NYC dog trainer

I pride myself on this one thing

I pride myself on 1 thing. Getting to the root of the problem.

I want to positively affect the dog and get the results that are lasting. I see many people walk their dog with a front harness. My question is why? Why not just teach your dog how to yield to the leash pressure instead of pulling you across town. Behavioral issues such as fear or aggression can be treated symptomatically.

For example: when the dog goes to bite I punish them. Now I’m not going to get into the details as it depends on the case, but this is just treating the symptoms.

Its the same thing when you have a cold. I know what I do! I go to Walgreens and buy a bottle of Mucinex. While I might feel better, I didnt get to the root cause which might be that my immune system is weak.

I must say that I probably always been living like this and looking at life from this viewpoint.

At 19 years old I quit smoking cold turkey. I went to a holistic doctor in Harlem NYC who really impacted my life. His name was Dr. Koyaki. I had no idea I would embark on a journey to where I am at now. I started reading and learning about spirituality. He also introduced me to my teacher Doc Woodbiine.

This is when I learned about energy in the body. It was similar to yoga what he taught me. It was a mix of chinese medicine along with ancient Indian medicine. I felt exuberant after 2 weeks. I also felt excited about life and full of a newfound energy that I could and still can’t describe in words.

He taught me about my body on a deeper level. I learned how a behavior such as breathing can have an effect on my state of mind. Also getting enough sleep, sleeping earlier, not eating after a certain time, working my body out physically, eating healthy foods, and being around positive people all affected my energy levels and state of mind.

Now I know that sounds like a lot because it is. And some of those things on that list seemingly have nothing to do with the other, but it does. I believe its more of challenge for us humans than dogs because we constantly live in our heads, dogs don’t. They can easily live in the moment. This is the holistic approach. Its why I put emphasis on how people live with their dogs, how they socialize them, the energy they are projecting and other details of their life. Everything matters even when you think it doesn’t.

Most people assume that their dog is learning when they do training. But in reality your dog is always learning how to interact with the world every second of every day.

I know you guys are ready to have great relationship with your dog. Hire a professional dog trainer. NONE OF THOSE PETSMART OR PETCO DOG TRAINERS!!! A lot of dog training in these places teaches your dog that you are just a food dispenser. They don’t teach you the other 90% that you need to learn. Get to the root cause and be free from the issue permanantly instead of using the bandaid effect.

Punished dog? To be or not to be

I have really been fascinated with the role of punishment in dog training. Is it effective? How to use it? When to use it? Besides the obvious of why to use it I found myself needing to use it on my oldest male dog. My dog had a problem with lunging at people.

I knew it was fear based and due to the neighborhood we live in. While walking my dog since 6 months old until now (10 years later) we have been in an estimate of 10 fights with stray dogs.

The screaming, growling, and biting still plays over in my mind. This was a horrible dramatic experience for me and my dog even when I carried around a stick and a pet convincer and some other items.

Anybody who knows me knows my dog is like my son/ partner. I was always with him. We ate together. We slept in the same room(not on the same bed). If I could I would of took my dog to parties with me. I did not have the knowledge that I have now when it comes to dogs and wish I did. My dog ended up not having the proper socialization due to these reasons and me being busy.

I while back I invested in a dog trainer who helped me with Fats (my dog). He introduced me to the ecollar. It worked for a time, but I did not have money to continue lessons. Soon I noticed my dog started to revert back to old ways of dog aggression and lunging at people. I then started to dive deep into understanding punishment and its role in dog training. I realize that my dog is old and I don’t want to put undo stress on him. I would like to help others into clarifying the use of punishment with dogs.

Anytime a dog does a behavior you don’t like the result is punishment, whether negative or positive. Negative punishment is the removal of something your dog wants and positive is adding something your dog doesn't like.

Is punishment effective? It definitely is. Punishment is effective in the sense that it stops bad behavior.

This is why so many pet trainers go to using punishment and pressure style training( make the dog do what you say) very quickly. This is because it works. According to Michael Ellis it works 100% of the time and I agree. You can always make a dog do something. Is this good dog training?

Not what I believe. But this is necessary at certain levels of training. The nuances need to be taken into account. I watched my senior citizen of a dog lunge at strangers. When I gave him a punishment, he suppressed this need to lunge at people. He still felt the need to lunge at people because of some fear, but the punishment suppressed him demonstrating this behavior. This is also important for people to understand.

Just because a dog doesn’t act out a behavior anymore doesn’t mean the dog is cured. Emotions effect dogs big time and judge what they do. If a dog is very fearful they can’t learn. This is why I focus on a dog’s attitude with my clients.

I want the dog to enjoy training and love it. I especially want puppies to be willing to try things. This is the reason why puppies receive no 1-2 combo from me( because I would never hit a dog and I don't want punishment to suppress their drive).

How to use punishment? High levels of correction. Many people would say that I am being harsh and that I have no heart. They must not understand how dogs learn. I would suggest they read Pamela Reid’s book Xcelerated learning for dogs.

I know you want to be kind and start low with correction and work your way higher until the behavior subsides. There is one main flaw in this mindset that hurts your chances of truly eradicating a problem behavior.

That is the fact that dogs adapt to the pain sensation. If you keep subjecting a dog to the same level correction then eventually they will get used to it and it will lose its potency. On the other hand if you go as high as the mountains then you will only need to do it a few times. Why do you think you don't play around with fire?

I can’t remember where I heard this analogy from but it reasonated with me. Imagine that every time you parked your car in the wrong place, instead of a parking ticket, your car exploded. I bet you never park there again with your next car. Nagging low level punishment is like parking tickets. Sure it might make some people think twice but not the majority.

We can’t just know how to use punishment; we also have to know when. The reason I don't punish puppies is because they don’t know what I am asking of them.

It is very important to be fair to the dog. If I correct a dog that has not demonstrated that they know what I am asking of them then the correction can have a dramatic effect on them.

This is how some dogs develop what is called learned helplessness. The dog will eventually stop trying and just give up. If your dog understands what it needs to do to avoid a harsh correction then best believe they will do it.

An example of this is if I ask my dog to recall(come). If we perform the exercise 1,000 times successfully then I’m sure my dog understands it. Therefore, if I tell him to come and he doesn’t he gets a correction. On the other hand, if we have been working on the recall for 1 week and my dog comes to me sometimes, then I will not punish my dog for not coming.

If we follow these principals to using punishment then I am sure we will have no problem with being fair with our dog. We will build a better relationship with man’s and woman’s best friend.

What they want to ban is what I love

It maybe out of ignorance. Actually I'm sure it is out of ignorance that a lot of people want to ban one or the other of these two things. The two things I'm referring to is a Pit bull and an e-collar. Both of these items hold a special place in my heart.

My dog, fats, its like a son to me. He is my partner, my buddy, my road dog. I ve been with him since birth and he is 10 years old. We have gotten to know each other likes and dislikes and trust each other.

My dog has aggressive tendencies. As I am a dog trainer now we work on managing his aggression and getting to the root problem. Sometimes I get mad at myself because i caused him to add to the stigma of aggressive pit bull due to my negligence.

I take full responsibility for his actions. How did he end up like this you ask? Well it all started when I was younger and thought I was cool. So if you thought you was a bad ass then you had a big pit bull by your side. I thought it was cool that my dog was game and ready to step to anyone who came near him. People would come by my house and he would lunge at them. He doesn't do this anymore, as far as lunging ( unless you get him excited and he thinks you're playing).

Now I hate when I see pit bulls wild and not in control. They are beautiful dogs who will work to earn their keep, but it is us people who ruin the dog and the dog's name. I deeply regret my ignorance and now fully understand what I did.I now dedicate myself to helping other not make this same mistake.

I remember when I was working in Petsmart and this guy had this big pit bull pulling him. He had the same swag I did when I was younger with my dog. I could tell he didn't understand that these dogs need leaders. They need to be guided what to do.

Anyways, he was walking down one of the isles and his dog was meeting a husky dog about the same age (8 months). The guy with the pit bull was not noticing signs that his dog was trying to dominate the husky. I turned my back for one quick second and I hear growling as I turned back to see the husky cowering back after being snipped by the pit bull. The owner did not notice, but he promoted this behavior.

The same behavior I promoted with my dog 10 years ago. I work hard now everyday to train my dog so that I can make his life as fun now on that I couldn't 10 years ago. I don't have to avoid places being scared he will bite someone. This usually only happens around kids because they always want to do something weird to the dog like grab his tail.

Avoidance is never the key. You have to face the fear and/or problem in order to get over it. I will always promote pit bulls and never let someone who doesn't know any better tell me otherwise.

The E-collar

I was taught first under the positive reinforcement only training. In order for you to understand let me quickly explain the four quadrants of operant conditioning.

The first one is positive reinforcement. This is when the dog does something I like and I reward with a treat of some sort. The second one is negative punishment. This is when I remove something the dog wants in order to get the dog to change the behavior.

The third one is positive punishment. This is when the dog peforms a behavior I don't want and then I give the dog a correction.

The fourth and final quadrant is negative reinforcement. This is when I put pressure on a dog and they learn how to release pressure. This last one is what e-collar training is about. 

Why do some people want it banned? The same as why they want pit bulls banned-ignorance. They don't know how to use the tool. Now in their defense there are people who misuse the tool as well as train pit bulls in aggressive ways, but there are many things they are not considering. 

1. Off leash freedom

Many people don't realize that they can have off leash freedom if they take time to train the dog to the ecollar. It's important to note that I would never put an e collar on a dog and crank it to the highest level and press the button if the dog misbehaves. That is not teaching. That is abuse. I always teach the dog the language slowly. 

2. Low level stimulation

I use low level stimulation. Most times people can't feel the stimulation. It's too low, but the dog can feel it. All the only positive trainers will say it's inhumane, but they can't even feel it. They would ask me if I would put it on myself. I tell them I have and that they should watch my video on it. 

3. Break a dog's attention immediately

If a dog is too focused on something you don't want them focused on like a cat or another dog then you can use this to immediately stop it before the behavior erupts. If your dog is too far away then you wont be able to correct them in time.

This goes along with off leash freedom. Also if my dog is 50 ft away and I need him to come immediately then I can communicate with him what I expect.

These are just a few. Both of these changed my life. My pit bull I wouldn't give up for the world and the e-collar has really upped my level of training and the results I could get. I am thankful for both and I enjoy doing what I do. 

6 tools needed for a new puppy

These are the 6 important tools for a young puppy

Harness

A harness is what I use mostly for young puppies because it allows a puppy to pull. Puppies have no concept of not pulling and walking nice on a leash usually. This also prevents them from choking themselves out with a flat buckle collar. The strongest part of a dogs body is the chest. By using a harness we also prevent unnecessary stress on our young puppies. 

4 or 6ft leash

I usually have one of these. It is usually light weighted so the dog can drag it with no problem. The only issue you will face with this leash is that a puppy doesn't understand leash pressure and how to give in. You will notice this when you pull a puppy forward and they resist by pulling in the opposite direction. This is also known as an oppositional reflex. Eventually as the puppy gets older we teach them how to give in to pressure. A little stress is not a bad thing for our dog but we have to set them up for success. 

flat buckle collar

These are your regular flat collars most dogs have. I like to keep this in my arsenal but i prefer a harness more. Again, puppies can choke themselves with these collars when they are young. I still condition them to this collar because we will be using it a lot later on. As your dog gets bigger, a harness reinforces your dog pulling. This is when i prefer a flat collar. It gives us more control of the dog's head. If we can control their head then we can control what we want them to look at and not look at.

Flexilead

This is my favorite tool for young pups. Its like having a regular leash and a long line in one.  You can let the dog go 20ft away from you or stay right next to you. A puppy natural instinct is to follow the group or leader. If your puppy is 20 ft away you will notice that he/she might naturally run to catch with you so they are not too far away from you. What I also like about the flexilead is that you still have control of your dog just in case your puppy sees a leaf or paper or some other object they want to chase across the street. You can immediately change the leash from a long line to a 4 or 6 ft leash.

Crate

A crate has been called many things( a den, the dog's safehaven, etc). A crate, to me, is a simple management tool. If the dog is in its crate he/she can not get into trouble( chewing on shoes, soiling everywhere, biting on furniture). Puppies sleep in crates and spend time in it when we leave the home. I would suggest that you don't get your dog a crate the size of a mini mansion. They only need to be able to stand up, turn around, and lay down.

Xpen

An xpen is a great tool. Its like a crate but bigger. You can put your puppy in it and throw in some chew toys. This prevents boredom and it allows your puppy to feel included in the family. This will prevent running around the house yet will give your puppy enough space to have fun.

NYC dog walker/dog trainer

I am a NYC resident and I love walking dogs. I love it when a dog is enjoying the walk yet still is listening to me. I, nor anyone else, likes to be pulled down the street by a dog. This is why leading from the front is important. I also love even more to train dogs. This is my passion and I have spent countless hours reading about, training, and observing dogs. After a while I began to see a pattern. I hear some people say they watch youtube videos to solve their problem. The probably can fix it depending on the problem, but there are missing pieces that a good dog trainer can troubleshoot on the fly. You can learn the basics, but who has time to spend all day watching youtube videos?

 I know how important it is to understand our dogs as they are part of our family. I seek to help humans better understand how to motivate, engage and live a fun life with their dogs in the areas of Queens and Manhattan NY. I want to give credit to all the other dog trainers who are educating the world and making it a better place for dogs and humans. What can a person expect using my services? You can expect to see a dog that is calm around other dogs and a dog that wants to be with you. I am going to be attending the Michael Ellis school of dog training and a lot of my concepts I get from him or other popular dog trainers in the dog training world. Get ready as I teach you what I love to do.