Get to Know Jeff Pelayo: Expert Gun Dog Trainer
October 2, 2016 Category: Trainer Profile
As you might have guessed, many of our loyal field staffers have interesting backgrounds and Jeff Pelayo from AWA Gundogs is no exception. Jeff, a California native, has lived in Alaska, and several places on the East Coast. As a wildlife biologist and outdoor junkie, Jeff has also held many odd jobs, including one as a hunting artifacts dealer. Now residing outside of Jamestown, North Dakota, Jeff has zeroed in on his passion for dogs. He remains heavily involved in habitat management with Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl, but his days are spent in the fields training gun dogs.
Jeff typically takes on about 10 dogs at the beginning of each season in the Spring and works with them through the Summer and into early Fall.
Part of what makes Jeff unique is allowing his clients a first-hand look at their dog’s progress through social media. Jeff maintains a very active online presence on Facebook and Instagram and has amassed a substantial following along with some outstanding content.
“I’m a huge believer in social media from a business perspective. It allows my clients to see exactly how their dog is doing from their phone or computer.” Jeff has always loved photography and implemented it as a core of his business.
Dog Training Equipment Tips
As a pro trainer, Jeff understands the importance of having high-quality, durable training gear. Recently he transitioned from Tri-Tronics, (now Garmin) to Dogtra because he wasn’t happy with the longevity of each unit.
“When you use these products every day as a pro trainer, the durability of some of these units gets exposed. That’s what was happening with my old Tri-Tronics units.”
Jeff uses the Dogtra Edge RT for his day to day training and likes it because of the longer charge and the simplicity of the combo buttons.
“I really like the combo buttons, but I didn’t like how fast the buttons on my other units would wear out and stop working. I don’t have that problem with my Dogtra units."
Why People Misunderstand E-Collars
From a technical standpoint, Jeff is a firm believer in the importance of the e-collar and feels there's a definite misunderstanding of e-collars in the general consumer market.
“E-collars get a bad reputation because of accessibility and lack of knowledge. Almost all of the bad things I hear people say about e-collars come from a lack of knowledge. People don’t understand that the e-collar is to reinforce known commands. Too many times, people just go to the store and slap any e-collar on their dog and just expect it to work. A lot of my job is to be an educator to owners on the proper use of the e-collar."
Jeff feels every dog is different, which means every dog needs to have a specific training plan and strategy. Like a lot of professional trainers, Jeff likes to build a positive association between e-collar and dog by getting them accustomed to the e-collar from day one.
“Unfortunately, a lot of times, I need to recalibrate some of the dogs. They’ve been exposed to too much e-collar pressure and need to be readjusted to enjoy the e-collar with a lot of positive reinforcement.”
“My job is to produce confident, happy, and driven gun dogs. Dogtra provides me with the tools I need to do this effectively, and I wouldn’t train without them."
You can check out Jeff’s website at www.awagundogs.com and on Facebook and Instagram at @AWAGunDogs.