The Wilton dog trainer appears on the Today show on Wednesday morning; Offers advice on National Puppy Day – The Daily Gazette

Note: Wilton dog trainer Tom Davis appeared on the Today Show on Wednesday morning. Watch this appearance here. Our story before it appeared is below.

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HALF MOON – When Tom Davis was 19 or 20, he lived in a tent with two dogs. Davis’ parents were separated and his father had moved to Indiana, and Davis was trying to fend for himself after graduating from South Glens Falls High School. So he spent a summer sleeping in a tent in a friend’s garden with a Saint Bernard and a pooch. Davis wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do in life, but he knew he wanted it to involve dogs.

On Wednesday morning, nearly a decade and a half later, Wilton resident Davis will be on the Today show help commemorate National Puppy Day by offering advice to millions of viewers on how puppy owners can develop better relationships with their pets.

Davis, 33, has become one of the nation’s leading dog trainers, having worked with thousands of dogs and owners around the world in cities from LA to London and providing on-site training at his Upstate resort 15,000 square foot Canine Academy in Halfmoon and a separate smaller facility in Clifton Park. He’s worked with celebrity dogs, including Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ Cane Corso and a pit bull, and with former Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Northern Inuit in the state executive mansion. from New York. Davis’ social media channels attract over one million viewers per month. When he married in August, he rented a mansion in Aspen, Colorado, and hired influencer private chef Logan Paul to host the event, according to Rob Murphy, who was at the wedding and knows Davis since the time Davis left Indiana. in upstate New York in college.

But when Davis was a child, his path seemed much less certain.

“My mom always said that Tom was my one friend she was most worried about,” said Murphy, who is now owner/chef of Craft on 9.

Davis said he felt lost from an early age. But he always felt an innate connection with dogs.

“My parents separated when I was young,” he said. “I was a key kid, and it was me and the dogs my whole life.”

When attending college at what is now SUNY Adirondack didn’t work out and jobs like a fry cook seemed meaningless, Davis had a chat with his brother.

“He looked at me and said, ‘What would you like to wake up and do for the rest of your life,’ and I was like something with dogs for sure,” Davis said. “But I was wondering how am I going to make a living working with dogs? What does that mean?”

While living in the tent, Davis started his own dog walking business and traveled from South Glens Falls to Albany. He subsisted on Stewart’s coffee, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Davis walked dogs for about five or six years until a client called her one day.

“He said, hey, you’re really good with my dog, and I was wondering if you could help me train my dog.”

Davis wasn’t a certified trainer — in fact, he still doesn’t hold any certification — but he was confident he could help with the client’s dog’s behavioral issues.

That one dog training client soon led to another, with Davis using her natural connection with dogs to identify their issues and help create a unique approach to improving their behavior.

“It’s the misfit thing we have. I grew up not really knowing what I wanted to do,” Davis said. “I resonate with dogs on that level where if they have a problem, I see it through their eyes. I’ve been there. I’ve been that person that people don’t believe in, that people think is “She’s going to fail. I have an innate ability to understand them.

Davis began sharing his dog-training work via social media and continued to expand his client list, which eventually led to him taking on Major League Baseball pitcher and Latham native Jeffrey Hoffman. Davis’ work with Hoffman gave him an avenue in the world of elite athletes, celebrities and politicians. From there, Davis continued to grow her online presence, hiring a professional production team in recent years to improve the quality of her content. That effort is what ultimately led him to Wednesday’s appearance at 8 a.m. on Todaywhere he will appear for up to 5 minutes during which he will be introduced to three dogs and discuss specific strategies owners can use to improve their relationships with their dogs.

The morning before the national television appearance, Davis said he felt ready.

“Someone can bring me a dog from anywhere in the world with the biggest, craziest behavior problem, and not only do I feel comfortable working with that dog, but I feeling confident and excited to step into the ring with this dog,” Davis said. . “It’s almost second nature to me. It’s an art form.

Davis focuses on helping owners connect with their pets rather than party stuff like “paw” or “shake.” His motto is “no bad dogs”, which means that all dogs can do well if they have the right training.

One of the pointers that Davis plans to discuss on Today is to teach owners how to ask visitors to greet their dogs. Instead of annoying dogs and then scolding them for jumping and barking, start a visit by asking guests to ignore the dog, suggests Davis.

This kind of behavioral advice is especially helpful now, when dog ownership has increased during the pandemic, according to the American Pet Products Association. Now, 54% of U.S. households have dogs, according to the 2021-2022 APPA National Pet Ownership Survey.

Seth Hutson, lead instructor at Animal Behavior College, a California-based school that helps prepare people for careers working with pets, said he’s seen demand rise in both the curriculum and the school dog training instructor and in the puppy classes he teaches. For example, he went from three puppy training classes a week to 11 classes a week during the pandemic.

Patrick Francis, of Coeymans, said his 110-pound German Shepherd, Bane, is doing very well because he works with Davis as a rescue pup.

“He looks intimidating because of his size, but I could take this dog to any store, any dog ​​park,” Francis said. “He’s a great dog, and it’s thanks to [Davis].”

National Puppy Day, in addition to taking the opportunity to rejoice in the cuteness of puppies, is also designed to raise awareness about puppy mills and help prospective pet owners consider adoption. About 30 to 40 animals enter the nation’s roughly 10,000 puppy mills every day, according to figures posted on the National Puppy Day website.

Davis takes his job very seriously precisely because he can help prevent puppies from turning into disobedient dogs that eventually lose their way, leading to abandonment or other difficult situations. In fact, some of the dogs that come to Davis have been court ordered to undergo obedience training because they have bitten or attacked someone.

“So I have a responsibility not only to keep the dog alive in certain circumstances, but to make sure the public will be safe with that dog,” Davis said.

Even with “problematic” dogs, Davis said he doesn’t focus on past issues. Instead, he sees dogs as individuals and assumes the best of them – just like how he would want to be treated.

“I think a lot of dog owners cling to the past. Dog owners get lost in the emotion of these things,” Davis said. “I look at them for the dog they are.”

Andrew Waite can be reached at [email protected] and at 518-417-9338. Follow him on Twitter @UpstateWaite.

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