Note from School Director, David Muriello
“Like many of you reading this, I first started on this path by training my own dog and it quickly became something I loved. I found myself wanting to do more training, every single day. I couldn’t stop reading dog training books, watching every possible educational video, and attending hours of dog training workshops. (You might say I became a bit of a dog geek, but I like to think it was the cool type of geek.) One day I realized that dog training could be a real job and that I could earn a good living doing it. Wow. That realization caused me to take my studies seriously and develop a career path. I started gaining real experience by volunteering to train shelter dogs and at the same time teaching basic private lessons to dog owners who needed help. I had my beginner moments. I was body slammed by rowdy Rottweillers and puzzled by pooping Shih-Tzus, humbled by shelter dogs that wouldn’t connect with me, and head over heels in love with all dogs that would! It was an awesome range of new experiences, and most importantly, I learned from every success and mistake. My business grew quickly from my commitment to a handful of powerful ideas that have become the Guiding Principles you will find throughout the CATCH program.
I love dogs of every shape, size, and breed, but I’ve always had a special affection for shelter dogs that get a second chance when they are adopted. My last three dogs – Eli, Flash, and Hazel – have all become part of my family in this way. Each of these dogs has their claim to fame in my life and a place deep, deep in my heart. Eli was a Husky-Shepherd mix that landed us on Live with Regis and Kelly (but also once ripped the handle off my fridge. I put a baby lock on it after he figured out how to open the door and eat entire shelves of food. The lock worked so well that the door stayed shut tight. Eli walked away with the handle in his mouth instead). Flash was a brilliant, beautiful Border Collie. He joined me on the Rachael Ray Show, appeared in a Milk Bone ad, and… with his obsessive herding instincts and tireless fence running, carved a trench on one side of my yard that could have been an effective bunker at Normandy. Hazel, ahhh Hazel – she is my latest dream dog. She is the white Pointer-Pit Bull mix that you see in photos throughout our website. Whenever I take a break from my work as the School Director for CATCH, my favorite activity is hiking off-leash with Hazel through long trails in the nearby woods. (She likes this just slightly better than her other favorite activity – cleaning the floor like a wet-vac around my son’s dinner chair.)
A quote that sums up why I went full-steam-ahead into dog training is attributed to that all-knowing source of wisdom that every soul-searching human must turn to for inspiration and guidance… a fortune cookie. ‘Many a false step was made by standing still.‘ Once I realized that dog training was a career I would actually enjoy – there was no standing still, no going back to an office job. The path became self-motivating, and success followed. Working with dogs and animal lovers every day has proven to be more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever done before. It is best summed up by the ancient philosopher Confucius, with his quote: ‘Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.’ This is the simple reason I have chosen to create CATCH and be a personal Mentor Trainer to our students. I love it!”