Let me introduce myself. My name is Lisa Flynn, cmt. The cmt stands for certified master dog trainer. But anybody in my profession will tell you that we trainers have many titles. Some days I’m a dog trainer; others a people trainer, motivator and coach. At times I play the part of a therapist, a pack leader, a psychologist, and grief counselor.
On this site you will find tips of dog training, techniques, and recommendations to help you develop a better understanding of why your dogs do what they do, how to solve many dog behavioral problems, and how to have a better relationship with your dog. Oh, and you’re probably going to have a few laughs along the way – Boy do I have some stories to share! And, I’ll admit…I’m a bit of a goofball.
I’ve been professionally training dogs for 15 years but I’ve always had a passion for animals. While I was growing up my family owned all kinds of animals. Dogs, cats, a boa constrictor named Samoa and a skunk named Chanel. Yup, after the perfume.
I never chose to have a dog in the beginning. 20 years ago my boyfriend at the time showed up with a puppy. Sam jumped out of the car and into my arms and the rest is history. I had fun teaching Sam to shake, roll over, play dead; the usual parlor tricks. He was a great dog, but even with the tricks I taught him I could never trust him off of a leash. He was “too friendly” and would take off and say hi to every other dog or person he saw.
Then I got a puppy. His name was Jake but everybody called him “devil dog”. He would jump up, pull on the leash and destroy whatever he could get his little teeth onto. He even ate a dog training video I borrowed from the library! No kidding! I had to go to the library and explain that my puppy ate the dog training video. That didn’t go over well.
As Jake grew up he learned to shake and roll over, but wouldn’t respond to any real commands I gave him. Sadly at one point I actually thought I would have to give him away.
After a particularly frustrating morning with Jake (he had just eaten my taxes!) I went out to the post office to mail a letter. Inside was a woman with a dog. The dog was sitting happily by her side. I couldn’t believe it! My dog would never hold still that long. I had to talk with her.
That was the day that changed my life. The woman introduced me to a professional dog trainer. I had only heard about group classes and hobby club training before and that hadn’t worked for Jake. She said I needed “real world” training. I started working with a pro, fell in love with the craft, and gave up my real estate abstracting career to follow my dream and train dogs professionally. After attending the National K9 School for Dog Trainers in Ohio and then apprenticing for a year with another trainer in Massachusetts I decided to hang up my own shingle in Northern Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. Currently I am living and training on the West Coast of Florida.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of working with literally thousands of dogs, including some celebrity’s dog AND some celebrity dogs. (dogs that have starred in movies and TV). I’ve trained professional athletes and their dogs and I’ve trained a 93 year old woman and her German Shepherd. That was definitely not the right dog for her! But they both did end up doing a great job. I’ve helped people with disabilities gain access to public areas because of their dogs and I’ve helped countless families get control of their dogs in between juggling kids, sports, and other obligations.
I’ve learned so many things through working with dogs and people. I’ve had to develop my communication skills and I’ve studied how people learn just as much as I’ve studied how dogs learn. Myself, I’ve learned compassion, how to be VERY patient (breathe and count to 10!), to focus, and how to motivate. And I’ve learned that it’s very important to be goofy at times and to laugh at yourself!
It is my sincere hope that you find the info on my site useful and I look forward to your comments and questions.
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