With more than 40 years of experience to his name, and thousands of satisfied customers, Shelly Leibowitz is one of the most sought-after dog trainers in the United States. His pioneering training method of “control through kindness” is an innovative approach to dog obedience driven by positive reinforcement instead of disheartening negative corrections. With a deep understanding of canine psychology, and a belief that every dog is an individual deserving of a training regimen tailored to their specific personality. Shelly has shown that affection, reward and praise are all important to bring out the best in dogs. He is widely-known noted both by the professional and lay community for his ability to successfully handle challenging dogs with severe behavioral problems.
At the age of 18 Shelly began his career training companion dogs in and around New York City, though he quickly expanded his skillset to include training canines for security, contraband and bomb detection duties. Shelly has worked with a wide array of corporate and private clients including the Philadelphia Electric Company at their Limerick nuclear facility, the New York Yankees’ Trenton Thunder, New Jersey Public Schools, many celebrities and dozens of law enforcement agencies. Over the years he has helped police departments throughout the country develop and expand their K-9 units, working to find and acquire the perfect canine cadets, often from abroad, while personally sharing his vast training experience with handler officers. A respected expert at solving seemingly unsolvable behavioral problems, Shelly collaborates often with lawyers and judges to help rescue and rehabilitate very problematic dogs before it’s too late.
In his off time Shelly acts as president (and founder) of the Garden State Schutzhund Club. Built upon a training foundation sharing many similarities with the techniques utilized to train modern drug and law enforcement dogs, Schutzhund is a competitive canine sport developed in Germany during the early 1900’s to identify talented working German Shepherds. After more than 20 years of active competition, Shelly was selected to represent the United States on the Schutzhund World Team in 2007 at the sport’s premier international competition. Aside from acting as training director for his own club, Shelly is a frequent speaker at Schutzhund clubs around the world, offering guest seminars and lectures to novice and expert Schutzhund lovers alike.
In addition to extensive experience in dog training, Shelly is also known for his expertise in importing dogs from Europe. Over the years, he has imported numerous dogs for a vast and growing clientele. He specializes in German Shepherds & Belgian Malanois, but has also imported a wide variety of other breeds including Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Giant Schnauzers, and Boxers.
Shelly’s success in importing dogs is rooted in his commitment to matching clients with the perfect dogs. He takes time to understand his clients’ needs in order to pair them with dogs of compatible personalities and temperaments. He is an expert in blood lines and how they affect a dog’s physical health, longevity, and characteristics.