Roger Lautt spent his childhood raising horses, dogs and assorted animals on his parents’ farm in North Dakota. He trained and showed horses as a teen and later turned that passion to training dogs for obedience and confirmation almost 35 years ago. Like many trainers of the day, Roger used compulsion, methods, as it was thought that the only way to motivate an animal was through fear and intimidation (a method that unfortunately is still alive and well in some training circles). But as fate would have it, when Roger adopted an orphaned dog named Trievers, a friend suggested that he take his dog to a place where they used only gentle positive reinforcement as motivation. Roger was in awe of this method and found it to be a much better fit with the praise and encouragement style of management that he used with his employees in his real estate business.
The success Roger found when he crossed-over to rewards based training is what motivated him to get Trievers certified as a therapy dog and together they volunteered helping people with physical and emotional disabilities as well as those with alcoholism and drug addiction.
Today Roger caries the prestigious title of CPDT-KA, having passed the nationally recognized board exam for dog trainers as well as CNWI where Roger has earned his Certified Nose Work Instructor credentials. He continues his work with his newest certified therapy dog,Tucker; one such place is Safe Humane Chicago, an outreach organization whose mission is to reduce violence by teaching kindness to animals. The other place where Roger donates a lot of his time is with the Dog Saving Network (DSN), a group dedicated to bringing awareness to the plight of shelter-dogs through theater, television and radio productions.
Under the direction of Chris Dignan, founder of DSN and animal trainer at the Shedd Aquarium, Roger has honed his clicker skills and expanded Tucker’s repertoire when they starred in Chris’ theater production called Life’s Ruff, which gained national attention on The Nightly News With Brian Williams. So moved and inspired to help shelter-dogs was Roger that he rescued Emma, the Bully-dog mix, and is now training her along with Tucker for the Dog Saving Networks upcoming shows.
Roger’s passion for dogs is highlighted on his newest endeavor, Chicago Dog Pads (www.chicagodogpads.com). This website is a goldmine of information to help people locate pet-friendly real estate as well as a rich resource for “everything dog”!
With his years of training experience, wisdom, and gentle methods, Roger inspires his students to train their dogs to get amazing results without the use of fear or intimidation tactics. His thirst for knowledge keeps him enrolled in seminars and workshops so that he can bring cutting edge, scientific information to his classes.
Currently, Roger lives with his two dogs Tucker and Emma in the Logan Square neighborhood where he has transformed the lower level of his home into a dog training and learning center.