Karen Cobb and Norman in Times Square after their first appearance on Good Morning America
Photo Courtesy: GMA
Owner & Trainer - Karen Cobb
Karen grew up in a family of veterinarians. She started training dogs in 1994. Her first dogs were two Shiba Inus, which is a breed not known for being obedient. Training Shibas is actually similar to training a cat. Karen competed in agility and obedience competition with them and they were ranked in the top 5 for their breed in the country in both sports. She studied psychology at the University of Miami, read many books, apprenticed under talented trainers, attended many training seminars and classes and began training dogs professionally in 1997. She focused mostly on behavior issues, problem solving as well as aggression problems.
For her next dog, Karen decided to find a more cooperative breed and decided on a Briard. She got “Norman” in 2009, and planned on having him be her obedience and agility competition dog. Karen decided to also teach Norman a few tricks, like wiping his paws before he came in the house and wiping his beard after drinking water. This then lead into teaching amazing tricks like riding a bicycle, riding a scooter, skateboard, jump rope and even teaching him to surf. Karen and Norman have since achieved more than they ever could have imagined. They went on to star in two seasons of the Hallmark and Animal Planet reality show "Who Let the Dogs Out?" Karen had a training tips segment on the show teaching viewers how to solve household manners problems. You can see some of these tips at http://www.normanthescooterdog.com/training-tips They hold Two Guinness World Records for Fastest 30 m on a Scooter by a Dog and Fastest 30 m on a Bicycle by a Dog. The duo then won the prize of Best Trick on the CW World Dog Awards, hosted by George Lopez, in 2016.
Norman and Karen have been feature multiple times on The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends and also appeared on, Rachael Ray, Anderson Live, Wheel of Fortune, Inside Edition, Today Show, a few National Geographic documentaries, as well as a few other cable documentaries and over 150 local news shows. Karen and Norman have surfed on a Guinness Record setting float in the Rose Parade and have traveled the United States and Canada, performing their tricks. Norman also was a spokesdog for a major dog food company for 5 years. They now have settled back home in Georgia and Norman is now competing in obedience, agility, rally, drafting, barn hunt, lure coursing, nose work, tracking, dock diving and more. They also do therapy work together. Karen resumed her career of canine behavioral consultation and problem solving. Karen's training style is a balanced approach based mostly on positive reinforcement.
Trainer - Brian Vinti
Brian has worked with animals his entire adult life and has a degree in Zoo Animal Technology and Animal Training. He has over 20 years experience working with a wide variety of mammals, birds, and reptiles as an Animal Trainer and Zoo Keeper for multiple zoos around the country. Brian has also worked as a Naturalist and Substitute Teacher, as well as having his own Animal Training business for about 10 years. He has spent his career working with and training both exotic and domestic animals for shows, presentations, educational programs, and veterinary procedures. He has experience in obedience training, agility training, behavior modification, and rehabilitation. Education has been a central part of his work throughout his career working with animals. Brian has also worked closely with a number of vets throughout the years assisting with medical procedures and behavior modification and rehabilitation. He has also worked extensively with canine socialization, having developed and established a doggy daycare program for a veterinary clinic in Montgomery, Alabama. Throughout his career he has done the animal training for numerous shows, presentations, demonstrations, fundraisers, lectures, and educational programs. He has performed in many of these shows as well. Brian has also worked with groups of all different sizes and ages.
We are very excited to have Brian join the Scooter Dog Training team. We have very high standards and he does excellent work!!!