Andrea Arden Dog Training – Fun and Rewarding
13 November, 2012
I had the pleasure of speaking with Andrea Arden, owner of Andrea Arden Dog Training, one of the most respected Dog Training schools in the nation. Her reputation proceeds her as she was named the best dog trainer in New York by New York, W, Time Out and Quest magazines and the Daily News.
I provided the questions and Andrea gave me her answers.
What made you decide to go into dog training?
My father was passionate about all types of animals. I grew up with an array of pets: fish, hamsters, dogs, cats and horses. I inherited his passion for animals and loved being surrounded by them. I also rode horses and eventually learned how to train them.
I then moved to New York City where I started training dogs. I apprenticed for two years with a dog training school called “City Dog”. I started to train dogs on my own and then opened my own dog training facility. But, that didn’t happen overnight. It took years of hard work and schooling. I have been in the business for twenty years now and feel fortunate to have made a career out of my passion.
What makes a good dog trainer?
A good dog trainer is one who loves dogs, first and foremost, and makes dog training fun. The goal is for dog training to be a great, fun experience for dogs and their owners. A good dog trainer is one who has studied and trained for many years and hopefully under a great mentor.
I was fortunate enough to study under Dr. Ian Dunbar, who is really the pioneer of what is now termed “positive reinforcement training”. He should be credited as the man who changed dog training techniques from punitive, negative reinforcement training to fun positive behavioral training. I was lucky enough to learn from the best.
Andrea is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Pet Dog Trainers as well as a Certified Pet Partners Team evaluator for the Delta Society and the AKC’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) test.
Do you have a specific technique that you use for training?
- Management – Doing all you can do to set up the dog for success so he or she doesn’t fail.
- Training – Motivating dogs to learn training because they want to do it and it is fun.
Our approach solves and prevents new problems before they arise while rewarding the owner’s efforts with the joy of taking a positive approach to working with their dog to build a lifelong bond. We’re advocates of user-friendly and dog-friendly dog training.
What do you think is the biggest misconception among dog owners?
The biggest misconception among dog owners is what we call the “Lassie Syndrome”. In other words, a dog comes to you as perfect. However, we all know that dogs come in different shapes and sizes with a multitude of personalities and temperaments. Dog owners can’t expect any puppy or dog to be perfect or that training can be done overnight.
As dog trainers, we need to work with both the dogs and their owners to create behaviors that are beneficial to both of them. And, we can do this in fun, interactive environment as long as the owners are ready to work!
Is it ever too late to start training a dog?
It is never too late to train a dog. I prefer to start with puppies as they are much more open to the world and haven’t yet learned any negative behaviors. However, as long as both the dog and the owner are ready to put in the time and effort, it is never too late to train a dog.
Tell me about your charity work
I am so glad that you asked me about my charity work. I am currently on the Board of Directors of “Animal Haven” which finds homes for abandoned cats and dogs. I just joined two new organizations that I am really passionate about:
The first is called “Dogs for the Deaf” which rescues and trains deaf dogs and also helps provide autistic and deaf kids with dogs to help them.
The second charity is called “Pets for Patriots” which advocates the permanent placement of adult dogs and cats with every available, able and willing military family in the U.S.
Andrea and I could have spoken for hours about her love of animals and training. You can learn more about Andrea as she is currently on Animal Planet’s hit shows Dogs101, Cats101, Pets101, America’s Cutest Dog and America’s Cutest Cat.
If you live in New York City, please visit Andrea Arden’s dog training school. You and your puppy will be happier for it! Her website is: http://www.andreaarden.com.
Tips For Your Dogs At The Dog Park