By Rafaela Kuznec @RafaelaKuznec
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Videographer / director: Heath Franklin
Producer: Hannah Stevens, James Thorne
Editor: Ed Rius
Augusto Deoliveira, from Sharon, South Carolina, became an internet sensation after his video of him walking five German Shepherds down a city street without a single leash went viral.
Having grown up surrounded by dogs on a farm in Brazil, from a young age Augusto dreamt of becoming a professional dog trainer.
He told Barcroft TV: “I have always liked the idea that humans are able to train animals and communicate with them in a certain way.
“When I was three years old I used to play with the dog in the house trying to communicate with them.
“From that point, I knew I wanted to be a dog trainer.”
Augusto calls himself a ‘balanced trainer’ and says that he uses both positive and corrective reinforcement techniques to train the dogs.
He said: “I consider my correction techniques to be extremely effective and the gentlest corrections available.
“I don’t use abusing, harsh devices to correct dogs – a gentle touch or a gentle tug at the leash is enough.
“It has a lot to do with the energy I let out, and my body language, that’s really what gets the dogs attention.”
Augusto has started training his dogs off leash in a group but using a simple leash to guide the dogs into the position he wants them to be.
He explained: “It’s a matter of being consistent and being very strict about what you want from your dogs.
“It’s a matter of really understanding the dog and having the dog be able to understand you.
“You can’t just have one set method to train different dogs.
"You are going to need to try different things.”
He added: “I believe a trainer will fail the majority of the dogs they train if they only use one method, such as an only treat, or only correction.
"The best trainers will be the ones with an open mind.
“I’m willing to try any “method” to train as long as it’s not going to hurt the dogs and will be effective.”
The 27-year-old man says that the most rewarding part of his job as an expert dog trainer is the ability to save lives of dogs who otherwise would have been put down by their owners for their aggressive behaviour.
Augusto said: “I have never had to use a shock collar to train my dogs.
“I actually believe that the methods that I use to train them are a lot more effective than a shock collar and a lot safer.”
Augusto’s client, Jerrica Brown, who owns one of his dog’s puppy told Barcroft TV: “Augusto is probably the best thing ever because anytime I have an issue I can message him, anything that I need from him he always gets back to me right away.”
Augusto, who currently owns 20 German Shepherds, said: “My job as a trainer goes a lot beyond what most people think of a dog trainer.
“I’m usually the owner’s last hope so I am pretty used facing dogs that have a lot of aggression issues.
“I have trained dozens of dogs that would otherwise have been put down.
“And to be able to turn those dogs around and just see the hope in the honest face and just the joy of knowing that they do not have to put the dog down because they found a solution is very rewarding to me.”