Today’s guest was Toriano Sanzone, a Master Dog Trainer who has been training dogs professionally for more than twenty years.  He is the author of “Wolfkeepers – Dog Training With Love – Proven Strategies from a Master Dog Trainer” and the CEO/Founder of Wolfkeeper University.  Toriano has trained dogs all over the world and has had the opportunity to work with other well-known dog trainers, including Cesar Milan, James Morgan, Walter Ward, and many more.   

Toriano has been a dog lover and trainer since he received his first Afghan Hound at age four (4).  Once active in the music industry, he brought his passion to dog training in 2000.  Since then, its been all about dogs.  His personal dogs include four (4) French Bulldogs, two (2) Dobermans, two (2) Rottweilers, an English Labrador and an American Bulldog.  Most have been “adopted” from former clients who could no longer keep their loved pet.   

When asked how he got the name “wolfkeeper,” Toriano related a story from his grandmother who talked of the biblical reference, “brother’s keeper.”  Translated to the dog world, the term “wolfkeeper” stuck.  He is the keeper of dogs, descended from wolves.    

Wolfkeeper University offers a variety of training programs from personalized training at the Wolfkeeper Dog Camp to private lessons that include condo dog issues, advanced behavioral issues, advanced obedience, dog aggression, human aggression, puppy consultations and train the trainer consultations.  He also offers a unique program called, Wolfkeeper for Life, a lifelong learning program for dog and their owners.   

For people interested in dog training as a career, Wolfkeeper University offers an intensive four-month program, called Train the Trainers.  The goal is to transform individuals who have a passion for dogs into professional dog trainers.  The course is extremely challenging and requires a strong work ethic, self-discipline, and organization.  The core curriculum includes everything from puppy imprinting to obedience, to agility to tracking and other specialized training programs.   

Dogs are more important than ever in today’s changing world.  They serve important roles as comfort dogs, therapy dogs, service dogs, and personal protection.  Toriano estimates the inventory of available dogs will decrease this year as families replace pets that have died and as new dog owners enter the market.  “Dog training is recession proof.” he says.  There’s always going to be a need for good dogs and good dog trainers.   

Toriano also acknowledges that an untrained or poorly trained dog can be a liability.  The Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2019 homeowners insurers paid out $797 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries.   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States.  Among children, injuries are highest for those 5 – 9 years of age.  Protect yourself, your kids and your dogs with a solid training program.  

A well-trained dog can be a life-long faithful friend, confidante and loved family member.  Toriano explained it is important that future dog owners consider all of the life-time costs of owning a dog, including ongoing training for both the dog and the owner.  He estimates that a well-loved dog could cost as much as $100,000 over the life of the dog – including food, supplements, veterinary, boarding, and of course, life-long training.  

You can learn more about Toriano and Wolfkeeper University by visiting their website, or listening to his podcast on Podbean You can also find them on FaceBook and Instagram.