Brian Lee

For this South Bay dog trainer and behaviorist, progress begins with mutual respect.

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  • Written by
    Darren Elms

Dog whisperer? Not Brian Lee. Noticing one of his clients getting out of line, his verbal correction echoes across his Redondo Beach back yard with enough reverberation to startle even the coolest client. But Brian’s bark is clearly more severe than his bite when you observe the admiration and respect he shares with dogs­ and owners who benefit from his services.

“There is more to a dog than ‘come,’ ‘sit,’ ‘stay’ and ‘down,’” says Brian. “I believe in educating the dog’s owners on how to raise and develop the most mentally healthy, happy, relaxed, grounded and stable dog possible.”

With 25 years experience and more than 10,000 dogs served, Brian has seen pretty much everything when it comes to behavior challenges, from aggression to socialization. Members of the Los Angeles Search and Rescue Team, the California Rescue Dog Association and the FBI have used his programs and unique approach. Additionally, Torrance Memorial Medical Center engaged his services in selecting dogs for their pet-assisted therapy program.

It was his glowing reviews that got our attention when looking for help with our new dog. A recently adopted 10-month-old cocker spaniel, Redford acted like a school yard bully, pulling on his leash and getting aggressive with other dogs at the dog park. We decided to take action when he nipped a friend’s dog on the lip. “Great, we’re those parents,” I thought. Luckily, no stitches were required.

Truthfully, as Brian’s philosophy states, it was Preston and me who needed the schooling. Under the attitude, Redford was a good dog, he was just badly in need of some guidance and strong ownership. After a series of corrections, “puppy party” socialization, a needed moment or two of tough-love humility and a couple amazing leash-walking lessons, Redford noticeably began to show progress.

Brian, who at first meeting labled Redford a “punk,” recently called him over for a moment of admiration and affection. “I may just have to take back everything I said to you,” he told him. “You’re a good dog.”


Brian’s Four Guiding Philosophies:

The more you need to be in control, the less control you have. Constantly giving commands is controlling. Allow your dog to self-direct instead of using external force and you will achieve true peace and harmony. 

Thoughts and internal dialogue can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Your dog is keenly aware of your attitude, so try to avoid having a victim mentality. Do not underestimate the power of intention. 

Take total responsibility for your own actions. Owners tend to blame their dogs for unwanted behavior even though the dogs have no control over their environment. Your dog is the prisoner and you are the warden; you either set them up to win or set them up to fail. 

Focus on the positive. Ignore the negative. As simple as this philosophy sounds, rarely is it achieved. Like us, dogs repeat behavior that is rewarded. Drawing attention to negative behavior ensures it will happen again. Instead, remember to enjoy the abundance of positive qualities your dog possesses.

Learn more about Brian at