We at Fitdog take the highest regard for the training of your dogs. From basic puppy training to behavioral modification, we want you to meet and KNOW the individuals behind our fantastic training programs. First up, we are excited to introduce you to Jeff, one of our fantastic trainers at Fitdog!
Jeff Soto has been training dogs for 11 years and has always had a strong connection and ability to communicate with animals. Growing up, he had dogs, chickens, ducks, rabbits, birds, iguanas, turtles — you name it! He currently has two rescues, an Argentine Dogo named Lucky and a Dutch Shepherd named Willie. Both very tough, but such majestic dogs!
He furthered his education with dogs while apprenticing for one of LA’s Top animal experts. His mentor grew up in the circus working with exotic animals. Jeff gained valuable experience during this time that gave him the confidence to train dogs professionally. He also spent years researching, reading, and applying different techniques with rescues that desperately needed help in order to avoid being put down.
Jeff’s favorite part of the training process is establishing a trusting bond and relationship with a new dog. This gives him valuable insight as to what approach to take for each animal.
We asked Jeff a few questions and here is what he had to say:
What is one tip you would give dog owners regarding training?
Jeff: Exercise! Give your dogs the opportunity to be dogs! Most of the issues I come across stem from a lack of physical and mental stimulation. Reduce excessive amounts of affection, spoiling with food/treats, and establish boundaries in your home. If your dog has good recall, take him/her out to an open field once in a while. Explore nature somewhere.
What is the biggest transformation that you’ve seen during training?
Jeff: I rescued and trained a deaf bulldog named Pierre a few years ago. He had no training or manners at all but was on the verge of being put down. I decided to train him with hand signals and a vibration collar. I taught him obedience, recall, walking on leash, manners in the home, I got him to the point where he was able to be off leash on walks and dog parks. His personality blossomed and his sense of boundaries became clear. He turned into such an amazing dog! He ended up being adopted by a great couple a year later. It was very hard for me to let him go! I couldn’t believe this dog was on the verge of being put down. This not only transformed the dog but transformed me as a trainer.
We can’t wait for you to meet Jeff the next time you are at Fitdog!
If you have questions for Jeff or any of our Trainers, leave them in our comment section and we will be sure to get them answered!