Where did you go to school?
Pikesville High, class of 1986 and the National Institute of Dog Training.
What book or film most changed your life?
The Dog's Mind by Dr. Bruce Fogle.
What's the bravest thing you've ever done?
Telling my family that I wanted to train dogs and leave a fairly lucrative business career. (I was an insurance agent.)
When were you most tempted to leave Baltimore?
When I got my last BGE bill.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Depends on the stage of my life. Either Mayim Bialik (TV's Blossom) or Harvey Fierstein.
What is the most common mistake that dog owners make?
Probably too much freedom too early, which leads to instability, anxiety, and housebreaking issues.
Can any dog be trained?
99.9 percent, yes. Sometimes, it really depends how bad we humans have screwed them up. Some dogs are more resilient. Just like people.
Dog fighting has been in the news a lot lately. Can those poor victims ever be pets?
Of course! My Daisy was used as bait in a pit ring. Now she is my lead dog for childhood education and sleeps with my six-year-old every night.
Are you ever in danger when training dogs?
Yes; however, it is all in how the dog perceives you. If a dog perceives you as a threat, or has fear-based aggression, the way I approach a dog has to be calm and confident. They usually learn to control by fear. My job is to reverse that.
What's your favorite thing about dogs?
Dogs live in the moment, simply loving the world they're in. Even dogs in the most abused situations are usually filled with love and gratitude. When was the last time you heard two retrievers gossiping about that poodle with the outdated collar at the dog park?
What was the most surprisingly naughty behavior you ever witnessed?
From humans or dogs?