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Welcome to the membership site of K9-1 Specialized Dog Training and the network of Foundation Style Dog Trainers!

registration form is at the bottom of this page

 

Here, you will learn what separates the average dog trainer from the most successful dog trainers in the industry:

KNOWLEDGE

 

Your primary instructor will be K9-1 founder, Michael D'Abruzzo, who with over 26 years experience as a dog training student, professional trainer, system developer, and supervisor of many high volume training projects, has the credentials and experience to provide you with the education you deserve. He is the creator of a patent-pending system for behavior modification and training of all animals, as well as a certified career and technical education teacher of Animal Careers and Training in New York.

WARNING! This video contains graphic footage:

Here, you will find an affordable online education membership site that will not only exceed any other site you will find for several times the price, but is created out of an honest passion for educating better-qualified trainers in an otherwise unregulated field that is currently dominated by marketers.

Membership will give you access to the entire video archive with 100s of hours of video including the latest Foundation Style Dog Training Course v.4.0, weekly live-streamed classes with Q&A, 1000s of forum posts, a curated selection of reference books and articles, and most importantly, a community of professional trainers and serious hobbyists.

Mike has and continues to study the history of dog training methods dating back to the dawn of formal dog training up to the most current, scientifically-sound, modern training techniques. These include reward-based training and the humane use of all compulsive methods, including prong style and e-collars.

 

 

 

Mike trained dogs for a vendor to the department of defense
and handled dogs for FEMA during the post 9-11 recovery efforts.

 

 

 

 

Besides, being an expert on the subject of dog training and the proper use of all common training tools, Mike was the first to develop and teach:

- A specific and standardized style of handling leashes known as "leash ninja" which involves a "jerk-free" and "pressure-free" style of controlling the leash using a series of slides and leash locks that can be used for pets, aggression cases, and working dogs.

- A "jerk-free" and "pressure-free" style of using prong style collars in training known as "pumps" that reduces the degree of physical coercion needed in the training process.

- The first to develop and teach trainers the scientifically accurate, precise and humane use of e-collars, which are compliant with the strict LIMA (least intrusive, minimally aversive) guidelines.

Group class at Paladin Center

For those who choose to incorporate e-collars into their training plans, Mike's methods have effectively reduced the use of the e-collar to less than 1% of the typical stimulation taught during the training process and maintenance by most mainstream, franchise-based dog training companies or achieved by those who learn e-collar use through seminars alone. We can guarantee this claim, and demonstrate equal or superior reliability of dogs trained and maintained through a LIMA compliant plan.

Learning to safely take possession of an agressive dog.
Learning to safely take possession of an aggressive dog.

While we do provide extensive demonstrations, the goal of Foundation Style Dog Training is not to teach trainers to "mimic" any other trainer. Instead, we strive to teach students the theoretical and mechanistic underpinnings of canine health, behavior, and learning in a streamlined process, which will empower them to create better, more versatile training plans, customized to the needs of individual dogs and their owners. The Foundation Style Dog Training Course consistently produces skilled and successful trainers, who truly understand the profession.

Security Dog Certification
Mike certifies first security dog handler in a New York hospital system.

Successful students have come from a variety of backgrounds: from the completely inexperienced to graduates of the most expensive and established dog training schools. Even with formal schooling, many trainers still feel as if something was "missing" to feel confident about their new profession.  This site is designed to fill in those gaps.

Current and former students are successful in humanely training dogs for virtually all aspects of the industry; including military, law enforcement, humane societies, aggression rehab programs, personal protection projects, media projects, extreme behavior problems, competition, and more. This site is geared toward the real world, where training contracts exist and lives are often at stake.  Failure is not an option.

K9-1 and foundation style dog trainer, Danny Cappelli, are recognized for donating a trained K9 and handling lessons. Humane training and handling of working dogs are covered in the coursework.

Regulation In the Profession is Inevitable

Ultimately, the reversal of training tool bans in certain municipalities and prevention of future bans will rely on qualified trainers that can explain and demonstrate the ability to use tools as responsibly and humanely as possible without sacrificing results or making false claims.

Licensing and government regulation for dog trainers is at the doorstep of the industry. Tools are being banned in many municipalities and on the national level because of their misuse. Dog trainers are in the spotlight of public scrutiny due to the many examples of professional negligence reported in the media. The process has already started.

Dog training is a profession that puts dogs and the general public at risk if done by an underqualified person. This is an undeniable fact. It is front and center to be regulated.

Animal training is now offered in state-sponsored career schools and universities. After these students are educated AND experienced in the field they will also demand to protect their profession. Who do you think will be considered the experts? Sooner rather than later, professional trainers will be required to prove their knowledge in order to be "grandfathered" into the profession before the door closes.

Trainers will then be required to prove formal credentials from accredited schools. This is the path that ALL newly regulated trades have taken ranging from veterinary technicians to cosmetologists and even barbers.

Mike is asked to present a CTE (Career and Technical Education) Animal Training Curriculum at the New York state capital building.

You want to be prepared with a thorough education and there are no shortcuts. K9-1 keeps its courses on the cutting edge of new information in the field of dog training science and mechanics. Don't be left behind!

Here knowledge about dog training is accumulated and streamlined in the best order to learn. The collected knowledge is based on the most relevant information in dog training since the birth of ethology, applied animal behavior, and dog training up to the present day.

K9-1 has been featured on Fox News, CBS, NBC, Animal Planet, and other media outlets. Mike is an expert canine behavior correspondent for Inside Edition.

What does it cost to be a member?

Your biggest investment will be your TIME. It takes time to acquire knowledge. But this site allows you to learn at your own pace, without wasting your valuable time, with the support of other trainers that value knowledge.

MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES:

  • Weekly live-streamed classes and group discussions with K9-1 founder Michael D'Abruzzo (will also be archived for later viewing).

    • Currently, there are over a 100 hours of instruction placed in the best order to learn the Foundation for Training ANY dog for any task.

  • Access to the full video library

  • Access to over a decade of private forum posts and posting privileges

  • Access to a curated and frequently-updated knowledge base of training plans, books, scientific articles and more!

  • Chat and video chat with other members

  • Record profiles and training logs for unlimited dogs

  • New! In session: Personal Protection Training Instruction from A-Z!

  • More Specialized class series planned!

What Members are Saying...

 

At K9 Heeling we understand that each family and each dog have a unique story and unique needs.  Over the last 15 years we've utilized the following approaches to help thousands of dogs and their owner's thrive...

  • Individual Training Sessions: Geared towards the education of the owner as we guide you through the training process with your own dog.
  • Overnight Stay and Trains:  Full immersion training where the dog receives their formal education at our training center and then we educate you.
  • Group Training Classes:  Several times/year we offer group training sessions to ensure that you're able to maintain control of your dog even in challenging environments.
  • Workshops and Seminars:  Typically 1 or 2 day events where we provide as much information and hands on practice as possible to move dog owners and dog professionals closer to their goals.

All of our training programs are battle tested and built on the basis of "Foundation Style Dog Training".

Check out K9 Heeling here: www.k9heeling.com

In my past, there was always a doubt lingering in my mind if I should truly accept being called “Dog Trainer.” This was because my standard was so incredibly high.

And I didn’t even know what that standard was!

Today I enjoy that skillset.

Something that would have taken me many years to put together through a multiplicity of other programs. Not to mention attempting it on my own.

From vaccinations to dog-to-human aggression, Mike’s given me the tools to create complex training plans for clients. Plans that keep people safe.

Using the systems and information, I've learned to troubleshoot the most difficult problems with dogs.

Understanding what relies on what.

If you are Contemplating this program versus any other, you would not go far into this system before swelling with appreciation.

Check out K9 Exclusive Dog Training here: exclusivedogtraining.com


I cannot say enough good things about Mike D’Abruzzo or the Foundation Style Dog Trainer’s Course! I highly encourage anyone who is serious about dog training and behavior to learn from Mike. I truly believe this is the future for the professional dog trainer’s education and industry. Whether you are a hobbyist or an experienced professional, you will learn and grow through this course.

Prior to studying under Mike, I had already attended quite a number of different courses in dog training and behavior. I however always felt that there was something ”missing” in my education and thus I did not feel confident in taking the step into calling myself a professional.

What I felt I was missing became clear when I began my studies with Mike. The Foundation Style Trainer’s Course thoroughly goes over not just obedience commands but also learning theory, canine ethology, health, leadership, etc. The course also focuses heavily in giving you a firm understanding of the science and reasoning behind every topic. Everything is backed up with REAL science and studies (sorry, you won’t find any politically correct science here). Even more important is how the course ties everything together in a logical manner, giving you a solid understanding of how everything is interrelated in the human canine relationship.

It does not matter what ”style” you ultimately decide to train with, as Mike always tells me, every trainer have their own style and I don’t need to train the way he does. What the course offer is a thorough understanding in the science behind dog training and behavior. This knowledge is what allows us to critically think and formulate our own training plans and solution, without being trapped by techniques we blindly follow.

Mike is a person of integrity and I can vouch that he is truly teaching this course for the right reason: To educate and raise the standard of the dog training industry.

Davis Tran

K9-1 has developed a patent-pending system that has been evolving over 20 years of research and development.

K9-1 Specialized Dog Training LLC was established in 1998. The mission of the company is to create modern dog training systems to improve upon incomplete or non-existent models. This has been accomplished by mapping out the path to all aspects of dog training from the scientific, mechanical, and practical points of view. Done in this fashion, common problems in the field can be pinpointed, much like a software error code, allowing trainers to address the underlying issues. K9-1 advises professional dog training organizations, government agencies, rescue organizations, service dog providers, and pet owners in mass with these systems. Mike D'Abruzzo teaches these exact systems in New York State sponsored Career Technical Education programs.

 

The Whole Plan

Full training blueprints are streamlined by prioritizing common denominators that will lay a foundation for the success of many different behavior modification and training plans. These blueprints are used by professional trainers and government organizations internationally. Feedback from the Foundation Style Dog Training Community is regularly used to update these and improve upon training plans. These systems can only live by the trials and successes of many that help create the most current version. Currently we are teaching version 4.0.

 

Built for Reliability

Liability is always an important concern when it comes to the performance of a working dog, and reliability often means the difference between life and death for a dog. When dealing with aggressive dogs, the prevention of injury to both people and other animals is a serious matter. Therefore, K9-1 utilizes the best combination of scientifically proven reinforcement schedules and principles for both encouraging and discouraging behaviors. Used in conjunction, this produces the most scientifically reliable training possible for the demanding, ever-changing real-world environment.

dog training trinity

 

Command Structure Optimization

Communication through a comprehensive, fair, and predictable command structure is essential to reap the full benefits of a proper handler/canine relationship. Missing pieces or sloppy command structures cause countless side-effects that may not be obvious in a controlled training environment, but will show up during live deployments, when the communication is needed most. Not only should a command structure clearly communicate what is being asked, attention, right, and wrong, it should also incorporate scientific rules to obtain the highest possible reliability.

K9-1 command structure

 

It is in the Training

Not only must the dog present well as a trained dog, but the process in which it is trained MUST include proper scientific principles taught in the correct order. If done correctly, the dog will have a smooth training experience and will all the benefits of obeying a trained handler with more comprehensive command structures. Done in the wrong order, or without significant attention, a finished dog will show side effects. This will limit the depth of understanding the dog has about the training and will ultimately affect the handler’s performance with the dog. Quality control helps with the process of pinpointing side effects from skipped or incomplete training steps.

checklist

The Gold Standard

In an unregulated industry, where most trainers follow plans based on simple observational learning, “the school of hard knocks,” “being good with animals,” and various broken and ill-defined plans, K9-1 uses rigorous standards that are usually only associated with applied behavior analysis in humans:

  • Applied: Training focuses on the social significance, in the real world, of the behavior being modified or created.

  • Behavioral: Training is practical; it asks how it is possible to get a dog to do something effectively? To answer this question, the behavior itself must be objectively measured.

  • Analytic: Training is successful when the trainer understands and can manipulate the events that control a target behavior. This may be relatively easy to do in theory or in an empty training room, where a trainer can arrange the relevant events, but it is not always easy, or ethical, in an applied situation. The effectiveness of the intervention is revealed by changes in just the behavior to which the intervention is being applied.

  • Technological: The description of a training plan must be clear and detailed so that any competent trainer can repeat it accurately. This is the standard way to check this: Have a trainer read the description and then act out the procedure in detail. If the trainer makes any mistakes or has to ask any questions, then the description needs improvement.

  • Conceptually Systematic: Dog training should not simply produce a list of effective interventions. Rather, to the extent possible, these methods should be grounded in behavioral principles. This is aided by the use of theoretically meaningful terms, such as "conditioned reinforcement" or "generalization" where appropriate.

  • Effective: Though training methods should be theoretically grounded, they must be effective. If an intervention does not produce a large enough effect for practical use, then the training has failed.

  • General: Training should aim for interventions that are generalizable; the methods should work in different environments, apply to more than one specific behavior, and have long-lasting effects.

  • Accountable: To be accountable means that a training outline must be able to demonstrate that it is effective. This requires repeatedly measuring the success of plans, and, if necessary, making changes that improve their effectiveness.

  • Published: The methods, results, and theoretical analyses of training plans must be published and open to scrutiny. There are no hidden treatments or mystical, metaphysical explanations. References and statistics should be used whenever possible.

  • Doable: To be generally useful, training plans should be available to a variety of individuals, who might be pet owners, working dog handlers, or animal shelter workers. With proper planning and training, many plans can be applied by almost anyone willing to invest the effort.

  • Empowering: Training plans should provide tools that give the trainer feedback on the results of interventions. These allow trainers to assess their skill level and build confidence in their effectiveness.

 

Help for an Unregulated Profession

The results of these systems and those who use them have helped the company become recognized as an influential leader in the industry. Below, you can watch some clips from actual group classes, with various instructors, that follow techniques that are learned from this site.

Good dog training plans are smooth, scalable, humane, modifiable for each unique situation, and can be transparent without any fear of exposing inhumane or questionable treatment to the dogs. If the "blueprints" make sense the results will follow.

Basic training at the beginning of clips and advanced off-leash toward the end of each clip.

FACTS:

The best-trained dogs are trained by the best-trained handlers.

The best-trained handlers are trained by the best professional dog trainers.

The best professional dog trainers are serious about their profession and education.

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