People may want a dog trainer to address canine behavioral to emotional issues but Ricardo Paredes said owners themselves often need some training too.
The Gilbert man started CharlieBar Boarding & Training six years ago, realizing a passion that he has had since childhood.
“I was the kid that would save baby birds and raise them until they could fly,” Paredes said. “I grew up having many dogs so I thought I would become a veterinarian.
“However, as I matured and went onto college, I pursued a degree in animal behavior, only changing courses to sociology when the math requirements became too intense.”
While working at a job that paid the bills, he nurtured his childhood obsession by rescuing stray dogs and bringing them home to help and heal.
“One day I found two German Shepherds who were in horrible shape – dirty, emaciated, no collars and covered in ticks,” Paredes recalled. ““I worked with them until I was able to rehabilitate them enough to be with my dogs Charlie and Lily, as well as able to go to the dog park.”
At the time, Paredes did not know much about dog training. His work with the two German Shepherds inspired him to start rehabilitating dogs for re-homing.
“I found a mentor named Sean Thompson, an amazing competitive dog trainer, who I knew would be able to teach me everything I needed to know to find success,” Paredes explained.
When it comes to owners, some of his common training challenges include people who are not ready for animal ownership, especially if the animals were a gift. He also has encountered owners who do not understand a breed and its uniqueness or don’t know how to properly socialize a new animal, which leads to reactivity, separation anxiety and possessive behavior.
“The key for a dog to be successful in a home as well as happy is to have an owner that understands how important clear, concise, and consistent communication is for pets,” Paredes said. “I am a dog trainer that is known as a balanced trainer. This means I understand the role that both positive reinforcement and negative enforcement play in successful ownership.”
“When I train a dog, I focus on tools of communication which allow the dog to understand exactly when it is right and exactly when it is wrong,” he said.
“The goal is for the dog to make its own decisions. This could only happen properly if the dog is trained using a fair and clear format of communication.”
While he offers private sessions and also boards trainees, “in both formats, the owner needs to know how to continue training the dog,” he said.
“If the leader does not know what they are doing, it does not matter what the followers are taught.”
CharlieBar works with countless shelters, rehabilitating dogs that were set to be euthanized. Achieving goals with these special animals is perhaps the most rewarding.
“We worked with a dog named Sophie who we trained to be a service dog for a woman with mobility issues,” he said. “This dog was taught to do so many things, it’s actually quite impressive.
“There are also other dogs, such as a dog named Knox, who was rescued and sent to us for training. His situation looked bleak, but we turned him around and were able to get him a home in which he literally saved the lives of his owners in a home invasion.”
He recalled having a service dog that was not properly prepped for the job.
Yet, “within three months we were able to train her to do many tasks for a young girl inhibited from lifting things and performing standard tasks. My many success stories can be found on my Facebook Page.”