“My military experience as an explosive detection dog handler exposed me to the power of canine-human partnerships and the importance of clear communication and trust between the two,” says Matthew Lamarand, founder of Dogology University, a local dog training school.
Matthew started Dogology University in 2017, after serving as an explosive detection dog handler in the United States Air Force. “When I got out, I moved with my wife and 11-month-old daughter back to Michigan to find work in the civilian sector, but quickly realized the demand for explosive detection dogs was quite low.” Matthew decided to write a book about dog training, Dogology 101: The Secret Language of Dog Whispering. To his surprise, despite self-publishing with “no real social media backing,” it quickly jumped to the number two spot in sales behind Cesar Milan.
Seeing there was a market for his knowledge, Matthew and his wife Ashleena launched Dogology University. “We apply the same principles of discipline, structure, and trust that I learned in the military to our dog training programs. We believe in nurturing a strong partnership between dogs and their owners through focus, effective communication, and positive reinforcement techniques,” says Matthew.
“We specialize in boarding school options. The parents drop off their dogs and we keep them Monday through Friday, and on Friday the parents come and pick up their students.” At pick-up time, pet parents receive a one-hour private lesson to teach them what the dog has learned that week with hands-on coaching to prepare them to reinforce the learning at home over the weekend. Such an approach “allows us to gradually reintegrate the dogs back into their families with clear rules, structure, and expectations, resulting in a harmonious household and a well-trained dog,” he says.
“At Dogology University, we firmly believe in using a focus-based training approach,” continues Matthew. “This means rewarding desired behaviors rather than focusing on punishment or dominance-based methods.” Such an approach creates a positive environment where dogs can thrive. Matthew also emphasizes the importance of communication. “It is crucial for owners to learn how to communicate clearly and consistently with their dogs to convey their expectations and reinforce desired behaviors.”
Dogology University is currently developing online training programs to expand their reach as well as exploring partnerships with shelters and rescues. “Our ultimate goal is to make a positive impact on the lives of as many dogs and owners as possible, creating well-balanced, happy canine companions.”