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Certified Trainer, Continually Improving

Mark Ehrman is a Certified Dog Trainer with the knowledge and experience to help you solve your dog’s behavioural issues. His formal studies in dog behaviour, combined with experience and ongoing education, allow him to accurately diagnose what is happening with your dog. Mark will then clearly explain what is happening and how we can improve the situation. 

Mark is a degreed engineer and worked in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years. During that time he lived in 5 different countries and travelled to many more. That experience has given him the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. His patient, relatable, thorough explanations will give you new insight into how you can change your dog’s behaviour.

Canine Counselling has a 5-star rating on Google, with clients praising Mark for his professionalism, truly positive approach, and results. Clients trust Mark with dogs from puppy socialisation, on to more serious issues such as aggression, dog reactivity, and resource guarding. Mark’s techniques give you confidence to change your dog’s behaviour using truly humane and positive methods.

Want to know more? Feel free to contact Mark at any time to discuss your particular situation, and how Mark can help you and your dog.

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Qualifications

Mark holds these formal dog training qualifications:

  • Certificate III in Dog Training and Behaviour from the National Dog Trainers Federation (also receiving the Academic Achievement Award)
  • Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer (VSPDT)

Mark is also a member of these professional organisations:

Please see continuing education below for other courses and education Mark has undertaken.

 

Techniques & Methods

Mark is a degreed engineer and worked in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years. During that time, he owned a dog that had behavioural issues, and in 2006 completed a course in dog training. That was when Mark discovered his calling and decided to pursue it full time as a career. He later left automotive to pursue his passion of dog training.

Like a lot of trainers, Mark studied and began training using traditional punishment and “pack leader” (dominance) based methods and philosophy. Since that time, the “pack leader” and dominance based training philosophy has been debunked. Please see this page for Articles Debunking Dominance Theory, including links to numerous articles and papers explaining in detail why this is now considered outdated.

There are also studies into the tools and techniques of dog training that have proven conclusively that dogs trained using aversive punishment-based techniques (technically called “positive punishment”) develop into more aggressive dogs.  Therefore, we should avoid using positive punishment at all costs.

The alternative way we can train our dogs is to manage consequences in a neutral or positive fashion, without using pain, fear, intimidation, physical force, etc. This modern style of training uses Positive Reinforcement.

Mark has joined this philosophy wholeheartedly.  This is demonstrated by his becoming the first Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer in Australia, and Mark’s absolute refusal to condone the use of check chains, shock or e-collars, physical force, etc.

Unfortunately, many people who claim to be “positive” trainers (or “balanced” trainers) still use punishment, force, or outdated dominance methods. Victoria Stilwell has an excellent article How to choose a good dog trainer  and red flags to look for and avoid. In short, if anyone tells you to do something to your dog that you aren’t comfortable with, then don’t do it! There are always humane alternatives that won’t make you wince.

Mark welcomes any questions or conversations about his training methods and why he believes this is the only way forward with training our pet dogs, cats, or any other animal!

Continuing Education

Continuing education is vital for dog trainers to keep up with the latest methods and research. Mark has made an effort to study as much as possible and continues to refine his methods and techniques based on industry best practice and scientific research. Below are some examples of Mark’s continuing education:

  • APDT AUS 4-day conference: 2019, 2013
  • APDT USA 4-day conference: 2018, 2016, 2014
  • First Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Trainer in Australia (2015)
  • Canine Social & Physcological Development Course (with honors) (2014)
  • Dangerous Dog Handling and Assessment (2012)

 

Teaching & Mentoring

In addition to teaching clients, Mark also helps educate and train other dog trainers and pet care professionals. Some examples include:

  • Lecturing vet nursing students at TAFE NSW on dog body language and behaviour
  • Faculty Advisor for The Victoria Stilwell Academy (VSA) Dog Trainer Online Sutdents
  • In person mentor for VSA students in Sydney