As a Dog Behaviorist, my mission is to educate people and get them to really understand everything from a dog’s point of view. Behavior Dog Training starts with seeing things from the dog’s perspective, understanding dogs for whom they truly are, and the way they communicate which makes them realize and understand the dog is not being disrespectful – there is just simply a communication breakdown between them and their dog. When people obtain this knowledge and see how easy it is to communicate with their dog, everyone is happy, and the dog remains in a forever home instead of being surrendered to the shelter.
My approach is not the typical, standard type of methods used in the various types of Obedience Training. These methods stem from and are based on the Human Thought Process.
My methods of training which I like to refer to as Teaching and Communicating are based on the Animal Thought Process. I teach and communicate to dogs the way a Mama would do with her pups. There are no commands – there is no speaking. You do not see a Mama look at one pup and go “woof woof woof” look at the next pup and go “ woof woof woof” That’s just not reality.
Dogs communicate through emotions and body language, and that is how we communicate with them. Just like working with horses the direction is minimal; it is the handler’s calm and confident state of mind that enforces that direction.
About Me – Bridget Gallagher
I have been rescuing animals since I was a child. Any animal that was in my path that needed help, I rescued. I always had a love for all animals and always found that I shared a special connection with them, especially dogs.
I am a strong advocate for the animals. I volunteer my services to several dog rescues. I encourage people to adopt from shelters as astronomical amounts of animals are euthanized each year. Most people are hesitant to adopt from shelters in fear of behavioral problems, but it has been my experience that there are just as many dogs that are raised from puppies that are purchased from either breeders or pet stores that need as much Behavior Dog Training as shelter dogs.
As a child, I had learned the concepts of basic obedience dog training. When I was in my 20’s, I had worked with three different professional certified dog trainers and acquired knowledge of several different types of obedience dog training including Schutzhund Dog Training. I have been training dogs for over 18 years. I began working with dogs in New Jersey and have expanded to surrounding areas of New York including New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island as well as Eastern Pennsylvania.
For over a decade, I have also acquired knowledge of animal behavior from doing constant research pertaining to pack animals from various books, documentaries, and people I consider the innovators of this industry such as Shaun Ellis (an animal researcher known for living among wolves) and Cesar Millan. I have studied in great detail the Wild Dogs of Africa in which I obtained knowledge of dogs in their natural habitat, the way they interact with each other, with nature, and their environment, the way they communicate, and their way of life. I keep abreast on all new worldwide studies of animal behavior, genetics, and science. I research all types of animal behavior as some time I need to apply out of the box tactics for the rehabilitation of a dog. I have studied and learned from the techniques used by “Horse Whisperer” Buck Brannaman and also Dave Salmoni – Lion Trainer. I also learned many things from my own small pack of dogs which is probably the best education one can receive.
Upon rescuing my beloved German Shepherd from a dog fighting ring in 1997, I realized that no amount of obedience dog training could help him overcome all of his behavioral issues. This is where it all began…
THE MONTY STORY
Back in 1997, there really weren’t rescues as there are today – only a few had existed. I had received a phone call about a German Shepherd that was brought into an animal shelter and was used in the Blood Sport of Dog Fighting. I immediately went and adopted him. His condition was beyond awful both physically and mentally.
Let’s just focus on the mental aspect of his condition. Monty had no idea how to be a dog. He didn’t smell anything, he freaked out to all electrical appliances, he hid and cowered under the bed, when he saw a moving car he bucked like a bronco trying to get away, and of course he was dog aggressive – now there’s a surprise… He was afraid of almost everything. He was fearful, had anxiety, and had dog aggression. I had worked with him with several dog trainers, including one of the best dog trainers on the east coast of that time, in which he even had to stay with that dog trainer for a month at “boot camp”. The end result, He was the best trained and obedient dog you ever met, but mentally nothing had changed.
This is when I realized that no amount of obedience dog training is going to help this poor dog. Now remember, these were the days of the beginning stages of the World Wide Web and the Dot.Com boom had not yet occurred. There wasn’t a Discovery channel providing educational animal behavior shows as there are today, nor was there a true well known dog behaviorist. What to do?? I didn’t know, and all the dog trainers looked at me and shrugged their shoulders. My vet had prescribed Clomicalm for Monty, but it really didn’t help. As time went on, Monty started to come around as he did get use some things as the electrical appliances and cars, but was not completely healed as he still had fear and anxiety issues. His anxiety attributed to eating my shoes, chewing on furniture, and even eating my mattress. Now it was time to do research and hit the books and study wolf packs and animal behavior.
It took about three years, but Monty finally became a happy, healthy, and confident dog. He had a wonderful life. He even made some friends, and his best friend was a black lab named Sam. He traveled to the beach, mountains, and went on camping trips. His Grandpapa took him for long walks, went swimming with him in the pool, and would take him to the local diner for bacon cheeseburgers which was his favorite treat of all time – of course you cannot blame him. Monty was with me for 8 years before he passed away from cancer, and if it wasn’t for him I would have never started down this path…..
I graduated Cum Laude from Fairleigh Dickinson University and obtained my Certification of Dog Trainer / Instructor from Penn Foster.