David Utter, dog trainer for dog behavior. Located in Orange County & Los Angeles California. Specialization in family pets, puppy house training, service dogs, therapy, military, police, hunting and search and rescue dogs of all breeds. Dog training is about creating a balance between dogs and people. A healthy mind has “Logic” & “Emotions” equally balanced, looking at the root of dog behavior, and balancing the brain to create mental peace. When a dog is out of balance the behavior can be aggression, fear, anxiety and hyperactivity. When a dog owner is out of balance their energy transmits to the dog. Dog psychology is different than human psychology. People react differently to life than dogs. How we communicate to a dog depends on our ability to understand dogs. Dog and human emotions are not always matched as the same interpretation. Thinking for your dog is not a good idea. Regardless of breed and working purpose, military, police, family pet, hunting or service dog, the psychology remains the same.
The extreme dog trainers fall either too far to the emotional side or the logical side in technique. I see the food training techniques fail when using operant or counter conditioning with strong minded dogs. Especially off leash, food training will not make your dog safe or reliable. Operant and counter conditioning work best when the handler is the motivation, not the food. The other extreme is old school dog trainers that rely on the Pavlov theory of pain infliction as a motivation in classical conditioning. Pain training is creating a robot, a fearful dog that loses its instincts to think independently to survive.
My training creates a thinking dog that follows the handlers rules based on a relationship with the owner. No fear is used to control the dog. My client, who works at the laboratory of animal psychology within the University of California system, had an aggressive dog. After successfully rehabilitating the dog, we discussed what the university has discovered about mammals. Dogs and many other mammals form packs with alpha, gamma and beta structures, regardless of domesticating and breeding the animals over 100 times. The mammals all return to a wild behavior, identical to the wild born species, within a week of being introduced back into the wild. DNA polymorphisms (DNA changes) took place over 50 million years ago. Our domestic dogs have been with humans for about 32,000 years starting in Europe. Most domestic dogs are relatives to the ancient wolf, not the modern wolf. This is why your domestic dog desires to chase a rabbit or squirrel and bite its head off given the chance. The time line of DNA 32,000 years ago is nothing compared to 50 to 150,000 million years of mammals existing. Carnivore behavior cannot be erased nor can you raise your dog like a human baby and treat the dog as a living teddy bear.
Creating a dog pack is part of the instincts of domestic canines. Dogs do realize we are not dogs. We stand upright and do not have ears like dogs. But, dogs do realize when we can speak their language and bond as a pack. Humans cannot replicate all dog language because of our physical differences. My training is about teaching dog owners how not to confuse their dogs and to speak dog to the best of our abilities.
Good dog training recognizes dogs have different personalities. Relying on one technique to correct behavior problems is not realistic. Each dog can react differently to each method. There is a common psychological thought process in dogs of all sizes and breeds. However, in my past 24 years of dog training in Los Angeles and Orange County, I have adjusted my approach to capitalize on the dogs strengths and improve weakness. I have developed my own style over the years testing my methods with many dog breeds, ages and sizes.
I have worked with dog training in Orange County and Los Angeles since 1989 as a professional. I have appeared in the TV show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 4 RHOBH, staring Kim Richards, training Kingsley, a Pitbull with aggressive behavior. I have experimented and tested every technique available with many dogs of all sizes and breeds. Some of the dog training today is simple “political correctness” and not proven to work with highly difficult dogs. Many of my clients have tried to rehabilitate their dogs using the latest modern methods of most dog behaviorist and failed. The modern method of food feeding is not modern, new and scientifically proven, as the trainers claim it to be. Food feeding training has been around for well over several hundred years. In the circus, lions and tigers perform tricks with food reward. However, lions and tigers are not used as service animals and do not bond with humans like dogs.
I do not use food training because dogs will respect the food and not the dog owner. Food training is a manipulation not a behavioral change. Standing next to the dog, micromanaging your dog with food, is not a trained dog. We do not stand over an employee at work and micromanage with candy. This is not productive. This method is certainly not productive or safe off leash with a dog at a distance. Professionally trained dogs, such as seeing-eye-dogs, do not receive food after walking their blind dog owners across the street. This is also true of search and rescue dogs and police dogs in life threatening situations. My dog training methods do not require a shock collar, clicker, spray bottle, or a special leash or harness constricting the dogs ability to do as the dog pleases. I use love and affection to praise the dog, motivating good behavior.
I provide private dog training and boot camp in all cities in Los Angeles (West Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley, Long Beach & Central Los Angeles) and Orange County (Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Mission Viejo, Irvine, Aliso Viejo, San Clemente, Laguna Niguel, Laguna Beach).