Who is Dan the Dogfather?
has loved dogs his whole life and has trained thousands of dogs, many with
severe behaviour problems. He has been heavily involved in
rescuing, training and rehabilitating dogs. Dan graduated
from Canada West Canine Centre, located in Salmon Arm, British
Columbia, in the summer of 2002.
Canine Centre was the first school in Canada of its kind. It
is registered with the Private Post Secondary Education Commission of
British Columbia. The school teaches trainers and educates
them on how to train for obedience, advanced obedience, tracking, and
curing specific behavioural problems.
acquiring his dog training certification did provide an excellent knowledge base
for his training, working with rescue dogs has given Dan immeasurable
"real-world" experience. Without Dan's assistance, many wonderful dogs would have been euthanized for
behavioural issues or aggression, and many more would not have been as
easily placed. Overall, in the two years Dan
volunteered with All Heart Pet Rescue, he trained several hundred dogs
of all breeds and temperament. He has experience with
virtually every other breed, and is very knowledgeable about the
special behaviours of individual breeds.
is the proud father of a 10-year-old German Shepherd, 11-year old Doberman(See
Molly's Tail), and the new additions, a 5-yr old
Shepherd/Husky/Wolf Mix(See Lupa on the Blog) and Boomer,
a 3-year old Treeing Walker Hound. Magnus,
the shepherd, was adopted from All Heart Pet Rescue in Powassan, Ontario when he was
one year old. Magnus had been neglected and he came with
several behavioural issues such as destructiveness, jumping, and
separation anxiety. Through careful and patient training,
Magnus no longer exhibits any of his previous behaviour
problems. Furthermore, he has been fully obedience trained
and has several other useful skills, such as scent discrimination and
on the move"
How Does Dan Train?
trains through praise, motivation and correction. What does
that mean? In a nutshell, it means that the dog is motivated
to do a specific behaviour or command, such as heel, and when he does
it correctly, he is praised. If the dog ignores the owner,
shows a negative behaviour such as growling or nipping, or simply won't
do something that he has proven he knows, then he is corrected.
is the act of getting a dog excited to do a command or other
action. The owner may verbally stimulate the dog's interest
or, if necessary, make a physical motivation, such as clapping the
hands or patting his (owner's) leg. When the dog becomes
motivated and does the desired command or behaviour he is praised. Make
the dog want to work for you.
is rewarding the dog for a job well done. Treats
are not used in training (an explanation will be given shortly).
Praising the dog requires the owner to cheer the dog with an excited "Good dog!" or to physically praise the
dog with hand contact. The owner is the
reward! The amount of praise given depends on the temperament
of the dog. If he is really shy, then the owner needs to give
more praise; if he is really excitable, then the owner just gives a
little praise, lest the dog gets so excited he forgets what he had
So why doesn't Dan use treats? Treats are not
necessary at all when training your dog. Praise goes a long
way in training your dog, and it is what most dogs crave above all from
their owners. Furthermore, your dog should do a command
because he loves and respects his owner, not because he is being bribed
to do a command. Respect is an even more important issue when
it comes to the recall (come) command. If the dog starts
chasing a squirrel, he has a greater likelihood of coming when called
if he respects you. If he had been treat trained, would he
rather chase a squirrel or come to you and get a treat? Most
dogs will continue to chase that squirrel and then finally come back to
you after they have had their fun. Your dog should want to earn your
respect and love, and you should want your dog to see you as firm, just and
the dog is necessary if he is doing an undesirable behaviour, such as lunging
after other dogs, or if he
is ignoring you when you tell him to do something he knows. A verbal
correction is a firm "No!" Your dog should respond and
respect your "No" if he is ever to be fully off-lead trained.
Using the squirrel example again, if your dog responds to your "No!"
then he stops chasing that squirrel and comes back to you.
Physically correcting your dog is done when doing on-lead
training. A correction is a sudden jerk and release on the
lead, used in conjunction with either a standard flat collar, training
collar, or a harness. Depending on what
the owner wants from the training and the dog's temperament, either one
or a combination of the above training tools may be used.
When physically correcting your dog, you are not hurting
it in any way. You are simply giving your dog a
All training starts on-lead, so the dog
begins to respect and respond to the owner while the owner still has
physical control over the dog. When a dog is off-lead, the
only way an owner can control him is with his voice.
Private Training versus Obedience Class Training
Dan only trains at the owner's home.
These lessons are private, one-on-one sessions. So why is private
Private training is superior to training in a class/group setting for the following reasons:
1. During private lessons, the dog and owner receive 100 percent of the trainerís attention at all times.
dog learns to obey the owner when he is in and around the home, which
is where he is 98 percent of the time. If a dog is trained in a
class away from home, he may only listen when he is in that classroom.
By doing training in-home, the owner avoids the inconvenience and time
it takes to get the dog in the car and drive to class. The
trainer comes to you.
owner doesnít have to be embarrassed about asking questions or the
dogís unruly behaviour. In many cases, that is why training is
When are class/group lessons
better? If an owner is seeking the opportunity to have his or her
dog become better socialized, the class setting is better for
that. For all other issues, private lessons are the way to go!
So what are the products and services that Dan offers and what are the costs? Click
here to continue.