My love for dogs started when I was just a boy. My best friend, from probably around 6 years old was a 12” beagle by the name of Prince, up until the age of 15-16 we went everywhere together. Some of the best memories I have as a boy always involve that dog. Although my military service and raising of 5 children postponed me having a dog for many years, eventually I was able to get the dog I had wanted from my youth – a Black Labrador Retriever. His name is Samson.
Because of my desire to have a finished retriever, my formal training experience started with him as a puppy. Even though retired at 13+ years of age now, we are still the best of friends. He is still the one to greet me every morning, follows me around the house like he did when he was a puppy and sleeps at my feet at every chance he gets. For all those cold wet days in the swamp and overly hot October dove days, he has earned the pampered life he lives today! He has taught me more than he will ever know!
Because of my relationship with him (Samson) I am a certified trainer today. Samson and I went through some pretty difficult training sessions. Because of those times, I continued to search for more knowledge, for better techniques. Through that process, I found the Animal Behavior College, where I studied and received my certification in 2008. From there, I have continued my education by studying a multitude of trainers such as Karen Pryor, Tamar Geller, John Rogerson, Emma Parsons, James O’Heare, Jean Donaldson, John and Amy Dahl, Mike Stewart, Richard Wolters and Cesar Milan just to name a few.
During the same period of time, I also started my first kennel and training business. I constructed both indoor and outdoor kennels that held as many as 30 dogs over the Christmas and New Years’ holiday – several years in a row.
My experience also includes teaching hundreds of dogs through Basic Obedience Classes at a local feed store and Private lessons. I also had the privilege of taking 5 other dogs to various levels as finished retrievers and competing in Hunt Test with several of them.
One of the best times through those early years was being able to develop a breeding program with one of my favorite breeds, Labrador Retrievers. It gave me a unique opportunity to see the early stages of development over 100+ times first hand, and to this day I believe it gives me a edge as a trainer.
Due to some life circumstances, that business closed. But, because of my love for training and helping people come to a great place with their best friend, a few years later – I started The Dog Mechanic.
Over those years as a trainer I came to realize that most dogs that are in shelters are there because of some type of unresolved behavior issue – with aggression being at the top of that list. That is why even though I love teaching basic obedience my passion today is in the area of problem solving and aggression issues.
I look forward to the opportunity of helping you have the most fulfilling relationship possible with your best friend!