Dog training that goes beyond sit and stay

Dog's Best Friend helps owners, pets build bonds

Jan. 16, 2012

In more than 25 years in business, Chas Rooney estimates he's trained about 7,000 dogs - and twice as many canine owners.

"It's not enough to get dogs to listen to me," said the proprietor of Dog's Best Friend. "Trainers must have well-developed people skills as well, so they can reach dog owners and communicate to them how they can get the most out of relationships with their pets."

With no two personalities alike - be they dog or human - Rooney long ago shunned cookie-cutter training methods in favor of a customized, reinforcement-based approach.

"I use variations and combinations of five reinforcement methods," he said. "Positive involves giving dogs treats, toys or anything that will make them want to obey; neutral is repetitive conditioning, like homework; assertive is catching the dog in the act of committing a small mistake and correcting it on the spot; preventive teaches the dog to recognize 'no;' and negative is something that will cause a dog discomfort, like a choke collar or spraying water in its face. One should only own a dog to love it, so I only use negative reinforcement as a last resort, in case a pet is violent or prone to running out in the street and endangering itself. "

Dog's Best Friend conducts obedience classes in both group and private settings, and also offers specialty courses that include training dogs to perform tricks, hunt and carry out search and rescue missions.

The classes are offered daily - a fact, Rooney said, that further distinguishes his Brookfield-based business from the competition.

"Unlike most dog trainers, Dog's Best Friend is a full-time, professional dog-training facility," he said. "This is my career. Because it's all I do, I can train better and faster than those who only train on the side.

"Once a pet's been trained, their personality comes to life and the owner can experience an incredible relationship that involves so much more than just walking their dog and cleaning up after it."

If you would like to suggest a business to be featured in the Business Spotlight, send an e-mail to or call (262) 446-6643.


BUSINESS: Dog's Best Friend

ADDRESS: 150 Janacek Road, Brookfield

PHONE: (414) 476-5511


OWNER: Chas Rooney


TYPE OF BUSINESS: animal care

PEARLS OF WISDOM: "The potential relationship between humans and dogs is awe-inspiring when proper, clear and simple, intuitive training and communication is taught, learned and put in place."



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