Hi, my name is Josh Beckler...
Early on, I used compulsion-based training methods that relied on punishment and correction to teach dogs. However, as I gained more insight, I began to question the efficacy and ethics of this approach.
I came to realize that such techniques caused physical harm to dogs and often led to fear and anxiety, which could aggravate behavioral problems. As a result, I began exploring more scientific and thoughtful training methods that enabled effective communication with dogs, no matter how extreme or stressed their behavior.
In my research, I found that addressing the emotional drivers and even arousal behind extreme behavior was critical to achieving positive outcomes. I also learned to interpret a dog's body language and understand its needs, allowing me to create a comfortable and trustworthy environment for dogs.
In addition, I perform extensive research in neurobiology, physiology, animal social learning science, ethology, and fight or flight theory, informed by child psychology. My dog training approach is rooted in a holistic understanding of the canine experience, and I am currently obtaining my certification as a Canine Science Behaviorist.
My compassionate, scientifically-backed approach has made me a more successful trainer. It's gratifying to see how dogs respond positively to more gentle and empathetic techniques. Now, as a passionate advocate for positive and humane dog training, I strive to inspire others to follow suit.
MEET THE HELPERS
Boo has been involved in nearly 1400 reactivity cases and is often the first dog that we bring in to help other dogs recover and feel more confident. Her calm and social demeanor makes her a great tool for observing how a dog responds to a neutral presence. If and when your dog calms down and becomes curious, Boo is there to encourage interaction and play.
Gigi is a gentle giant. She remains very still and simply wags her tail. She makes eye contact, but does not make any sudden movements, which can help to raise the bar in terms of size and eye contact. Once your dog is comfortable, Gigi is happy to meet them and make a new friend
Waffles is a highly skilled trigger dog, trained to bark on command. He is particularly effective at helping dogs who have a tendency to seek conflict with larger dogs
Juju has been trained to bark on command and eagerly creates conflict and most commonly triggers dogs with predatory issue
Growing up, I had a difficult childhood. I lived in a neglectful and abusive home, and there were few sources of comfort and support for me. Dogs were my only escape from the pain and trauma of my daily life.
One of my fondest memories from this time was roaming the Tennessee hills with my cocker spaniel, Lela May. She was my constant companion, and the love and loyalty she showed me were a source of solace in a dark and difficult time.
Despite the challenges I faced at home, I always had a deep love and connection with dogs. They provided me with a sense of security and belonging that I couldn't find anywhere else.
Eventually, the state intervened and removed me from my home. I was placed with my aunt, who became my legal guardian and provided me with the love and support I had been missing for so long.
Although I left my childhood behind, I never forgot the role that dogs played in helping me to survive and thrive. I made a commitment to myself to use my experiences to help others, and I became a dog trainer as a way to give back to the animals that had given me so much.