dog named Diego demonstrates his ability to open
doors with handles in the All Creatures Animal
Clinic and Lodge, April 19, 2013, in Rittman Ohio.
Ohio ó For more than 30 years, Ken McCort has been
considered an elite animal trainer ó the trainer of
last resort. Heís the man people turn to when other
trainers have thrown in the towel and given up on an
animal with problem behaviors.
only do local veterinarians refer their incorrigible
clients to him, McCort has traveled the world dispensing
his knowledge and training techniques. His work has
taken him to Japan, one of his favorite countries, 14
he spent several weeks at Wolf Park research center in
Battle Ground, Ind., lecturing humans and training
Because training is an essential part of the animal
husbandry, keeping the wolves, coyotes, foxes and bison
at the park healthy and necessary "for minor exams,
inoculations ó simple procedures," McCort said.
excels at the process.
and his wife, veterinarian Dr. Marilyn McCort, live in
Doylestown, Ohio, along with five dogs, seven cats,
seven large birds, some finches, a lizard, "too
many" horses and a donkey.
reputation is built on his ability to read an animalís
body language, translate it into words and interpret it
for the animalís caretakers.
itís the humans that he is training, he said.
always training the people. If it was just a training
problem with dogs, Iíd go to the pound, get a bunch of
dogs and sell well-trained dogs," he said.
of Four Paws animal behavior services, McCort recently
started offering individualized training classes at All
Creatures Veterinary Clinic and Lodge in Rittman, Ohio.
move from his center to the clinicís lodge, where
boarding and day-care facilities are offered, was an
easy transition, he said. He offers puppy training,
classes for shy dogs, arousal (impulse control) classes
and therapy dog classes.
still go to homes for cat and bird trainings," he
said. "Cats do very poorly outside their
has taught classes at Columbus State University, Ohio
State University College of Veterinary Medicine and at
the University of Akronís Orrville branch where he
instructs veterinary technicians and assistants. He was
a guest lecturer at the Midwest Veterinary Conference
and is a national committee member with Pet Partners.
is the last position that he gained after helping
establish the therapy and visiting Doggie Brigade at
Akron Childrenís Hospital in 1990. His black Labrador
retriever, Bumper, was the first dog to earn a spot on
the elite team.
designed and implemented an inmate training program for
stray dogs at the Mansfield Correctional Facility.
said some of the worst cases heís seen during his
career are rescued dogs.
donít get rid of dogs because they canít feed them.
Itís because they donít like their behaviors,"
many cases, "Iím the third or fourth trainer theyíve
seen," he said.
than 50 veterinarians in Northeast Ohio refer
misbehaving patients to him.
this spring, he is due to help keepers train resident
wolves and coyotes at the Akron Zooís Mike & Mary
Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit that will open in July.
McCort gave a demonstration of his training methods,
using Diego, an adolescent male German shepherd, into a
training room at the lodge. With more than a dozen dogs
in the large "day care" room across the hall,
Diego, a high-energy dog, had many reasons to lose
more obnoxious than anything else," McCort said.
"In human terms, he is a 21-year-old male that is
full of himself."
took Diego through a few exercises, using treats and a
whistle to show the dog when he accomplished a desired
Diego use his brain to think about what McCort expected
of him burns more energy than a brisk walk in the park,
brain uses five times the energy than exercising
them," he continued. "When a behavior becomes
habituated enough that they arenít even thinking about
it," you will know youíve succeeded.
more information, or to contact McCort, visit his