Dog Trainer Labels

Michael Burkey and Police K9 Draco (ret.)

MIchael Burkey, Professional Dog Trainer & Behaviorist

I was recently asked by a professional colleague who is keenly aware of and supportive of my training methodologies as to what type of trainer I am.  At first, I was dumbfounded by her question because I really don’t label myself as “this type” or “that kind” of trainer like the dog training community seems compelled to do.

The dog training community as a whole is divided and labels themselves and each other as purely positive trainers, positive reinforcement trainers, balanced trainers, remote trainers (or shock trainers depending upon the background of whom you are speaking with), compulsive trainers, etc.  I believe these groups labeling themselves, at first, was well intended to give themselves an identity and to give a description of their methodology to the dog owning public.  Unfortunately, later many groups used these labels to try to discredit the other groups by labeling them as inhumane or ineffective.

Dog owners are not keenly aware of the above labels because knowing a dog trainer’s label isn’t particularly helpful to them and their dog training problems.  What they care about is this, – can the hired trainer?

  1. Solve their dog’s behavior problems and
  2. Do it quickly and humanely

And yet, many dog trainers still place emphasis on the label of training they ascribe to while attempting to discredit the other groups.  I am not interested in discrediting other groups of trainers.  I am only interested in continually homing my craft providing the ultimate professional service and experience for my clients.

Instead of a label, I am a professional dog trainer and behaviorist. This means, I am a highly educated (biology, animal behavior, sociology and psychology) and ethical dog behavior expert who provides personal and confidential consultation to clients and work toward modifying and managing dog behavior with an emphasis on problems such as aggression, fears and separation anxiety, etc.  I apply my training, knowledge and experience to the betterment of human and dog interactions.  And, I provide solutions that are effective and humane.

About Michael Burkey

Michael Burkey is a professional dog trainer, behaviorist and owner of, a highly successful dog training company whose aim is to promote peaceful relationships between pets and families. Additionally, he is an expert trial witness, certified Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluator for the American Kennel Club (AKC), former Police K9 Handler, Search and Rescue (SAR) K9 Training Director and SAR K9 Handler, obedience and rally competitor and social worker. Dog training is a complex science and art requiring knowledge of behavioral science and learning. You can rely on Michael's experience, teaching methods, and integrity. He can be contacted at or 734-634-4152.
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2 Responses to Dog Trainer Labels

  1. Pingback: Remote Training Collars – Effective, Safe and Humane, Part 2 | michigandogtraining

  2. Pingback: Another Positive Trainer Considers Remote Collar Training | michigandogtraining

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