To me dog training is not all about fancy tricks, yes it is cool to get a dog to speak on command or dance a full dance routine but that is not what is relevant to the everyday pet owner. The truth about being successful on training a good dog has to do with rewarding the right state of mind and correcting the wrong one. A dog that is aware that his behavior has good or bad consequences is a dog that is more likely to make correct choices and therefore be a ‘good dog’. Training dogs is easy and by easy I mean it is something that can be done. However, everything good in life requires good discipline so I will teach you how to better communicate with your dog in order to create a new routine that both you and your dog can follow.
Misbehaved dogs are often easily over-stimulated by their surroundings which leads them to become aroused and excited. This heightened state of excitement becomes a patterned behavior or just the default way to behave. The first thing to do in order to tackle the problem is to lay a better communication system between you and your dog. You need to be able to communicate to your dog what is a good choice and what is not. Then we can change associations to the triggers (i.e..doorbell) that send the dog to an excited state. During this counter-conditioning we will not only nourish a calmer state and correct the wrong choices but we will also assign the excitement to accepted behaviors at the appropriate time.
My name is Javier Mendoza-Diek and I am a dog trainer, a Zoologist, and a veterinary technician. I was born and raised in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and I have always had an intense curiosity towards animals and more specifically their behaviors. Overtime I owned many pets like turtles, wild bird, a crab, chickens, a cat, horses, and dogs. My first dog I owned when I was about 9 years old. I truly messed him up because I was too permissive. He would escape our house and come back hours or days later, bark excessively, was aggressive towards certain people and dogs. Peluche was his name and he got into many dog fights that he started despite being a small Pekingese. My mother tried disciplining him and encouraging the right behaviors but I was so caught up with the idea that “love” was the way to communicate with your dog. Sadly, no cuddling or “talks” that I had with Peluche did anything to change his behavior. Eventually my mother had to give him up which was not such a bad thing because at the rate he was going he would have gotten killed by a car or another dog.
Years later I was living with my dad and grandmother and I was given a Lab mix puppy. I was so excited but little did I know that this puppy was going to shape who I was and who wanted to become. I named her Preciosa and she was a hyperactive super sweet puppy. She was trouble despite being an outdoor dog (that is how it was in Honduras back then). My grandmother would discipline her in ways that I thought were sometimes too rough and now looking back it was not clear to the dog on why she was getting corrected. Corrections would usually not come right as Precious was committing the crime; the corrections were usually hours or minutes after. My grandma would say that Precious knew but I doubt that she did. However, this pushed me to not make the same mistakes that I made with Peluche. I worked with her daily, even with the limited knowledge I had back then, in order to somehow show her what was a good or a bad behavior. It was mainly trial and error but she became a really awesome dog. I would often entertain my friends by showing off her tricks and she was a great soccer player too. However, she was still a dog so she took chances here and there but she was mainly a well behaved dog despite her hyperactivity. I knew all the dogs within 5 miles or so because I walked her so much and then I got to meet the dogs’ owners. It is funny that most of the people that I have met has been because of dogs and that has not changed much.
Eventually I moved to the United States and was following what I thought was my dream which was to become a veterinarian. I got a Zoology degree at North Carolina State University as a step stone to go to veterinary school. I was a veterinary technician for 6 years during my school years and I also trained dogs on the side. After graduating I was not really sure if going to go to vet-school was the right path. Before continuing I thought I would give training a shot since I enjoyed it. I gave myself a 2 year deadline to find out if this is for me or not. I worked at a great place for 10 months but it was located too far from me and I was not learning at a satisfying pace. I felt like I could do more. My plan was to go back to work as a technician and more seriously study and train more. Things did not go as planned and I was pushed to make a decision to either leap and start my own business or find a job or keep studying. I realized that what brought me the most joy was helping people and I could do that by doing what I have loved doing since I was a child and that was reaching people through their dogs. I jumped in and it has been a great decision. I no longer doubt who I am and what I want. I am able to provide value to people and it is by doing something I love.
Cindy, my fiance, worked as a veterinary technician for over 10 years and she helps me with the board and train dogs.