I always wanted a TV show because TV was the largest platform to reach people. I was training dogs — sometimes thirty dogs at a time — and I realized that if I was ever going to make an impact with my life, I would have to find a way to reach more people. TV was my only option, but there were many obstacles…
I could not speak English very well. I didn’t know anyone in Hollywood. And I didn’t have any money. Slowly, all these obstacles were eliminated. Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith became my clients. Jada paid for English lessons and, one day, two Hollywood producers came to visit me in South Central LA to ask if they could do a TV show about dog training and dog behavior.
As I think about the past nine years, there are some cases that stand out. For me, Gavin (Season 4, Episode 9) was definitely a memorable case. It was the first time I used a treadmill to rehab a dog. We recorded sounds that the dog was afraid of and we ran the sound track while the dog walked on the treadmill. This virtual reality training was new to me and it has inspired a product that is coming out next year: The virtual dog walker.
Baby Girl (Season 5 Episode 15) was also unique because it pushed me to understand cats. If Baby Girl didn’t get help, she would have starved herself to death.
People always ask me what the toughest cases were. They are the ones whose owners were not open to receiving advice or taking direction about their dogs. They were in denial that they had any responsibility for their dog’s behavior. We were not able to help a lot of those cases. Those are the ones I think about the most — what happened to them?
I can say my favorite cases were the ones that Daddy and my two sons helped me with. Daddy’s role in helping other dogs was miraculous. I will always remember Viper (Season 7 Episode 11), a Belgian Malinois. Viper was afraid of people and would hide under tables and not come out. Daddy was already old and I had brought him along for this case. I asked Daddy for help and he rose to the occasion. He was so happy and proud because Daddy knew I needed him. So, we helped Daddy out of the car, introduced him to Viper and within seconds, Daddy had Viper out from under the table.
There are also many cases where I brought my sons, Calvin and Andre, along. I was able to teach them the way my grandfather taught me: By example. I am proud that both my sons have a love for dogs and Calvin is following in my footsteps with a TV show of his own. He calls himself the Puppy Whisperer.