Trainer’s secret is vibrating dog collar

A tragic experience with her first dog sent Ami Moore on a quest to find out how not to go through the same episode again.

A German shepherd she got when she was 12 was so out of control, with biting and other bad behavior, that Moore had to have the dog euthanized when it was 7 years old.

“It broke my heart,” she recalled. “It led me on my search to try to find the perfect training method.”

Moore eventually got another dog and tried everything from using a choke chain, using positive reinforcement with treats, and “the clicker method,” where the owner gives behavior cues with a little device that makes clicking sounds.

After years of trying, “I still had dogs that wouldn’t come when I called,” she said.

A few years ago, Moore found out about Fred Hassen, who created the “No Limitations” dog training system. She went to Las Vegas and saw one of his seminars.

“When I saw him, there was a very fearful dog there that was biting men,” she said. “The dog’s fear was gone in 15 minutes.”

‘Tap and tell’ method

Moore took one of his classes and became a certified No Limitations trainer. The key to it is a collar, controlled by hand-held remote, that delivers either a vibration or a low-intensity electric shock to the dog. The vibration or shock are designed to get the dog’s attention, to eliminate any possible distractions between the canine and human, so there can be clear communication.

The “tap” is coupled with a verbal command or a firm yet gentle physical persuasion. With the “tap and tell” method, if you want a dog to sit and stay, you administer a low intensity “tap” and guide the dog into a sitting position.

Hassen demonstrated tap and tell in October during a two-day training session at the Chicago Canine Academy, 4934 W. Belmont Ave., with Mollie, a 5-year-old English sheep dog. Mollie, brought by her owners from Michigan, was nipping at Hassen, pulling on the leash, yelping, trembling and resisting just about every command. Mollie was also aggressive toward other dogs.

As Hassen worked on “reprogramming” the dog, Moore explained that the owner, Niki McGuire, tried private training at home, but “this is a dog who is saying, ‘I’m not going to do it and you can’t make me,’ ” Moore said.

“For five years the dog was running the house,” Moore said.

After about 15 minutes, Mollie was walking beside Hassen and obeying commands. The dog that refused to walk up and down stairs before was walking up and down a platform without hesitation.

After Hassen turned Mollie back over to her, McGuire said, “Right now she is not fighting me. It was kind of nice. I’d like to see what happens the rest of the day, to see what other leaps and bounds we can make … But I think it’s going to take a lot of practice with her.”

Get dog’s attention

To address the aversion some people might have to the idea of shocking a dog to get it to behave, Moore said the intent is neither to torture nor punish the dog.”It’s a very gentle, kind manner to train,” she said. “What I do is I start with the vibration. If the dog doesn’t notice, I start with the lowest setting. What you are doing is you are telling the dog, ‘This means stop what you are doing and look at me.’

Moore said: “I want the dog to look at me and say, ‘Yes, Ami? What can I do for you?’ ”

By the third day of training, Moore said she could get a dog to be on a leash anywhere. “In five days, I can train a dog to be off leash anywhere, even downtown on lunch hour. I can train a dog in the real world, for today’s world.”

Moore, who lists her profession as “Dog Whisperer of Chicago,” is an author, lecturer, pediatric occupational therapist, adult education instructor, certified Master Trainer, a certified No Limitations Remote Collar specialist, and director of training for Doggie Do Right! 911.

In addition to dog training, other services she offers are canine psychological rehabilitation and dog group therapy for “dogs who are suffering from an out-of-balance relationship with other dogs.”

For further information call Moore at (847) 284-7764 or go to

Staff writer Alan Schmidt can be contacted at .

Service Dogs: Pest or Medical Device

Service Dog Chicago

Service Dog Chicago


The discussion on Service Dogs and Assistance Dogs rages on, here Ami the Memphis Dog Coach was asked to weigh in on the subject:








Is Your Dog Suffering from Dry Skin This Chicago Winter

Dogs experience discomfort  every winter because of the dryness of their fur and skin. The cold, dry air of winter can give your dog flaky, rough, painful skin. This in turn can lead to everything from a  coat full of dandruff to  obsessive scratching and even hot spots or skin lesions. These types of constant pain can increase your dog’s aggressive nature.

Your dog doesn’t have to suffer just because of the cold, dry winter weather. Stop winter skin and coat problems in its tracks by taking some time to prepare your dog’s body for the season. Today I’d like to share some dog friendly tips that can help alleviate these symptoms.

The major factor in irritated dog skin is dry winter air. As soon as temperatures start dropping, a humidifier  in your home can help prevent symptoms that lead to dry skin.  The next thing to do is to make sure that your dog has access to fish oil tablets that will help heal skin from the inside.






CHICAGO DOG ANGEL–1943.html?fb_action_ids=4406957690642&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Chicago Journal: The West Loop Whisperer

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

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.

Click for Joy! named top dog training book of 2003.

Which book is top dog? Click for Joy! named top dog training book of 2003.

Which book should you get to train that new puppy or grown dog? Click for Joy!, by Melissa Alexander(Sunshine Books,2003),took home this year’s coveted Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America for best book on dog behavior and training.

Click for Joy! explains, in an easy-to-use question and answer format how to create a positive relationship with your dog using the power of clicker training – a powerful, all-positive behavioral system popularized by behavioral biologist and animal trainer Karen Pryor.

The award was given out in Manhattan at the annual award dinner the evening before the famed Westminster Dog Show. In addition to the Maxwell Award, Click for Joy! also took home the DWAA’s special award for best training and behavior publication in any bound form.

Ms. Alexander, who lives is Seattle, said “I’m floating on air. I used to read the DWAA winners list every year and dream of being part of it. I’m so glad Click for Joy! got me there.”

Karen Pryor, CEO of the publisher Sunshine Books/KPCT, added “We are so proud of Melissa and her wonderful book. The smart design and the wide range of questions and answers makes it the ideal resource for people with puppies or grown dogs. We are thrilled at this recognition from the Dog Writers Association of America.”

To buy the book online, all 1-800-472-5425 or visit or; off-line visit select PETsMART stores and other fine pet stores.

To learn more about clicker training, get more information on the author, see the table of contents or selected excerpts, visit or call 1-800-472-5425