L.S. What makes your training methods different than more traditional methods used by some other tv personality dog trainers?
V.S. It is much safer, family friendly, dog friendly and humane. And it follows the latest science. The positive reinforcement training methods I adhere to encourage these animals to learn and problem solve. The old dog training style is about people thinking for the dog by instilling their will on that dog. Problem solving, however, provides security and confidence for dogs. It helps create a happy, healthy, confident dog. The old way is destructive. It gets short term results because it can be scary for the dog to not do what they are told. And it causes all kinds of stress in the long run. If anybody did to children what dominance based trainers do to dogs, they would be put in jail. Dogs are like kids because both rely on us 100%.
L.S. Tell us a little about your dogs at home.
V.S. Sadie is a 10 year old Chocolate Lab that we rescued at age five when her person died. Jasmine is a one year old Chihuahua mix that we recently adopted from a shelter. They are just delightful, lovely companions, to us and to our daughter.
L.S. How do you spend your time helping dogs when you aren’t filming your tv show?
V.S. Recently, I have been speaking at schools in the Atlanta area, on behalf of Homeless Pet Clubs. Started by Veterinarian Dr. Good, school children sponsor a dog or cat in a shelter and they help market that pet until it is adopted. Volunteers speak to school children about safety and love and teach the children what it feels like to be a dog. The mission of The Homeless Pets Foundation is to help homeless pets nationwide get out of shelters and into loving, forever homes.