Robert Cabral is more than a dog trainer, he is a trainer of trainers. Through Bound Angels’ outreach work, Robert trains shelter employees and volunteers how to better understand complex canine behaviors – and how to solve them. Through this training, Bound Angels is able to give these dogs a chance at adoption – a chance they would otherwise never enjoy.
The training includes lectures, written materials, and hands-on interaction. Each person is given the tools to better understand how to modify a dog’s behavior through training methods that are fair to the dog and clear to understand for the people applying them.
Needless to say, shelter dogs are not like the family pet. Many of these dogs exhibit extreme behaviors including aggression, which, if not dealt with correctly, will lead to the dog being destroyed. Robert takes this work very seriously and spends most of his effort in working with these dogs in particular. He loves a challenge and donates much of his time to give a chance to dogs that other trainers have given up on.
When a family pet goes wrong, they can be retrained relatively simply while still living with their family. However, when that training doesn’t work, these dogs usually end up in the shelter and that is when Cabral’s work begins. Understanding the canine mind and teaching this to shelter staff and rescue workers is at the core of his mission through Bound Angels. Dogs respond differently to stress and quickly develop behaviors including kennel syndrome, which if not corrected properly, can lead to a dog’s ultimate demise.
For any dog to end up in a shelter is a highly stressful experience, one that can trigger innate behaviors including aggression and dominance. Shelter staff is usually untrained in dealing with these behaviors and have no alternative but to destroy these animals (for both their safety and that of the general public).
The sad truth is that many people will not enter shelters because they find them “depressing.” Changing this image of shelters is one of the primary goals of Bound Angels. Robert understands that this change will only come through making the animals in the shelters more adoptable.
Most people will not adopt a dog that is lunging and growling at their kennel door. In fact, this oftentimes turns off a prospective adopter and leaves them running for the exit door never to return.
When no one else wants to deal with a particular dog, Robert is happy to give them a chance. More often than not his results are nothing less than astonishing. Getting to the core of a particular dog’s issue, and teaching others how to do the same, is his specialty. It seems as though he speaks dog, because dogs seem to respond to him in a way that is almost mysterious.
Whether it’s aggression, fear, confusion, erratic behaviors including shutting down, spinning or disengagement, Robert’s work with these dogs produces a dog that most anyone would love to bring into their home. In fact, many times while Cabral is working with a dog at a shelter, that dog will get adopted right out from under his hands.
The unique aspect of Robert’s method is that he knows nothing about the dog when he first meets them, but seems to figure them out quickly. Shelter pets have no history, no one knows what will set them off, what they like and what will make them bite. Entering into a kennel with many of these dogs is a crap shoot, but one that Robert rolls the dice on every time he visits a shelter.
It’s one thing to do this day in and day out, it’s another to do this and teach others as well. Robert’s teaching and communication skills are exemplary: his affable personality and direct, sometimes dry approach keeps people engaged and excited to learn.
Cabral’s work through Bound Angels has given countless dogs a second chance, one they undoubtedly would never have had if it were not for Robert’s dedication. His expert testimony in court cases involving dangerous and vicious dogs, his hands-on involvement in working with dogs that others deem un-trainable, as well as his creative approach to marketing dogs through the Bound Angels Shelter Angel Videos has earned him the ultimate title of Dog’s Best Friend.
Robert has written a book, “Selling Used Dogs” that is the training manual for the shelter makeover program. This book is available free to anyone in rescue or working at animal shelters. For more information – click here.
I’ve worked with many trainers over the past 30 years, from the famous to the ridiculous. Robert is the real deal. His methods transform unruly, even dangerous, shelter dogs into responsive companion animals. For shelters looking for alternatives to killing dogs for behavioral reasons, I recommend Robert Cabral.”
ED BOKS Executive Director Yavapai Humane Society, Prescott – former General Manager LA Animal Services, NY City Animal Care and Control, Maricopa County Animal Services.