Apprentice Assistance Dog Trainer
- I’ve been dog crazy since I was 5 and knew that dogs had to always be a part of my life.
- I’ve always loved and wanted to work with animals, and dogs are easier to get access to – versus a Grizzly Bear or a Killer Whale!
- It’s a versatile profession that allows me to work just about anywhere in the world, and potentially do 100 different jobs: private lessons, working with an animal shelter, herding geese with a trained Border collie, or training Assistance Dogs to help people with hearing loss or children with Autism.
- It’s never boring because every behavior, for every dog I work with, is different. I need to figure out the puzzle of how their personality, prior experiences, breed, age, and environment fit together with what I want to accomplish. I never know how fast or easily they’ll learn it, and I become a better trainer with every dog.
- I get to help improve the life of every dog that I work with, as well as the person it assists and partners with for life.
Mike is halfway through DBL’s Apprentice program to become an Assistance Dog Trainer. He has trained dogs privately for several years on his own, as well as 11 years training Border collies for goose control in NE Illinois & SE Wisconsin. Mike spent his whole life exploring the fields, forests, and creeks of Northern Wisconsin & Illinois looking for wildlife. He’s thrilled to now be exploring the vastly different mountains, rivers, coastline, and forests of Oregon with his girlfriend Meghan and their dog Cash, a pointer mix that they rescued from a shelter and Mike trained at part-time in Illinois.