“My love of dogs spans my entire life. As a boy growing up in Idaho with dogs, cats, birds and a lizard, I was taught love and respect for our family pets. I believed for the longest time that all animals ‘behaved’ instinctively, only to discover in my later years that they behaved because my mom had trained them to act that way through loving, showing and guiding them to her expectations. As I grew and had dogs of my own, I discovered that it requires commitment, devotion, and love to train dogs to act appropriately at all times.
My love of training began in High School when we relocated to Otis AFB and I spent so much time with our English Cocker Spaniel while I made new friends and ran daily in the woods to get and stay in shape for sports with my true best friend, Goldie. Then while I was in the Marines my best friend was a dog named Shimi that just did everything and anything that I asked of him. Shimi was hardly ever on a leash and I had complete voice control of him. Yes there were several great dogs that prepared me for my journey as a Master Behavioral Therapist and Dog Trainer more than 15 years ago. In 2003, I took the big step of faith and began my professional career.
My dog at that time was named Pokémon and she had aggression issues that I could just not fix. After training with an Australian company and certification as a Behavioral Therapist, she became my training dog! Since that time I and my dogs, Pokémon, Gingerbread, Bella, Sammy, and Gabriel have worked with over 5000 dogs with clients, animal control, and local rescues. Quickly becoming certified as a Master Behaviorist and Trainer through working with a high number of difficult and aggressive dogs. That success laid the foundation of building a strong reputation in the South Metro-Atlanta area.
In the early Spring of 2016, Barry transitioned and established “A Better Dog Home Dog Training” servicing the Metro-Atlanta area. He brings the experienced of a Grand Master Trainer along with a loving and natural approach to dog training. “My goal is to enhance your relationship with your dog to assist in making your pet, your pride!” Barry teaches the owners to become the true Pack Leader for their dogs. Leadership that they love, trust, and respect!
There is a wide spectrum of dog training philosophies, with positive-only reinforcement at one end of the spectrum (which is a myth) and correction-based training (which can be mean and harsh) at the other. At A Better Dog Home Dog Training, we use what is called a Balanced Reward-Based Training approach. This method uses both positive and negative reinforcement that is customized for each individual dog. Dogs are individuals, just like people. Successful training methods for one dog will often be completely different for another dog. Barry has found this to be much more effective than either positive-only reinforcement (which is a myth) or correction-based training. Barry will never use a shock collar, a prong collar, or a choke collar in training of your dog. Short cuts like these can cause your dog pain, fear, and stress. Again, the relationship with your dog needs to be based on love, trust, and respect.
If you watch a group of dogs interact, they correct each other appropriately and timely. These corrections are not abusive but in a canine manner. They are an essential part of communication that accomplishes a crucial element in any relationship and helps set boundaries and rules. The Balanced Reward-Based Training approach communicates how dogs interact with one another. This includes consistent, timely, and appropriate verbal praise as well as consistent, timely, and appropriate verbal corrections. Good leaders are balanced and consistent period.
High value rewards are used in the learning phase of training to help eliminate any fear or stress that the owner and the dog may have brought with each other in the beginning of the training relationship. Even after a dog has learned a command or behavior, there will still come a time with every dog when surrounding distractions are much more compelling than even high value rewards. The “balanced” part of a reward-based system is that corrections are introduced once a command or behavior is learned but not followed. A correction is a consequence for not following previously learned behaviors or directions. Its purpose is not to punish a behavior but to refocus the dog on the desired behavior and reward with praise. Training at the dog’s pace and building a learning foundation will give the dog the ability to achieve success.
Barry is an experienced Balanced Reward-Based Behaviorist and Trainer that utilizes a wide range of tools and adapts his methods to suit the needs of the individual dog, owner, and environment. For us humans, it is called “life”. Barry’s techniques never cause the dogs’ pain or discomfort. There is no “negative” touch with hands. Hands are for loving and petting, showing and guiding. The techniques closely mimic natural canine communication and psychology.
My number one goal is to achieve each client’s desired results. I aim to do this by tailoring the program to meet each client’s situation and individual needs giving them the skill and leadership. Whether you need aggressive dog training, or simply looking for puppy training and everything in-between, A Better Dog Home Dog Training can help. Though no two clients and their respective situations are the same, our training programs:
Being your dog’s leader is built on a foundation of love, trust, and respect. It is not a role that is utilized only during a training session. In order for your dog to respect you as a balanced leader, you must utilize the leader position in all aspects of your relationship with your dog. This is done by meeting all your dog’s needs in a confident, loving, and consistent manner. By setting and maintaining limits, not adapting yourself to the dog. If you are the leader, the dog is the follower. From your dog’s perspective, the pack needs a strong pack leader for the protection and survival of the pack, much like children need parents in the family structure.