Episode 1 – Cheri Burger

 

Cheri Burger is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer with 10 years of experience training dogs of all ages, breeds, and temperaments. Cheri came to love dogs much later in life when she was introduced to a big rescue dog that ignited her passion. Bagley was an 18-month-old Labrador mix that showed her all the love and fun dogs have to offer. She is committed to force-free training methods and joined the Pet Professional Guild and the Force-Free Trainers of Wisconsin. Both organizations are dedicated to educating the public about humane training methods. Cheri offers group classes for dogs of all ages from puppies to seniors. She also offers private training and behavior modification training.


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 Cheri Burger is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer, with 10 years of experience training dogs of all ages, breeds and temperaments. Cheri came to love dogs much later in life when she was introduced to a big rescue dog that ignited her passion. Bagley was an 18-month-old Labrador mix that showed her all the love and fun dogs had to offer. She is committed to force-free training methods and join the Pet Professional Guild and the Force-Free Trainers of Wisconsin. Both organizations are dedicated to educating the public about humane training methods. Sherry offers group classes for dogs of all ages, from puppies to seniors, and she also offers private training and behavior modification.

 Hi Cheri. Welcome to the show. Thank you, Rachael. Happy to be here. Yeah, I’m excited to have you. You are with Dog Lady. And you are in the southeast Wisconsin area. So I’m excited to really just chat with you and learn a little bit more about what you’re doing and what life is like for you as a dog trainer in Wisconsin. So why don’t you kick us off and just tell us a little bit about how you got into this and what inspired you to start dog training? Well, that’s an interesting story. I did not grow up with dogs. I only had cats growing up. I wasn’t really around dogs, most of my life. I found dogs to be kind of needy. And I didn’t understand why people dressed them up and put them in their car and took them every single place with them. 

Then, when I turned 42 years old, my husband and I decided we wanted to get a dog because he adored dogs. So he went to different shelters until he found Bagley. Big, underweight, best guess, Lab Roddy Mix, who was all black and kind of intimidating looking and he fell in love with this dog. I said OK, bring him on home. And then I started walking with this guy and he was yanking me all over the neighborhood and wanted to go and greet every dog. I was what was going on. Like, what’s happening is this thing gonna kill somebody. What are we doing? So I thought, I better find something out. So I got the book, The Other End of the Leash by Dr. Patricia McConnell. Okay. And I read that book and it turned a light bulb on in my head because I tried some of the techniques that she talked about in that book, and it totally worked. And I started seeing Bagley differently, so we took him to a training class. It wasn’t a great training class at the time, but we went and he was easy to train, and it just made it so easy for me. 

So a few years went by and I love this dog. I want to get a puppy. So we got Kobe. Got Kobe from the same shelter, Albrook Humane Society, where we got Bagley and, um, took him to class. And by this time, I really wanted to do something with dogs. I didn’t know what. And the training class I went to, I talked to my instructor and said, How do you get into this? I was looking at going away to a class, going away to a school or whatever. And she said, No, no, most of this is done, you know, on the job. You kind of learn it. And they were looking for assistance at the time. So I applied and got hired as an assistant and adored it, and within a few weeks they were fast-tracking me to become an instructor. Wow. Because they’re really connected with the people end of it. 

And from there I just couldn’t learn enough. I had my hands on everything, went to everything I could and in 2011 then I became a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Yeah, I think what’s really cool about that is it’s never too late to find what you’re passionate about, right? Like you said, some people really, they know at a really young age like this is what they want to do and I love it for you. It didn’t happen until 42 right? You were just kind of like sure, why not? Let’s get a dog and let’s see. I never. I never, ever expected to become a trainer. I don’t know anything about it. Um, and then in ah, the end of 2014 I left that particular organization and started my own business. Okay. Dog Lady. And doing it now for the last five years, Yeah, hasn’t always been easy, but I’m starting to make some headway now and kind of a reputation in the community. So it’s been an awesome journey.

 Yeah, Yeah, I think that’s the hard part, right? Starting your own business is never easy, right? Getting clients and all of that. But I think the part that drives that, though, is the relationship side of things. And you definitely seem to have that. And I think that is such a big component of owning your own business and venturing out on your own right, especially with dog training, because you don’t want to steal clients from the company that you trained with and all of that. Oh no, don’t know that. There’s plenty of clients to go around. Yeah, but I mean that that’s a challenge. People think, Well, that’s where I started, those are my clients so. That’s not the ethical thing to do. But that is a challenge, right? Stepping out on your own. And so I think you need that. passion, right? To really know, like, this is what I want to do. This is where I belong. And then you put every fiber of your being into making that work, right. So I’m really glad to see that you’re doing that and five years later, here you are. And we’re so happy to have you on the show, you know, Thank you.

 For the first month, when I announced on Facebook, Here I am. Yeah, Phone was dead. That has to be really frustrating. It is because you just don’t know. But a very wise man told me that starting a business is like pushing a flywheel. It’s really hard to get it going. But once you keep pushing and pushing, it’ll start going on its own. And I’m finally at that point. Yeah. I had a lot of hurdles. I had a lot of tragedy. I don’t know if I told you this, my husband died. I started a business in October of 2014 and my husband died in February of 2015. Oh, you know, that was the whole other, and dog training gave me to get through that dog training. Gave me purpose. Yeah. So that’s what kept me kind of above. You know, kept me from coming completely undone. Yeah. And I just got chills, right? Because it’s one thing to start your own business and have the support of a spouse because you have their support, right? And now you’ve lost that. I definitely Yeah, that’s heartbreaking, right? At the same time, I love that you were able to just dig in and know that he supported you in that and he believed in you and what you could do. And so that was that driving force to say, If I give up on this, I’m giving up on him, right? And he wouldn’t want that. Bob, my husband and Bagley, that first dog, who is actually the dog on my logo, is Bagley. They changed my life forever into a direction I never expected. Yeah, um, so of course I do it to honor them both and to honor Bob. And because it’s something I adore now.

 No, I love that. It definitely comes across. I can hear it in your voice. And I appreciate that. And I think that’s what clients connect to, right? I mean they don’t, they buy into your philosophy and your techniques and all of that, but I do think it’s a person to person relationship, right? Like, you wanna like your trainer. You want them to get you and to understand you. And I don’t know, I’m just such a big believer in those relationships, and I really feel like I get that from you. One of the things I tell my clients is I believe in positive reinforcement for all species. So while I’m encouraging, you know, the dogs and rewarding them, I’m also trying to do the same thing with the human end of the leash. And I have had clients tell me, man, you’re the first trainer I’ve been to that actually told me I was doing a good job, and that made me happy, but sad at the same time. Yeah, you know that it is getting better out there, but if we don’t, if we don’t support the human end, it’s not gonna work. Yeah, it’s true.

So on that note, Cheri, I kind of want to talk a little bit about your training philosophy, like talk to me about how you where you started and where you’ve evolved to and kind of how people are reacting to that. Well, I’m lucky that I didn’t. There’s a lot of trainers, called crossover trainers or one that started out using the more traditional punitive methods of training. A choke chain, Pong collars, you know, jerking the leash, pushing on the dog, that kind of thing. I, the first class I took with Bagley, we had some of that. I didn’t know any better, and luckily he was pretty easy going. Some dogs wouldn’t be, um, but for the most part, after that, after that one class I took, I was all about positive reinforcement training, which people don’t know what that means. It means re reinforce behaviors that we want the dog to repeat, and that reinforcement has to be something the dog was willing to work for. It could be food. It could be toys, it could be the ability to go outside, it could be scratched behind the ears, whatever the dog finds rewarding. And that’s true for all of us. We all have different things that make us fly. Make us want to do more. Um, so I will never use pain or fear to train a dog. It’s not necessary.

 I have just seen it over and over again, where you light up a dog and they can’t wait to do stuff for you. The more you encourage them, the more you reinforce them, the more they offer you worth with. When you use punitive measures, the dogs will learn not to do things, but that’s as far as they go. They don’t want to offer any more in case it’s wrong and they get punished. And I want a dog that offers tons of stuff. I mean, my Bagley, I’d start training him and he’d throw every behavior he knew at me. I lift this paw, I’ll lift that paw, spin in a circle. I’ll hop, i’ll bark. What do you want? What do you want, what do you want? And ah, he loved to learn until I mean, he was learning stuff till the summer before he died, at almost the age of 14. He was happy to do it. And that’s what I want to see in both my students. Both the human and canine end. Is that enthusiasm and joy and fun and learning.

 Yeah, you mentioned you know, that people don’t know any better, right? And I think that’s that. It can’t be more true. I mean, I had a puppy at one point and you go to a class and you are like, I’m at your mercy, right? Whatever you say, it’s like when you go to a doctor, you go to any specialist. They tell you and your like, you’re the expert, so I’ll just listen to you, right? So not all trainers are created equally. Not all doctors are created equally. And so I think you have to find that right fit. But I think it is important for people to realize that just because you went to one trainer doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the be-all, end-all. They know exactly what it is. I think it’s the right fit for, to your point, is the right fit for the person and for the dog. And all dogs have different personalities right there, just like people we don’t. We don’t connect with everyone the same way, we just don’t. Right.

 So you just think there’s a lot of variables in finding a trainer and finding the right pairing? I mean, that has to be hard. It is. There’s so much information on the Internet that goes in all kinds of different directions that you can find almost anything. Um, the one thing that most of us in the posit training world, me especially, as I always tell people you’re welcome to come in and observe a class, see if it fits for you. See if this is okay for you. I have had a few people do that, and they almost always take the class. Yeah, if something is not making you comfortable, If you get that little nagging, this doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. And I tell them, in my class, “ If I’m showing you something that you’re not sure of, it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it.” Yeah, I will find something that works. People can think well like you said, they it’s ah, it’s the trainer must know, but not always. I mean, you can have to do your due diligence. What education has a trainer had? What continuing education do they get? Do they keep up on things, you know, on the latest science and dog training? There’s so much. There’s so many resources out there to help you learn. I definitely agree, right? There’s definitely a lot of information on the Internet. It’s not all true. Hopefully, at this point, people really hold that it’s scary because sometimes you get paralyzed with all that information and you don’t know what to do.

 I do like that, you made the comment, it’s like, I wrote a note down. It says, try before you buy right? That’s super smart, from a business standpoint, I think that’s clever. I think it builds rapport. I think it builds trust. Interesting. I don’t know if all trainers do that, but I think it’s a great idea. You know, I’m always happy to do that. I tell people I’m happy to talk to you. I’m happy to explain anything I do. Nothing is in weird little wish-washy terms. It’s all very concrete. This is exactly how it works. Yeah. I am very transparent on my own website where I have a little video about what to expect. You know, what question you should ask a trainer. I explain exactly how it works. So if you come to me and you don’t know how I train, you haven’t done your homework because I have it out there. It’s completely transparent.

 Yeah, and I’m glad you bring that up, because I did check out your website and you do have the trainers challenge out there. Um and you do have three questions. So I want to kind of just talk about that, cause I feel like it also goes with your philosophy and who you are, right? And what you do. You basically say that you should be asking three questions, What happens to my dog if my dog gets it right? What happens to my dog, if my dog gets it wrong? And then are there less aversive alternatives to what you propose? And I think those are three really good questions, right? For people who are looking for trainers. So where did you come up with those questions, or did you find them through someone else and they just work for you? Tell me. Actually, Jean Donaldson, who is well known in the training world. She wrote the Culture Clash, among other things, she has her own training, online training school called the Academy, which is very, very well regarded. It’s like the Yale of dog training online courses. She actually came up with those. They’re not anything I made up. I’m not that smart. Sure, I thought there they really give. And if anybody goes to any trainer, ask these questions because you’ll get somewhat, We have to correct the dog. What does that mean exactly? What does correct mean? You know, you have to know exactly what it means to know what’s happening with your dog. Yeah, you know, and even in my video, when I explained this, I had to laugh because I was saying, What do you do when your dog gets it, what exactly happens when the dog gets it wrong? At that moment, my dog, Bagley was there trying to get my attention, like, Oh, good, this is gonna go well. It is a good example, though. Yeah, I did. I said, Well, I don’t pay any attention to the wrongs, you know, I don’t give him attention for that. And sure enough, he just wanted and ended up wandering away. You just hit re-record, right? But that was purely, I was all done in one take, you know, that that’s pretty much how it works. Um, if you don’t know what’s gonna exactly happen, your dog, you know, there could be horrible things happen to your dog, right? And we don’t want that.

 For some reason, in this industry, it seems to be okay to apply electricity to a dog or to, you know, jerk on their necks or punish them in some way. That seems to be okay. Where, I don’t know what other, if you do that to our children, you go to prison, right? It’s tough, they’re living beings that have, you know, the brain. They are smart, and they can learn things without being tortured or punished, you know? Yeah. There is a lot of that out there, unfortunately, and like anything, it is about education, right? Getting the word out there and helping people understand why there’s a better way, and that’s that’s my main goal in life is to try to educate as best I can in the small little, my small little world. We can only do it, one dog team, at a time, and hopefully, the word gets out there. 

What would you say to someone who’s listening to this that found them, that finds themselves in a situation, like you did at 42, where they want to get into this industry, right? They want to train dogs. Um, right, you were lucky enough and quickly enough, right? Able to find, you know, a position, right? As an assistant with an organization. What would you say to someone who wanted to get into that,either positive or negative, like challenges? Advice? What would you say to someone? Well, to get into it, the first thing I would say, take as many classes with your own dog that you can, because being in a classroom situation, you can watch other trainers and see how they do it. You have to learn how to train your own dog. There’s so much wonderful material out there. Books, videos, webinars, all kinds of things. There’s organizations you can look into, belong to. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers is one of them. There’s a lot of different places there’s, now there’s some really, really good online schools. I happen to be a mentor for Catch. I’ve had colleagues go through the online stuff, and have gotten some really good mentoring and education. You know, it is a hard business because people, you kind of have to have a reputation for you to even start, and that’s really hard. So it’s just working with your friends, working with your friends’ dogs, having them get the word out, and it just starts up small a little at a time.

 So patients and passion two things that are key to getting into this dog training. As is with any business. But it is too in this business too. And I will tell you there are, you know, the statistic is that only like 90%, only 10% of dogs actually get through, get trained. Okay, so think of that other 90% that are out there. Yeah, that people are struggling. That’s crazy. It isn’t it. That’s crazy. I always applaud my clients. If you’re in the top 10%. Yeah, people do. I’ve had dogs for 40 years. Yeah, but how’s it going right on.  My own uncle labeled his dog as stupid and stubborn, but he never once trained him to do anything. So how is he stupid or stubborn? He doesn’t know. Yeah. It does. It does fall on the owner. The dog is being a dog. Everything the dog does is a natural dog behavior. Yeah. The problem we have in our world is their natural dog behaviors don’t always fit into our world. So it’s our job to show them what works in our world and what doesn’t and how they can be happy in our world. Yeah. They’re not doing things here to irritate you. They’re not doing things to spite you, they’re just being a dog, right. That’s all they are doing.

When animals are adopted, from rescues and shelters and the adopter takes them home and they’re settling them in, is there, when you’re talking to people, is there a period of time where either A) they need to get them in training right away, or B) do you let them settle into their new home, learn what their habits are, where they need help and then reach out to a trainer? Is that something that you encourage or shelters and rescues and courage right from adoption. Do they say, Great, you know, here’s Bagley. We recommend you get him into training. Here’s what we’ve learned and what I always tell people when they call me. I just had a client call me.” We’re getting a puppy, a dog tomorrow, what should we do?” I say the dog needs two weeks to decompress. Okay. They are usually coming into a home and kind of a little bit of a state of shock. They don’t know what’s happened to them. They don’t understand what’s happening. They don’t know who you are. So giving them two weeks, if they come from a shelter situation, which I look at it from a dog’s point of view. It’s loud. It’s scary. There’s lots of dogs barking. There’s different people in and out of there. They have no idea what’s happening. They’re a little bit shocked. So they need two weeks just to get some decent sleep, just to feel safe. Um, to learn, where’s the door to go potty? When do I eat? Where do I eat? Who are you? The first 2 things I tell anybody who gets a new puppy or a new dog is your dog has to learn that you are safe and that you’re pleasant. That starts the relationship building. Sure, that dog feels that it’s not under threat. So I say, please take two weeks just to get to know this dog. It takes three days for the dog to figure out, you know what’s happened to them. It takes three weeks for them to feel, like, I actually live here now and then it takes three months for the dogs, actually, to have the personality start to emerge. You don’t even know what you have, for a while. A class is fine. Or having a trainer come over and help is fine. But I always like, you know, I’m not too worried about teaching them to sit down, stay and come the first 2 days they are there, you know that’s not the important stuff right now.  It’s just them learning that they’re safe, that life is gonna be pleasant and they feel they don’t feel under threat. That’s the first thing they have to learn.

 Then, of course, training is always fun. It’s also a great bonding experience. The dog learned, even more, to trust you because you’re teaching them things. You’re rewarding them. They’re like and this is awesome. All I have to do is put my butt on the ground and I get a cookie? Alright! I’ll do that and it just can bloom from there. Now you have a relationship built. And that’s where it all happens. Okay, I like the breakdown, right. Three days, three weeks, three months. I like it. I didn’t think of that either. I wish I was that smart. That’s something. But that’s what I like, though, its really education, right? And talking to others and learning and using the resources that are out there. And then using the things that work for you. So that may not always work for, you know, somebody in a different region of the country or that might not work for a specific dog, right? So I think you do have to figure that out.

But I do, it was interesting to me when you said three months before you see their personality, right? At first I was like, Why that long, right? That was my thought. They’ve been shooked down, they haven’t been able to be what they are. And sometimes it’s good, we find this dog is just awesome. And other times it comes out not so good, because now they’re past does come to so-called bite you. Um, we and we always tell my class we don’t know their past, and they’re not gonna tell you. We have to work with the dog in front of us, right? And help them if they have a lot of fear issues. Let’s work on that. A lot of aggression we see is more times than not, due to fear, because it’s a defensive measure. Um, and for people, it’s a shock. You know, everybody wants to have Lassie in their home, where it’s just this lovely dog that just adores you and follows you around or does anything at any time for you. But that’s not always the case. Rarely is it the case. Yeah, and that knowing the dog’s past. And although some dogs have had horrific pasts and come out just fine. Yeah. The Michael Vick dogs, who were tortured, a lot of them totally became, you know, therapy dogs. Yeah. So you just can’t just discount a dog either because they may have had a, I’ve had dogs with scars all over, they’re just the most lovely dogs ever.

 You don’t know. And just like people, right, we all have our own coping mechanisms. I’m and the same thing happens with animals. And so, to your point, you just don’t know until you know, Right? Right. You know, I tell people, what if you were plucked up out of your home, dropped in outer Mongolia? You have no idea what happened. You can’t speak this language. You don’t know this culture. It’s like, What are they doing? What’s going on? Yeah. How are you coping with that? Yeah. You know, you’re gonna shut down and kind of back off until you figure out the lay of the land and that’s what our dogs do.

 What is that thing that drives you and makes you want to continue down this path, helping the ones that you do come in contact with? It’s a great question because we talk about this in our industry all the time, about self-care because there’s compassion, There’s burnout. There’s all of those kinds of things that happen. And we all have those moments. I’ve had moments where you will come back to a class and just want to throw my treat bag against the wall and go, I’m not making any difference in anybody’s life. 

So I belong to an organization, Force-Free Trainers of Wisconsin, that we are a bunch of like-minded trainers, a kind of a consortium from around the state, that we do support each other so when we are having those bad moments, I have other colleagues to help. As an individual business owner, all of us are kind of working on an island. I don’t have co-workers. There’s just me. So that helps. Um, also those little moments when I get a great email from somebody saying, Boy, this was the best class ever, or, you know, you’ve made a big difference in my life with this dog, and that’s the stuff that, you get that little, that’s my positive reinforcement. That’s my clique treat when I could see Okay, fine. I am making a difference. I am helping. Yeah, right. Um, you go through spells where you don’t think you are. But then you find out later, sometimes you don’t know you are, until later. So with people that will contact me. I can barely remember them or their dog. But oh, you know what a difference. I’ve sent all of my friends to you. And so that’s kind of what you hang on to. You know, you’re not going to save everyone. I’ve had, you know, clients that aren’t buying what I’m selling. Sure. All I can do is put it out there and it’s up to them too, you know, grasp it and run with it. Yeah, it is those little things. And as much as we talk about positive reinforcement with the dogs, right, we as humans need positive reinforcement too. Yes, we do. I will be completely honest, with my own dog, Shiloh. She is not very food motivated. And, yeah, she’s a trick. She’s a happy girl. And sometimes I don’t even want a train because it’s just frustrating to me. Other times, like last night, I did a little train session with her and she was awesome. She was on board. I’m like, alright, here we go. Right. But I have to know this is this dog and this is how she acts. So I get how my clients feel frustrated at times too. Yeah, but we feel the same thing as trainers. 

Yeah, again, I’m gonna use the doctor industry. Because I feel like we see people or even take like a CEO for a corporation, right? We see people at certain levels, in certain industries, and we’re like, Well, they’re better than us or they don’t need that or they have it all together. They are and that’s not exactly true. I mean, in our own industry, A very sad thing was Dr. Sophia Yin. She was a Veterinary Behaviorist and had a great career and was doing lots of videos. And that’s, I had the privilege of meeting her and Bob Bailey, another big name in California, one time went to a seminar, and then a few years later she committed suicide. So it’s a big thing. That’s, you know, veterinarians have a high rate of suicide, and we see it because we care so much and we feel like we’re not good enough, we’re not doing enough, and I, we all go through it, every one of us. I can tell you the other trainers I work with, so our job is with each other. We try to hold each other up. So that’s what I say with my colleagues. I don’t feel like I’m competing with them. Sure. We are there to support each other. And if somebody doesn’t work well with me, hey, I got a whole bunch of other people I can send you to that maybe you’ll click better with. We all just want these families and their dogs to get the best that work for them, so they can live a better life together. 

Yeah, it was beautifully, beautifully stated. We’re all human. And I think we need to remember that. It doesn’t matter where we came from, where we live. We all have the same feelings. We all have the same emotions. We all need the same support system. All of us have that doubt, that am I doing this right? Am I good enough at this? Every time I go to a seminar, which I go to two or three times a year and there’s all my colleagues and trainers from all over, I always feel like I don’t know why I’m here. They’re all obviously all smarter than me. I got to learn a couple of things and I’m okay. My clients think I know everything. I’m like, Oh, honey, you have no idea there’s so much to learn. Yeah, I think continuous education is a huge piece of that, um and so is our industry. Right, it’s in every industry isn’t it? Yeah. You don’t want to meet a graduate from med school in 1955 never learning, but they are a doctor. So you’re still gonna trust them, right? I mean, you have, anybody that has that week and we have, you know, I love our vet. We have great veterinarians out there. They have to learn so much. I have nothing but respect, but they don’t always learn a lot about behavior. But once a veterinarian tells somebody something, it is gospel. That’s what my vet said. I’m like, I wouldn’t ever give you medical information. I don’t know anything about it, but sometimes our vets don’t keep up with what’s the latest in the training world. So they’re going on the things that they knew as a kid or whatever. Yeah, so that’s, you know, the struggle. Yeah. No, I think that’s where the communication and education comes in, right? Like we all we need, we need to kind of cross those lines right and make those actions and talk to people and share the knowledge that we have. Exactly. 

 In our Force Free Trainer group, we have four or five different veterinarians that are part of the group, and so they do a lot of behavior assessments, and one of them is actually going on to become a Veterinary Behaviorist, which is kind of like going on to get her psychiatric degree in vetting. And veterinary, it’s a big deal. It takes four years in addition to vet school. So she’s really, you know, she’s gonna be a big asset to our community, to have somebody who can assess behavior and also see if there’s medical support for this animal. Also, yeah, we do work with veterinarians a lot. If there’s high panic or anxiety with the dog, sometimes we can support them not just with training with house, but also sometimes a little bit of antidepressant or something can help or anti-anxiety meds and help just work together. So having a partner like that is just invaluable. Yeah, no. And what a commitment, right? I mean, I know that vet school in itself is a commitment and another four years, right? That’s a huge commitment. Kudos for doing that. I think that’s amazing. We need more of them. There’s only like, last I heard I could be wrong was 50 some in the whole country. The closest one is actually in Chicago. So we need one desperately in this area. So we’re so fortunate that this particular gal is, you know, in our group. And I’ve met her and spoke with her and was with her at a seminar. And she’s just, she’s great. She already helped me with one of my clients who had a very difficult case. So she was able to come in and help them. Yeah, and I think that’s a benefit to your clients in that, you know, if your client comes to you and you’re helping them and you hit that brick wall, it’s nice to know that you have a group of people, like-minded people that you can go to and say I’ve tried to these things and that’s not working, So help me. It’s almost like you’re consulting right, and I am, I’m a Certified Professional Dog Trainer. But we have people in a group that are Certified Behavior Consultants, which is a little different, it’s a little more. I do work on behavior cases, but when I get stuck, I have resources going, I have done that, and I will continue to do that because I want help for this animal. Yeah. A lot of times I will tag along with them, at no cost to the client, so I can get a learning experience from watching them at work. So I think it’s like you said, education never ends, right? No, I think that’s, I think that’s very cool.

 I know where time is nearing Cheri. Is there anything else that maybe we didn’t get to talk about that you want to chat about before we wrap this up? Mainly, I like to tell people to have fun training your dog. It should be fun. It’s not about drilling. It’s not about I gotta get 1/2 hour training. Make it fun. If it’s fun, the dog first. We’ve learned play makes dogs learn things faster. Okay. Fun, they learn it way quicker than just rote repetition. It should always be fun always and have fun with your dog. And I don’t expect dogs to be perfect. I’m certainly not perfect. So enjoy the dog you have. You don’t look at that, what we call, whatever your definition of perfect is, none of us are gonna get there. Right. It’s true. I’m certainly not perfect.  How can I expect my dogs to be perfect for crying out loud, you know, they’re perfect the way they are. That’s what I’d like to tell people. You have to accept, right? We have to accept people. And if you’re struggling, there’s plenty of resources out there to help. Yeah, great way to wrap it up.

 There are tons of resources out there and lots of trainers in the area. And so that’s kind of our goal with this podcast, right is just to get the word out. We want to encourage people to reach out to trainers, and we want trainers, you know, making connections with rescues and shelters. And we just want to spread the good word. There are so many things out there. And as we talked about earlier, just because all that information is out on the Internet, doesn’t make it all truthful. And so you know it’s hard. You’re reading a page you’re reading. Google’s right, you’re doing all that.  I just feel like an important part of what we’re doing is we’re talking to you guys and people are getting to know you and we’re building relationships. We’re building that personality with you and supporting you in that and so that, for us, is a huge priority for us in this. So again. Thank you, Cherie. You’re welcome. Thank you.

 Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. Please make sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and be sure to give us a review so we could help even more animals. Don’t forget to sign up on Doobert.com to join the tens of thousands of Dooberteers across the country and around the world helping animals and the organizations working to save them.”

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2 thoughts on “Episode 1 – Cheri Burger

  1. We took our pup to Cheri’s K-9 Kindergarten class in Dec 2019 and couldn’t have been happier with what we learned, what our pup learned and the positive approach she uses. Highly recommend Cheri and hope to take more classes in the future.

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