By night, Joe Dybala works as the supervisor at the Inn Between. By day, he spends his time as a dog trainer and overall animal enthusiast.
Dybala goes door-to-door helping many owners understand how to train their dogs properly and to truly connect with their pets.
“I help people understand what dogs need,” said Dybala. “Most people make the mistake of trying to train their dog when they are excited, so the dog is not actually listening. My first question is usually, ‘What will your dog not do?’”
During the course of his training experience, Dybala has helped over 600 dogs and their owners. However, he does not usually charge for his training services and has only had about 30 paying clients.
“If I see someone who really loves their dog, and it is going to help them to listen to what I am going to say, I usually won’t charge anything,” said Dybala.
He noted that although some of his clients insist on paying him, the gratification of his work with the dogs is payment enough.
“I never really have a bad day when I work with dogs,” he said. “I mean, the people can be interesting, but it is about the dogs.”
Dybala focuses on educating owners so they can understand their dogs and give them the best possible care. He wants to ensure that dogs have a lifelong home and stay out of shelters.
“That’s always my goal. Once you get a dog, you keep them,” Dybala said. “There are a lot of people who want to get a dog, but they’re not ready for the responsibility.”
At home, Dybala has two dogs, Niko and Magic. His dogs are trained in search and rescue, and Dybala makes sure they walk between 4 to 6 miles every day.
“They’re my boys. They are with me all the time,” he said. “They will take any scent that I give them and find it. It doesn’t matter what scent I give them, they will find it, because they are finding it for me.”
Dybala has a special connection with his dogs. The three of them are inseparable. He added that it helps that dogs are able to sense their owner’s emotions, and this affects how they react.
“The one thing you can do with a dog that you can’t do with a person is you can be positive, and they will pick it up and also be positive,” said Dybala.
His dog training not only helps the owners he directly works with, but it also spreads awareness of dog training throughout the community.
“I love to see when people finally get it. I get so much out of it, especially when the person gets it. That’s what I really do it for,” said Dybala. “And if that person is proud of something they did, then they are going to tell other people.”
Additionally, Dybala has also worked with John Carroll students and staff to train their dogs on many occasions.
“A lot of the people here are very caring. If anyone here asked me for help, I’d help them,” he said.
For Dybala, his dog training is an opportunity to gain more knowledge. He always has more to learn from every dog he helps to care for and train.
“It’s a continuing education when every dog is your teacher. It is easy to get into it, especially when you have a passion for it like I do,” said Dybala. “There’s just no such thing as a bad dog.”