Dee In The News

2013 - Interview with Lynn Soloman for Kearsarge Chronicle
June 20, 2013

Taped in my little training barn with some clips of Jax the 6 year old Boarder Collie and Flip the 2 year old Aussie. Enjoy!

2011 - Local Canine Behavior Consultant, Dee Ganley Earns Another National Certification
Dee and Birch

Dee and Birch

Local Canine Behavior Consultant, Dee Ganley Earns Another National Certification  

Local canine behavior consultant, Dee Ganley, of 82 Tucker Mountain Road in East Andover NH is one of 29 dog trainers to earn national certification as a Certified Behavior Consultant Canine-Knowledge Assessed (CBCC-KA).  Dee’s certification is issued through the National Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers® (CCPDT®) first exam given 2011.

Until the creation of the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers in 2001, there was no true certification process for canine professionals.  Though there are schools and  organizations that offer take-home tests for “certification”,  only since the National Certification Council of Professional Dog Trainers have the knowledge and skills needed by canine professionals been standardized.  The goal of the CCPDT certification program is to establish and maintain humane standards of competence for animal training and behavior professionals through criteria based on experience, standardized testing, skills and continuing education.  For the general public these certifications will help them in their decision on where to get help training their dog – particularly if they are struggling with behavior problems.

This unprecedented certification process for dog trainers was originally implemented by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) founded by noted veterinarian, behaviorist and author Dr. Ian Dunbar.  A task force of approximately 20 internationally known dog training professionals and behaviorists worked for three years to research and develop the first comprehensive examination.  Professional Testing Corporation was hired to ensure the process met professional testing standards.  APDT then created a separate, independent council – The Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers – to manage the accreditation and pursue future development.

Candidates who pass the exam earn the title Certified Behavior Consultant Canine – Knowledge Assessed and may use the designation “CBCC-KA” after their names.  All certified canine behavior consultants must earn continuing education credits to maintain their designations or take the examination again in five years.

2008 - Warren-Campbell Crystal Heart Award
Dee Ganley is the 2008 recipient of Warren-Campbell Crystal Heart Award.  The award was given for work in the State of NH Men’s Prison, Concord Program for selected inmates to learn skills to train dogs for eventual placement in therapy work or homes.
2007 - Dog whisperer - 'Dee Ganley' helps dog owners communicate with their best friends.

Monitor staff
January 23. 2007

Pet owners referred to Dee Ganley as the “dog whisperer” years before the Animal Planet’s Cesar Millan began hosting a show by the same name. Encouraging dog owners to take control, Milan schools humans in the dog pack mindset and teaches them to become the alpha male pack leader in their own homes.

YOON S. BYUN / Monitor staff

Dee Ganley keeps an eye on a class at the Andover Elementary Middle School in which all the dogs are not yet 1 year old.

Ganley prefers a softer approach, but her ability to soothe and train dogs is no less remarkable than her television counterpart’s.

“I chose not to follow that path,” Ganley said. “I didn’t like being that alpha person. It just wasn’t comfortable for me.”

Although she was criticized for it, Ganley followed her instincts and began using reward-based training 20 years ago. She never looked back. Today, Ganley runs a successful training business out of her Andover home that brings dogs and their owners together through positive reinforcement that teaches the animals to make good choices on their own.

“I like to talk about dancing with the dog,” she said. “At the beginning, I’m leading. But as time goes on, we’re together, and oftentimes the dog is leading.

At one of her regular classes Sunday in the Andover Elementary Middle School, Ganley approached a barking, jumping Doberman pinscher. The dog already had a “calming cap” covering his eyes to prevent him from seeing the handful of other dogs, each with his or her own behavior problems. The dog wouldn’t listen to his owners. But he listened to Ganley, who was able to help him relax, sit on his mat and wait for her instructions.

“If you get frustrated and angry, the dog just gets worse,” she said.

Ganley, a certified animal behavior consultant, was trained in the ways of “jerk and pull” punishment training, long considered a standard in the dog training industry. When she switched to reinforcement training, which uses food to reward dogs when they do something right, she was considered a rebel for bucking the “dominance” trend and ignoring the advice of her mentors.

She began to research the science of operative conditioning, which uses reward-based training rather than punishment to correct the dog.

“It turned my stomach when I had to do something like that, because these dogs were my friends,” Ganley said. “So I threw away all my choke collars and all those different things, and I just used food.”

On Sunday, bags of dog treats lined the stage at the Andover Elementary Middle School, where Ganley runs hour-long group classes every weekend. She also runs classes in Laconia and Lebanon. Classes cost $100 for four weeks, with an extra class usually thrown in for free. Ganley holds classes for small dogs, big dogs and puppies. Some are there to learn behavior basics, like sitting, ignoring trash or food and walking with their owners.

Others have more serious issues, including aggressive behavior.

Ganley holds private consultations in her home and at the homes of her clients. Sometimes, she can break a bad habit within an hour, but usually a consultation will require several follow-up visits.

She offers one package that includes a one-hour private consultation, one follow-up visit, a phone call and e-mail consultation for $150. A $250 package includes one initial consultation, three follow-up visits and a written evaluation and plan for the dog owners.

Ganley also offers e-mail and phone consultations – $60 for one hour, and $45 for a half hour. The business, which became a full-time operation in 2001, brings in about $35,000 a year.

The rates are based on her reputation and qualifications, which include more than 30 years showing and training dogs. Ganley has worked as the Training and Behavior Manager for the Upper Valley Humane Society in Enfield, and also consults with police and service dog handlers. She also owned a grooming business, Dee’s Grooming, in Concord for more than 15 years.

Ganley has spoken at seminars throughout the United States and Europe. She will travel to Rome and the United Kingdom for workshops in April. Last March, she published a book, Changing People, Changing Dogs.

“Many of us feel that she’s a genius,” said Mary Taylor, whose Jack Russell terrier attended Sunday’s small dog class. Taylor, the program coordinator for the Monadnock Humane Society, who is trying to become a certified trainer, was also taking tips from Ganley last weekend.

“Here she is, she has a room full of dogs, and she can adapt,” Taylor said.

Sue Cluff, who drove two hours from Massachusetts to attend Ganley’s class, said other dog obedience programs she has been to have included too many negative commands for the dogs.

In the gymnasium, Ganley’s high-pitched voice echoed, as she reiterated, “Good girl! Good girl!” A rambunctious Corgi named Delia had finally returned to her owner when called.

“Alice, as soon as she comes, you’ve got to reinforce her,” Ganley told Delia’s owner. “You’ve got to be her cheerleader.”

Although some of the owners were getting the hang of the exercises, it always seemed to work a little faster with Ganley helping. But the trainer assured her clients, it will work for them eventually.

“It’s fun to watch people come along and their dogs come along,” she said. “And a year or two later, you hear back from them and how much different their lives are together. And hopefully, their journey is on the right track.”

For more information on Dee Ganley’s dog training services, log on to deesdogs.com

—— End of article

Concord Monitor staff