Who is K9 Connector?

Hi, my name is DeLisa Lee. I am the lead trainer of K9 Connector. I have lived with dogs for most of my life, and I trained all of our family pets and extended family pets. We adopted Max in May 2016. It had been a while since I trained a brand-new puppy so I updated my skills by researching the latest best practices for effective and humane dog training. I studied the philosophies and techniques of nationally and internationally recognized trainers of service dogs, police dogs, show dogs, agility dogs, working dogs, hunting dogs, and of course, pet dogs. I drew on my 20 years as a corporate trainer and applied those skills to dog training. 

Max has been my study partner, and he provides the best evidence of how effective my training approach can be.

In this video, Max demonstrates the OUT command. OUT means disengage. When you say "out", your dog should drop whatever is in his mouth such as a tug toy. If he's eating, he should stop eating. This command is not only impressive to watch, but it's practical too.

Visit the Videos page to see more Max videos.

By the time Max was 10 months old, I had declined multiple requests to train other people's dogs. I finally said yes after his first birthday, and the rest is history.

Check out the FAQs below and if you'd like to discuss training for your dog, feel free to contact me.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is your approach to dog training?

I am a balanced dog trainer which means my approach to behavior modification includes reward based techniques and humane, aversive consequences to let the dog know that their decisions and behaviors will lead directly to pleasant or unpleasant results. I specialize in canine communication, and obedience and tricks training.

At the end of each training session, I give my clients homework which includes practicing what we covered in the lesson and video recording your progress. Upon review of your videos, I will provide you with feedback so you can make adjustments and improvements accordingly.

To stay or not to stay?

Not.... because there is no stay!

Modern dog trainers have eliminated the STAY command. And I gotta say, removing STAY from your command list greatly increases the effectiveness of your communication with your dog.

How does it work? You teach your dog the concept sustainability. This means, instead of teaching your dog to stay, you teach him that every command is sustainable and is to be followed until the next command. Can you do this without using the word "stay"? Absolutely! Here's how I recently explained it to a prior-service client. I asked, "When you were in basic training and you were called to attention, how long did you stay in that position?" He said, "Until I was given another command." I replied, "Exactly. That's sustainability!"

A soldier learns to hold a command because he reads it in a book or is told by his Drill Instructor. It's different with dogs because not only can they not read, but they don't understand English (so it doesn't matter what words you use). Teaching this concept to a dog is easier than you might think. All you have to do is release him before he breaks the command. It's that simple. When you consistently release your dog from a command before he breaks the command, he will learn to wait to be released from the command.

In the video below, you can see sustainability in action. Be advised, I am not teaching Max to wait for the release in this video. He already knows it. I made this video so you can see how much more powerful and versatile the release command is compared to the STAY command.


Who is your ideal client?

My ideal client is someone who not only wants to see their dog's behavior change, but they want to be the primary facilitator of the change. If you're looking for a place where you can just drop off your dog and pick him up in two weeks (and he's all better), I might not be the right trainer for you. I enjoy working with people who want to learn about dog training methods such as luring, shaping, targeting, and capturing... and who want to understand how and when to use them.

Be advised, I am highly selective when it comes to choosing dog training clients. Likewise, you should be very selective in choosing a trainer. You'll interview me... I'll interview you... we'll have a great conversation! And by the end of it, we'll decide if we're a good fit for each other.

Feel free to submit the Contact Us form to get started.

Do you make house-calls?

I sure do! My service area is Research Triangle Park in NC. If you are outside of my service area and you are willing to cover my travel expenses, I may be willing to visit you. Or, we can conduct the training online.

How much do you charge for training?

My rate is $65 per hour for face-to-face or online sessions.

My rate is $50 per hour if you do your homework (submit weekly progress videos).

How do you support your clients?

As a professional trainer, I am no stranger to online learning systems. I take full advantage of the internet to provide you with lesson plans, training videos, step-by-step directions, chat, video conferencing, feedback, and more!

What kind of treats do you use for training?

The answer to this question is not one size fits all. The food reward can be as unique as the dog. Most dogs are food motivated, but there are exceptions. Some dogs are more interested in toys than food. Assuming the dog is food motivated, chicken and hotdogs tend to go over well. Whatever you choose, make sure the reward is small, soft, and does not create crumbs when your dog is eating it. 

With Max, I got lucky. After feeding him store bought treats for a few months, I discovered he will work for regular dog food. That's when I decided to overlap his meals with training. In Max's videos, he is usually eating dry dog food mixed with a little chicken or hotdogs. He rarely eats from a bowl. In fact, his first year, he ate all of his meals directly from my hand. When he got older and I added canned food to his diet, I taught him to eat from a tablespoon. (Canned food can be very sticky on the fingers.) In Liberty's videos, the reward is her regular dog food as well, and the occasional high value chicken or hotdogs.

The key is to pay attention to your dog and he will tell you what he values.

Will you train my dog?

Eh... maybe. Under the right circumstances, I have agreed to work directly with a client's dog, but my preference is to train you and have you train your dog. I want to help you understand how dogs process information so you are empowered to modify your dog's behavior with or without me. If I can help you do that, you will then be in a position to teach your dog anything. And that's my goal!

How do we get started?

Click the contact us button to schedule an initial consultation.

Contact Us