Meet the Merchant

Cati Foss, center, owner, Arnicadia Dog Training. Foss has been training dogs for nearly 15 years.

How did you get started?

“I’ve been studying dog training for close to 15 years. I’ve been working with PETCO for five years. I was offered this position as a trainer about three and a half years ago. One of the trainers (Erica Curtis) who helped to train me offered to let me purchase the business from her.”

How many dogs would you estimate you’ve trained over your career?

“It’s easily well over 1,000.”

Are some breeds harder to train?

“Yes, for certain types of training. Coming when called, for instance, can be a little harder with terrier breeds. For leash walking, breeds like huskies can be difficult. Basically the training that’s against the nature of the animal can be harder. I’ve never had a breed that’s hard to work with per se, you just have to understand the limitations of the breed.”

What’s the biggest misconception when it comes to dog training?

“That it’s one size fits all. Every dog has different learning curves that have to be accounted for. In some instances, it’s just one slight change that fixes training for a dog or the handler. There’s no set right or wrong way of training a dog, but it’s definitely much more effective over the long term to focus on positive based training.”

What mistake do owners often make while training pets?

“Paying too much attention to problem behaviors and not enough on the behaviors the dog is doing right.”

What has dog training taught you?

“It’s taught me massive amounts of patience. It’s also taught me that sometimes the perception created about a certain animal isn’t always true — it just takes the right handler and time frame.”

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