Everyone involved will always be grateful to Jeff for coming to ARS and demonstrating what these dogs are truly capable of!!
I hear you are lucky enough to have Jeff Gellman come to KY to work with you, the volunteers, and the dogs! As a trainer who has worked with Jeff in the past, I wanted to clear up a few “misconceptions” which the general public seems to have regarding his training methods.
First, the background on how I asked Jeff to come to NJ. There is a rescue here which housed 19 dogs from a hoarder situation. They had been there for almost 1 1/2 years….and I started going over to work with them. The dogs were friendly toward people, but undisciplined and most impossible to walk—much less introduce to interested adopters.
After working with the dogs for months and months, some progress was made. They could all be walked, and behaved appropriately when introduced to new people. Some were adopted. 8 remained. Waiting.
There were a number of problems. First, 5 were dog aggressive. Second, the dog walker volunteers all worked the dogs in their own way—if at all—which provided no structure to the training program I was using with the dogs. Third, the woman in charge refused to use anything but flat or Martindale collars.
Think about that—large pit mixes….strong and young…..and not trained….and the woman in charge telling everyone not to use the right tools to work with the dogs. Just to be able to take them for a decent walk was a challenge!!
It was my thought that Jeff would be able to help with training the walkers and dogs, as well as addressing the issue of using proper collars and training techniques.
(a sidebar here–my methods and equipment—-I am usually working with owners, and I may have to modify my methods to ensure the owner will follow the training routines. I use a combination of positive and traditional methods. In addition—I am willing to learn. I have been a trainer for 35 years, but there is always something new for me to learn!)
Jeff came to NJ in October. He worked with the volunteers and dogs at Animal Rescue Services in Fredon all day. By midday, the highly dog-aggressive dogs were able to behave in close proximity with the other dogs, and the volunteers had good control over the dogs they were working with. Jeff used prong collars (which had basically been forbidden for me to use), and it was immediately obvious that the volunteers were able to control the dogs with greater ease…..and that the dogs were responding to the commands given to them by the handlers!
Here is a link to one of the stories from that day. http://www.northjersey.com/community/ 132899853_Then_there_were_eight__Rescued_dogs_get_big_dose_of_tough_love.html
It is my opinion that exercise, training, and socialization are key to adopting out the rest of these dogs. Jeff gave the volunteers the tools and methods to use to achieve those key components! Now, they are all given long walks, which are structured around daily training and socialization skills.
These dogs had reached a “dead end”. With Jeff’s help, there is hope of finding homes for them. Everyone involved will always be grateful to Jeff for coming to ARS and demonstrating what these dogs are truly capable of!!
You have absolutely chosen the right person to come and work with the shelter volunteers and dogs. I have seen Jeff work miracles (ask me about Autumn some day!!! A feral dog he took in to his pack from me).
I am sure there are “doubters” about Jeff and his methods. Let me reassure you, he is compassionate and caring, as well as skilled and talented. He truly cares about the animals. That is what, in my opinion, sets him apart from other trainers who are there for the money. He cares.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.