Mission

The Sniff Squad mission is to improve the lives and behavior of dogs and their relationships with their humans. 

 

What I do

I help you understand your dog better and teach your dog essential skills and create a foundation of communication between you to build an unbreakable bond between you and your dog that will enable your relationship to reach its full potential. You'll learn how to communicate with your dog and teach endless lessons in obedience and behavior through body language, poise and, of course, technique.  You'll learn how to engage better with your dog in play and exercise and enrich both your lives. By instilling a balance of  appropriate structure, obedience, play and affection, you'll raise the dog you've always wanted and always had.

        Todd and Sniff SQuad

 

Hi! I'm Todd. I'm the owner and dog trainer of Sniff Squad Dog Training. I, of course, love dogs. I love all animals actually. I've always been a nature and animal nerd, especially when it comes to dogs. I'm a graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara (Go Gauchos!), a southern California native and an outdoor adventure lover.  I've been lucky to have gained experience around the world with both dogs and humans throughout my life and career including working at a cage-free dog athletic club, teaching abroad, directing events in the US and starting a dog adventure daycare business. What I love most about dogs is how they have integrated almost seamlessly into the lives of humans. Dogs have not only survived, but thrived, along side us while still retaining some of that distinct, unpredictable and precious animal wildness and instinct.

 

I've had the incredible opportunity to live and work in a few different countries around the world and found that no matter where I was, dogs were inevitably a daily part of everyone's life. I also realized, most people don't know a whole lot about the canine creatures living, literally, in their homes. So, I got to thinking, how about I help teach them? I love teaching and I love canines, so I decided to put my true passion and knowledge of dogs towards being, you guessed it, a dog trainer. My goal as a dog trainer is to not only teach your dog, but more importantly, teach you, your friends and your family about your dog. I strive to create a balance and awareness in both human and dog to allow for a true partnership that will develop and grow, even when I'm long out of the picture. 

Tools & Methods

The Balanced approach:

Generally, a balanced dog trainer uses all 4 quadrants of k9 learning theory.  In other words, we use reward based training to teach dogs to do things and we also use punishment or consequences to teach dogs what not to do. The end goal is for our process of training to be comprehensive and fair for the dog with an emphasis on compassion and understanding for the individual dog and their optimal way of learning in order to develop a healthy relationship of cooperation, mutual respect and love. Just like anything in life, this is a balance and putting too much of an emphasis on one thing can create problem or undesirable behaviors in the future.  

 

Tools:

Slip- Leash:

this is a basic leash that allows us to give pressure around the neck and teach the dog what we are communicating through the leash. The proper fitting of the slip-leash is one of the most important factors in making this leash effective and safe.  The slip leash should be fit high on the neck just behind the ears and under the chin.  For this reason a rope slip leash with a locking mechanism is best.

Prong Collar:

This is the collar with the prongs that fit all the way around the neck. This is one of the safest collars to use, despite it's appearance. The prong collar works by distributing the pressure evenly to the various prongs around the neck.  Because it distributes the pressure to many points, rather than focusing the pressure on one point, it does not damage the dogs neck like other collars might.  Also, the various points of contact allow us to give less pressure and communicate with our dogs in a more subtle way.  This collar is not a collar used solely as a punitive tool. The prong collar, when introduced properly, reduces the necessity for corrections and increases our ability to communicate effectively with our dog.  

E-collar:

E-collars or remote collars are a wonderful piece of modern technology in the dog training world. When used properly, they can allow your dog complete off leash freedom and give you peace of mind like nothing else.  This is NOT a shock collar, although it does have the potential to inflict an extremely uncomfortable electric stimulation.  I say it's not a "sock collar" because we don't EVER use it in a way that shocks the dog into submission.  Using an e-collar in that way is irresponsible and for that reason, I do not suggest using an e-collar without the guidance of a professional. The reality is, when used properly, e-collars allow us to communicate an the most subtle and humane ways.  The e-collar also can not physically hurt your dog. We use high-quality e-collars from E-collar technologies (other good brands include Dogtra and Garmin) and with up to 100 levels of stimulation, we can be extremely subtle with our communication. We use levels of stimulation from 0-10 of which humans can't feel. We take our time to condition the dog to those very low levels of stimulation and coordinate the touch of the e-collar with the obedience commands the dog already knows. The e-collar eventually becomes an extension of our leash and gives us the ability to keep our dog safe from up to 1/2 mile away.