Jason Cohen and his loyal dog, Cheddar would walk side-by-side down the block and only get several feet before Cheddar, his loving, mixed breed rescue, would lunge at another dog.
Cheddar had fallen victim to leash attacks as a pup - more than once - and grew up on the defensive end of the leash. Although Jason was proactive and had trainers for Cheddar from the beginning, he knew it was time to step up the program. Jason and Cheddar learned with, and from, several trainers and eventually ended up with an aggression specialist. This specialist helped build Cheddar’s confidence on the leash, and at the same time counseled an inquisitive Jason on how to be an ideal dog owner.
Over the next several years inspiration climbed for Jason as he observed these trainers and applied their methods and various abilities to make his dog’s life more enjoyable. He also began to study various training protocols and techniques on his own, through reading and online research. And even though he didn’t yet leave his former day job his interest in canine education grew. Jason continued to pursue the world of dog training with his current fur baby, Karma. He adopted her through Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue with whom he soon began to volunteer for.
Another brindle mix, remarkably similar in appearance to Cheddar, Karma is a sweet lady who just wants to please. She and Jason bonded immediately, but this also came with the issue of separation anxiety. Given a quick mind to work with, she and Jason made their primary hobby having fun while training.
Today, this is what Jason does for a living.
“I realized that helping humans and dogs communicate better is the best way to save these amazing dogs’ lives,” Jason says. “I decided being a Dog Trainer is the path for me.”
Jason left that day job and ventured with Karma to the Starmark Academy in Hutto, Texas where he graduated from their Canine Training and Behavior Specialist Program. He is also a Professional Member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) and Associate Member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP).
His signature methodology of, “Bark, Train, Love” derives from his philosophy that dog training should always be done with full-hearted dedication and an understanding that no two dogs are the same.
Cohen believes that the first step in training should be assessing the problem thoroughly via a consultation that determines the dog’s motivation for their behavior (Bark). Next, he works to bridge the gap of communication between the dog and its owner (Train). Lastly, Cohen uses physical and mental exercise coupled with rewards for positive behavior (Love). Jason says he also follows up with written notes, online videos and support in between training sessions. His primary goal is to motivate the dog and inspire the owners so that they can have the best possible relationship with a customized plan.
“I feel being an honest and caring trainer with a true passion to help humans and dogs live better lives is my goal,” says Jason. “Being available whether it be via, phone, text or email to answer [any] questions for my clients and friends.”
In just a short year Jason has trained almost 100 dogs while always keeping in mind that a dog needs a leader, mentor and advocate. To Jason, it’s about giving the dog direction and guidance and not expecting them to know what you want and how you want them to behave. The best example of this is all conveyed through Jason’s story of training Sir Charles Shadowboxer, a mixed breed dog from Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue.
Sir Charles Shadowboxer was adopted by a couple with three young kids who had been scarred by the trappings (growling and aggression towards the children) of a behaviorally unbalanced dog in the past. When they saw those same occurrences within the first few nights of having Sir Charles they panicked.
In comes Jason.
Jason saw right away that Charlie needed guidance and a leader to teach him to make better choices. He needed to know that he was taken care of and loved. Jason knew that some structure could do just that for Sir Charles. Today Sir Charles’ family says they now have the most behaved dog they have ever known. ”A lot of times the problems aren’t that hard to fix,” Says Jason. “They just need structure, balance and boundaries.”
Jason is an open-minded trainer, utilizing all methods when needed for particular dogs. His preference, which was a success with Sir Charles Shadowboxer, is marker training, which is using a clicker or verbal cue to help dogs understand what it is that’s wanted of them. With this method, he prefers to use treats or the pup’s own food as a motivator. He also made use of a training collar to let Sir Charles understand what he was doing was unacceptable behavior. Jason is open to customizing a training method for an owner’s preferences, as long as it works for them and the dog.
Jason offers many different training packages which can be seen on his website and continues pro bono work with Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. Jason teaches the basics: housebreaking, crate training, sit, down, come one cue, place and can focus on Urban Etiquette (no jumping, barking, loose leash walking). He also likes to work on teaching skills he believes to be necessary such as “Look” and “Leave it” while adding duration, distance and distractions to all cues. He is often sought out for his experience with Behavior Modification for separation anxiety and fear, as well as leash reactivity.
You can reach Jason by filling out the “Contact Me” section of his website www.caninecohen.com or by calling him at (646)872-3461. You can also spot him and Karma at most Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue adoption events.