Dean was the kid who always brought home the strays he found in the neighborhood and always had a variety of pets growing up from mice, gerbils, fish, cats and dogs. He always knew he had an affinity towards animals and a natural ability to connect with them. That connection continued throughout his life with many of his own dogs which included a mutt when he was a child, four chow chows, a lab and several bichons.
During his 20+ year sales career, Dean volunteered at local shelters to walk, bathe and train dogs and assisted several rescues with adoption and fundraising events, fostering and transports. In addition, Dean sat on the board of a local spay & neuter clinic and worked for a microchip company as well. After putting his own dog through training 10 years ago, Dean decided to pursue his passion with animals as a dog trainer.
He attributes he connection with animals to his solid spiritual practice of daily prayer and meditation which garners him a strong intuition of what is going on with the dog. His friends are amazed at how animals naturally gravitate to him as if they’ve known him forever. Even the most fearful and threatened animals feel his sense of calm and tranquility. He has the uncanny ability to get dogs to do whatever needs to be done.
Dean is a practitioner in several different healing modalities which he uses in his work with dogs and has seen some amazing results! On a spiritual path for over 30 years Dean has learned and incorporated many of the lessons on his journey with his work with dogs. He believes his strength as a dog trainer includes connecting to the animals through kindness and compassion at a soul level.
Dean has a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola University where he had a rat for one of his lab projects and utilized Skinnerian Operant Condition training . He is currently a CPDT-KA Certified Professional dog trainer through the CCPDT council and has completed the Karen Pryor Foundations dog training course and Susan Smith Learning Theory courses and is Pet First Aid and CPR certified. He is a Professional member of with the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and a Supporting Member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), as well as a member of the Pet Guild. As of recent he was the VP on the Board of a Low Cost Spay & Neuter organization assisting with fundraising and events. He is very active at his local shelter walking and bathing dogs as well as co-teaching the free dog training obedience classes offered at the city shelter for people who have adopted from there. He is part of a local training group to continue his knowledge in the dog training field. He has his own online pet apparel products business that he runs part-time called ZodiacDog.com, which includes boutique leashes, collars, harnesses and custom-made dog bowls. The tag line is “A Fun Way to Celebrate Your Pets Personality.”
On any given day you can find Dean with his 12 year old Bichon, Louie, whether it is on a walk by the river, at the beach, at the dog park, or doing volunteer work at the shelter. He enjoys helping friends and neighbors with their dogs, teaching obedience or dog sitting/walking or whatever is needed, as long as there is a dog involved!
If you’re ever at an event and don’t see Dean, go find out where the dogs are and that’s where he’ll be!