A Special Tribute to Deb McCann, co-founder of The McCann Method and McCann Professional Dog Trainers

A Special Tribute to Deb McCann, co-founder of The McCann Method and McCann Professional Dog Trainers

Deb McCann has always been a powerhouse in whatever she has set her mind to. Growing up she was a competitive athlete, strong in academics and excelled in her career of choice. It is no surprise that when she got her first Airedale Terrier, she lead that dog all the way to being the top scoring obedience dog in North America.

Alongside and often in direct competition with her husband Marti, Deb became a force to be reckoned with in competitive obedience. Together they devoured all they could about dog training and obedience, and eventually became Professional Dog Trainers.

Through her years of studying, attending seminars and observing the behaviours of the dogs she worked with, The McCann Method took shape. Using positive reinforcement, she found, was much more effective than some of the older techniques she had been taught.

Classes with the McCann’s became very popular and eventually they started their own school called McCann vs McCann (a tongue in cheek reference to the continued competition between Deb and Marti) and it was a success from the first night. Deb and Marti’s complementary differences, made them the perfect partnership in all aspects. Deb knew how to operate a business and her experience made her a natural head instructor and director of operations, including training staff. She helped instructors work with individuals to help them read their dog better and provide appropriate correction. The McCann’s knew one size could not fit all. Each dog is different and requires different levels of motivation, tone of voice, interaction etc.

What they learned and what they taught, was that attitude was the most important thing even outside of the competition ring. Training only works if the dog has a desire to please. While you can teach a behaviour, if the dog doesn’t want to work for you, it is generally their decision whether they feel like doing it. On the other hand, a dog who wants to please, will be eager to respond. And that requires taking the time to build a relationship. This is the foundation of The McCann Method.

For over 40 years, Deb has been and still is an integral part of McCann Professional Dog Trainers. Her hard work, insights, and patience, has provided the opportunity for thousands of dog owners to experience the joy that comes from building a solid relationship with their dogs. She has spent countless hours personally mentoring many of our instructors in their own personal dog journeys and has been instrumental in shaping them as an instructor and coach to others.

Even though Deb is taking a well earned step back from an active role with the business, it wouldn’t be what it is now without her. So, today we want to acknowledge the brilliance of Deb McCann, the mother of The McCann Method and mentor to so many.

Thank you Deb.

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