Interview: Randy Gomer, Dog Training Professional

Kelly Roper

LoveToKnow Dogs is pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with Randy J. Gomer, owner and Master Trainer of Toledo K-9 Performance Academy. Randy has had a life long love for dogs and had seriously considered becoming a veterinarian at one point but found he preferred working with dogs in a different way. In 1996 he and his brother opened American K-9 Performance Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In March of 2003, Randy left to open Toledo K-9 Performance Academy. Having received his initial dog training lessons from his brother, Randy has built on those skills by working with thousands of dogs over the years, each with their own unique personality and needs. Randy believes this ability to tailor his methods to each dog has made him the successful trainer he is today.

On with the Interview

Tell us all about Toledo K-9 Performance Academy.

Toledo K-9 Performance is a full-time training establishment, open seven days a week, in order to offer our clients a flexible training schedule. Clients may choose to pay for a single lesson, take one of our many full-training courses, or even choose to board their dog with us while we train it for them.

We are Christian owned and operated. To some people this may not matter, but we find our clients prefer our family-oriented environment. It makes them feel very comfortable with choosing us for their dog training needs, and we get great satisfaction from seeing families that are ecstatic with their dog's progress.

Approximately how many pets/owners do you serve?

We see about 85 dogs on a weekly basis, signing up about six new clients each week. We also have a boarding facility, with approximately six dogs in residence at a time, who are going through our boarding and training program. We also have facilities for dogs just staying with us while their owners are out of town.

What types of training do you provide?

All of our training is positive based, one-on-one personalized training, that is adjusted to you and your dog's individual needs. We train any breed, size, or temperament, and we specialize in solving problem behaviors.

We offer obedience, advanced obedience, personal protection, advanced protection, and conformation (dog show) training. We also offer assistance dog training and some service dog training. If you would like to use your pet as a therapy dog, our training will help you pass the temperament test with ease.

At what age should a dog begin training with you?

The earlier the better. When you can start with a 10-week-old puppy, you can mold that puppy into what you are looking for. Dogs are animals of habit, so we are teaching you how to train your dog to have the habits you want, which are not necessarily the same habits your dog would develop on its own. Dogs are made up of energy, drive, and a certain level of aggression. Either the dog decides for itself what to do with all of that, or we can teach the dog how to best put those qualities to use.

Is there an age limit for older dogs?

We have trained dogs ten to fifteen years old, so you really can teach an old dog new tricks. We are simply replacing old habits with new ones.

Do you teach the dogs directly, or teach owners how to train their dogs themselves?

It's a little of both. About 75 percent of the training is training the owner. We teach the owners how to apply what they learn here to daily life in order to fix the problems they have with their pets, and how to reinforce that training in a positive manner and eliminate back sliding.

We are not teaching people how to be trainers, but how to teach their specific dog. Every individual dog has their own personality, so each dog will need a slightly different approach to educate them.

Does training take place at your establishment, at the owners' homes, or possibly both?

Because of the way we adjust to each individual situation, there is no need for us to go to the client's home. Our experience allows us to explain to owners what they need to do at home and how to keep it simple.

Which training(s) are most requested by your clients?

Our most popular course is our unlimited obedience life time guarantee. I think most people are just looking for something positive to do with their pets, and this particular training also gives them the comfort of knowing they can come back for training reinforcement if their pets begin to back slide.

As an owner, what happens when I contact Toledo K-9 Performance Academy? Walk us through the process.

The first thing you would want to do is watch one of our free demonstrations. This will give you the chance to meet us, check out our facility, and give us the opportunity to explain in detail how we will help you reach your goal. The live demonstration with one of our dogs will give you a visual to illustrate the explanation, and help you decide which program will best suit you and your dog.

How long does training take on average? I imagine that might all depend on the type of training sought?

Yes, the length of time to train your pet does largely depend on the type of training you seek, but your dog's own personality and learning abilities will ultimately determine how long it will take to achieve that training. Our programs are based on the average dog, but your dog may learn a little faster, or a little slower. This is why we do one-on-one training, so no matter what the situation, you should begin to see results immediately. The more time we have with you the more we can teach you.

Tell us about your Special Order K-9 Companion program.

Our sale dog program is unique because you are actually ordering a pre-trained dog. The cost depends on the breed you choose and what services we are providing for you. We are generally able to acquire any breed you want.

Here is the most common example:

Let's say you choose a Labrador Retriever. We find a great quality puppy around eight to ten weeks old that will remain with us until it is seven months old. During this period we install obedience, both on-leash and off-leash. We start personal protection training around six months old.

At the end of this period, you will pick up your newly trained dog. This package also comes with our lifetime of training program, in obedience and personal protection. The dog is now trained, but the owner still needs to learn how to handle the dog. This package is $6,000.00.

This is, of course, the most expensive route to take. The other courses are much more affordable, but this package has an advantage for clients who want a well-trained pet, but don't have the time or perhaps the inclination to do it all themselves and would prefer professional assistance.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I believe our flexible training methods separate us from other facilities. We are here seven days a week to give our clients the support they need, so no matter what the situation, they'll have a happy life with their pet.

That's our goal.

Learn More

Have more questions? Contact Randy Gomer at:

  • Toledo K-9 Performance Academy 419-885-6060


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Interview: Randy Gomer, Dog Training Professional