Michael Carmona, M.S.
Mr. Carmona has a Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, and is a Certified Dog Trainer. While in graduate school, Mr. Carmona worked as a certified Senior Pet Training Instructor at Petsmart, an accredited Dog Trainer at Petco, a Dog Trainer and Behavior Specialist at Heavenly Pet Resort, K9-Loft, and private contracting for many veterinarians, groomers, and boarding facilities.
As part of Mr. Carmona's graduate program at CSULA, he conducted behavior modification services to the human population. During this time, Mr. Carmona realized that many of the behavior-change techniques used by behavior analysts were universally applicable across species, as were the scientific principles on which those techniques were based. Mr. Carmona felt that these well-validated practices used to help humans exhibiting behavior problems offered a rich and robust set of procedures and solutions for dogs with behavior problems.
Learning that behavior analysis provided a humane ethic from which to understand, predict and change dog behavior, Mr. Carmona decided to devote his life to helping canine owners with behavioral problems and founded Master Dog Training. Mr. Carmona believes in teaching dog owners about their dog's natural drives and how to work with them opposed to working against them for a harmonious relationship.
The dog training profession is not regulated and a person does not even need a certification to be a dog trainer! That means Joe Shmoe who lived with dogs all his life and has self trained his own dogs can decided to make business cards and a website and can claim to be a professional dog trainer! Whoa... that's not a good thing! So how will you know if the dog trainer you choose is giving you good advice or detrimental advice? For example, your hairdresser can give you dog advice like "if your dog barks at people, just give him a 'Shhh' and a correction." That would be the worst advice you can be given! Barking is communication; barking is the dog telling the person that if they do not stop approaching, they will bite. That is how you create a silent biter - a very quiet and unpredictable biter and a vary dangerous dog. Shelters put dogs down when they silent bite.
It is important that you look at your potential dog trainer's credentials, education, experience, and reviews!
Don't let let cheap rates guide you to a dog trainer! Cheap doesn't mean qualified.
Don't pick your dog trainer just because they trained celebrities' dogs. Training celebrities dogs does not mean competence. Don't get trapped into shopping by method. Now-a-days people are looking for positive reinforcement only methodology. This is unfortunate because dogs are individuals in different situations. Positive reinforcement alone may work great for some dogs, but not for other dogs or certain dangerous behaviors. For example, if your dog likes to run out in the street and you expect to keep him on the lawn with just treats and praise, you may have a dead dog soon. Running in the street is a dangerous and intolerable behavior that must be stopped with corrections. Sorry, but that is how behavior is changed. We don't live in a world of just rewards. Our behaviors as well as dogs behaviors are controlled by pleasant and unpleasant consequences. Another example: you may be able to ignore a small poodle jumping on you and reward when sits, but a 90 lb dog jumping on your 90 year old grandmother? No way, grandma's gonna get seriously hurt. The out come is usually the owners thinking that they hired a "professional dog trainer" and the methods failed, so it must be the dog. Then they give the dog up to the shelter. If the dog is not adopted, as the shelter fills up, they are euthanized. That is an outrageous outcome because you and your trainer wanted to only do reward training when all was needed was a simple correction. So, don't shop by the newest trendy hipster method!
Look for science based training (operant and classical conditioning), look for positive results, a good education, dog training credentials and lots of experience!
My Credentials for your Consideration
2006 PETSMART ACCREDITED PET TRAINING INSTRUCTOR
2007 MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE, PSYCHOLOGY/APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
2012 PETCO CERTIFIED DOG TRAINER
Court Order Training
Service Dog Training
AKC - CGC Testing
Mon - Fri 9am - 8pm
As a behavior analyst, I use primarily positive reinforcement (aka reward) training. However, I will make use of all the other procedures available! Using what I have learned in graduate school and certification classes, I will apply the science of operant condition (the dog learning that his/her behavior has an affect on the environment) and classical conditioning (the dog learning rewarding and punishing associations). Every dog is different and will respond differently to different procedures. I always prefer reward / positive reinforcement, but will also educate you on how to get results with other procedures.
Therefore, I will use many procedures such as positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, positive punishment, negative punishment and extinction.
For obedience training, I will be using using marking, shaping, luring, prompting, differential reinforcement of incompatible behaviors and various schedules of reinforcement, and visual and verbal cues.
For behavioral problems, I will be using dog pack psychology, counter conditioning and systematic desensitization. For serious behavioral issues, I will do an in depth analysis of the function of the dog's behavior and create a behavior modification plan.