Friday, March 09, 2018

You Can’t Outsmart Your Training

You can’t outsmart your training. In other words, in an emergency situation, you and your dog will only respond as well as the level of your training.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Man Falls 500 Feet To His Death Rescuing His Dog from Seaside Cliff

I have hiked thousands of miles, often with one of my dogs. I've had a few close calls in which my off leash dog could have died falling off a cliff or doing some other dangerous thing. Fortunately, all my dogs were well trained, and I was able to save them.

Anyone who hikes has to be prepared for this kind of emergency. But the same is true in the city. Dogs can get away from us. Unless you have trained for emergencies, however, your dog might die... and you might die. This is why I always train dogs in public locations, for the sake of the dog, but to also prepare the owners for emergencies. I'm always stressing safe practices and situational awareness.

A good Sit or Down command is essential, for example. Freezing a dog in place so you can get to them. So are directional commands at a distance, much like what is done with hunting dogs.

Unfortunately, sometimes training fails, or an owner gets past the limits of safety in trying to rescue their dog... something bad happened here, all we know so far is the following:

In this case, a tragedy occurred... "DALY CITY (KPIX) – A heartbreaking recovery unfolded at Thornton State Beach Monday after a 67-year-old man fell down a 500-foot cliff while he was trying to rescue his dog. The Golden Gate National Park ranger said the man’s dog got away from him, and when he tried to go after it he slipped to his death"

You have to assume something like this could happen to YOU AND YOUR DOG. You must have a plan, train for it, and be careful of the risks. This sad outcome could come your way, so what are you doing now to prevent it?

Monday, February 19, 2018

It's official: Pets benefit our mental health

"A new meta-analysis of 17 academic papers finds evidence that having a pet benefits people with mental health problems. The research also reviews the pet owners' testimonials, laying out the various ways that pets offer them much-needed solace."

I have trained a number of emotional support dogs. They provide necessary emotional support and allow mobility for people who would otherwise, in many cases, end up as shut in's. Now... if we can only get the public and regulators to recognize this...

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Citizens Animal Welfare Society

I am the founder and CEO of Citizens Animal Welfare Society. Approximately 4 1/2 years ago, I became so concerned about the massive number of innocent and adoptable animals being killed by Maricopa Animal Care And Control, the second largest shelter system in the US, I began private meetings to develop a plan to reform animal control.

Today, we are seeking to build our own animal shelter, and to continue to pursue a public / private partnership with Maricopa County, such as was done with Austin Pets Alive! and the KC Pet Project in Kansas City.

While there have been significant improvements over the past year, as a result of community outrage at what has happened here in the Phoenix, AZ, metropolitan area, the goal of turning Maricopa into a "no kill" county will not happen without private animal rescue support.

Learn more about our efforts at our Citizens Animal Welfare Society Facebook page

Wednesday, February 07, 2018


Here's a secret. Prospective students want to know some things about my background before hiring me to train their dogs. That is normal. I expect that and can give references.

Which leads me to the thought... who is my current mentor? Every good trainer has people they learned from, mentors. My best mentors for the past decade have been... YOU AND YOUR DOGS. I have learned more from you than any other source during that time. You have made me better, made me strive for higher heights, to study and work harder every year.