Reasons to Take Ben Kersen’s Pro Dog Trainers Program -PART 2 – by Breeann Roberts

Reasons to take Ben Kersen’s Professional Dog Trainers Program – PART 2
By Breeann Roberts

Techniques are straight forward and easy to apply once learned: This not only helps you, as it’s easier to retain and use, but it will help your future clients! The easier the techniques, the easier to teach, and the easier that the dogs will learn it!

Video feedback: You’d be surprised what you might be doing without realizing it! With video feedback you can see yourself and your body language from an external point of view. This includes feedback on your technique from instructors about what you need improvement on, and how to achieve it.

Techniques work with all dogs: Regardless of breed or age!

Multiple training techniques/methods are covered: This way you will have many different approaches that you can take towards one dog’s potential problems or obstacles in order to succeed.

Course covers many subjects: From business and marketing, to trick shows and special events, you’ll get info from some of the top dog trainers in the world about their live events and how they organize and run them.

Guest speakers: During the course, you will be meeting different guest speakers from various different fields (all dog related) with in-person demonstrations and lots of time for Q & A.

Speak with past graduates: In person and via speakerphone to listen to lectures on varying topics and to ask any questions you may have. You will hear about their personal success and any obstacles they faced and how they got over them.

Program focuses on FUN and PRAISE: The whole training method revolves around engaging and motivating the dog to perform, with incredible results.

Run club: This concept, developed by Ben Kersen, is quite unique and has dramatic long lasting effects that take hold very quickly. The concept involves movement, pack, and covering distance. The dogs natural instincts to move with their pack takes hold and you will have a dog that is always looking at you for where you might want to go next. Every Saturday morning you will be welcomed to go along with Ben and some of his clients for run club to increase the bond you have with your dog.

Interactive games: Sometimes you will play interactive games including all classmates and your dogs. These games can be used in your future careers and definitely involve some laughter. Although these games are fun, they also hone the dog’s skills and boost their confidence. Whose dog can sit back down the fastest in ‘Duck, Duck, Goose!?’

Grad Facebook group: Once you have graduated you will be invited to the past graduate’s Facebook page, where you will be able to network with hundreds of past grads, now working in a variety of fields. If you ever have a training question, you can ask in this group and get advice from many extraordinary trainers about what you might try next. Sometimes there are unique training situations that are not covered in any course and this would be your opportunity to learn from those that have been working in the field for years about their personal technique or method to overcome whatever obstacle may be blocking the dog you are working with. You will feel the support of many who have been and are in your shoes!

Lots of video footage and literature: There are hundreds and hundreds of videos available to view, but not enough time to cover them all during course hours. These are always available to take home with you. There are also hundreds of books that you are welcome to borrow.

Make new friends! You will meet people with the same interest and passion for working with animals that you have. Some of these people will likely become your friends and you could form a long lasting friendship. Knowing other trainers is a huge advantage. You would have the opportunity to work together or to create a partnership of some kind as well if you decided to do that.

Bring your own dog(s) or a family member or friend’s dog: Go home with an incredibly trained dog or dogs! You dog will be your ambassador, and you will go home with a highly trained dog that you can show off to family, friends, and clients! Your dog and you will have a better, stronger relationship, and your dog will gain a lot of confidence and patience. Your dog will have the skills to potentially save its life in the future. Just going for a simple off leash walk could promote your business! When people see the fun that you are having they will want to talk to you J

Free training: Work with other people’s dogs to get you hands-on experience working with new client’s dogs. From novice puppies to old dogs learning new tricks, you’ll get to play with them all! Afterwards, you’ll get to listen to the instructors answer any questions that the clients have about that day’s training (as they will be watching). Listening to the instructors and clients talking after the training gives you valuable insight on working with people.

Increase your self-confidence:  Speaking from self-experience, this course dramatically increased my self-confidence! I have heard the same thing from classmates and past graduates. During the course I witnessed other classmate’s self-confidence go up as well. Confidence makes a big difference when it comes to dog training! It also helps with marketing yourself and speaking with clients.

All of these points are the reasons that I would recommend thinking about taking Ben Kersen’s course. There are many other positive things to take away from the course, such as community service, and going out on the town with classmates!

I very much enjoyed my time in Victoria and on the field with students, the instructors, and all of the dogs, and look forward to visiting soon!

If you have any questions about being a student in the course feel free to contact me at and I would be happy to chat with you and answer any questions you may have!

Happy training!

Breeanne Roberts



Getting Your Dog Ready for Baby

Getting Your Dog Ready for Baby
By Michelle – Pride and Joy Dog Training

Well, it has finally happened! You are changing from a family of two to a family of three…and I don’t mean you are getting a new dog! There is a baby on the way and you’re not sure how your dog is going to react to the new family member.

I know from experience that some dogs can detect a baby in your belly way before a traditional pregnancy test. My dog became much more protective of me and would always sleep with his head on my tummy (which, my very aloof dog has never done before) weeks before I officially knew I was pregnant. Dogs are very sensitive to hormone changes and can sense the difference in you even if you haven’t yet. Whether your dog is aware from the get-go or is a little more oblivious to all the changes going on around him, you will have to get him ready for what is coming.

If your dog has never been around small children before you will need to get him used to the sights and sounds of babies. A great idea is to take him for a walk near a park or field where children play so your dog can hear them while he is being exercised, this will show your dog that children aren’t something to fear, good things can happen when they are around! You can also find recordings online to play of children playing and babies crying to help your dog become accustomed to having a noisy home.

It is great to start a new routine of taking your dog for a nice, long walk while you are still pregnant and then continuing it once baby has arrived. Your dog will need to know that even though he may not be number 1 in your heart anymore, he is still important to you and exercise is that best way to show him that. You can also start walking your dog with the stroller before baby arrives so you aren’t trying to get your dog used to a stroller and worrying about your newborn at the same time. You may want to start by walking your dog in a heel for a while and then once you are confident in his heel, add the stroller and then get your dog to heel. A heeling dog is much easier to walk with a stroller then a dog that is running around, pulling at the leash and bumping into the stroller.

You should also work on basic obedience with your dog before baby arrives because being able to control your dog with commands will come in very handy when your hands are full. If your dog already knows basic commands, make sure they are solid and then start adding in distractions. Training with distractions will be a life saver as life with babies is full of distractions! Make sure your dog will sit or lie down and stay for extended periods of time because when baby comes home you will want to make sure your dog sits (or lies down) before being introduced to the baby and before any other interaction with baby after that. If your dog is jumping and out of control, leave the room and do not introduce the baby until the dog has calmed down.

Many dogs have toys and stuffed animals that they play with, which may start to get confusing when you start adding in baby toys and stuffies. Your dog may think that all these new toys are for him, as they always have been before! I recommend cutting your dog toy collection down considerably to a few main toys that are his favourites, these are your dogs toys, any other toys in his mouth are a no-no. You will need to work with your dog in the months before baby’s arrival on determining which toys are acceptable to play with and which are off limits. A great exercise to help your dog to understand is by giving your dog the option to take the toy, if he goes for it, take it away before the dog can take it and say a firm “No!”, then try again; give him the option to take it and take it away if he goes for it. It may take your dog a few tries to understand but they will eventually get it. When your dog does not go for the toy or looks to you first then say “Good dog!” and praise, praise, praise and use your dog’s toy as a reward to play with! Your dog will slowly begin to understand what is ok to play with and what is not a chew toy.

DSC_0047One of the most stressful days of your life as a parent will be your first day home from the hospital as a family and your dog adding to the stress is not helpful, I will continue with tips in my next article. It will cover what to do once baby is born and at home. Please be aware that if you are stressed while working with your dog, your dog will feel it and in turn, also become stressed. This is a new experience for everyone, including your dog, and it may take him a little time to become accustomed to your new life and routine, just as it will take you some time to get used to being a parent.

Michelle Poitras
Pride and Joy Dog Training
Edmonton, Alberta

Michelle is a graudate of Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs Professional Dog Trainers Program and currently resides in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, toddler and husky!

Complaints from Clients – By Ben Kersen

Complaints from Clients
By Ben Kersen

When meeting a new client (whether they are interested in our Group Dog Training Classes, Individual Dog Training Lessons or our Professional Dog Trainers program) they come with some common complaints and negative attitudes about their dogs.  They are often at their wits end and mentally have their dog partway to the local animal shelter.  Most have tried other dog trainers with little to no luck and have pretty much given up all hope of living the life they envisioned when they first brought their furry friend home.  Thankfully, for whatever reason, they decided to give their dog one last try and called Ben Kersen and the Wonderdogs for help.  And I am always so glad they did as most of the problems I see can not only be resolved but can be resolved very quickly.

Over the next few blogs I will cover some of the most common dog complaints we get from our new customers and outline some steps in dealing with these issues.

Client Complaints - Ben Kersen & the WonderdogsUntil Next Time,
Ben Kersen
Ben Kersen & the Wonderdogs
Victoria, BC


Off Leash Dog Parks – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.

The off leash dog park concept has grown in popularity over the past decade.  With an increase in the call to responsible dog ownership, the importance of socialization and conditioning to your dogs overall well being, and the increase in urban development and subsequent decrease in green space, the off leash dog park can be an excellent resource to dog enthusiasts.

I have frequented many off leash dog parks and as much as they can be an excellent way to exercise and socialize your dog, I have also observed many downfalls to this concept. I am by no means saying that dog parks are bad, I have enjoyed many hours watching my dog ripping around with his new found friends and overall I would say my experience has been positive. That being said, there are definite cons to this type of environment, all preventable in my opinion, and it is up to us as responsible dog owners to ensure that ALL patrons of the off leash dog park, two and four legged alike, are doing our part to provide a safe and positive environment for all.

My top three pet peeves when at the Dog Park: Owners (some, not all!), Toys, and Doggie Doo.

Stay Tuned,