Adam Katz from

Dog Trainers Too Cool for School

Last weekend, I was invited to attend Fred Hassen’s Sit Means Sit yearly alumni seminar. I got to meet some great dog trainers. Some who were absolutely outstanding include: Dave Skoletsky, Toni Drugmand, Alfredo Rivera, Lianne Hassen, Luciano Aguilar and many, many others. (I’m probably butchering their names, too!)

I’ve been around a lot of dog people and a lot of dog clubs in my time, and I have to say that this is a great bunch of trainers, from around the country. They are friendly and open. And most importantly, they seem to leave their ego at the door and instead let their dog training do the talking.

I saw dogs doing very complicated training exercises.

You know… it’s one thing to see a good AKC obedience trainer who works with a dog that knows the obedience pattern and what’s coming next. But it’s quite another thing to see somebody invent an exercise that the trainer has never seen before, and then watch almost magically as that dog trainer gets her dog to do the behavior in a matter of seconds. And really advanced stuff, too – like getting a dog to retrieve a toy from a bucket of water, at a distance of 20 feet… while other dogs were standing around!!

It was an exercise that one dog trainer thought up, and challenged the others, to do. Trust me when I say that it’s not simply dropping a toy into a bucket of water and telling the dog to go pick it up. The exercise involved: A directed send-away, a fetch command, a return/recall command, and the dog having enough trust in the owner to stick his head into a bucket of dirty water and retrieve a toy.

Probably not what the average pet owner will ever need to teach their dog to do– but impressive, nonetheless.

I saw many other incredibly high levels of training. And I’ll be sharing more, in weeks to come.

If you’re looking into hiring a local dog trainer to help with your dog, I think it would be wise to contact a Sit Means Sit dog trainer in your area and have them at least come out and give you a demonstration. I can guarantee you’ll be impressed.

For more information, see:

(By the way… I have no financial interest in recommending Sit Means Sit. Fred Hassen, the owner, bought me a couple of dinners, and that’s not nearly enough to buy my recommendation). A Mercedes would be, though.

Enjoy your dog,
– Adam Katz


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