Meet the TRainer...
Zach SMileY, CTC
Zach's dog training journey started in October of 2013 when he got his first dog Tech (AmStaff Terrier). He didn't know how much Tech would change his life at the time, but getting him changed everything. He started watching popular training shows, read multiple books by those trainers, and started applying the information with Tech. Very early in Tech's life Zach followed training advice that lead to Tech biting him multiple times on the arm within a matter of seconds. Tech didn't cause any physical damages but in that moment Zach knew that he needed help and needed to better understand what he was trying to do.
He started searching for more trainers and books to learn from. In that time, due to suspicions from his mom, he also confirmed via a BAER test that Tech was 100% deaf. Determined even more to make sure he was doing right by Tech he soon found the world of R+ training through classic books like "Don't Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor and "How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks" by Dr. Ian Dunbar. It didn't take long for him and Tech to start having more success and start building a solid relationship through training. Then he picked up the classic book "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson. Reading that book completely changed how he viewed dogs and the dog training world. While reading it he made the realization that this was the career path he wanted to travel down. At the back of the book was an advertisement for Jean Donaldson's school The Academy for Dog Trainers and after seeing that he was determined to take and complete that program.
Zach applied for and was accepted into The Academy for Dog Trainers program in March of 2014. This sent him into a learning and training frenzy. He started training any dog he could get time with so he could work through the curriculum. After a little over a year in the program Zach ran into some family/personal problems as well as the unexpected loss of his 2nd dog Nina, that lead to an excused long term hiatus in the program. Zach continued training dogs and rescued/rehomed a few strays during this time, eventually returning to the program in late 2017, completing the program in February of 2018 earning a Certificate in Training and Counseling (CTC).
Zach started Evolved Dog Training as an LLC in 2018 after getting his CTC but continued working full time as an IT Technician for a hospital network in Oklahoma. Struggling to make the leap from his comfy full time job to go into dog training he decided to hold off on taking official clients. In November of 2019 he got his dog Villain (Catahoula mix) and the experience of raising another puppy triggered Zach to start taking bigger steps towards taking clients. After further delays due to COVID-19, Zach started officially taking training clients in May of 2020. After getting the ball rolling through the last half of 2020 he decided that the schedule restrictions from his 9-5 job were holding him back too much and left that job in January of 2021 to go full time with Evolved Dog Training.
And here we are!! 8 years of training, 3 years since inception, and 1 year into operations, Zach and Evolved Dog Training's story have just begun to unfold. We hope you end up a part of this story and look forward to sharing it with you as it is written and evolves!
The Evolved Mission
The mission of Evolved Dog Training is to help people evolve the relationship they have with their canine companions. We believe that relationship is built on trust, clear communication, and consistency.
What is Evolved Dog Training’s ‘Why’?
Our ‘Why’ has multiple pieces to it. Zach always knew he wanted to own a business that helped others and brought them together as a community. When Zach got his first dog Tech it wasn’t long before he was bit by the training bug. He then found that most of the dogs that are euthanized from year to year are losing their lives due to behavior issues that could have been prevented or modified. He realized that this was a path he could take to help both people and dogs while building a strong community dedicated to their companion animals.
What training techniques do we use?
Evolved Dog Training believes in being 100% transparent in how your dog will be trained. Being a supporting member of the IAABC we will follow LIMA (Least-Intrusive-Minimally-Aversive) and Humane Hierarchy training guidelines. We will focus on helping you meet your dogs needs, arrange your dog’s environment to better set them up for success, and train with R+ based training methods.
Want to know if we can help with your dog? Fill out the form below!
Forms will be responded to within 2 business days
Every trainer has a dog that started it all for them, and Tech is that dog for Zach!
Tech is an American Staffordshire Terrier who came from a friend's accidental litter of puppies.
He turned 8 yrs old on 7/7/21 and was born 100% deaf (congenital deafness).
Other than being deaf, Tech has been an 'easy' dog if there ever was such a thing. He is social with people and dogs and has always been a confident companion.
Villain is Zach's Catahoula mutt! Like Tech, he also came from a friend's accidental litter of puppies.
Villain will be 3 years old on 10/5/22 and Zach has had him since he was 7wks old.
Villain is very sharp and active dog that is motivated to train with both food and toys, plush/furry toys being his favorite. Even with appropriate socialization, Villain isn't the most confident dog and experiences fear in new places, around new people, and big dogs. He's come a long way since he was young puppy, but still has a lot of progress to be made and it making strides often!
Nugget is (we're mainly guessing until DNA tests are taken) Zach's Border Collie/Great Dane mutt! He is a 'COVID Puppy' that Zach was fostering for the Bethany Animal Shelter. He went to 1 family as a test run but was returned due to his vocalizing (he's a barky boy!). The week he was returned he started barking/lunging at people and dogs he saw while on leash from 100's of feet away. Zach kept him to work through that issue and ultimately adopted him after deeply bonding with him through his reactivity training.
Nugget turned 1 on 3/28/21 and has been with Zach since he was 6wks old.
Nugget is a highly motivated dog. He will work diligently for food and toys (tennis ball being KING). He has made a lot of progress with his reactivity, almost never reacting to people, and only reacting to other dogs in certain contexts. Zach hopes to get into a dog sport with Nugget once he can handle wild environments like that.