Hello, my name is Allison Foias and I am the owner and head trainer with Kung Fu Canine. I have been working with animals for the past nine years. I first started working with horses at Camp Kostopolus teaching kids of all abilities how to ride. After that, I got involved with guide dogs for the blind where I raised puppies to become guides. This included getting them well socialized and accustomed to outside stimuli so they could do their job well.
Following that, I had an apprenticeship doing treat based training. Through that experience, I found that no matter how much training you did using treats, you always have to keep reminding the dog to behave. More importantly, it did not help rehabilitate dogs who reacted aggressively towards other dogs or people. After a while, I started to notice that many of the dogs we trained were beginning to become reactive or aggressive as the training continued. Not long after this realization, I discontinued my apprenticeship and started working with rescue groups.
I then focused on volunteering my time to help train the homeless dogs looking for forever homes. While there, I met another trainer whom I volunteered with for almost a year. The methods he taught were the opposite of treat training. Instead we used high amounts of praise and very harsh corrections for any mistakes. I wasn't satisfied with this form of training because no matter how many corrections a dog received, they would still make the same mistake without constant human instruction.
Thankfully, I was approached by trainer Heather Beck of K9 Lifeline and brought on to her staff as a kennel tech at her behavioral training facility. The way her facility did things was so different from what I knew, that it took a year and a half of hard work before Heather finally made me a trainer. In the end, I spent five years training with her and getting hands on experience.
Through my experience there, I found a training method that built up confidence in dogs without making them aggressive. In fact, we worked miracles when applying this method to dogs who were already aggressive. While training this way, I found that the dogs would do what was expected of them without always needing to be reminded. I also noticed that they had a desire to behave on their own because it made their lives less stressful. The dogs also weren't afraid or over excited every time something new happened.
With these results in mind, I attended numerous workshops and learned everything I could to continue my education. I joined the IACP (International Association for Canine Professionals) and in the end decided to start my own business to keep spreading the amazing technique that is behavioral training.