Pet ownership is increasing and a large number of the dogs that are adopted or rescued, come with issues. It's a sad fact that many of the dogs surrendered to shelters or picked up as strays, had owners who didn't anticipate the inconvenience, noise or expense that comes with dog ownership. Many people do not bother to train their dogs until behavior problems arise. Even then, I believe it's never too late.
We give our dogs treats, toys and affection. But for a long, happy life together, training is really the best gift of all. I believe dogs need daily, motivated, structured, mental & physical exercise to stimulate their mind and body in order to be balanced. Once their energy is drained, especially in working breeds, then we can expect them to learn easier. We, as caregivers, need to realize it is a life-time commitment to care for and train our canine companion.
As a lifelong dog lover I have had a passion in training dogs for over 30 years. It is wonderful to see a dog who was formerly unruly or kept outdoors, now living indoors as part of the family because he's better behaved. Watching a dog who was previously frightened of people, accept petting and treats from strangers is truly heart-warming. Dogs who have been reactive all their life toward other dogs or people, now seek attention from and interact willingly is amazing to watch. A lot of dogs are misunderstood and just need structure, given boundaries and a job for them to feel important. I truly believe it's never the dog and they do not train themselves!
Consider very carefully, your dog's life as a whole. He's meeting your needs and loving you unconditionally, but are you meeting his needs emotionally and physically, on a daily basis? Are you seeing issues of anxiety, aggression, resource guarding, or unruliness? Each dog learns at his/her own pace. Therefore, you cannot put a time limit on training. I can teach you how to better communicate with your dog, with basic obedience or behavior modification.
I offer in home, one on one training. Creating better behaviors in the home is where it all begins. My approach to dog training is addressing the state of mind of your dog, rather than strictly focusing on creating rehearsed behaviors. I am much more concerned with creating a happy, healthy, balanced dog than creating a dog that simply knows a few obedience commands.
Wanting to adopt a new dog? I may have a lead on that perfect dog from a shelter, private rescue or private owner. It is very important that your energy level is matched up with your new best friend to prevent chaos. As a guardian to your canine friend, it is important to realize "the big picture" for a lifetime of pleasure for all involved.
If you are wanting to create a closer bond with your dog and build confidence at the same time, maybe agility is something you should try. I teach agility classes on Tuesday evenings. These classes are strictly for fun. We do not practice for competition. All dogs welcome! Dogs should be structurally sound and at least 4 months of age and be current on all their vaccines including Bordetella vaccine. Puppies under 1 year of age will not be allowed to participate in jumps unless they are big enough to simply walk over them. Contact me for more information regarding joining our group.
I host a pack walk every Saturday at Dorris Ranch in Springfield. We meet at 10 a.m. at the start of the bike path and walk a total of 3 miles. All dogs remain on leash. If your dog is reactive or vocal, you especially need to come. We have many that walk with us who have dogs that were very reactive and now can walk calmly with the pack. I will assist as needed. I also share a training tip with everyone at our halfway point.
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