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Caring, professional training for dogs and their people.....

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      (732) 940-0208


About Anne Macaulay, Ph.D., Certified Professional Dog Trainer

Anne is a former biologist turned full-time dog trainer. She enjoys applying the teaching and problem solving skills she learned as a scientist to solving dog training and behavior problems. She takes pride in helping owners meet their goals, whether it’s getting off to the best possible start with a new puppy or teaching a rambunctious rescue to walk down the street without barking at all the neighbors. Here are her answers to some of the questions people frequently ask when choosing a dog trainer.

1. How many years of experience do you have?
Dog training was my avocation for 10 years when I participated in obedience competitions with my own dog and assisted with training classes. Since 1997, I have dedicated myself full-time to dog training. For three years, I apprenticed with another trainer, teaching classes under her supervision and training dozens of dogs to the point of reliable off leash obedience. Since 2000, I have run my own business teaching several hundred dogs and their owners each year. I also volunteer for our local shelter evaluating dogs and teaching volunteers how to handle dogs safely.

2. What is your education?
I have a Ph.D. in biology, an excellent background for understanding the science of animal behavior. Like the majority of dog trainers, my education in dogs comes primarily through self-education: apprenticing, attending conferences and seminars, networking with other trainers through our local DogSpeak group, reading texts on dog training and veterinary behavior, and of course working hands on with hundreds of dogs. I regularly attend seminars given by top trainers and behaviorists from around the country including Pam Reid, Jean Donaldson, Patricia McConnell, Brenda Aloff, Ken Ramirez, Sheila Booth and John Rogerson.

3. What are your professional affiliations?
I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA) with the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. I am a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and an approved evaluator for the American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen Program.

4. Can you tell me about your methods?
Sure! I teach primarily by lure and reward methods, using a food treat like a magnet. Once your dog has learned the desired behavior, you will be shown non-confrontational ways to get your dog to respond consistently without depending on a treat in your hand. Dog training is becoming a more polarized profession with some trainers insisting that dogs should never hear the word “No” and others relying on harsh physical corrections or shock collars (also known as e-touch or gentle stimulation). I believe that some balance can be found between these two viewpoints. I don’t think that punishment should be our primary method of teaching, but I also think it is unrealistic to think that an owner will never yell at or punish a dog. I am happy to discuss with you how to use punishment correctly and more importantly how to train and manage your dog so that it just isn’t necessary.

5. Can I observe a class?
You are always welcome to come observe one of my classes. Please email for a schedule and directions.

6. Do you teach pet dog classes or competition classes?
Although I enjoy competing with my own dogs and find that it sharpens my training skills, my classes are designed to teach skills that your dog needs in everyday life. My puppy and group obedience classes provide a great foundation for your future agility or field dog, but we do not spend time in class trying to attain the degree of precision (e.g. perfectly straight sits) required for competition obedience. Agility classes are taught with competition in mind.

7. Will I be required to use a certain type of collar?
Often trainers will insist that you put a choke chain on your Maltese puppy or that you should be able to walk your newly adopted Boxer with just a buckle collar. I believe that different equipment works better for different dogs. In class, you will have a choice between a regular buckle collar, a front clip harness such as the Easy Walk, a head halter such as the Gentle Leader, or if you have a non-reactive dog who pulls, you may use a pinch collar.
I do not allow choke chains in class since we do not use leash corrections.
You will also need a six foot leash, lots of treats, and your dog’s favorite toy.

8. How big are your classes?
Puppy Pre-School is limited to 7 puppies. Beginner’s and Intermediate are limited to 8 dogs and Canine Good Citizen is limited to 9 dogs.

9. Where are your classes taught and what is the environment like?
Puppy Pre-School is taught indoors at a veterinary clinic after the office is closed. All other obedience classes are taught outdoors either on a lawn or in a large parking lot. This allows us to have plenty of space between the dogs and lots of room to work on training come when called and loose leash walking. Unlike classes taught indoors at pet stores, you will not have to deal with cramped spaces and members of the public trying to pet your dog while you are trying to train it. Agility classes are taught outdoors on grass in a fully fenced 100’x120’ field.

10. Do you offer a guarantee?
The Association of Pet Dog Trainers, of which I am a member, prohibits members from offering guarantees (www.apdt.com/po/ts/choose_trainer.aspx). Dogs vary widely in how quickly they learn. Results also depend on how frequently you practice and how consistently you follow recommendations. If you are offered a guarantee that seems to be too good to be true, it probably is!

Caring, professional training for dogs and their people.....

Contact Us

(732) 940-0208

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