Chicago Journal: The West Loop Whisperer

How to make a dog behave
Call the West Loop dog whisperer

By SIGRID LUPIERI
Medill News Service

On a recent day, one of Chicago’s best-behaved dogs stepped out of his owner’s car and acknowledged his surroundings with a dignified glance, ignoring the patch of green space nearby and the squirrels that scurried through it. He sat on the sidewalk and waited for orders.

Ami Moore came around from the driver’s side, and gave a few short but friendly commands. Her 13-year-old black poodle Dundee rose up and followed obediently at her heels as they walked together down the street.

Moore and Dundee, residents of the West Loop, have forged a bond using through what Moore calls “dog whispering.” She doesn’t just use the technique on her own dogs either. Doggie Do Right, her canine training company, offers a variety of dog services to a nationwide client base. Dog owners will hire her to teach their pets to obey commands, settle down at home and act calmly in public. Moore does it without bribes like food and other treats.

“Dog whispering is just living like a dog,” she said. “I can fix everything, except aggression, in two hours.”

Moore has been training dogs for 15 years. She left a career as a teacher and occupational therapist to move into the field full-time. An ordained minister in the Universal Life Church and a Native American medicine woman, Moore tries to bring all her skills together to help troubled dogs.

Dog owners who hire Moore often treat their pets “like emotion comfort food,” she said, causing problems like hyperactivity, aggression, chewed furniture and constant barking. A dog smothered with affection can suffer from separation anxiety when an owner just picks up the keys to the door.

“These dogs can’t exist in a modern world,” Moore said. “When you leave them alone, they feel like they’re going to die.”

As with children, spoiling a dog can stress the pet and owner’s relationship too.

“If owners don’t set down rules and consequences, dogs become like Paris Hilton,” she said.

Moore often makes house calls to do her trainings. She first establishes a presence-“I’m just like an old Catholic nun,” she said-standing tall and staring at the dog with a stern face and eyes.

She will separate the animal from its owner. Then she begins “teaching the dog English” so they’ll recognize basic commands needed in a typical urban environment and obey them. Most dogs, she said, only know a few words-like “No,” “Bad,” “Damn it” and “Stop.”

The second step involves teaching an owner to communicate with the dog, Moore said. Through psychological dominance called “alphatude,” she teaches the owner to become the dominant partner in the relationship with the dog.

Moore says the process is similar to that of educating children, though humans eventually grow up and become independent.

“Luckily for us, dogs never reach 18,” Moore said. “They’re like a two-year-old with superhuman powers.”

She uses tuning forks and an “energy adjuster” massager to relieve tension in dogs. At the end of the training, the owners should feel comfortable and confident with their pets.

Wilmette dog owner Nancy Sublette, one of Moore’s clients, said her family has a dachshund called Mr. Weiner who was overly energetic, prone to chewing up the family’s shoes.

“It was actually ruining our life,” she said. “[Mr. Weiner] was eating everything.”

After a year of attending puppy training sessions, Sublette said she’s more aware of dog psychology, and the chewing problems have stopped.

Moore said that with the right training, dogs can become almost human and are just fun to have around.

“You can take the biggest, baddest, meanest dog and you can restore harmony to him and the people,” she said.

Ami Moore Wows Radio Station WCRX

Local Dog Whisperer is Guest on WCRX’s Pet Talk

CHICAGO – A local dog coach’s Dog Boot Camp business got a boost after it was featured on WCRX’s Pet Talk, hosted by Antonia Zito.

“I got an avalanche of Dog Boot Camp inquiries,” says a grateful Ami Moore.

Through the talk radio show, which airs every Saturday morning on WCRX and WCRX.net, Moore was able to promote her unique boot camp, a program which rehabilitates problem pets in a relatively short amount of time.

“We run boot camps that range in length from three days to 31 days,” Moore explains.

In most cases, the dog lives with the trainer during the entire boot camp period. The owner may visit the dog, but it isn’t mandatory. The dog boot camp is a fun-filled experience for the dog that entails education, exercise, field trips to the dog park, the dog beach and local forest preserves. “The dog boot camp dogs accompany us on our outings during the day; if we go to Starbucks-the dog goes to Starbucks. If we go hang out at a gallery opening-the dog attends with us.”

“The dog is kept in a whole pack manner so that the other dogs that are there help us reinforce the lessons of calmness, control and submission,” Moore continues. “In our method, the most submissive dog is rewarded first.”

Tools and techniques are used which relate to dogs on a psychological level, Moore says.
“The dog, as a species, has many reflexes and genetic programming which can be used to increase the ease of learning,” Moore says. “That is a trick which we have learned, and which we use in our program.”

Dogs are fed raw meat or Flint River Ranch brand dog food, which is made from human-grade ingredients. If a dog is overweight, it is enrolled in a fitness program. “I practiced a raw meat diet for about two years. Hard to believe! I ate raw meat, raw dairy products and greens and I felt as if I was a kid again. I lost weight, gained energy and I only needed four hours of sleep per night. I used a combination of the Neanderthin or Caveman program, parts of Dr. Weston Price’s eating plan and Aajounus Vonderplanitz’s Primal Diet program. I figured that if I had no right to experiment on dogs if I wasn’t going to experiment on myself first.”

“In less than two weeks, we can rehabilitate any dog with almost any problem,” Moore boasts.
“We educate the dog in a gentle, dog-friendly manner to such an advanced degree that the dog will respond to commands anywhere, any time – without a leash.”

Ami Moore has developed a successful career by applying human occupational therapy techniques to the training of dogs. A lifelong dog lover, she has used what she learned during her years as a children’s occupational therapist to help dogs who have behavior issues.

Moore’s human clients struggled with disabilities such as attention deficit disorder (ADD) and Down Syndrome, and, through her experiences, she discovered that dogs who have trouble being calm have many things in common with children who have ADD.

Ami Moore warns pet owners to select a boot camp location carefully.

“In Illinois, it is illegal for a dog trainer to keep dogs in their home unless the home has been inspected by the State of Illinois Department of Agriculture as a kennel,” she says. “In addition, the city in which the dog trainer is located should also issue a license for the dog training activity. These trainers that work illegally out of their home-generally are novices who dabble in dog training after they get off of their day job.”

“The public should be very aware that there are many outlaw Illinois dog trainers running dog training boot camps out of their homes illegally.”


Ami Moore is a Chicago-based dog behaviorist, dog coach, educator, speaker and author. Visit her Web site at www.dogwhispererchicago.com. or www.amimoore.com. Ami Moore can be reached by calling 847-284-7760.
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West Loop Chicago Wows!!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dog-friendly citizens prepare for West Loop development
Ward 2 Representative Alderman Fioretti Wows at Maui Wowi

CHICAGO – March 11, 2008 –New development in the West Loop will bring more businesses and residents, and plenty of hope for a vibrant future. But if plans aren’t made now to prepare for that development, suggests one local dog trainer, citizens will be spending more time looking down than looking ahead.

Ami Moore, president of Doggie Do Right 911, explains that the addition of nearly 5,000 units in the West Loop would bring an influx of canine residents to the area—and with it, plenty of dog waste. “Development is wonderful for our community,” Moore says. “But it will create increased pressure on the community as dogs, families and businesses compete for the same public spaces for work and recreation. We don’t want to have a situation where dog waste starts to deteriorate the sidewalks and parks that children share with dogs.” Plans for a dog park are in place, Moore says, but the park is not expected to be completed until 2009.

Moore and Priscilla Taylor, the owner of the Maui Wowi Coffee and Smoothies, hosted Ward 2 representative Alderman Fioretti at a community meeting with local West Loop business owners to address concerns about real estate development, parking and public safety. The event was held Feb. 29 at the Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee and Smoothies at 850 West Jackson Boulevard Suite 125, which boosted a capacity crowd for the discussion. Salvador Lamas, General Manager of Taco Burrito King, Craig L. Manchi from the Law Offices of Craig L. Manchi & Associates P.C. as well as other concerned business leaders attended the community meeting.

The most pressing issue discussed was the potential placement of new stops signs at the intersections of either Jackson and Green or Jackson and Peoria as a method to decrease the frequency of auto accidents. Another issue of great concern to the attendees was the development of the Fanny May site and potential businesses that would be placed in the development. An avid proponent of the local community, Fioretti listened carefully to community feedback and echoed concerns about growth and real estate developments that did not harmonize with a green and environmentally responsible West Loop. To address the concern of clean sidewalks, Moore suggested that the community increase the number of waste containers on the ward’s street corners so that it would be more convenient for dog owners to dispose of their waste. Moore advocated placing dog waste bag dispensers around the West Loop area, in zones popular with dog owners.

What’s next for West Loop? According to Moore, continued support for the West Loop Adam’s Street dog park, and community involvement in keeping the area clean. To lead the charge, Moore is organizing “Spring Cleaning” events to clean the streets, alleys and parks of the West Loop for the warm weather months. For more information, contact Moore at 847-284-7760 or via email at dogdoright@aol.com.
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Contact: Ami Moore Phone: 847-284-7760 Email: Dogdoright@aol.com