowledge of "dog psychology" (canine cognition). To supplement my 35 years plus experience I continue to study the most current literature from the Animal Behavioral Sciences. This is literature that is usually backed up by scientific research and is usually peer reviewed. Anything new published on studies of dog behavior, I buy and read. I also attend as many seminars and conferences by some of the most brilliant minds in animal learning and canine cognition. I believe in continuing education because like any other industry, with more research, better protocols to deal with problem behavior are developed. My passion is passing this updated information on to you.
This dog is never too old to learn.
When Experience & Integrity Count…40 years
Anna & EZE
Ted & Magic - Anna & EZE
TED - BUFFY - ANNA - BRANDY
ADRIAN - TECUMSEH MICHIGAN ... LENAWEE COUNTY DOG TRAINING