Get to Know Bradley Phifer – Dog Trainer
Looking for a trusted Indianapolis dog trainer? Or maybe you’re seeking a reliable pet boarding facility in Indy when you’re away on vacation or out of town?
We recently sat down with seasoned dog trainer and behavioral expert, Bradley Phifer, to learn more about his business and why he began working with dogs. We also toured his new, top-notch dog training and pet boarding facility located in Fairland, Indiana, right outside of I-465. Get to know Bradley and read about his dog training and dog boarding services below!
For people who don’t know anything about you or your background, give us a short bio on your experience working with dogs.
Bradley: I have been working for boarding kennels, dog grooming salons, humane societies and veterinary hospitals since I graduated High School in 1998. Most notably I ran the Humane Society of Indianapolis Canine Training School and developed Bark Tutor School for Dogs. In 2014, I started Bradley Phifer Dog Training.
When did you first know you had a passion for working with dogs?
Bradley: When I was 11 years old I picked up a DOGS USA magazine and was enamored with the show dogs. That same year I watched my first Westminster Kennel Club dog show and told my mom I wanted to show dogs. Every decision since has been made with the the goal of establishing a live-work space where I can raise and train dogs.
Do you have a specific philosophy when it comes to training dogs?
Bradley: Dog Training is an unregulated profession. Everyone has a similar, yet different philosophy on how to raise and train a dog. For me, dog training is a simple process which is not always easy to fit into life. Owners must learn how to (and be comfortable with) creating desired habits through daily management, training exercises and social interactions with their dogs. From there, you don’t allow them practice the wrong behavior. Meaning, if I don’t want you to pull on leash, I don’t let you pull me to the tree to pee. If I don’t want you to be aggressive to guests, I don’t let you bark at the mailman everyday. As owners, we must get a dog whose personality matches yours. Then decide on your expectations, train the desired behavior and be prepared to follow through.
Tell us about your boarding facility in Fairland, Indiana. What makes it different than others in and around Indy?
Bradley: Running a dog boarding and training facility is a lifestyle. I chose my new location specifically because it was designed for dogs to have an opportunity to be dogs. The kennel sits on seven acres just off I-74 E at Pleasant View Road. We have 20 indoor/outdoor runs and nine large dog yards where they are able to exercise on grass – with other dogs or alone. My residence is on-site so the kennel is never left unsupervised overnight. We do not charge additional fees to ensure your dogs daily needs are met – human attention and physical exercise.
Describe a typical “day in the life of a dog” at your boarding facility.
Bradley: Dogs are let out into their private kennel run every every three hours from 7 am until 10 pm. Two to three times per day they are able to exercise in one of our large grassy yards for 30-60 minutes. In their interior run they have access to fresh water, raised bedding, and chew toys. Training dogs receive two to three individual training sessions per day focused on their training goals.
Convenience seems to be everything these days. You’ve done a lot to made it convenient for clients to get their pets to you for boarding. Tell us about those services.
Bradley: We are located approximately 20 minutes from downtown and 30 minutes from the Northside. This isn’t a far drive, but I realize I am not as conveniently located as some other facilities. With that in mind, we started to offer transportation service to and from the kennel. When you make your boarding reservation you have the option of scheduling the pick-up.
After spending so much time with dogs, what do you find most fascinating about them?
Bradley: Most of the challenges we have with our dogs are human imposed. In my opinion, each of them has their own strengths, stressors, and tendencies. It’s how the environment we place them into and the life experiences we provide for them encourage or discourage those natural tendencies. I am always amazed at how adaptable they are to new situations and how “in the moment” they live.
What do you love most about your job?
Bradley: Helping people learn how to live more enjoyable lives with their dogs.
When not working, what hobbies do you enjoy or what can we find you doing?
Bradley: My personal and professional life are closely intertwined. When I am not “working,” I enjoy attending dog shows and doing other dog-related activities. I also have the normal pleasures of going to concerts on the lawn, evening with friends, but there are no hidden secrets like, “I enjoy racing dirt bikes”. It’s a pretty simple dogs life around here.