Tom Dixon - Certified Dog Trainer (ABCDT)
After years of touring the country as a Singer/Songwriter, I decided to follow another dream of training dogs. More than a dream, it's a passion!
There has always been a dog in my family. When I was young, we had unruly dogs that wouldn't listen to a word you say. One even broke out of the yard and was killed by a car. This has always haunted me. Yes, a dog trainer admitting that he has had a dog that was not trained. Well, bare with me for a minute....
In 2004, my wife and I were recently married and it was an obvious next step for me, for us to get a dog. This is where everything changed for me. I swore that this time, I would have an obedient, trained dog. The kind of dog that I could get to walk around the yard, safely with me, off leash. A Cavalier King Charles - Cocker Spaniel Mix named Gibson, was that dog for me. After going through training with him and us attaining Canine Good Citizen (CGC) status together, I was hooked. I had looked into being a trainer at the time, but my music career took precedence. However, I was always reading and absorbing any information I could on dog behavior and training.
Fast forward 13 years. We felt it was time to expand our canine family and find Gibson a brother. We rescued a Pointer Mix named Marshall, who tested everything I had ever learned about training dogs. He was crazy!! I took this as a challenge and was determined to have another "good dog". After about a year of relentless training and dedication to my relationship with Marshall, I finally got through. Our relationship was secure for a lifetime. I jokingly say now that I broke him like a stallion. Consistency and relentless dedication to training was worth every minute of it.
After this experience, I began thinking about training dogs again. Of course, that would mean scaling back on my music career. For some reason, it just seemed like it was time. This is when I decided to take a certification course and take it to the next level. I enrolled in the Dog Obedience Trainer Program at Animal Behavior College and officially became a Certified Dog Obedience Trainer.
Since then, we have now added a 3rd member to our canine pack and we're one big happy family. My mission in training is not only to train dogs with homes, but also work with dogs at shelters and rescues and help educate people on the importance of dog training. Dogs and humans have had a relationship for thousands of years. Our lifestyles have changed and with a little training, humans and dogs will live happily together for thousands of more years!