About Special Paws
Special Paws is owned by trainer Katalin (Laszlo) Kerekes. Katalin is a
member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT).
Katalin has a B.S. in Zoology and is currently working on an M.S. in
Environmental Biology. Katalin's focus has always been on the study of
animal behavior. She has over a decade's worth of research experience
studying various aspects of animal behavior. She has spent most of her adult
life working with numerous species of monkeys including owl monkeys,
several species of macaques and tufted capuchins.
Katalin's interest in canine behavior stemmed from her love of the study of
animal behavior. When she adopted her chow chow, Special Dark, Katalin's
desire for finding a humane way to train him while making sure he had fun in
the process turned her on to the techniques of positive reinforcement. Katalin
studied to become a dog trainer, and soon started training professionally. She
acquired thousands of hours of training experience with puppies, rescue and
shelter dogs including teaching courses covering potty training, pulling on
leash, excessive barking, jumping, digging and basic and advanced cues.
Katalin has also addressed behavioral concerns relating to fearful dogs,
resource guarding, dogs exhibiting on-leash aggression (barrier frustration)
and numerous other behaviors. Katalin later went on to open Special Paws.
Katalin is especially passionate about educating her clients on understanding
canine social behavior, including learning to read their dogs' body language
and how dogs communicate with each other.
Click here to read client testimonials.
About our training methods
Special Paws is founded on the principles of positive reinforcement.
We use reward based techniques in all of our training. A reward can be anything
from food items to play to toys to walks--anything your dog deems wonderful. Since
food is a great motivator, we will be using treat rewards in our lessons to teach
dogs desired behaviors.
Positive reinforcement is fun for both you and your dog, strengthening your bond.
This is one of the reasons it produces such great results!
We'll show you how to achieve your training goals in a fun, dog-friendly way. We
will show you how to use a treat as a lure (think of a horse being lead along with a
carrot) to teach your dog to perform a behavior. We'll show you how to time rewards
in the most effective manner. Then we'll show you how to fade the lure. We'll show
you how to correctly add a cue. In the end, you'll be left with a reliable verbal and/or
visual signal. We'll teach you ways to evaluate whether your dog is "meeting
criteria" on those cues- does your dog really know what sit means? We'll show you
fun ways to make sure he or she does know!
To learn more about positive reinforcement and the science and learning theory
behind the training we offer at Special Paws click here.
We do not employ any methods associated with"dominance" in our training.
There are many myths surrounding "dominance" in dogs and it is far more useful
to think of training in terms of manipulating leverage rather than dominance (see
our Resources section for more information on this).